Let's start the discussion by ensuring we are all on the same page.
Encouragement is also called social support in the communication world. We are letting someone know that we support who they are as a person. This is different from supporting their decisions. We can support a person without agreeing with them. This is where we will develop skills in the coming posts.
Encouragement can be goal-focused (i.e., problem-solving) or person-focused (i.e., validating someone's sense of self-worth). We can easily see how we might use both types of encouragement in any of our relationships.
In romantic relationships, we stereotypically see men being more goal-focused and women being more person-focused. While all stereotypes are grounded in some version of reality, we can all learn to encourage from both perspectives.
From a Biblical perspective, we are told to encourage others
* And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:35 NLT
* Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)
* May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus has so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6 NIV.
ACTION: Using the links provided, use BibleHub to explore how these verses might apply to your life on a regular basis.