Encouraging your husband is a priceless gift you can give him. It’s easy to get frustrated and many of us find ourselves in a pattern of negativity in an effort to improve things. Instead, offering encouragement can create a more loving environment and draw you closer to each other.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” When you build your husband up, it does amazing things to his heart. He will think about the nice things you said for hours or even days. When he feels the strength of your support and love, it helps anchor him when the storms of life toss him around. Even the smallest effort on our part can reap huge rewards in our marriages.
1. Thank him for the little things he does for you
When I say little, I mean little. It’s easy to get used to all of the things our husbands do for us. Life is so busy and hectic, so it’s nice when someone says “thank-you.” Most effort goes by without notice, until we have to do things on our own. My husband travels a lot, so when he’s gone I see all of the nice things he does for me while he is home. He is so good about taking care of small details, and I have tried to be better about thanking him for how well he takes care of us.
2. Praise him
I recently told Scott that he makes the best coffee in the world. I told him I have yet to taste better. Guess what? He makes it for me all the time now. He pops out of bed to make it before my feet hit the floor. I really meant it when I told him he makes good coffee. I wasn’t trying to get anything out of him. But my praise for him, ever so small, spilled out of him and blessed me. Isn’t it amazing how that works? I told him how much the kids love the way he decorates our house with Christmas lights. You can now see our beautiful home lit up from miles away during December. He once told me that when I praise him, he feels like he can leap buildings and crash through walls. It’s the difference between Clark Kent and Superman, ladies.
A smile is such an attractive feature. Everyone has one, but sometimes we forget to use it. I can easily feel frazzled by the end of the day. I think sometimes Scott walks in the house and measures his evening by my countenance. It makes him so happy if I am happy to see him. This is actually pretty difficult for me at times. I often want to tag him, say, “You’re it,” and walk out of the room, especially if the kids were extra challenging that day. When I smile instead, the rest of our day goes much better. I recently asked a friend how she feels about the pressure our culture places on us in regards to outward beauty. She told me her number one priority is wearing a warm smile for her husband. He finds it irresistible. When we smile just for our husbands, there’s a good chance they will get weak in the knees.
4. Be his friend
You started out this way, so keep it going! Have fun with him. Go out and have a good time together. Think back to what you enjoyed about each other in the very beginning of your relationship and keep doing it. Viewing your husband as your friend might sound obvious, but it’s easy to forget this. I find myself being more snappy and impatient to Scott than I am my friends. When he struggles, I feel like telling him to get a grip, instead of being supportive like I am to others. One time we were having a discussion about something he did that really upset me. He asked me to please extend the same grace to him that I would extend to one of our kids or friends if they had done the same thing. That really struck me. If he is supposed to be my best friend, why am I so much harder on him than others? I try to keep that in mind as we navigate through difficult or even hurtful situations.
5. Show your love for him
I said I had five ways for you, but I decided to stop and go ask husbands what makes them feel most loved. Here is what they said:
- She appreciates me
- She shows me affection.
- She loves and cares for our children.
- She singles me out, and makes me feel wanted.
- She is frisky.
- She does little, thoughtful things for me.
- She loves me in the face of tremendous pain.
- She buys me things I enjoy.
- She takes time for me.
- She cooks fabulous food for me.
- She knows when I need a hug and gives it.
- She is encouraging.
- She is empathetic
- She lifts me up when I fall and helps me find my way.
- She prays for me.
Loving our spouses in this way isn’t always easy. You might be reeling from pain and disappointment and don’t feel like cheering him on. Maybe you feel empty, tired, and in need of encouragement yourself. I know most marriages don’t have Disney music playing in the background, nor do they include sunset walks on the beach. In fact, it might be difficult to extend even common courtesy to him. So what do we do, if we feel unable to offer love to our spouses? What if we feel numb and don’t feel a shred of respect? We love anyway . . . I promise you, God is faithful, and will see you through to the end. Your marriage will be stronger because of it.
I imagine Jesus on the cross, dying for the very people who put him there. He didn’t look down on us and love us because we were lovable, he loved us because of His covenant promise to us. He loved us even though we didn’t deserve a sliver of forgiveness. When I ponder this amazing example, I feel strength well up in me, and I am able to love my husband with the love I have richly received.
When I view true love through the lens of God’s sacrificial, unending gift to us, it becomes a joy to give my husband the love and encouragement he needs.
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