Sowing Words of Praise


A soothing tongue is a tree of life. Proverbs 15:4

Everyone loves to be praised, and your mate is no exception. William James wrote: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” And Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

Praise is valuable because it is a virtue seldom practiced! We seldom praise our employees; we seldom praise our kids, and we seldom praise our mates. Yet, our homes ought to be a haven where praise is liberally applied.

Carefully read this definition of praise: to give value, to lift up, to extol, to magnify, to honor, to commend, to applaud. If you give some creative thought to this definition, you can come up with hundreds of ways to praise your mate.

The more you verbally express your appreciation (praise), the more secure your mate will become in his or her self-esteem.

Have you ever asked someone to repeat a compliment?

I have. “Oh, you really liked our FamilyLife Marriage Conference?

Tell me what meant the most to you.” Inwardly, I am saying, “Yes, I need to hear this! Would you tell me one more time so I can relish your comments for a few seconds longer?”

Life can seem intolerably heavy at times, and a good, encouraging word can help to lighten the load and lift your mate’s spirits.

Arnold Glascow has said, “Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing.” It also does wonders for our sense of sight. When you praise another person, you take your eyes off yourself and focus on someone else for a few, brief moments.

This positive focus on another person not only helps to put his or her life in perspective, but yours as well.

Discuss: When was the last time you made an effort to praise your mate? Praise your mate three times before you go to sleep tonight.

Pray: That God would give you creative ideas on how to praise your mate. And if you haven’t ever done it, take a few minutes in prayer and praise God for who He is and what He has done in your lives.

Excerpted from “Moments Together for Couples” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.
Used with permission. Copyright 1995 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. All rights reserved. To purchase the book, visit ->

So how good are you at giving praise? I’m terrible at it, I need to keep this in the forefront of my mind……

God give me strength and a tender heart to think of the positive and give others praise…


5 responses »

  1. this is sooooo true!
    BTW, some praise for you, my sista. I think you are a great knitter! My boy’s heads look so warm and cozy.
    And you are so good at doing these blogs. I just sit here and read yours and am amazed at all of the things that come out of your head.
    Hope you are feeling better.
    Still praying for you.
    ~~feeling a bit better, thanks, smooches

  2. I, too, am horrible at giving praise. As much as I realize how important it is, and as much as I try, my efforts always seem to fall flat. Just call me “The Son of Discouragement” or “The Anti-Barnabus” (see Acts 4:36).

    I tend to be more analytical and objective, and am loathe to speak even words that might be misinterpreted as disingenuous. Anyway, if you’re ever looking for an analytical and objective blog that looks at the marriage and family within the culture, check out Culture Watch.

    Anyway, just stumbled onto your blog and wanted to thank you for this particular post from the Moments Together devotional. I need the reminders. I actually got a compliment from Dennis Rainey (I work for FamilyLife) yesterday on an article I wrote on his behalf. Yesterday happened to be one of those days where even “well done, good and faithful servant” wouldn’t have made a dent in my attitude. Today is a better day, so I’m depositing Dennis’ encouragement into today’s account…not just his words to me, but his words through your post. Thanks!

    ~i didnt violate any copyright laws, did i? 🙂
    thanks for the comment, unfortunately, praising others isnt a trait we came by naturally, its an effort to do it. I’m glad today is a better day for you, remember all days are from the Lord, rejoice and be glad in them!! Kristina

  3. You amaze me…I could never write posts like this…

    By the way, I gave you an award 🙂

    ~~its from an article from an e-mail newsletter i get. I just ‘copy’ things i see that hit home with me and hopefully it will with others.
    you take care, my friend

  4. Kristina,

    I appreciated this post. Especially in light of the previous. I was trying to figure out how to comment about it, but It looks like you figured it out yourself. Loving and encouraging him is definitely a good start. I’ve found the family life podcast to be helpful to me. I also still have a long ways to go. In fact I failed quite badly earlier today. If you want a man’s perspective on your previous post give me a call sometime. I’ll try to keep remembering you in my morning prayers.

    God Bless

    ~~i was finding it hard to expalin the mothering thing and hubby was mad, so i deleted it. it over emphasized the negative, he is well aware of our problems, i am struggling with ‘control’ issues alot in my life, i gotta give it up, gotta figure out how to give it up to God. its tough and im not sitting in a good place, well, a refining place, but not a good place.

  5. so here i am to admit something. i am great at complimenting everyone but my wife…..there I said it. now, before i get slammed, let me say it goes both ways. we just watched a Beth Moore dvd about the Feast of Weeks (i know, i know, i woulda never watched this had she not made me, we aren’t even baptist…..anymore) and it was really great for us as a couple because it talked about things like: remembering former bondage, a time for great generosity and the fact that it is also called the feast of harvest. in other words, at least for me, it boils down to there can be no harvest without sowing of seeds (complimenting is a great seed IMHO), we just tend to eat the seed and be full. we don’t trust the fact that we must sow into this hard soil (relationships) and then time will create harvest. wow, sorry for the ramble. it makes sense in my head. really it does.
    ~~Chris, we all are bad at complimenting our spouses and children, you werent rambling, i understand totally. its also hard to sow and not see immediate results…..but in time, it will happen

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