Most of us are pretty decent encouragers. At least when we want to be.
We have uplifting words for disheartened people. We know how to support discouraged friends. We use kind words when our kids are struggling. Usually our encouragement comes natural, perhaps due to our God-given ability to nurture.
However, sometimes we fall short of encouraging the one person we should encourage the most — our husbands. I’m sure some wives have husband encouragement mastered, but short changing our man can be a temptation. Maybe because we see their strength and don’t think they need encouragement. Or maybe it’s because we see their flaws and don’t think they deserve it. Or maybe it’s just a matter of practicality — we feel pulled in so many directions and we simply forget.
But ultimately whether they need it or not, whether they deserve it or not, and even when we’re stretched too thin — we should make a habit of encouraging our husbands. And who better to encourage each man than the helper God picked for him (Genesis 2:18)? Who better to deliver “gracious words” that are like “sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24)? I know when it comes to my marriage, I want to be #1 voice of sweet, gracious, supportive words in my husband’s ears! And I imagine you do too.
Here are 5 ways we can encourage our husbands:
#1 Verbalize something he’s doing well.
Surely you notice something your husband is doing that’s worthy of a kind word. Don’t just think it, say it! Tell him he does such a good job with… (I’ll let you fill that in). Even if you mention the simplest thing, who doesn’t like their efforts appreciated?! Do this often— maybe not so much that it seems silly, but daily wouldn’t be a bad goal.
#2 Tell him how you prayed for him.
First of all, you need to actually pray meaningful prayers for your husband. But after you do, tell him (even just through a quick text). How spurred on he’ll be to hear you’re praying for his big meeting, or you’re praying he can make a difference at work, or you’re asking God to give him strength to keep working hard. Many times we will say these things to our friends, why not to our husbands?
#3 Tell him you love him.
Unrelated to anything he does, take a moment to say “I love you.” I don’t mean the ultra quick phone call closing, “I love you, bye.” I mean take a moment to look at him and say “I really love you.” Or randomly call or text him with those words. Don’t follow it up with a question or a business item — leave it at I love you. Those aren’t specific encouraging words per se’ —but those 3 words say a lot.
#4 Learn what gets him down, and be there to lift him up.
Life has it’s discouragement, and inevitably your husband will experience his own. Figure out when this happens, and ask God to help you wisely come alongside him. Maybe there are kind words you should say that relate to a key area in his life. Maybe he just wants you to listen to his struggles and then hear that you still believe in him. Maybe a hug will speak volumes. Be the person who’s there when he needs encouragement.
#5 Speak of his attractiveness.
Whether your husband looks as dashing as the man you married or not, he should still be the object of your attraction and affection (just as you hope to be to him as you “age”). So let him know it! He should know you love him physically, not just emotionally, or relationally. Even speak positively of your desire to be intimate with him. For many husbands, this may be the best way to encourage him – he may know you love him, you’re there for him, you appreciate him, and you are praying for him, but does he know you want him? I hear this is a key way to put a pep in his step.
Let’s be the #1 voice of sweet, gracious, supportive words to our husbands! Sure, they are not perfect (neither are we!), but that’s no reason to not encourage any (and all) good you see in your man.
This week, let’s aim our encouragement at our husbands!
— Heather Pace