I’m just taking a wild guess here, but I think your wife may struggle with insecurities about herself. You might not know how to handle this dynamic, so I am going to shed a little light on the subject for you.
Let me say, keeping your self esteem intact while living in today’s culture is no easy feat. The obsession with perfection is overwhelming to say the least. Men are also affected by this, but not as much as women are. Unrealistic standards are not easy to handle. While your wife might seem unaffected by this burden, there are areas she struggles in. You know the where the chinks in her armor are, if you are paying attention.
So how can you encourage her without seeming critical? How can you help her reach her goals? I promise you, she remembers your words long after they leave your lips, so it helps if more words are loving than critical. Those words will affect her.
I want you to reap blessings in your marriage, so here are three things you can do to build your wife up. I am not suggesting you us this as a checklist. I don’t want this to feel like a burden to you. I just know that your kind words will bless your wife, and will overflow right back to you. It’s a win-win.
1. Tell her she means a lot to you.
This might feel foreign to you. But it is priceless. Your wife probably gives to a lot of different people. Extended family, friends, co-workers, church friends. But you happen to be the one she most cares about. Your opinion matters. If she knows you are just plain happy that she is yours, she can handle a lot of outside stress. Your devotion is precious to her, and during those tough days, it can really make all the difference. Here are some ways to say this:
Don’t worry, we have each other.
I’m glad you are mine.
You make my difficult days easier to bear.
You really keep our family going.
I appreciate your efforts, and they matter a lot.
You are so beautiful, I pretty much married a masterpiece. (Trust me on this one.)
2. Don’t harp.
Ok, this one is big. There is so much that needs to get accomplished in one 24 hour period, right?
Well, things fall through the cracks because we are living earthly lives, and as soon as you clean up or accomplish one thing, you turn around and it needs to be done again.
You can thank Adam and Eve for this one day, but for now we just do what we can. It never fails, I am spend the day weeding and doing dishes, but the laundry suffers and my van is a mess. Or I am homeschooling kids, and zero else gets done. There is nothing worse than giving your all, and then having your spouse complain. Instead of complaining, just pitch in and serve. No rolling of the eyes, or sighing. No mini lectures about time management. If you want to do that, start a blog. It’s a great outlet for whining.
Just be grateful for what DID get done and hope for the best. Put away the microscope, your wife’s tired shoulders will thank you.
3. Be a buffer.
Take the hit. Have her back. You are called to protect her. If you see she is in a stressful situation, step in and help her out. You might have to speak up for her.
Maybe family is being hard on her, or she has a toxic friendship that needs some perspective. Maybe the kids are running her ragged. She might not notice that she is wearing herself out. Don’t ignore the signs of exhaustion. Just be aware and keep her on your radar.
Am I telling you to live some fairy tale version of a man here? Well, I looked up the definition of knight in shining armor:
An idealized or chivalrous man who comes to the rescue of a woman in a difficult situation.
Yes, it says idealized, but what is life without romance? You only have one woman to rescue so that makes it that much easier.
Our culture tells you women don’t want or need to be rescued. But I disagree. It’s an act of love to reach out and help someone in need. Jesus reached so far down in order to rescue us, and without that, where would be be? It will show her that she is precious and important to you.