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What's In a Name?

How would your spouse describe you? Would the portrayal match your expectations and how others see you? Can living for Christ affect your reputation?

How Does Your Spouse See You?

Most people want commendable words spoken of them, especially from their spouses. Try this: Ask your mate to share three words to describe you. Agree upfront not to get upset, pout, or start an argument. 

Words like amazing, caring, loyal, and helpful may produce good reactions.  Negative emotions may surface with words like bitter, rude, selfish, or judgmental. Receive their response in love and embrace it as an opportunity for growth.

Use this feedback to reflect on how past behaviors might have established undesirable views about your character. As Christians, our conduct should display the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

We may not like it, but our spouse sees our unpleasant side. At times, they seem to know us better than we know ourselves. As rearview and side mirrors reveal blind spots when driving, our spouses can help us see the hidden things in our character—good and bad.  We should respect their viewpoint and ask Christ to continue to conform us to His image.

How Does God See You?

God, the Father, sees His children as valuable. Like your spouse, He uses words to describe you as well. You are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV). He calls you friend (John 15:15). You are “holy and beloved” (Colossians 3:12 ESV).

Our actions may not always live up to God’s view of us. However, we can be certain that He will change our character as we obey and live for Him.

Which One?

What would you choose if you had to choose between wealth and a good reputation? Having wealth is beneficial. Being a person of integrity is priceless.

An admirable character is more valuable than being a billionaire. (Proverbs 22:1 ESV) declares, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” 

So, what is in a name? The answer to this question depends on two things: how well we live and how well we finish. As Christians, “we are ambassadors for Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV). Let us represent Him in a way that brings honor and glory to His name.

This article first appeared in Birmingham Christian Family Magazine.

© 2024 Biblical Marriage Institute