The Power of Positive Affirmation in Marriage: 5 Practical Ways to Encourage Your Spouse – How, When, and Why


Today we dove into a topic that resonates with all couples, regardless of the season they’re in. Are you grappling with doubts and frustrations? Do you sometimes wonder about the emotional connection between you and your spouse? When insecurities rear their head, what do you truly need? Life’s challenges affect us all, and today, we’re here to emphasize the incredible power of positive affirmation.

Affirmation Through Scripture:

As we read God’s Word, we can see various ways in which He affirms us:

  • Emotional Support: Matthew 6:6 and 2 Timothy 1:7 remind us of God’s presence, instilling courage and self-control.
  • Encouragement: 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Isaiah 40:29 offer strength and empowerment for our journey.
  • Identity Reminder: 1 Peter 2:9 and Philippians 1:6 reinforce our purpose and God’s commitment to our growth.
  • Absolute Truth: Romans 8:28, 8:18, and 8:31 highlight God’s unwavering support, turning adversities into opportunities.

When we recognize the impact of God’s affirmation on our lives, we can then see how it can positively affect our relationships. 

In the context of marriage, affirmation serves as emotional support and encouragement, fostering self-esteem, comfort, and the dismantling of destructive lies. Marriage is a haven where we witness each other’s challenges and insecurities. By intentionally affirming each other, we have the ability to cultivate a thriving partnership.

Let us remember that affirming one another isn’t solely for our benefit; it lays the foundation for future generations, equipping them with the tools to nurture healthy relationships.


Jennifer Smith (00:07):

Are the struggles you’re encountering stirring up thoughts of doubt or frustration? Do you ever wonder where you and your spouse are at with each other emotionally? What do you need most when insecurities flare up in your heart and your mind? We all feel low at times. We all struggle emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually in different seasons of our lives. Today we want to remind all of us of the power of positive affirmation, how one kind word of encouragement can really turn a day around how reminding each other of the truth can keep us going, even when the going gets hard.

Aaron Smith (00:38):

Hey, we’re Anna Jennifer Smith, your host of The Marriage of God podcast, and today’s episode is brought to you by our brand new one-year Marriage prayer devotional, the Marriage Gift 365 prayers for our Marriage. This book is officially launching in October, but you can pre-order it today. We wrote this book to be a powerful way of growing your daily prayer life with your spouse. A marriage that prays together is a marriage that does powerful things for the Lord. Together you can visit the marriage and pre-order today.

Jennifer Smith (01:05):

Welcome back to another week.

Aaron Smith (01:06):

We’re here and this week is a special week for someone in our family. Truet.

Jennifer Smith (01:12):

True. It’s birthday is Friday. Tomorrow.

Aaron Smith (01:14):

How old is these? Five. Five. Five’s a big number. It’s like halfway to 10.

Jennifer Smith (01:20):

Don’t jump so quickly. Geez. No, it’s going to be fun. We have some friends joining us at the park. Your mom and dad are coming up,

Aaron Smith (01:27):

Which I’m really excited about because I miss them

Jennifer Smith (01:29):

And we’re going to do truth’s. Funny we mentioned, I think to you guys that we went blueberry picking recently and the whole time Truett got on this kick of he picked his own bucket and then he wanted me to freeze his blueberries

Aaron Smith (01:42):

Separate. He didn’t

Jennifer Smith (01:43):

Want them mixed in. He didn’t want them mixed in at all, and he wanted me to make sure that I made him for his birthday, a blueberry cake made with his blueberries.

Aaron Smith (01:51):

So are you going to put whole blueberries in it or you smash it into

Jennifer Smith (01:53):

Its have to find recipes called blue. I have to, I haven’t attempted that, anything like that yet.

Aaron Smith (01:58):

You have to use vanilla cake with blueberry or blueberry cake. Do they make blueberry cake? I don’t

Jennifer Smith (02:04):

Even know if I’ve seen that. Yeah, I’m sure there’s recipes. I’m sure of it. I know we’ve had blueberry donuts that are really good. Anyways, it’s going to be really fun. He’s excited. He’s stoked.

Aaron Smith (02:13):

He’s going to be really excited when he finds out what grandma got him. What? She got him a new bike. Nice. Yeah, excited for that. He’s been wanting a new bike. His

Jennifer Smith (02:21):

Other one was really

Aaron Smith (02:21):

Small. Well, we do a lot of handing down, so we’ll often get Ellie a new one and then the bikes trickle down and so he’s going to get his own very own first bike.

Jennifer Smith (02:30):

Like a mountain bike, right? Like a real mountain bike. Because the one that he has is more of, I don’t know, it’s just small,

Aaron Smith (02:36):

But that’s really exciting. He’s been wanting a bike and he’s going to be so stoked.

Jennifer Smith (02:40):

Cool. Yeah, I’m excited for your parents to come up. It’s been a little bit since they’ve visited Oregon and we’re going to do a little camping.

Aaron Smith (02:47):

Yeah, it should

Jennifer Smith (02:48):

Be fun.

Aaron Smith (02:49):

They have their rv. We’re going to have our trailer. It’s going to be, I’ve never camped with my, I don’t think I’ve camped with my parents before. Yeah, we have. Maybe when I was younger. Well now we’re going to as

Jennifer Smith (02:59):

Adults after we got married, but before we had kids, we camped with them. Oh yeah, yeah.

Aaron Smith (03:04):

Oh, I remember that. Okay. It’s just been a while.

Jennifer Smith (03:06):

It has been a while. It’s been a minute. Okay, so today’s topic is about affirmation, which I think goes really well with the growth spurt this month, which is doting over yourself, doting over each other, just really giving them your heart and attention and love. And so we thought not only is this a great topic to pair with that and encourage you guys, so get out some paper and a pen. You could take some notes, but we all need affirmation. We all get to places and experiences where we feel empty.

Aaron Smith (03:42):

So I got a question. If someone’s the five level languages, if someone’s main love language isn’t words of affirmation do even they need affirmation. Of

Jennifer Smith (03:51):

Course, of

Aaron Smith (03:52):

Course. Everyone needs affirmation.

Jennifer Smith (03:54):

If it’s just the way that God made us and I think it was a good thing that we get filled up. How good does it make you feel when somebody says something encouraging, nice, supportive. Especially when I do it for you or you do it for me. I dunno. I just think it feels great and I think it kind of adds to that fuel of whatever we’re doing that day. It just puts our mind to a better place, to a right place of We’re going to get into it. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (04:21):

What triggered this topic for you? You kind of were like, Hey, I want to talk about this.

Jennifer Smith (04:25):

Well, it did, like I said, pair really well with the growth spurt. So when I was thinking about what could we bring for you guys today, I felt like just revisiting this conversation of affirmation and how we can do that best for our spouse was good. So

Aaron Smith (04:42):

We’re affirming them to be affirming.

Jennifer Smith (04:44):

I gotcha. Yes, we’re affirming you to be affirming. But I also had this little moment with God last week where I had a really good training session in Juujitsu, and so usually when I go in, we drill and we spar, but then I leave and there’s not a whole lot of conversation or coach doesn’t always say anything other than, hi, bye when you coming back next?

Aaron Smith (05:07):

No, he reserves his words, which is fine. He really has something to say.

Jennifer Smith (05:12):

But I don’t know if it’s just me or maybe everybody, you can speak to this too, but there’s a part of training where I want to know how I did today. Were you watching anything good to say? Anything bad to say? I don’t know. I need some feedback sometimes. And so I’ve been waiting. I’ve been just like, okay, when will that happen? And I just had a really good session and coach even said right when I was leaving, Hey, I liked what I saw out there today, keep it up or something like that. And I was just like on cloud nine driving home I even called you. I was like, oh babe, it was so good. And so then I was almost home and I had turned on the radio or my Spotify and I went for country music. I love country, but I saw my worship playlist and it didn’t feel like God was saying, why aren’t you choosing me in this moment? But it

Aaron Smith (06:07):

He wasn’t trying to make you feel bad. Of course.

Jennifer Smith (06:08):

No, no. But I kind of felt that conviction of what I was choosing was different than him. And so I’m like, oh, okay. So I made the choice to go back and I put some worship on and as I’m listening how good I felt about what I had just experienced, but I wasn’t quick to praise God or acknowledge that he has given me strength in my body to be able to do this or time away from my family to be able to do this. And so,

Aaron Smith (06:41):

Or appreciation for the affirmation that you received and how even that

Jennifer Smith (06:44):

Made you feel. And then that got me to thinking about how athletes after a competition or winning a game or something, they’ll give glory to God in an interview or something like that. Yeah, believers that are, yeah, I don’t know why that image popped into my mind and I’m like, oh, that moment doesn’t just happen then That’s from a heart after God where that athlete, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice and gives glory to God and has a heart to praise him for what they’re capable of and what they’re working on and what they’re doing. And in that moment it’s kind of like on a stand for all to see, but really they have a heart to chase after God and give him that glory. And so it was just a really good heart check for me when it came to seeking man’s affirmation and approval and words of encouragement. But am I doing that with the Lord? Am I seeking after what he says about me? Am I seeking after what he has done for me and giving him that acknowledgement

Aaron Smith (07:48):

And desiring to please him, getting affirmation from him that, do we seek that right

Jennifer Smith (07:54):

Because that’s good. No doubt he does do that. I just thought about how God’s still quiet voice speaks to us in those moments. Am I listening to what his spirit is saying? Does he tell me, Hey, good job for getting up in the morning. Hey, good job going another round when I know you’re tired. Is he pushing me in that way and I’m just not paying attention?

Aaron Smith (08:17):

Well, and I think I’ve heard, we’ve all heard many stories of people that are like, man, I was just going through something and I just open up the word and they turn to a section of the Bible and the story just is

Jennifer Smith (08:29):

Right straight to the heart. Thank

Aaron Smith (08:30):

You, God. You’re reminding me of how good you are. You’re reminding me of how you’re going to take care of me. We’ve had many stories in our church, people just saying, I was praying this week and I was struggling with this thing. I was fearful, I was sad, I was confused. And then they share a story that they open to the word of God and sometimes it’s like they just flip it open. And I always think I’ve experienced that before. Yeah. I always think that’s really cool. And people are like, I just opened up the word of God and it was so applicable to where I was at and it was like God was saying, Hey, it’s good. I got you.

Jennifer Smith (09:01):

Well, I know that he does do this for sure. And I guess my encouragement here is just that I think we can miss it a lot from time to time if we’re not tuning in. So for today, we want to help all of us tune in a little bit. So Aaron, how does God affirm us through his word?

Aaron Smith (09:20):

Well, I mean a big part of what he does is, I mean, we have His Holy Spirit, which is it’s a person of God living in us, speaking to us, convicting us, encouraging us, strengthening us. And so just his indwelling is an affirmation. It’s a seal upon our hearts. It’s a guarantee of our inheritance that we have in Christ. And that’s affirming. So I think of Romans, I chapter, I think it’s chapter eight, and it says There is no condemnation. Right? And we’re probably going to read that scripture, we’re going to

Jennifer Smith (09:54):

Read several from eight in just a minute.

Aaron Smith (09:57):

But it’s those kinds of things that like, Hey, as a believer, we’re affirmed in Christ. We were once one way and now we’re another way, once we’re considered this way and God now considers us this way because of Christ. Those are affirmations of who we are as creatures in God’s eyes.

Jennifer Smith (10:14):

That’s good. Yeah. Affirmation is it’s emotional support and encouragement. They’re short positive expressions and phrases that we can, well we often clinging to. Right? Whether it’s the Lord’s word or your spouse saying something kind. These are things that we kind of roll over in our mind and really embrace in our hearts that make us feel good, but have truth to them. And so I thought it’d be kind of just

Aaron Smith (10:38):

Before we move on, just a note I wanted to bring up about this is if we think about the opposite of affirmations, which I think would be discouragement, like you’re saying something discouraging or a critique, it’s essentially, it’s like, Hey, I see something in you that I don’t like. I want to change. I don’t want it to continue on. But an affirmation, it’s affirming something is it’s a reinforcement of something. Hey, I see this in you. That’s great. That’s good. Hey, you’re operating this way. You should keep doing that. So affirmations are reinforcements of good things. Sometimes we can affirm bad things and that’s not good. That’s enabling, but affirming the good in us, which is what the Holy Spirit always is, it’s always going to affirm when we walk in his spirit, he’s always going to affirm us in that when we walk in his laws of love and the laws of the spirit, he’s going to affirm those in us. And so what we’re going to talk about today, taking an example from scriptures, how can we be affirming those good things in each other? How can we be affirming and reinforcing spiritual biblical behavior and attitudes and ways of thinking?

Jennifer Smith (11:49):

So we kind of broke this down into 1, 2, 3, 4 sections. These are just examples of how God’s word affirms us. And so the first section is just examples of emotional support. Matthew six, six says, but when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who’s in secret, and your father who sees in secret will reward you. Now, we might see this and go, well, that’s not like a affirmation, but it is because he’s affirming that emotional support in us that need to know what are we supposed to do when we feel a certain way? And he’s

Aaron Smith (12:25):

Say this giving us, so it says season secret. There’s a how often do you feel unseen by me or unknown in this secret place? Not just a, I know you as my wife, but we were even talking about a little bit about something this morning, just understanding where you’re at and knowing where you’re at. And it’s almost like are you seeing in secret? Are you seeing the areas that I may not be verbally communicating or showing publicly? And God does, it’s like instead of like, oh, if I don’t do this to where other people see it and they affirm me, then it’s worthless. And God’s like, no. He’s like the best affirmation, the best recognition you can get is from me. Whether anyone else sees it, he talks about it in other places about don’t give your big lofty prayers in public. He’s like, you’ve received your reward when you fast, don’t go and show, make yourself look all disheveled. And he’s like, hide it. He’s like, because doing it for me. And so we can be affirming those same things. Are there things that we do for just each other that it’s not for anyone else? It’s not for a show for my friends. It’s not to show off like, oh, look how good of a husband I am. But those things that are done in secret that, Hey, I really appreciate when you do those things. I know you’re doing it just for me.

Jennifer Smith (13:37):

That’s really good. I have a friend who she’ll either say it verbally or she’ll just text. I see you. Really? That’s really it. It’s so sweet. And usually it’s in a moment of like, I am dealing with something or she can just recognize that I’m emotionally off and I see you. And I love that because she doesn’t need to really say much else. She knows that I’m there and that feels encouraging to me. That feels supportive. And so just like that God who sees in the secret when we’re isolated, when we’re quiet, when

Aaron Smith (14:12):

We’re a tip though, I wouldn’t text that to someone that you don’t hang out with that often. It would probably not be received as way. Okay. Okay.

Jennifer Smith (14:20):

That’s funny.

Aaron Smith (14:21):

But it’s very sweet for your friend to do that. I’m just being a little

Jennifer Smith (14:24):

Hair here. I know. Now that we’re on this topic, I have another friend, my good friend Stacy, we’ll just say, Stacey.

Aaron Smith (14:31):

Stacey, hope you’re listening.

Jennifer Smith (14:33):

She texts me. I see you. But it’s always because she’s right on my tail. We just showed up to Jiujitsu or past her on the highway, passed her on the highway, and for some reason we always run into each other. So she always texts me, I see

Aaron Smith (14:43):

You. Well, we both have big vans, so it’s really easy to catch each other on the highway or anywhere. It’s like, oh, I see

Jennifer Smith (14:48):

You. Okay, moving on. The next one, second Timothy one, seven. You want to read it?

Aaron Smith (14:53):

For God gave us a spirit, not a fear, but of power and love and self-control. What’s cool about this is God already gave us everything in Christ Jesus, and then he still gives us his spirit as a seal. So it’s like, Hey, here’s everything you need for salvation in my son Jesus, and I’m going to put in you my spirit to guarantee that inheritance that you have in him and that spirit is not one of fear but of power, love, and self-control. When we speak words of affirmation, when we speak into our spouse, we’re kind of mimicking this in a way. We’re not giving the spirit, but we are walking in the spirit and we are imparting good things to our spouse. We’re imparting good words and encouragement and we’re lifting them up. God does to us that his spirit lifts us up. The Old Testament says on wings of eagles.

Jennifer Smith (15:47):

Well, good about this verse is I feel like in context to emotional support specifically is just reminding us that we are capable of walking in love and self-control, where so many times if we let our emotions lead us, we’re not. We

Aaron Smith (16:02):

Just talk about

Jennifer Smith (16:03):

This. Yeah, we’re not walking that way. So it’s a good reminder of who we are and what we’re capable of

Aaron Smith (16:08):

Because of him. These are the kinds of things that we can also just these words by themselves. This scripture are really good affirmations reminding like, Hey, I know you’re fearful right now, but God has given you a spirit. That’s not a fear, but it’s of power and what is truth.

Jennifer Smith (16:26):

And this episode is not really about personal self affirmation today, but if you are someone who, there was

Aaron Smith (16:32):

A lot about that when I was researching this. Yeah, I know most things are

Jennifer Smith (16:35):

Self affirmation. If you’re someone who feels like you need to intentionally, positively, give yourself those things to think about, right? Use scripture. That is such a powerful tool that we have to just go to scripture and kind of use these to wrap our minds around the positive.

Aaron Smith (16:56):

The Bible actually tells us when it says meditate on God’s word, to have it in our minds. That’s exactly what that means. That meditation, that scriptural meditation is you’re taking what the word of God says and you’re repeating that, mulling it over continuingly convincing yourself of it, believing what it says. I was going

Jennifer Smith (17:16):

To say believing. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (17:17):

And that actually is what? So it says, we’re transformed by the renewing of our minds and the way we renew our minds is by scripture and by God’s holy Spirit implanting that scripture in us.

Jennifer Smith (17:28):

That’s good. So moving on to the next portion is examples of encouragement. So affirming encouragement from scripture, two Corinthians five 17 says, therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold the new has come.

Aaron Smith (17:46):

I actually use this one a lot when I talk to believers who are struggling and they’re walking in some sin that they don’t believe they have freedom from is we don’t say You will be a new creation. Oh, stop this thing and then you’ll be that new creation. The truth is, if you’re in Christ, you are a new creation. And so what you’re doing is as that new creation, you are walking in old ways, which is why it feels so icky because you feel the conviction. It’s like taking a new car and running it through mud and you’re like, oh man, why does this feel so dirty? You’re like, well dirty. It’s not a new car.

Jennifer Smith (18:23):

Yeah, go get a car wash. You’ll

Aaron Smith (18:25):

See. Exactly. Let’s go get washed off. So you wash your mind. So I tell this to, you’ve

Jennifer Smith (18:31):

Told it to

Aaron Smith (18:31):

Me a lot. Yeah. I tell it to myself lot. I have to remind myself. There’s times that I feel one way and I’m like, well, no, I am a new creation and the old is passed away and I need to walk in that newness of life. It’s good. Isaiah 40 29, he gives power to the faint and to him who has no might, he increases strength. I do love these scriptures because God does do this. We’re weak in our weakness. He helps us in the New Testament. He tells Paul, he says, my strength is made perfect in your weakness. My grace is sufficient for you.

Jennifer Smith (19:10):

If your spouse is going through a hard time or a friend or family member in your life that feels weak, like sending them these scriptures, sending them God’s word to encourage them and remind them of who he is, oh, it’s so good.

Aaron Smith (19:25):

And reminding ’em that you’re a shoulder that you can help and that you’re going to be there for him. Of course.

Jennifer Smith (19:30):

Okay, so the next example is reminding us of who we are because an affirmation that I feel like we humans constantly need the first one being first Peter two, nine. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light.

Aaron Smith (19:52):

I don’t know if I think we often forget this. We forget the status that we have in Christ.

Jennifer Smith (19:59):

We’ve been adopted. We’re heirs to a king.

Aaron Smith (20:03):

Well, but when it says things like royal priesthood, that’s a specific calling. We all are that We have a ministry of what the Bible says of reconciliation. We have a ministry of proclaiming Christ to the world. And that’s every believer, not just the ones that are particularly gifted in one thing or another. So we have to remember that Philippians one, six, and I’m sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion of the day of Christ.

Jennifer Smith (20:39):

This is a good reminder that we’re not done yet. We’re not who we’re going to be. We are who we are in Christ, and we get to walk every day in that truth and believing that he is in us and working in us and continuing to do a good work in us. That’s a hard one for me to remember, but super encouraging.

Aaron Smith (21:01):

It’s very encouraging. So the next section is the example of reminding us what is true.

Jennifer Smith (21:09):

This portion is brought to you by Romans eight.

Aaron Smith (21:10):

Yeah, because it’s all, a lot of it’s from Romans eight, but this is again going back to that self-affirmation idea of not just saying things to yourself. I’m this, I’m that, but actually saying what the scriptures say because that’s even more true than our own words. But what is true is one of the best encouragement as long as the Bible says speak the truth in love. Truth is one of the best affirmations. The way we present it is important, but we don’t want to affirm with lies. We don’t want to give false affirmations. We want to give truth, and we just read all these other scriptures that are true, so you don’t have to lie about those things. If someone’s a believer, those things are true about them regardless of how they’re behaving, regardless of what they’re thinking in the moment or how they feel. Those are true for those that believe in Christ. And so truth is what is true. Why don’t you read Romans 8 28,

Jennifer Smith (22:06):

Romans 8 28 says, and we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Aaron Smith (22:14):

And so this is a good affirmation of, Hey, all those crappy things that happened today, all that stuff you feel God does work those for good, for those who are called according to his purpose and who love Him. Do you love God? I do. Well then let’s trust that he’s going to work these things for your good. That’s a powerful thing. It’s good. Romans eight 18,

Jennifer Smith (22:38):

We kind jumped backwards. I know.

Aaron Smith (22:40):

I could have put the, I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Jennifer Smith (22:47):

This is an affirmation to remember to what’s coming. Yeah, what’s ahead of us.

Aaron Smith (22:52):

The reality of today is it may feel one way, but it is nothing. And compared to be compared to what’s coming and what the Lord has prepared for us,

Jennifer Smith (23:00):

My stepdad used to say, well, what’s tomorrow? And I’m like, what do you mean? He’s like, well, tomorrow will become today this thing that we chase after. But we all have feelings and emotions and thoughts about what we’re currently wrestling with or struggling with. But eventually those things will be yesterday.

Aaron Smith (23:21):

Well, all things will be yesterday, someday. Yeah. I love that. I think it’s Jesus has tomorrow has enough worry for itself. The worries for today are sufficient. Stop trying to project out into the future, but we can look at this and we can say, oh, we know that the current things are temporary and tomorrow will be forgotten. We have that all throughout scripture. Ecclesiastes talks about that. Everything’s like a breath. Romans

Jennifer Smith (23:50):

Eight. I was going to say one more from Romans, which I think everybody knows and gets thrown around a lot, but it’s a good one. Romans 8 31, and

Aaron Smith (23:58):

What is true? Well, what then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? God is on our side.

Jennifer Smith (24:08):

No, we are on God’s side.

Aaron Smith (24:10):

Well, it says God is for us. And so what’s cool about that is God was for us before we were for him, it says yet while we were still sinners, Christ came and died for us. That’s true. At just the right time, he came and was crucified. It wasn’t something that we planned. It wasn’t something that we put in order. It wasn’t like, Hey, let’s make a bargain. God will do these things for you. Will you just come and save us? No, God was for us first it says we love him because he first loved us. The order is always God initiating and us responding, and that’s the truth. God initiates and we respond, but what’s beautiful is God initiates. That’s an affirmation itself, is that God is taking the first step forward and actually he’s not taking the first step. He’s taking all the steps all the way up to us, and he’s like, do you see me? And we’re like, yes. It’s like, great.

Jennifer Smith (24:57):

So good. When we feel affirmed in our relationship with the Lord specifically, I feel like it overflows into all of our other relationships, including marriage, most importantly marriage because the good that we experience, it starts to get passed around because we feel good when we read Romans 8 31, the next time something happens with our spouse, we want to remind someone else, want to remind them. We want to remind them because we know what it made us feel like. And then, I don’t know, I just feel like when we’re not abiding or we feel frustrated or we have a lack of, we just have needs in our life, we respond to others out of that need for

Aaron Smith (25:43):

Emotional support. It’s almost like whatever in our cup comes out of us,

Jennifer Smith (25:46):

But we can’t pour out of an empty cup to fill up another. There’s nothing there.

Aaron Smith (25:53):

Does that cup only get filled if I fill it? What I’m getting at is we’re encouraging everyone listening to be positive, that we’re affirming our spouses and filling their cups up with affirmation and just not fake affirmation, but true. But also

Jennifer Smith (26:11):

Before you even get there, it’s really important

Aaron Smith (26:15):

To fill yourself up with God. You started off in the beginning saying, am I going to God for that affirmation? Am I looking to him to fill me up? Because again, where does it come out of me to give to you from God? And so the encouragement here is that we’re receiving the positive truth and the affirmations that God has for us as believers from His word, and then that you just said then starts flowing out of me to you, and then my heart is like, I want to affirm you. I want to remind you of the truth. I want to remind you of what’s good. I want to reinforce those good things in you that you’re doing. When you make awesome choices, when you treat the kids great, when you treat me great, I want to point those things out and be like, man, I really appreciated that. Wow, that was beautiful. Wow, that was powerful. Wow, you’ve been all that hard work is really paying off saying those things that really reinforce those behaviors of walk in the spirit.

Jennifer Smith (27:09):

I think to add to this, when you are filled up with positive affirmation from the Lord and you feel emotionally, mentally, physically, everything supported, then you don’t have this lingering expectation for your spouse to fill that for you. Because I’ve experienced this before in our relationship where I’m like, man, I don’t feel like you’ve encouraged me lately, or I just like, we’ve all thought that way. There’s this lack of intentionality where I don’t feel that coming from you, but really the need that I have is so much greater. It’s really for my relationship with the Lord, because if I was filled up with what he’s saying about me, that need I have toward you becomes less. Does that make sense? Right.

Aaron Smith (27:55):

Yeah. It’s a weird but awesome circular truth where when we get what we need from God, then we don’t need it from our spouse. We’re not expecting them to be, but

Jennifer Smith (28:06):

Then when it happens, relationship, oh man, it feels so good,

Aaron Smith (28:08):

But we can receive with appreciation and we can still have an expectation, like a loving expectation of like, I want that from you. Oh, sure, yeah. But it’s not a bitterness

Jennifer Smith (28:19):


Aaron Smith (28:19):

Or dependency. My dependency on that was really good. It’s on God, not you. So then I can freely receive from you and you can freely give to me without it being this wrong directed dependency like you were saying. That’s really good.

Jennifer Smith (28:35):

That’s good. Okay, so now that we’ve kind of covered the base with our relationship with the Lord, why do we need to intentionally affirm each other in marriage? That would be a standard, I would say, across the board for every relationship, every marriage, right?

Aaron Smith (28:48):

Oh, yeah. Well,

Jennifer Smith (28:50):

We kind of talked about what

Aaron Smith (28:51):

Does the golden rule do unto others as you’d have them do unto you? Correct. We should do it because we want it. I don’t do it because you’ve done it to me. It should not be transactional. It should be a freely, it’s a generosity thing. I want to generously lavish on you, my love and my heart and words that are going to lift you up and honor

Jennifer Smith (29:13):

You. I think too, knowing that marriage is such an intimate relationship where insecurities can flare up. There’s lots of opportunities where one or both spouses feel insecure in their relationship, and we desire each other. We desire to be close. We desire to know if we’re being good to each other or where we’re at emotionally. Kind of like how I enjoyed,

Aaron Smith (29:37):

Well, you said insecurities. I was thinking spiritual security. So constantly, again, going back to reminding of the truth. We have an enemy, we have flesh, we have outside influences. We have things that are going to try and deceive, attempt and to tear down and being on the offense with each other and the defense for each other of, I want to help protect you from all of these dangers. And so I’m going to continually remind you, instead of being one who’s adding to it, chipping you away at you, tearing you down. I don’t want to be that because there’s already enough of that going on. For sure. In your own mind, in your own heart, from things. I should be one that’s helping, participating in the building up and strengthening of your faith, your walk, your mind, your heart.

Jennifer Smith (30:28):

Some of the reasons that we need to think about why we intentionally affirm each other in marriage is because it makes us feel good. I think that just, it makes you feel good, right? Yeah. It boosts self-esteem. It makes us feel loved and valued. Appreciated

Aaron Smith (30:47):

Reminds us of all those things that we are those things. It brings comfort. I was thinking about that scripture. It says, with the comfort that we receive from God, you receive from us, that flow through of what God gives us.

Jennifer Smith (31:02):

I think so easily lies try to clinging to us and take over our minds. And so a good positive affirmation will destroy that. We’ll break that also in marriage. We see each other more consistently than anyone else. And if we don’t physically see each other, because I know some people are separated by distance and stuff like that, we’re still, we talk to each other. We are close. We are intimately close. So I think that we know our hearts best and we see the insecurities play out and the challenges that we face. And so we can speak to those things.

Aaron Smith (31:37):

And I would say that the biggest reason why we should affirm each other is the greatest commandment. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. If I’m going to love you as myself, I want to affirm myself. I want to be affirmed. And so I should affirm you. You’re my closest neighbor, as we always say, we have other neighbors, but you are my closest one. You should receive that fruit from my life more consistently than almost anyone else. It doesn’t mean I don’t give it to other people. It doesn’t mean I don’t affirm other people, but you shouldn’t be lacking in that while others benefit, you should benefit the most. In first,

Jennifer Smith (32:18):

I kind of already mentioned this, but I love that when I get affirmed by you, Erin, I tend to think about or by anyone, I tend to think about those words the rest of the day or even the weak. And it just lends to that positive thinking. And there’s a lot of value there because it breaks the cycles of negative thinking and how easily we can slip into thinking negatively of ourselves or circumstances our situation having doubt. And so affirmation, especially from a spouse, can motivate us to continue to do good or stay on the right track in life or just make good choices, or just believing in what you’re actually capable of getting through.

Aaron Smith (33:00):

That’s good. I would say a marriage without affirmation is lacking for sure. We can’t survive. A marriage can’t survive without constant building up of your spouse.

Jennifer Smith (33:13):

And we’ve been through seasons where our affirmation is way less, and I feel like during those times, it just feels so cold. There’s no engagement.

Aaron Smith (33:22):

It also adds a sweetness to the marriage. It adds a flavor. So proverbs, not

Jennifer Smith (33:28):

A lack of affirmation. You’re saying affirmation.

Aaron Smith (33:30):

Affirmation does, yeah. Proverb 16, 24 gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Our words are actually, they can tear down or they can build up. James says, the power of life and death is in the tongue and those who love it of its fruit. Am I giving life? Am I speaking sweetness and bringing health to your body by my words? Or am I kind of like not? Am I tearing you down? I don’t want to be doing that.

Jennifer Smith (33:56):

Yeah, compliments can be a form of affirmation. And I saw this quote by Joyce Meyer. It says, compliment People magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses. And I saw this in light of marriage and just go, wow, I think we can, maybe not even knowing that we’re doing that magnify a weakness when we critique or criticize or keep pointing out or nag about the parts of us that are weak because they bother us or they bring frustration to the marriage relationship or cause circumstances around us to be hard to get through, but how much more affirming it is to magnify our strengths. And that takes an intentional thought and consideration to go, how can I magnify my spouse’s strengths right now? How can I show them that I see that in them and compliment them?

Aaron Smith (34:51):

There’s a side to this that we haven’t talked about yet, and I think it’s important to mention is being able to receive affirmation. I know there’s probably a lot of people that are like, yeah, that’s great, but I don’t feel like I deserve that. Or when they say that to me, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

Jennifer Smith (35:07):

I like to make a face whenever you affirm me.

Aaron Smith (35:09):

Well, it’s a practice in humility to receive an affirmation to receive someone complimenting us or lifting us up with their words. But when we don’t receive it, it’s like we have a kind of level of pride in a sense that we’re not going to believe what that person said or I can’t receive that thing. So just the encouragement is practicing receiving affirmation. If your spouse comes to you and says, wow, I really appreciate that. Be like, well, I appreciate you recognizing that. Thank you. And with humility, receiving that compliment, that affirmation.

Jennifer Smith (35:48):

I remember I had a conversation with a pastor by early twenties, maybe 21, 22, and he affirmed me in something, and the way that I responded wasn’t appreciative. It must’ve been because he encouraged me again and said, it’s important that we receive compliments or affirmations, whatever you said, it’s important to receive those things. And if you want something to visualize while you do it, just think that it’s someone giving you a flower, and as you accumulate these flowers one day, you’ll be able to give the bouquet to Jesus. I That’s really sweet.

Aaron Smith (36:24):

I like that. And that’s really what it is, is it’s this practice of passing on those kind words and the goodness and building up and also practicing it with humility, like, wow, I appreciate your words. Thank you.

Jennifer Smith (36:40):

That’s good. So in marriage, how can we initiate those intimate moments where of emotionally supporting each other, reminding each other of what is true, affirming our love for each other? That’s a big one, so that we’re not always second guessing or wondering where are we? Where are they? Where are they at spiritually, letting each other know that we extend forgiveness and grace and desire reconciliation, telling each other without hesitation that we admire one another and that we’re grateful for this relationship that we share.

Aaron Smith (37:10):

Yeah, I would say just in the first place, just taking the opportunities you get, reaching out, grabbing the hand, drawing in for a hug, using our words, practicing them. Maybe it’s, some people might have a hard time with words just in the moment, but usually those people are good at writing stuff down, so writing them down. So we have some actually ideas about this.

Jennifer Smith (37:33):

Before we get there, I just want to encourage too, for many us listening, for many of you listening and us our example, for those of us that are parents, our example of how we do this in marriage trickles down to them, and then one day our kids will grow up and get married and have those relationships, and

Aaron Smith (37:53):


Jennifer Smith (37:53):

They’ll be a good parent. They’ll be able to affirm their spouse and know how to do that. And so I just wanted to point that out, that when we do this, others see it and it’s encouraging to them. So yeah, with the title of this episode, we titled it Five Ways to Affirm Your Spouse. Today. I kind of broke it down into a few sections where we list five. So it’s five, how’s five when and where’s five why’s and five what’s,

Aaron Smith (38:21):

And we’ll just kind of go through these. I’ll start with how. So the five, how’s, I mentioned it about writing it down, send a text message or a voicemail. We have friends and family that never text. They always send a voice recording, and so you could do that. You can do that while the voice one, you might be able to do a driving with a hands-free or when you’re on a break or something with a text message. Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (38:44):

I think nothing beats face-to face if you can’t do that FaceTime. But being able to make that eye contact and see facial expressions is huge

Aaron Smith (38:52):

In the age of social media, tagging a spouse and an encouraging post,

Jennifer Smith (38:57):

It might sound cheesy, but I like it. I think it’s cute.

Aaron Smith (38:59):

I send you stuff. I see something that sometimes they’re funny. It’s like, Hey, this is a funny thing, but let me know that I’m thinking about you. Sometimes they’re like, Hey, this is actually something I feel like I believe this about you.

Jennifer Smith (39:09):

Or even if you actually post a picture of us and share a little snippet, when your spouse sees those things, it’s affirming because you’re doing it publicly, which is the next one, which is just affirming your spouse in front of others.

Aaron Smith (39:22):

This is a really powerful one because this is the one that’s not in secret, not in private. Your boasting out loud about your spouse in front of people, which might be more embarrassing for them. Make them, but it’s a powerful witness to those around you, because if you’re doing it in secret, it’s going to happen in public too. It’s just going to happen. The last one is actually a handwritten letter or

Jennifer Smith (39:46):

Card. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (39:47):

Yeah. You like letters in. I

Jennifer Smith (39:48):

Like to keep things like that, for sure. Okay, so the next section is when and where. So these can be cues for you if you think about it, because some people like to couple things like, okay, when I do this, I can do that. So in the morning when you’re grabbing your coffee or whatever, or if you’re

Aaron Smith (40:05):

Brushing your teeth in, I used to put little, like if there was steam on the white window from the shower, I would write a little note in the mirror

Jennifer Smith (40:12):

Or post-its on a lunch break, shooting out that quick text before your head hits the pillow at night, just leaning over and making sure that you guys affirm each other when you pass each other randomly in the hall or in the kitchen or out in the garage, I don’t know,

Aaron Smith (40:29):

In the car before going somewhere or getting somewhere. If you show up like, Hey, I just want you to know I love you. I’m excited that you’re here with me.

Jennifer Smith (40:36):

Yeah, it’s good. Okay, this is important. The why,

Aaron Smith (40:40):

Because we all need it.

Jennifer Smith (40:41):

I need it. You need it. We all need it.

Aaron Smith (40:44):

Insecurities flare up and come at us sometimes randomly. There’s just so much stuff that make us feel insecure sometimes.

Jennifer Smith (40:52):

So if we’re in this mode of continually affirming each other, then it won’t matter when the insecurities flare up,

Aaron Smith (41:00):

We’ll be in the mode. Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (41:01):

We’ll really be doing

Aaron Smith (41:02):

It. It feels good. It feels really good to be encouraged to be affirmed in something. Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (41:08):

I think it was the last episode or recent. We were talking about even just the chemical hormones of making you feel good. And so when you receive a positive affirmation about yourself, about your marriage, about your relationship, it feels good. It feels good, and you get all those endorphins and stuff. It draws connection and closeness.

Aaron Smith (41:29):

It’s an intimate thing.

Jennifer Smith (41:30):

It makes you feel like you can trust that person, that you can love that person, that they’re thinking about you, that they’re thinking about you. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (41:36):

No one else’s placed to do that. Sorry. I would say that other people can affirm us, but there’s a special kind of affirmation that can come from just your spouse.

Jennifer Smith (41:45):

Well, yeah. Your friend can’t affirm the love your spouse has for you. And that’s an important thing for marriage because because we’re focusing on marriage, I thought only your spouse can affirm you the way that your heart needs to be filled up that way.

Aaron Smith (42:00):

And we’ve mentioned this in various different ways, but there’s certain things that only your spouse can provide

Jennifer Smith (42:05):

For you. The only ones that know. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (42:07):

And they’re also your spouse, so they have a special relationship that gets to be fulfilled in various different ways.

Jennifer Smith (42:14):

Last section is the what can you say, what can you do to affirm your spouse? You can compliment their appearance.

Aaron Smith (42:22):

Yeah. We love the way our spouse looks, right,

Jennifer Smith (42:24):

Especially if you know that they’re working really hard on losing weight or gaining muscle or whatever they’re working on in the moment. It just feels nice,

Aaron Smith (42:35):

Acknowledging noticeable growth, especially spiritually. So when they do something, especially in your interpersonal relationship, if your spouse comes to you and they’re, you recognize them working in something that you’ve mentioned before. Hey, I’d love it if you did this more or if you would hold me like this, or if you’d, and they do that, even if it’s not the way you wanted to, but you’re like, oh, I noticed they did that. Affirm it. Be like, wow, I really noticed that you, I appreciate that. That’s amazing. I’m blown away by that. I feel thought of.

Jennifer Smith (43:06):

So you stole my second one or my third one. That next one is acknowledge an effort made and be appreciative for those things that they do.

Aaron Smith (43:15):

That’s good. I already said it. So the next one is affirm your love for them and remind them that nothing will separate it. That’s always a good one. We all need to be reminded like, I’m with you, I’m for you. We’re on the same team. I’m you.

Jennifer Smith (43:29):

There’s been times you’ve said, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going

Aaron Smith (43:32):


Jennifer Smith (43:32):

That’s a good one actually. And then lastly is remind them who they are, especially if they’re struggling in an area like parenting or friendship or faith. If you know that they’re wrestling with doubt or insecurities about those specific areas, speak to their strengths in those areas. Speak to what’s true about them. Remind them that they are doing a good job.

Aaron Smith (43:54):

Something that I’ve done for you, and you’ve done the same thing for me in various ways, but you’ll say so with juujitsu, like, oh, I feel like I did horrible tonight. I’m like, well, but you showed up. I was like, but you were there. I was like, and I hear good things about every time someone talks about you, so I bring up other truths. So maybe that night was hard, but there are other truths that are also true. And so that one night doesn’t define out the whole thing, or in your parenting or in your role as a friend. Or I say, well, I know that right now you feel this way in this situation, but here’s what also is true. Here’s all these other things. And so I do like to bring up other areas that it’s good. We tend to forget

Jennifer Smith (44:36):

In those moments. I had a friend that had a hard parenting day and I just ran back to her car and stuck my head in her window and I said, remember, his mercies are new every morning. That’s true. It’s true. And then I said, and yours can be too, because as a mom, you get to make that choice of how are you going to respond to your kids and how are you going to wake up the next day and do it all again? And so I just wanted to reminder, the truth is today was hard, but you can wake up tomorrow and have another opportunity. Good. So that’s what’s really good. Makes me think of what you’re saying. But your spouse needs that, needs to hear that from you. So remind them of who they are and remind them of who they are in Christ too. Alright, well that sums up today’s

Aaron Smith (45:16):

Episode. This was affirming to me. Was it? Yeah. Well, I want to be better at affirming you.

Jennifer Smith (45:21):

I want you to be better at affirming Me too. That was

Aaron Smith (45:23):

So affirming.

Jennifer Smith (45:25):

Kidding. I want to grow in this for sure. Especially I know it’s something that you really get filled up by.

Aaron Smith (45:34):

I do. I would say it is one of my top love languages. Cool.

Jennifer Smith (45:39):

Okay, so today we’re going to share the growth spurt with you, which is keep your eyes on the prize, which is your marriage. Don’t over each other, and this will be easy because we just gave you a whole list of notes,

Aaron Smith (45:51):


Jennifer Smith (45:52):

Ideas, inspiration for you to

Aaron Smith (45:54):

Work on to affirm into doubt. I like it. I like that word doubt. Okay,

Jennifer Smith (45:59):

Pray for us. All right.

Aaron Smith (46:01):

Dear Lord, thank you for the way you affirm us through your word. Thank you for encouraging us to press on in faith. Thank you for the special way we get to affirm each other. In marriage, we pray we consider our words and the impact they make on each other. We pray we would stir up good feelings as we remind each other why we love each other so deeply. Help us to show our appreciation for each other and show us how we can dote over each other this week. We give you the glory and we praise you for leading us through this life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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