In this case EAR is an acrostic for Encouragement, Appreciation, and Respect. The premise of Ralph Easterwood in counseling couples, who is himself approaching his 60th wedding anniversary, is that spouses must lend each other an EAR. I was struck by the similarity of Ralph’s acrostic to a lot of what I have shared in this blog. The premise in my blog is that we all want Good Love, and with encouragement and gratitude and more, we can turn Good Love into Better Love, but that the Best Love is the love of God. The term “Good Love” comes from the Medieval Spanish Book of Good Love which I discussed here and here.
I have talked earlier about encouragement. I like the phrase used to describe what it is to encourage someone – to put wind in their sails. And the literal meaning of the word is to put courage into. We can do so much more and perform so much better when we are encouraged and find the courage to do well. Michael Hyatt recently wrote about playing golf with two different golfers, both much better at it than him. The first would always have a word of encouragement for Michael, and this gave him the confidence to do better and feel better about it. The second golfer was even better than the first, but constantly belittled Michael for every mistake. Michael not only played worse, but enjoyed it significantly less. What the first golfer did for Michael, we can do for our spouse, with encouragement.
We all need to show not only appreciation for our spouse, but gratitude as well. The enemy of gratitude is taking your spouse for granted. After years living with the same person and acclimating to the daily grind of life, it becomes easy to just take our spouse for granted. In my first post I shared that ACTION is the key to truly expressing gratitude. I also shared that the Spanish name for Thanksgiving if it is translated literally is “the day of action of thanks.” We need to not only appreciate our spouse, but take action to demonstrate it to them, and others.
Ralph’s premise is that you give encouragement and appreciation to your spouse in order to achieve respect from them. Many say that a wife needs love from her husband but a husband needs respect from his wife. Many also say that respect has to be earned. So how does a husband earn respect? He does it by loving his wife as he should and giving Better Love to his wife – with encouragement and gratitude. How about you? What can you do today to lend an EAR to your spouse?
The image above can be purchased as a poster here: http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Lend-Me-Your-Ear-Posters_i351007_.htm