by Patrick Choi
Two months into my journey of fatherhood, I made one of the bigger mistakes in my marriage. I came home and said, “Erica, the house is pretty messy!” She stared into my soul, and I knew I had made an enormous blunder. This is just one of many examples of how I am slow to encourage those I care most about in my life. A thought crossed my mind that, “If I’m not even encouraging my wife well, I am probably not encouraging others well.”
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
This verse is humbling because it calls us to encourage others daily. That seems like a daunting task. Yet encouraging others allows us to not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Pastor Ryan once told me that his goal as Lead Pastor of New City is to be the “Chief Encourager” of the church. I know he tries his best because I will do something as simple as sending out an email and I invariably get a reply from Ryan saying, “Great email, bro!”
Something so small and simple can go a long way. I appreciate those tiny encouragements because it validates my work, and I feel acknowledged for the things I am doing.
What would it look like for us to be the Chief Encouragers of our households?
- Spouses – Acknowledge the work that each of you accomplishes. Whether at home, in the office, at school, or in the community – encourage each other in the roles that God has called you to.
- Parents – Let your kids know how proud you are of them. Whether it’s in school, extracurricular sports or activities, or their willingness to pick up a toy they left out, be sure your kids understand that you are always in their corner.
- Set goals – Set daily (or weekly) goals for encouraging others. It doesn’t have to be huge; simply making a daily effort to point out one amazing thing that each person in your family has done can have profound affects.
- Fight against making small jabs – This kind of discouragement can chip away at others, leading them to believe lies about themselves and their worth.
We live in a world (and a culture) where it’s easier to tear each other down rather than lift each other up. But our true home is in the upside-down Kingdom of Jesus Christ who perfectly showed us how to put others before ourselves and love them well. We have to set the precedent, as believers, to be the salt and light of the world. I truly believe that it starts in the way we love and encourage each other in the household.
Church, I encourage you to strive to be the Chief Encouragers of your home!