Strength. We all have strengths.

Do you see your spouse’s strengths?

Robert and I did an interesting assessment last week. It’s called Strengths Finder 2.0, part of a book written by Tom Rath, in association with Gallup.

After purchasing the book, and opening the packet at the back, we used the unique code to complete an online set of questions. When completed, a report was generated showing our top 5 strengths. There are 34 possible options.

From what I understand, it’s possible to have an additional assessment done by a trained facilitator for a big chunk of change – this provides a full assessment to include a ranking of all 34 options. (Rob and I just purchased the two books so we could know our top 5.)

Interestingly, we share two of five strengths: strategy & connectedness.

In the book, another word used for strengths is talents.

Of course, as soon as I heard that word, I thought of Jesus’ parable of the master who gave ‘talents’ to his three servants. Unlike our understanding of the word talent, a ‘talent’ or minas in Jesus’ parables (Matthew 25 & Luke 19) refers to a large sum of money – perhaps even the monetary equivalent of anywhere from 3 months to 20 years of work.

In the stories Jesus told, servants were given something and the master left for a long period of time. When he returned he wanted to see what his servants did with what they were given …

Here’s a link to the first parable in Matthew and the second in Luke.  Take a few moments and see how the stories end…

encouragement starts with strengths

I believe and know God has made each of us unique.

Therefore, it’s not a big stretch for me to believe that He gave me strengths – the ability to do certain things better than other things.

If I focus on my strengths and use them to His glory and honor, I hope to please Him.  Wouldn’t it be good to hear Him say, “Well done, faithful servant.” at the end our time here on this earth?  Of course it would.

But that’s just paying attention to ourselves.

How much time are you spending focusing on all the stuff your spouse does “wrong”?

Yesterday I was exploring a bit on twitter – looking at others who also write and research about marriage.  Twitter will give suggestions of who to follow – so I looked at some suggestions.  One blogger focused all of her posts – every single one – on the differences and difficulties between husbands & wives.  There were no suggestions to bridge the gaps, or solve the difficulties… I found myself discouraged after reading a few posts.

Imagine if all you did was focus on your spouse’s weaknesses?

Encouragement grows from focusing on your spouse’s strengths.

Again, I ask, do you know your spouse’s strengths?

What does your husband or wife do well?

Affirm their strengths.  Tell your husband or wife how proud you are of their abilities.  Ask for help or advice in their areas of expertise.  Talk to others about how good your wife or husband is – show you value your spouse with a little old-fashioned bragging.  Look for opportunities that will allow your spouse to shine.

What if you share strengths?

Celebrate!  Imagine the power you both can pack into addressing life’s challenges if you unite.  Imagine the positive impact you can make in your family, your community, your state or country!

Leverage your combined strengths.

So often we think only in terms of our own circle of family or friends.  Or we think we can only use our strengths in the areas of our profession.  We don’t think of reaching further…

Remember – as husband and wife you are a team – with a slew of combined strengths to leverage.

Honor the strengths God has given you. These are your own unique set of “talents” with which you’ve been entrusted.  Begin leveraging your combined strengths, so at the end of your time, God may say, “Well done.”.
encouragement grows from focusing on your spouse's strengths

(Update March 2017)

Here’s our mid-marriage encouragement about focusing on the good stuff – that include focusing on your spouse’s strengths!

If you’re interested in completing the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment buy a NEW book.  Each book contains only 1 unique code to do the online assessment – buy a book for both you and your spouse.

Also, while completing the assessment, please know you’re only given 20 seconds for each question – go with your ‘gut’ answer.  Another person I spoke with bought two books, completed the assessment questions twice (to be sure of the results, because she was sceptical of the process) and got the same 5 strengths both times.

Lastly, do something with your results.  Take action on some of the suggestions – the value isn’t just in knowledge, it’s in doing something with the knowledge!

If you’ve already taken the assessment, what are your strengths? Mine are:  Strategic, Empathy, Connectedness, Intellection & Input.

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