Correction vs. Encouragement

Lisa’s thoughts…

Last week was tougher on me than most in my marriage.  In the process of entering into the realm of marriage ministry I had forgotten to better protect myself from that sign I put on my back for satan to see.  This week showed me there is always a learning curve when things go wrong for you, it is how quickly you adjust that drives your recovery.

“I have a very soft heart for a woman who seems like she has a brick wall up in front of her”

Throughout the trials of the week my husband and I had many conversations with each other and talked with a few trusted friends about issues surrounding us that week.  I had received mostly correction and not much comfort throughout these conversations and it had me feeling pretty down.

“Don’t get me wrong, correction is essential for growth, but I do know that for me if I keep getting kicked while I am already down it is much harder to recover.”

My husband reminded me that there comes a time in our lives when God decides it is time for us graduate from “milk to meat”, it’s just a lot harder to chew!  During this trying time I spent time contemplating correction vs. encouragement and how to know which is appropriate when.

“I spent a lot of today crying after correction won over encouragement again from a good friend. At first I couldn’t figure out why it seemed like no one surrounding me wanted to encourage or comfort me”.

I realized I needed to spend more time deciphering my husband’s needs in this area because I did not like how I was getting approached about it.  At times God will send us to give a word of correction to someone for Him and I just want to be a little more conscious of how I present it and when.  I know that I don’t like how I felt last week so I want to make sure to be proactive about not making my husband feel the way I did.

“How do you know when your spouse needs correction or encouragement?”

I have also spent some time thinking about how I behaved or how I spoke when people asked me about what happened and wondered if I contributed to how they approached me, I was confused.  One of my friends corrected me without even really talking to me about what had happened so it was then that I knew God had sent her to feed me some meat, but I really wished I had gotten a little understanding or comfort along with the correction.

“At the end of the week all I could come up with were giraffes!”

I recently heard a guest speaker at our church talk about watching a show on giraffes where they explained that the mother giraffe keeps kicking the baby giraffe down to the ground every time it tries to get up immediately after it is born.  The mother giraffes is training her baby to get up quickly and move when danger is near to protect her, not kicking her to hurt her.  I guess sometimes God just needs to toughen you, correct you and teach you to move faster when danger is approaching.

Please share your thoughts on knowing when to correct vs. encourage…



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