Have you ever considered: what or who is the primary earthly source of encouragement in your husband’s life?
There are really only 4 options:
- Your husband’s primary source of encouragement is someone/something else, and he/she/it is not very encouraging. (Meaning: Your husband has little-to-no regular encouragement in his life.)
- Your husband’s primary source of encouragement is someone/something else, and he/she/it is encouraging or very encouraging. (Meaning: Your husband gets great encouragement from someone/something other than you.)
- Your husband’s primary source of encouragement is you, and you are not very encouraging. (Meaning: Your husband has little-to-no regular encouragement in his life.)
- Your husband’s primary source of encouragement is you, and you are encouraging or very encouraging to him. (Meaning: Your husband gets great encouragement from you.)
Did you notice that:
- Two of those options leave your husband under-encouraged or unencouraged?
- One of them fuels and is likely to move your husband toward someone or something other than you?
- And only ONE blesses him AND fuels your marriage relationship?
With those options in mind, let me share 3 ways you can encourage your husband. This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will get ideas and motivation flowing for you to be your husband’s primary earthly encourager:
#1- Encourage him spiritually.
- Acknowledge his efforts in this area with kind words, whether relatively “small” or large. (i.e., “Thank you for praying with Sam before bed tonight.” “I appreciate the way you always make Sunday morning a priority.”)
- Make it possible, as much as it is in your power as his “helper,” for him to have time, energy, and freedom to pursue spiritual growth. This includes making it possible and pleasant for him to lead your family to participate in events with your church.
- Support his efforts— for example, help the kids to listen to him respectfully while he reads/teaches about the Bible. Seek out books/materials that may be a help to him as he leads your family. Remind your children of the verse he talked about in the car on the way home from church last Sunday.
- Speak positively to him and others about his efforts in this area. (i.e., “Tim was telling the children about Moses the other night…” rather than, “The kids were crawling all over the place and it felt as if he’d never stop talking!”)
- Let your words be characterized by biblical wisdom. The way you speak has more influence than you realize, and it is in your power to dramatically soften, sharpen, and shape this man over many decades, if God allows it. (“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Prov. 31:26)
#2- Encourage him physically.
- Verbally affirm the things you like about him. “I love waking up to your blue eyes.” “You look really sharp in that shirt!” If you don’t tell him he’s handsome, WHO WILL? (And the answer to that is: either NO ONE will… or someone else WILL. Either way? Not good.)
- Reach out and touch him. Many (not all, but many) men would list “physical touch” as a top way they desire to both give & receive love. Don’t let your day become so hurried that you fail to connect physically. Something like a quick shoulder rub or squeeze to the knee can be a simple way to give physical encouragement to your man.
- Care for his physical body. If he’s overweight and discouraged, cook healthier foods & help him stick to his goals. If he’s perpetually exhausted from working two jobs, see to it that he gets a nap on that rare free Sunday afternoon. Be the helper he needs.
- Kiss him! Be affectionate!!! Pursue the husband of your youth! Let him know that you desire him, and he is still your one and only!
#3- Encourage him professionally.
One of the things that sometimes baffles women is the way men’s self-worth is often tied to their profession. God gave work to the man from the garden of Eden, before the Fall, and it was part of what God called “good.” Men derive a great amount of identity, purpose, and joy from this means God has given them to provide for themselves and the people they love.
- Help him be prepared. This may look like assisting him with his work, supporting him as he goes through trainings or undertakes special projects, or doing trial-run “interviews” before he goes on a job search. Consider your husband’s responsibilities and how you can assist him to be as well-prepared as possible, and then do it!
- Encourage him in his strengths. Does he have a great ability to connect with people? Run numbers and analyze information in a way that is unique among his peers? Manage multiple projects and stay cool, calm, and collected? Pay attention to what HIS strengths are, and verbally encourage him in those things.
- Assist him in his weaknesses. Does he get sidetracked easily? Forget appointments? Get flustered in meetings? Be the sounding board and assistant he needs! Perhaps you can read about ways to beat anxiety, and share some of them with him before his next team meeting, or you can create a google calendar with alarms that message YOU so you can help him remember his appointments. We all have weaknesses– so inevitably, our husbands do too! But rather than being something to roll our eyes about, this can be a way we can serve and help our husbands.
There are certainly many other ways we can encourage our husbands, but I believe if we all found a couple of things on this list and purposefully worked on them, it would lead to growth and greater joy in our marriages.
IN THE COMMENTS, SHARE:
- Which of these areas stands out to you as a way you can grow as your husband’s encourager?
- In what ways do you encourage your husband that seem to work the best?