Edify:  To build up – strengthen – establish.

I don’t know about you – but this is NOT a word I use most days.  Or any day.  Sometimes I read it in a Biblical context, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it when describing my relationship with my spouse.

And yet.

When I look at the real meaning of the word “to edify”:

build upestablish strengthen

I’m convinced it’s a valuable word.

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11  New King James Version

Here is the word used in the New King James Version where Paul is writing to the Thessalonians.

And here it is  – same verse, different translation:

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 New International Version

I kept going back and forth to all the different translations (using BibleGateway) to see how this verse would read.

  • Build up.
  • Strengthen.
  • Help.
  • Build each other up.
  • Give each other strength.
  • Make each other strong.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this for our wife or husband?

What does it mean - edify - and how do you do that? Here are five ways to encourage your spouse using that old-fashioned word.

How can you edify your spouse?

Here are 5 suggestions:

  1. Talk about the future in a positive way.  Use the past as an illustration.  Focus on all the ways God has helped you both to carry on – to move forward – to prosper.  Your God is bigger than your problems.  God’s strength is there to give you hope and make your future good.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
  2. Trust God.  And live that way.  It’s not enough to talk about having faith.  Adopt the Nike motto:  Just do it.  Strengthen your spouse with the way you live your faith – the way you immerse yourself in God’s Word – the way you’re consistent in seeking fellowship with other Christ followers.  Ponder Acts 2:42 – and behave that way.  Then invite your spouse to join you.
  3. Love your spouse – even when you don’t feel like it.  Feelings are fleeting, they come and they go.  Decide to love your spouse and act in a way that shows love.  Start with kindness and work forward.  Tell your spouse, “I love you.”  and then list the ways.  Review 1Corinthians 13 if you need context.
  4. Ask God to bless your spouse.  Work through a 31-day challenge to pray for your spouse in specific ways, a different way each day.  Be creative.  Pray differently – try a journal, or meeting with a group of like-minded believers to pray for your spouses.   Ask.  Seek.  Knock.  (Matthew 7:7,8)  Pray without ceasing.  (1Thessalonians 5:17)  Invite your spouse to pray with you – let him or her hear you pray in specific, concrete ways for her/him – not just once, but continually. 

  5. Add your strength in a practical way.  When was the last time you did something for your spouse?  A cup of tea (or sweet-tea if you live in the South) at an opportune moment can make a difference.  (or a favorite anything)  Your willing attitude can create a dent in the impossible.  Sometimes words are cheap, and taking action turns the tide.  (Proverbs 3:27)  If there’s something that is in your power to do – just do it! 

Edify your spouse.

One last idea from the book “Happy Spouse, Happy House” by Pat Williams.  He uses the word EDIFY as an acronym:

E – 
 Encourage:  Be kind and gentle.

D – Delight:  Delight in one another.

I – Involve:   Active listening & talking.

F – Fulfill:  Help each other to reach the greatest potential.

Y – Yield:  Live in a yielded, forgiving state.

How will you edify your spouse this week?

Linking up with The Alabaster Jar Marital Oneness Monday!

93 ways to add joy to your life.

Have you seen the video about #93toJOY? All the ways to edify your spouse are included in these little, easy things to do…