Marriage is a hot topic these days. My post, How I Love On My Husband After 20 years is one of my highest hitting posts. Not only do people on the internet read it, comment, and ask questions, but friends and family members talk to me about it too. This actually THRILLS my heart! I’m so thankful that wives are looking for ways to love on their husbands. This makes me so glad. In a world that is filled with bad news, depressing statistics, and divorce and infidelity running rampant, I’m so glad there are many looking to be loving wives to their husbands.
Many have asked for me to expound on this topic and so after much thought and many good heart to hearts with my precious husband, I’ll be writing several posts in the next few months on the topic of marriage. The topics will range from things to avoid in marriage all the way to how we keep things hot and spicy after all these years. I’m excited to share with you what has worked in our marriage, recognizing that we are not marriage experts, but two people very much in love and committed to our marriage, 24 years in.
So, today I’ll be sharing 7 Ways I Encourage My Husband. This is something near and dear to my heart. My husband is a strong man. Yes, he occasionally cries, and has his moments of weakness, but most of the time, he has a strong facade on and strives to appear as having it all together. But, this doesn’t change the fact that he needs encouragement, some days more than others. So here are 7 things that I do to encourage him every day…not just the days I think he needs it.
1. I actively work to be his helper.
Being a helper looks different everyday. On some days, I am super busy doing chores at home like laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning and preparing, cleaning, and the regular business of running a home. On these days, that is how I help him…I do my job so he can do his. Other days, I will specifically ask him what I can do to help him. Often, he will tell me I can make a phone call for him, run to the hardware or auto parts store, or prepare something for him that he wants to work on when he gets home.
Some days, my helping is to remind him to study, to fulfill the obligation that he offered a friend, to keep in touch with his family, and to just basically take care of himself. Men sometimes need gentle, kind, non-nagging reminders.
2. I let him lead, even if I think I can do it better.
I am a leader. I like to organize, oversee, and carry out activities. My man is not a natural leader, he has to work at it. He will do just about anything for anyone, and will happily work behind the scenes to make things happen, but leading is not his strong point.
The Bible is clear on the husband’s role as leader of the home and so it is important for my man to be the leader of our home. To help him, I encourage him to lead, wait for him to take the lead, or even verbally remind him to lead in a given situation. Now ladies, I know what it’s like to sit back and watch someone lead an event that you think you could be doing better at. It may be pride, it may be being judgmental, or it could genuinely be that fact that you think you would do better at it. Let me challenge you…don’t jump in and lead. There is a reason for the role of husband as leader and wife as helper. Let him do his job and you do yours!!!
3. I support him, even when he’s being a big baby.
Yep, I said it! Sometimes my man can be a big baby. To his credit, it doesn’t happen often. Like the time he fell on the ice in the driveway, he went to work that day, did his manual labor job for twelve hours, and then went to urgent care, so he didn’t lose the hours. He found out after an xray that he had one cracked and two broken ribs.
Anyway, when he is acting a little dramatic, I give him attention and listen to what he has to say, even if I think he’s overreacting. I know when I’m overreacting, I really just want someone to notice me and give me attention. “Do unto others as you want them to do to you”.
4. I am grateful for who he is and let him know it.
I think it is SO important to let others know of your gratitude for them and my husband is no different. I tell him often how thankful I am for him and how much I appreciate all he does for me, our kiddos, and his family and friends.
Thanking him for going to work everyday to provide for our family, thanking him for all the jobs he does around our house to keep the roof from falling in, thanking him for taking time to be in the Word and prayer each day, thanking him for loving on our kiddos and tucking them in each night, thanking him for being a good friend and son, and thanking him for his service to our local body of believers are all things I don’t want to overlook as I’m expressing gratitude. Wives, be thankful and express it to your husband. They aren’t going to receive much thanks out in the world, so let them hear it from you!
5. I touch him.
Touch is so very important for most men and I know my husband craves my touch. When he is sitting next to me in church or at the dinner table, a simple hand on his back will cause him to relax enough that his back will usually crack. Running my hand up his leg or kissing his neck or ear lobe will send a good chill down his spine. You could also go crazy and rub your man’s back or feet, but I haven’t gotten that far yet, so let me know how it works for you!! 😉
6. I ask for his opinion and input on decisions that need to be made for me or the kiddos.
My husband is so important to me and so is his input on the decisions I need to make. He is an optimist, a deep thinker, and often has a completely different perspective than I do on most things. This helps me make a more rounded, sometimes better decision than to just go with my single-minded perspective. By including him in the decision making, it keeps him in the loop of what goes on in my day to day and how I care for our kiddos. Even if you don’t really need a second opinion, run it by him anyway, I know My Better Half likes to be included.
7. I am his safe place.
Ladies, your man needs you to be his listener and secret keeper but also his nonjudgmental, truth and grace, voice of reason. My man reminds me often that I am his best friend. I always want it to be that way! I want him to feel he can come to me and share his deepest thoughts, dreams, and struggles and then have me respond in kindness, understanding, encouragement, and love. I think it is so important to keep the things my husband has shared private. Telling my sister, mom, or other friends is completely inappropriate and is a disaster when trying to maintain trust in the marriage relationship.
As I said at the start of this post, I am certainly not an expert on marriage. I fail my husband each and every day, but almost every day I try to love him better, be a better encourager, and strive to be the wife I was called to be. This post and the upcoming posts on marriage are things I have learned over the 24 years I’ve had the title “wife”. They are not complete, as each day I learn more about myself and more about the man I am married to. I do hope these posts will benefit your marriage as you apply some of things I have learned to your relationship.
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