15 More Ways to Encourage Your Husband, Part 2

15 More Ways to Encourage Your Husband, Part 2, Becoming His Eve >> Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici

Make your house and your heart a home-base for your husband – a place he can always count on to be one of encouragement. This week, pick 1 of the following ways to encourage your husband for each day, or pick 1 and work on it all week, not because I say you should, but because your husband deserves it and he needs your unconditional support, care, and love! Or go back and work through last week’s 15 suggestions.

16) Praise your husband when he does a job well. Praise him for everything from getting that hard-to-reach item off the top shelf to getting a promotion at work. I’m a big believer in celebrating the little AND the big things. Celebrate his good character, his physical strength and stamina, his work ethic, and his awesome top-shelf reaching skills!

“…encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

17) Seek your husband’s advice. Ask his help if you’re struggling with something in your spiritual life, your friendships, your workplace, etc. Include him in your decision-making process. Ask him to pray for you. In doing so, it shows you are confident in his decision-making skills, his wisdom, and his counsel, and it shows you respect his opinions.

I hear many women complain about their husbands’ not being good-enough spiritual leaders. God created Eve with communication skills for a reason! Your husband is NOT a mind reader. You need to communicate your needs/desires to him. Let him know explicitly when you need his help. Let him know specifically when you need his spiritual advice and input. Let him know immediately when you need him to pray. My husband is always eager to help/advise/pray with me, and his enthusiasm and wisdom always makes me so glad I asked.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Proverbs 19:20

See also Tami Myer’s guest post, Desperate to Be Led for more good advice on this subject. What if your husband gives me un-biblical advice? April over at The Peaceful Wife wrote a great post on this subject.

18) Be grateful for his input. Sometimes I just want him to listen to me, but he tries to advise anyway. Instead of being frustrated, thank him for his help. Your husband is hardwired to “fix” problems, and while you may not have wanted his advice, be grateful anyway. If you feel like you can’t be receptive at that moment for whatever reason, kindly and politely tell him you need some space and time, but tell him thanks for trying to help, and plan to come back and revisit the subject later.

“…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

19) Protect his good name. Speak respectfully about him to others (his family, friends, co-workers, church family, your kids, neighbors, strangers, etc). Speak about him in a way you’d want him to speak about you.

I remember one time my husband was playing an online game with some guys and I interrupted him because I needed something. After I started to walk away, and when he probably thought I was out of earshot, I heard one of the guys say, “Whipped!” And I won’t ever forget Adam’s response: “No. Loved!” This is how I want to speak about him to others. Build him up with your words; don’t tear him down.

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1

20) Communicate respectfully to him. 

Watch your tone of voice, eye contact, and posture. Don’t ever pick an argument with him in public. (and yes, for the record, I have done this, embarrassingly so.) If you have a disagreement, wait until the appropriate time and place. Make every effort to be peaceable and work toward unity, not disunity and dissension. You aren’t always right. Be willing to admit when you’re wrong. Learn to fight fairly and smartly if you must fight at all, as some fights just can’t be avoided. But you can still speak respectfully to him.

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:4

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

21) Give him your undivided attention.

Don’t interrupt. Listen. Yes, I know, us women, we love to gab, but your husband needs you to listen to him too. My husband isn’t always one to open up and talk about deep issues readily, so when he does, I make every effort to give him my full attention.

Don’t cut him off mid-sentence and interject your own thoughts. Don’t start formulating your answers in your head before he’s done talking (guilty of doing that before right here). Don’t keep multitasking. Set down your distractions. Look at him. And listen non-judgmentally and lovingly. To show you’re actively listening, repeat back to him in your own words what he said, and ask probing questions.

For example,

Wife: How was your day?

Husband: Rough. 

Wife: How so? 

Husband: It was just way more challenging than I expected at my work meeting. 

Wife: What happened at your work meeting that made it so challenging? 

You get the picture!

“…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak…” James 1:19

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” Proverbs 18:23

22) Resist the urge to nag and correct him. 

Your husband is not 2 years old. He doesn’t need you to mother him. He needs you to respect him, and respect his decisions, even if you don’t approve. This means honoring his wishes, not complaining once a decision has been made, and resisting the urge to correct him or say “I told you so” if his decision turns out to have negative consequences. You are not your husband’s Holy Spirit. It is not your job to correct every little mistake or perceived error on your husband’s part.

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” Proverbs 21:19

You will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

23) Be a trustworthy wife. 

Confess your sins to your husband so you can hold each other accountable. Let your husband know what you’re doing and where you’re going. Talk about finances together, and be open about your money if you have your own separate income.

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4

24) Let him know “why” you respect him… 

…and remind him why you married him… often!

Why did you marry me? So I can kiss you anytime I want.” ~Sweet Home Alabama

25) Thank him for the work he does. 

Thank him for being a good provider. If he’s out of work or unable to work, find a quality you admire – his determination in looking for work, his strength, his perseverance, his wise financial decisions to help you budget better, etc – or find something he does around the house – does he work hard at being a good dad? maintaining the yard? fixing the car? etc. Praise him for it!

What do workers gain from their toil?… I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:9, 12, 13

26) Praise him for a spiritual strength he has…

…reading his Bible regularly, praying with you and the family, his eagerness to go to church, etc. I especially admire how my husband’s love always points me back to God and makes me want to know God more.

Paul writes in Romans 1:11-12, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

Can you imagine if wives actually did that for their husbands? We’d have lots of changed marriages.

27) Dare to dream with your husband, and affirm his dreams for the future. 

Ngina over at Intentional Today writes about this in her post: A Great Marriage Taps into Dreams, not Just Needs.

28) Enjoy being with your husband.

Cherish the moments you have together. Regularly take time out of your busy life for him.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

29) Find something you love about your husband’s body – his rugged chin, his loving eyes, his big smile – and let him know by touching this spot and saying why you love it. I particularly like my husband’s facial hair because it makes him look more handsome in my opinion, and it feels nice and soft against my face.

“…he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend.” Song of Solomon 5:16

30) Praise him for his faithfulness! 

“…a faithful man will have many good things…” Proverbs 28:20

Your turn? Which one of these ideas was a new concept to you? Which ones do you think you’ll pick this week? How did you do with last week’s encouragement? 

Linking Up With: 

"To Love, Honor, and Vacuum...when you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother."

“To Love, Honor, and Vacuum…when you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother.”

"Messy Marriage: Real. Raw. Redemptive."

“Messy Marriage: Real. Raw. Redemptive.”

Simply Helping Him

Whenever I have a post, I add it here. Check out my entries under Spiritual, Meditation, and Religion, and Family, Parenting, and Marriage.

Whenever I have a post, I add it here. Check out my entries under Spiritual, Meditation, and Religion, and Family, Parenting, and Marriage.

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10 Comments

  1. Rachel

    I love all the articles I read about affirming our husbands. But I just can’t shake the idea that affirming and complimenting them constantly still sounds like I am treating him as if he WERE 2 years old and like I am his mother. Words of affirmation do not come easily for me. Unfortunately I am a very blunt person by nature (and how I was raised) but he is very sensitive to tone and words in general (a lot to do with how he was raises). I really need help in this area of affirming him without it sounding “staged” or “fake” or like I am encouraging a child- which, like scolding or nagging about stuff, is also acting like a mother figure. Any advice?

    • Hi Rachel, thanks for commenting. I think you misunderstood me. I don’t think we need to be or should be affirming/complimenting our husbands 24/7. I was just giving a whole list of examples of things to do and say that would be encouraging to spark the imagination – to get you thinking about what would work in your marriage encouragement-wise. Nothing should come as forced. I’m not suggesting you try everything that I mentioned. Every compliment, affirmation, and encouragement should be genuine and coming from the heart, not from a condescending tone or a mother-like attitude.

      I understand that concern though – crossing the line from being a mother and being a wife. Think about it this way – how did your own mother (or adult figures in your life as a child) compliment you and affirm you? How did you witness your parents (or other adult figures in your life) affirming or complimenting each other? What’s the difference?

      You can still emphasize your husband’s good qualities without being mother-like. Offer to do something else in return, but remember the difference between rewarding a child and rewarding your husband.

      Say your husband makes and completes a daunting goal at work. You’re proud of him and you want to let him know. Think about what his love language is. Does he need to hear words of affirmation or does he appreciate gifts and tokens? Does he appreciate surprise acts of service or surprise planned quality time? Or perhaps he needs to physically feel your love.

      Words of Affirmation? Consider writing him a card. Specifically go to the store and pick out a romantic card or make him one at home on your computer. This will show that you’ve taken a little extra time for him. Write what naturally comes out of your heart. Let your love speak through your words.
      Gifts? Get him something special that he’s been wanting or saving up for. Last summer, I knew my husband had been saving for a game. When he made goal at work, I wanted to spoil him a little so I bought him the game as a surprise.
      Acts of service? Tidy up the house so it’s nice and clean when he gets home so he doesn’t have to do as much or (any, if you can help it) housework/chores on the weekend as a celebration gift.
      Quality time? Plan a date night. Hire a sitter if you have kids. Include dinner at a favorite restaurant so you’ll have time to talk and enjoy each other.
      Physical Affection? Try a big bear hug and a big kiss when he arrives home. Treat him to a sensual massage or take initiative sexually as a way to channel his excited energy.

      But I understand things like this situation don’t happen everyday. So what to do in the day-to-day? If he pleases you unexpectedly with something, let him know that. You don’t have to have any fancy prepared words or gifts. Just tell him thanks from the heart. If he does something without being asked, tell him you really appreciate the gesture as it saved you time, energy, money, etc. Emphasize the tangible effects of his act of kindness. Mention his name or nicknames you have for each other. Show him physical affection when you’re thanking him – an arm around the shoulder, taking his hand, giving him a hug, etc.

      For example, in this situation, if it were me and my husband, and I walk up behind him in the kitchen as he’s doing the dishes, I’d hug him from behind and say something like, “Well, this is a pleasant surprise!” probably in a sexy tone of voice, and then switch to a more appreciative one, “Adam, thank you! I know how much you dislike doing the dishes. I appreciate you taking the time to do this, my darling!” I’d probably also find a way to show my appreciation sexually… perhaps mention that we now have more “free time” before bed since he saved me time by doing the dishes.

      But do whatever flows naturally. Don’t force sexual intimacy either as a way of rewarding him for doing a job well when you’re not in the mood. Be specific. Let him know why you’re thanking him/encouraging him, etc. Be precise. You don’t need to be wordy. For the most part, guys want us women to be straight and to the point. Let your actions speak louder than words. Finally, be natural in your praise. What’s natural for you may not be natural for me and vice verses so do what you’re comfortable with and what your husband will most appreciate!

      I hope this helps.

  2. Sadly, I have seen many a woman hang onto the hope that the husband will eventually change (stop drinking, beating, swearing, and go to church!) if she could just learn to really “submit.” I know women who believe their husband’s abuse is deserved – a “reward” for the failure to really submit. If abusive men (yes jealousy and control are forms of abuse) were as interested in Paul’s injunction to men: “love your wife as Christ loved the Church,” we’d be pleasantly engaged in a completely different discussion.

    • Hi Brooke, I think you’re absolutely right. No woman DESERVES abuse for ANY reason. No woman should just give into her abusive husband to avoid being hit again and in trying to submit to her husband. You’re right. It’s a two-way street. Wives are called to respect their husbands, but then a long, lengthy exhortation is given to the men in Ephesians 5 – Men are called to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. A husband needs to be willing to lay down his life for his wife both physically and sacrificing selfishness for selflessness toward his wife. He is called to help her on the path to holiness and purity, to lead her with gentle strength, to care for her needs, to strive to meet her desires, to uplift her, to present her as his radiant and beautiful bride, to be united with her sexually, and to love her even more than he loves/cares for himself.

      If a husband is physically/verbally/emotionally/sexually abusing his wife, if he is jealously raging out of control, if he is trying to control his wife’s universe, this woman needs to get help outside her marriage. While on occasion these relationships can be repaired, abuse overcome through counseling, prayer, and the like, and divorce avoided, that’s not always the case, especially when it comes to the safety of the woman and her children. I would never, ever counsel a woman to stay with an abusive spouse simply because the Bible calls us wives to submit to our husbands.

      However, without trying to detract from that message at all, I didn’t write this post for women in those kinds of situations. I wrote this post as a general post on ways for a wife to love, respect, and encourage your husband.

  3. As always, Hannah, you provide such wise and practical advice on how to love our husband’s better. I love the one where your husband said he wasn’t “whipped” but “loved.” It tells me that you are doing a great job of loving him! I’m going to take up your challenge and focus on several of these ideas in the days and weeks to come. It’s a great list and I’m so glad you shared it with Wedded Wed, my friend.

    • Thanks Beth for your kind comments. Enjoy the challenge!

  4. C

    Number 17. I get lost in my own world and wrongly perceive that every other woman has a strong, spiritually leading husband. Knowing that’s not true helps remind me of the reality. My husband has recently told me that of all the expectations I put on myself (thinking it’s what he wants), he most desires that I seek to be a wife like in Prov 31. I have been rejoicing at his way of leading me. Although it looks different than I had expected, I am working to be thankful for his guidance to be godly.

    • Praise the Lord that you are learning to be grateful and you’re willing to accept your husband’s godly guidance! Many blessings in your marriage, and give you both unconditional love & respect for one another.

      I think in all marriages at some point, the wife wishes her husband were a stronger leader. Something my grandma (who has been married over 60 years) reminds me is that behind every good man is a strong woman. Now this doesn’t mean you should get a bloated head of importance, but it does mean that your husband NEEDS you to be strong in order for him to BE strong. A woman cannot expect her husband to be a strong leader if she’s undermining his authority, disrespecting him, manipulating him, complaining about him or to him, or holding him to impossible standards. Our husbands need us to respect them unquestioningly and to love them unconditionally. This is only possible through God’s amazing strength, and what a wonderful gift He gives us.
      Every action the Proverbs 31 woman takes is out of respect and love for her husband. My husband doesn’t always know how to be a good spiritual leader, and I don’t always know how to be a good submissive follower, but I believe both of these are rooted in unconditional love and respect for one another. Sometimes my husband advises me in a way I wasn’t expecting, and while it may not be what I want to hear, it’s often exactly what I need to hear.

Trackbacks

  1. Welcoming a New Year: Looking Back, Pt. 1 | Becoming His Eve
  2. Appreciating Your Man, Day 13 | Becoming His Eve

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