How to Encourage in Times of Disappointment

Encouragement-in-times-of-disappointmentSometimes, things don’t work out the way we expected. In fact, life can be very disappointing.

  • People disappoint.
  • Plans disappoint.
  • Events disappoint.
  • Situations disappoint.

When you’re disappointed, what do you do? Maybe you’ve found a useful process to get over it and move on.

But how do you help someone else with their disappointment? We have no control over how other people feel. And we often have little control over fixing the cause of their disappointment.

What we can do is encourage them. When encouragement is authentic and timely, it can be the perfect antidote to any type of disappointment.

As a differentiating value, Encouragement means giving courage or confidence or hope; the expression of approval and support.

Now, the best place to practice and explore the value of encouragement is in marriage. If you can encourage your spouse in times of disappointment, you can encourage anyone.

6 Ways to Encourage Your Spouse in Times of Disappointment

A great post by Lori (my wife) provides some useful insights on this topic. She highlights the following 6 ways to encourage your spouse in times of disappointment.

  1. Start from where you are – and look forward. There is always hope. It might not be the hope you wanted. It might not be the hope you envisioned. It might not be the hope you counted on. It might not be the hope you prayed for. It might not be the hope you… (you get the picture).
  2. Reassess. Redirect. Revise. Try one. Then another. Repeat and don’t give up.
  3. Stand firm on the foundation of your faith in God. Share stories of how God has shown His power and faithfulness in your history together (or as individuals). Give thanks. Force your thoughts away from the current disappointment and rest on His promises. Be determined. Be stubborn. Dig in. Dig deep. Praise Him.
  4. Love your spouse with no conditions. With no prerequisites. Your love for each other does not need to be affected by this disappointment. In fact, disappointment can make your love shine with a light so bright it eclipses this moment of your story. (Do not let the evil one tell you lies.)
  5. Pray. Pray alone. Pray together. Pray with others. Ask others to pray for you and with you. Pray without ceasing. Pour it all out in prayer, and then praise God.
  6. Do Something. Do something together. Maybe it’s necessary to take action because of the disappointment. Agree on a direction and make a plan. If you can’t agree, seek counsel. Then make a plan. And do something to move forward. However, if self-focused action isn’t going to move you past your disappointment, then the action you need to take – together – is to serve. Serve together. Help someone else. Be a team and use the gifts God has put into you both to be a blessing

While these suggestions are focused on encouraging your spouse, they also apply to encouraging others too. When you really love someone, you will inspire with hope; keep trying new approaches; share stories of faith; pray; and help them to take action.

 

How do you encourage your spouse – or others – in times of disappointment?

 

Today’s value was selected from the “Enthusiasm-Teamwork” category, based on the e-book Developing Your Differentiating Value.

 

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I write about differentiating values and their impact on leadership, marketing, and marriage - focused on couples in business together. Read more about Robert.