Open In App


On two occasions recently I’ve been on a treadmill, and a stranger has taken up post at the machine beside me.There’s nothing unusual about that, but they both ran pretty good distances at a pace I could keep. In both instances we eventually got into the same step, and it was exhilarating. I felt like I could hammer it out all day in step with my neighbor, and I was able to run my longest distances on those two days. Today the guy next to me stopped eleven minutes before I was set to be done, and I wanted to turn to him and shout, “What do you think you’re doing? Don’t you quit on me now. Move it, buddy; we ain’t done yet.”  I resisted.

With regards to your marriage, are there couples in your life who inspire you? Do you have married friends who push you to be a better partner as they push themselves to do more, to last longer, to finish well? And I’m not speaking to comparison. When I compare my appearance or my workout to others at the gym, I am quickly discouraged and disheartened.  I’m talking about people who inspire you to be a better spouse because they are pursuing Christ in their marriages and honoring their mates in a way that challenges you.

Scripture - particularly in Paul’s writings - speaks to the importance of believers encouraging each other.  Following Jesus isn’t an easy gig.  We are commanded to encourage, spur on, challenge, and hold accountable other believers in our lives.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul reaffirms this command to the believers in Thessalonica, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”   

My observation: It’s easier to pound it out and push ourselves toward godly marriages in the company of others who are doing the same; I happen to believe the inverse of that is true as well…

Like what you just read? Download the NewSpring App for an even better reading experience. You can read, share, and bookmark your favorites quickly and easily from your phone.

We want you to have a safe experience while using our site.

Unfortunately, there are security risks associated with your browser. To keep you protected we will be discontinuing support to this browser. Please visit for a secure browser update.