Your spouse has probably laid out goals for him or her self this year. Your spouse also may have asked you to help them in their pursuit of those goals. “Let’s eat healthier!” “Remind me to read the Bible more!” “We need to be more accountable to each other financially!” The tricky thing with becoming your spouse’s accountability partner or motivational coach is to know how to do it without demeaning or offending your spouse. The Bible says, “do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). Choose to put a positive spin in your constructive comments. For example, avoid “geez, do you care about losing weight at all?” and choose “honey, you have been doing so well lately; you can do it!”
What type of motivation would you like to receive from your spouse? It may seem cliché, but the Bible gave us a Golden Rule for a reason. The Golden Rule says, “so in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Next time you try to help out your spouse, think about the way you would like to be spoken to. Chances are it is with respect, dignity and kindness; you can still help nudge your spouse in the right direction without being condescending and hurtful.