Encouraging our husbands
Whilst I was writing the Ministry of Encouragement post the other day, I read something interesting by Nancy Leigh DeMoss:
Your husband needs you to be his number one cheerleader and if you are not going to be an encourager in his life, there are plenty of other women who will. It’s no wonder, though no justification, that so many marriages are breaking up today because a man goes into his work place, and he can find women all over the work place who will fall all over themselves to encourage him. They will listen. They will care. They will show concern. They will show appreciation and admiration, and then he comes home, and he’s got a discouraging, whining, dripping faucet wife.
Your husband, if you are married, should probably be the number one person on your list of people to look for ways to encourage. Your encouragement can make such a difference in your husband’s life and in the way that he encourages you in turn. (Source)
If you don't encourage your husband, they will find other women who will encourage them just as Nancy talks about here. It means that we need to take our role of encourager and cheerleader seriously and not something that isn't important or we can do occasionally otherwise we could quickly find our marriage in a mess and our husbands looking elsewhere.
What can we do to encourage our husbands? Lots of things . . . But first . . . before we can encourage our husbands we need to pray to the Lord for wisdom and only through Him can we encourage our husbands. We need to remember to lean on Him and He will direct our path. We cannot do this on our own.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Pray — this is a fundamental one that all wives need to do and through prayer we can encourage, strengthen and support our husbands, ask God to help our husbands especially when life is tough. Even if your husband is an unbeliever, praying for him is still essential and perhaps even more important. Ask God to walk with your husband, to keep watch over him, to guard him against sin and temptation and that he be the leader of your home.
Say thankyou — for the things he does for you, this will really boast his confidences and make him feel much more positive in his day. He will feel wanted and loved. This sort of encouraging will build hime up and make him stronger.
Help — look at ways you can help your husband in his day that will lighten his load. If your husband is struggling, perhaps at work, find things that you can do that will save him time when he gets home. If he is looking for a new job, help in the search—read his application, get his clothes ready for the interview. There are numerous ways we can help our husband, both big and small. I heard a wonderful story the other day of a wife helping her husband learn new skills (so he can find a better job) by doing an on-line course with him even though it isn't an area of interest. That is a perfect example of encouraging one's husband and going beyond what we normally do to go that extra step with our husband.
Text or email him during the day — I quite often send "kisses" via tex messaging during the day or a love heart! Tell him you love him or perhaps send something funny to make him smile.
Praise him in public — tell others what great work he is doing, what a great father he is, an excellent provider. Show others you are proud of him and not one of these wives that grumble all the time about the things your husband doesn't do and forget to mention all the things he does do. Don't forget to tell your children what a great dad they have and why, they need to witness their mother encouraging their father, this is very important in building strong families.
Be his greatest cheerleader — because if you don't, he will find someone who will. Cheer him on, tell him he is doing a great job, provide support, a hug when he down, understand his moods so you can react in the right way. Don't be harsh in your words and manner instead, be loving and kind even when he might not be kind in return. Your husband is human and will get angry and cross, try not to react emotionally and just think that perhaps he is tired and needs a rest.
Be fun — no husband wants a serious and dower wife. Husbands want to come home in the evening after a day at work and have a laugh and a chat with someone who is interested in them and what they have been doing. They won't want to come home if home is dark and downcast, glum and miserable — they want light and smiles . . happiness, it will make all the differences in your marriage. Here are some ideas for fun that will make your husband feel some much better — add romantic sticky notes in his lunch box, take him out for a surprise picnic, buy him something silly and fun, watch a funny movie together etc... Marriage is not all serious don't forget to laugh lots.
Don't underestimate the power you have in building up your husband, making him strong, giving him courage just by your gentle and kind words, your care, your love, your laughter and smiles and most importantly through your prayers. Your husband may not know the full extent that you go to in your roll as cheerleader — but he will feel the impact of what you do. And through your encouragement of him, he will encourage and build up you.
**** PS We all stumble and fall and no woman is perfect — you will have bad days when encouragement doesn't come easily and your husband has really annoyed you. It happens to all of us, not just you. Sit down and pray and then try again. We all stumble, its the getting back that is important and God is always ready to help you get on your feet again.