One of the holy reflections of marriage is that it likens a couple more to Christ. A godly marriage is a beautiful pursuit if it forms your character more into that of God. Here are several ways to live the truth of that iron sharpens iron verse that we love so well. Because, if you sharpen your partner in marriage, you keep your marriage strong.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” —Proverbs 17:17
3 Ways To Sharpen Each Other As Iron Sharpens Iron
1. Give Humble Criticism
You have married your best friend, and so a friend sharpens a friend in a humble, loving way. What are your partner’s faults? Their failures? A spouse should never belittle or judge them into shame; instead, a partner lovingly tells them that putting such things away would better their souls for the kingdom of God. Though we are human, and it’s hard to decipher unnecessary harsh words from humble criticism, it’s imperative that we understand our partner and be unafraid to question their intent. The Proverbs iron sharpens iron verse is a good teacher for this mindset. As iron sharpens iron, so you are both strong and should attempt to help each other grow, learn and improve throughout your lives. Be sure to use gentleness in your approach; there is always a way around harshness and hurtful words.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” —Proverbs 15:1
2. Use Direct Honesty
While it’s important to avoid unnecessary conflict in marriage, it’s also imperative to not be afraid to tell your partner simply how it is; tell them straight out without any dancing around the subject. Sometimes directness is needed. If we’re afraid to tell our spouses something they did that could have been avoided, then we will live in the constant state of “If I judge you, you’ll judge me” mentality, and that is entirely unbiblical.
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” —Proverbs 27:5
3. Offer Loving Encouragement
Proverbs 17:17, aka the iron sharpens iron verse can often be read as a verse about stern correction. But remember, there are two sides to sharpening; wisdom and encouraging. Don’t forget to encourage your partner as well; just as you are quick to help them in their ways, be quick to uplift them and encourage them on a daily basis. It could be something as simple as a sweet letter on their bedside table they’ll be able to see when they wake up for work the next morning.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” —1 Thessalonians 5:11
How much of a blessing is it to spend your life with someone who loves you enough you correct you lovingly and to uplift you tenderly all the days of your life? That’s one of the beautiful truths to marriage. You came together because you are stronger together than apart. You can sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron.
You and your spouse are one. You made that holy commitment a long time ago, or maybe it’s a new season for you both. God ordained marriage to be a reflection of His divine love and light; be that love and light for one another and it will manifest outwards to others. God brought you together for a holy purpose, and that is that we always glorify Him, grow deeper in Christ and become wiser in our knowledge of the Father who gives us true life.
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