I once heard the story of a very common young lady in an African village who was being asked by a young man to marry him. He needed to pay her father the dowry first. In many African nations, the new future husband needs to pay his future wife’s parents a dowry before they release her to him in marriage. And it is usually given in cows, not dollars.

Even though the dowry for her would have been two or three cows, her fiancé gave her father fifty cows for her hand in marriage. She became known in the village as the 50-cow woman, and she beamed from ear to ear. She felt transformed; so valued and encouraged by her new husband.

The bible tells us that a woman reflects man’s glory (I Cor. 11:7). A bible teacher once said he never makes a judgment on how he feels about a minister until he meets his wife, because she is a reflection of her husband.

Many years ago, LaVerne was impressed with the Scripture in Proverbs 20:5, “A plan in the heart of a man is like deep waters, but a man of understanding draws it out.” She said, “This not only refers to an individual life, but I believe it is imperative in a marriage. I knew through encouragement, prayer and walking in an understanding way toward Larry, those deep things in his heart, the vision and potential within him, would come forth!“

Let’s make it a point to find ways to daily encourage our spouses by our words and by our actions. If you want to read more about what we learned about marriage over the past nearly 45 years, check out our new book coming out in a few weeks: “Battle Cry for Your Marriage” co-written with three other couples.