Posted in Growing in the Lord, Miscellanous how-to

are you an encourager or a discourager?

On the online thesaurus, there are over 50 synonyms for “encourage”. Words such as support, inspire, enliven, revitalize, and strengthen are just a few on the lengthy list. It seems a simple thing to, yet why is it often easier for us to discourage someone rather than encourage them?

Make no mistake, our words are powerful. But just how powerful?

There’s a quote that states “Words are powerful. Use them wisely.” They can either build someone up or tear them down.

Below are eight ways we can be encouragers:

Encourage each other in everyday life. Life isn’t easy, especially in our current culture. What we can do is come alongside others, be there for them, and allow them to depend on us.

Celebrate the victories of others with them.

Rally around each other during times of disappointment.

Listen. Really listen.

See the possibilities. Besides being a wife, mom, and author, I’m also a fitness instructor. In addition to other classes, I teach a small-group fitness class for beginners. Much of what I do for this class is one-on-one. Many, if not most of my participants, are struggling with health and/or weight issues, are exercising for the first time, or are returning after a long stint away from the gym. The best thing I can do for them is to be an encourager. Their cheerleader. The one who reminds them that they can achieve their goals and that I am there to help them do so.

Be authentic and sincere.

Be honest and constructive when giving advice. And on that note, give advice only when asked for. Not many people like unsolicited advice.

Find the best in others.

I love what the Bible says in Ephesians 4:29.

May we prayerfully consider how our words affect others, and with God’s help, be encouragers rather than discouragers.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

10 reminders of God’s enduring love

5 ways to make your child feel loved

10 ways to encourage others

9 ways to jumpstart your homeschool year

lessons from the garden

13 verses to comfort the fearful heart

31 awesome movies for your must-watch list

Posted in making a difference, miscellaneous how-to, Miscellanous how-to, motherhood

10 ways to encourage others

In a world of struggles and disappointments, pain and setbacks, one of the most important things we can do for others is encourage them. Below are 10 ways to do just that.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “encouragement” as “something that makes someone more determined, hopeful, or confident.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, the Bible tells us, Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.

What are some simple ways we can encourage others?

In everyday life:

Give genuine praise and encouragement to family and friends. This can come in the form of how much you appreciate them, value them in your life, or just how much you love them. Little notes of encouragement are big hits. For some ideas on how to encourage your kids, see my post 7 Ways to Encourage Your Children (and for additional ways to show your children you love them, join me next week for my post 9 ways to show your kids you love them).

Did you get excellent service at a restaurant? Tell the waiter and the manager. Did someone at local business go above and beyond? Let them know! The lady who signs members in at our local YMCA always has a smile on her face. She is quick to go the extra mile. I recently told her how much we appreciate her, and I also let her boss know. This can also be done by completing comment card or quality-of-service questionnaire available at many businesses.

My daughters are fond of teasing me about the fact that I’ve never met a stranger. But you don’t have to be extroverted to share encouragement. What about letting the janitor/custodian know how appreciative you are that they keep your place of employment/a local business clean? What about telling the clerk at your grocery store you appreciate the hours they put into their job and their patience in dealing with all types of customers?

Encourage a mom. Motherhood is a hard job at times, and what mom doesn’t need a bit of encouragement? A quick word or note letting a mom know she’s doing a good job means a lot. You can even encourage a stranger! What about that mom in the long line at the grocery store with a hungry infant and grouchy toddler? We can discourage by giving a “judgmental” look or we can encourage by asking if we can help unload her groceries onto the conveyor belt or even by a simple sentence, “Oh I remember those days!” and a smile.

Doing motherhood well is not for the faint-hearted. Whether a mom dedicates her life to raising her children at home, works outside the home, or a combination of both, moms need encouragement. For ways on how to encourage moms, see my post Six Ways to Encourage Other Moms.

Encourage a dad. It’s tough to be a dad in today’s culture, where dads are oftentimes viewed with disrespect. Yet, there are many excellent dads doing their best to provide for their families, lead them spiritually, and help their children be the best they can be. Encourage a dad by praising him for his commitment to his wife and children, for the times he goes to work, even when he doesn’t feel like it, and for all the millions of tasks he performs to make the household run more smoothly. A small token of appreciation, like a bag of his favorite chips or a special treat, can go a long way to encouraging him.

Encourage by mail. In my book 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference: Ideas and Activities for Serving Others, I give ideas on how to Create a Card Ministry. Why not send a card to someone you know is having a difficult time and let them know you are praying for them. This can be done anonymously, or to someone you know.

Sending a card for no reason is especially meaningful in a time when handwritten notes are rare. How about a card detailing a favorite memory with the recipient?

Encourage other women. What about hosting a Girls Night Out? More details are found on my post Sisters in Christ Group.

Encourage on Social Media. Retweet, saving, liking, reposting, and sharing someone’s post is an encouragement. Rather than scrolling past, bless the writer of the post, as well as recipients in your timeline with a “like” or “share”. One of the things I enjoy doing each morning is going through my blog list and “liking” and oftentimes “sharing” blog posts I find especially helpful or entertaining.

Encourage by text. In a world full of busyness, sometimes a supportive text (sometimes for no reason at all!) can be the most encouraging.

Encourage an author. Did you just finish reading a book that you absolutely loved? Don’t be shy about it—spread the word! Post a positive review on Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads. (By the way, this means more to authors than you will ever know—trust me on this one!)

Encourage a neighbor. In our fast-paced society, many of us have never met the people who live in our neighborhoods. Why not go on a walk and stop to greet the neighbor mowing his lawn? Or deliver some goodies during the Christmas season? We were so busy this past Christmas that neighborhood treats didn’t get made, so we decided to make New Year’s treats and deliver those around the neighborhood instead.

Each day, we all have a chance to be either an encourager or a discourager.

Which one will you be?


You may enjoy these other blog posts:

15 scriptural reminders of God’s comfort

6 ways to stick with homeschooling (when you want to give up)

leaving a Godly legacy

how to become an undercover prayer warrior

fantabulous pumpkin muffins recipe

5 ways to be happier

5 ways to start your day off right

5 ways to jumpstart your writing project