If you're going through hard times, this is particularly applicable because we need a lot of love right now. The right kind of compassion and care from our spouse and those around us.
The best way to encourage your spouse is to attract them. I find it clear in the Bible that people have to be attracted towards Jesus by us living like him. Jesus did miracles and was compassionate to people before he ever rebuked them.
Jesus dealt with people differently based on where they were spiritually. When someone was demon possessed he healed them and didn't rebuke them for dabbling in whatever caused the possession. However, when the rich young ruler who practiced righteousness--and clearly was at a different place spiritually--came and asked about eternal life, Jesus let him know he needed to give all he had to the poor.
Jesus calls us higher, based on where we are right now. And it's unique to each individual. If he spoke to the demon-possessed man like he did the rich young ruler, the demon-possessed man wouldn't have been attracted to him. Instead, he loved that man the way he needed to be loved in that moment. And the man then followed Jesus and became an incredible evangelist of the gospel.
My invitation is to attract your spouse not to force or push them the way you think will help them get to Jesus.
When Jesus said the golden rule "so whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them." I think he means love them in what they need right now. In who they are. In the way they receive love.
It was my birthday and I shared with my closest friends that I wouldn't appreciate gifts, but I would love letters and donations to World Vision. If a friend likes to get gifts on their birthday and decided to give me a gift, I wouldn't feel loved. I would feel like they didn't really care about me.
So, I encourage you to love your spouse the way THEY receive love. What do they like?
It's different for men and women. I share what specific differences between men and women in particular. Treat your partner the way they want to be loved. Because you would want them to do that for you, right?
Love and blessings,
PS I'd love to invite you to join me at a Men's Masterclass at October 9 - 11, 2020 www.delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining