Posted by: James and Delores Fields | March 21, 2012

Praising Others

In this blog I’m sharing some musings about marriage.  Even though many of you who read this are not married please apply its truth to all human relationships.  Praising Your Spouse applies to praising your boss, your parents, your neighbors, your children or fellow church members.  May we all become skillful at using praise to inspire others to live and do good.

Praising Your Spouse

Dee and I arrived in Cozumel, Mexico late one afternoon expecting a wonderful scuba diving vacation in the clear Caribbean waters.  Since daylight was about gone, we decided to snorkel in fairly shallow water before sundown.  Dressed in our neoprene rubber wetsuits, we dawned mask, snorkel and fins.

As we swam side by side in about 10 or 12 feet of water, Delores tapped me on the shoulder.  We raised our faces out of the water, and she asked, “Do you see that large conch  shell?” “Why don’t you get it for me….”

As an experienced diver, I knew that neoprene rubber makes a person as buoyant as a beach ball.  I had tried diving with this type of suit before and simply could not get under the water without a weight belt.

Before I could tell Delores I was unable to dive for the shell she remarked, “You can do it.” Well, her confidence in me changed my whole attitude about diving when wearing a wetsuit.  I was going to get that shell even though I thought I could never do it.

I took 3 large breaths and struggled to get under the water and kicked my fins harder than I’ve ever kicked before.  Sure enough, I made it down to the shell, reached for it with both hands, grasped it tightly and quit kicking my fins.  Immediately the buoyancy of the wetsuit shot me back to the surface.  I’m surprised I didn’t leave the water a foot or two.  Anyway, Dee and I still have that shell on display in our living room even though our trip to Cozumel took place about 23 years ago.

Her praise motivated me to live up to her expectations.  Please, dear friend, quit using criticism to motivate your spouse.  Praise works ten million times better than ridicule and mocking.  Your spouse will rise to the level of your praise or sink to the level of your criticism.

Train yourself to be a praiser of your spouse!

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  1. Thank you James.

  2. Beautiful story – wonderful illustration. Thank you!

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