“Honey, do these pants look good on me?”
Men admit it, this question is like a reoccurring nightmare to many a spouse. Your inner voice sounds something like…
If I say yes, will my beloved believe me? If I say no, will I be sleeping on the sofa tonight? Awwww, man, c’mon think. What’s a good middle ground that won’t get me in trouble?
And then comes the classic answer, “Baby, you look good in everything.”
It’s not like us ladies are fishing for a compliment when we ask this question. It’s because we are self-doubting and need reinforcement. A smart spouse makes sure that reinforcement has a positive twist even if the answer is no. Something like, “They do look good on you, but I really like the dark jeans on you better.”
Guys, you know we have face-reading superpowers, right?
When we know that an answer is sincere, that you are really speaking from the heart, when you are completely in tune with us, it can turn our day, our perspective, our self-talk around.
Yes, you ladies will agree… that’s the power of a compliment.
Unfortunately, compliments are not given often enough.
So many times I think to myself how grateful I am that my husband works so diligently and without complaining at his job every day so that I can stay home with our children. Yet, I don’t often express that gratitude out loud.
When my children work together to solve a problem or explain a concept in terms the other can understand it, my heart swells with pride. Yet rather than offering praise for their teamwork, I simply smile to myself.
What we many times overlook are the very thing that those around us need… encouragement. An uplifting, reassuring word. The simple uttering of a compliment.
It’s funny how easily we can ask for a compliment… “Why yes, my makeup does look great today!” I hint as I bat my eyes my husband’s direction. But are we as easily giving compliments in return?
Compliments come in two forms:
- They derive from praiseworthy situations. Giving a compliment based on praise means that we are consciously choosing to give verbal attention to the effort given or a job well done.
- As “little gifts of love.” I once stumbled across this phrase doing some mindless internet reading, but the concept of a compliment as a gift of love has not since left my mind. When not asked for or coerced, when genuine and meaningful, compliments can be powerful gifts. A gift of love compliment shows respect, admiration, gratitude, trust or hope in another person.
The greatest compliment I’ve ever received was a “gift of love”.
“But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
That amazing compliment was repeated in Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
What it’s saying is that God took notice of me. He took notice of you. He saw that we were drowning in sin. We were about to be swallowed up by death. But He loved us so much that he gave the ultimate sacrifice… His son. He said, “I know you. I know the number of hairs on your head. I knew you before you were even born. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. You, my child, are precious to me. You are worth saving.”
In a world where people are just a number, where folks act out with desperate cries for attention, we have the assurance that God has already seen us. We don’t have to scream our existence from the rooftops. We don’t have to make a name for ourselves. We don’t have to go scrapping for compliments. We have God’s attention. I have it. You have it. And nothing, NOTHING, can separate us from Him.
My friend, when Satan tries to whisper lies into your soul, when the ugliness of self-doubt tries to creep in, or when you need encouragement, turn to the Author and Creator of the universe.
Hear what he says about you. And open your heart to receive the greatest compliment, the most powerful gift of love available.
Get more of God’s truth and encouragement on Alisha’s blog, Makeovers & Motherhood.