Our words are SO powerful! If you frequently tell your husband how he’s falling short, he will likely close down emotionally and search for an escape door. He may turn to alcohol, porn, excessive recreational pursuits, or even other women.
However, if you choose to tell him about the good things you see in him, he will begin to grow in confidence. I believe this is why God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“. Your respect and admiration mean everything to your man. If you intentionally take note of his talents as well as the effort he puts forth, and then tell him you are proud of him, his feelings of inadequacy will fall away. He will start believing he can be successful in what he tries. He will gain courage to try tackling even bigger things.
If you notice his positive character qualities (and every man has at least one!), and tell him how much you respect him for those qualities, he will be built up on the inside. He will likely begin believing that he can become a man who makes a difference in his family and for God. A wife’s words of respect and encouragement can propel her husband forward to be an even greater man than he would ever have been without her!
Many powerful and influential male leaders have attributed much of the reason for their success to their wives. Billy Graham is one of those leaders. When his wife died in 2007, he told reporters “My work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.”
Your husband needs your encouragement and esteem in order to have the boldness and confidence to accomplish great things. In Genesis 2:18, God makes it clear that women were created because men need help. God said “It is not good for man to be alone. I will create a helper suitable for him.” That helper is you, and one of the biggest ways you can help your husband is by encouraging him with your words.
With that in mind, here are 10 words/phrases that your man longs to hear from you:
Life often seems like a winding highway full of potholes. We get bounced around by people who disappoint us. We disappoint ourselves. Satan loves to plant that seed of doubt about whether we can make it through current challenges in our marriage, with our kids, at our job, etc. We wonder if we can handle what’s around the bend.
That’s why we need encouragers in our lives! 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “encourage one another and build each other up.” My question for you is: Do you have a friend who encourages you? Or do you spend a lot of time with women who are negative, critical, and “downers”?
If you don’t have an encouraging woman in your life, ask God to reveal a woman who seems to have the gift of encouragement. Then ask her if you could regularly get together, perhaps once a week or every other week, just to chat and mutually encourage each other. That’s right. You can be her encourager too. We all need it! Let’s link arms together ladies!
Who does your husband encounter when he walks through the door at the end of the day? Is he happy to be greeted by a warm, gentle, loving wife…or does he encounter a “drip”? Who wants to be considered a “drip”? That’s not very flattering! However, the Bible assigns that label to a wife who is always complaining and criticizing and arguing. Proverbs 27:15 says “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm.” Uh-oh. Could that label belong to you?
I’m not saying that you should sweep any sinful behavior by your husband under the rug. So don’t get the wrong impression that you must never confront immoral or destructive behavior in your marriage. If your husband is engaged in a pattern of actual sin against you, follow the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 and seek godly counsel. What I am saying is that we need to be careful that we don’t become a constant critic of our husband! No man wants to come home to that.
Did you know that anonymous surveys of men reveal that most guys are actually very insecure and fear failure most every day? What they need from their wives is encouragement, not complaints and criticism. Make a commitment to find something good about your husband every day this week and then tell him how much you appreciate those good qualities. Use a gentle and loving voice when you talk with him. He will actually enjoy being around you! Let’s be an “anti-drip”!!
I thought the title of this devotional would get your attention!! 🙂 However, I’m not talking about guys lusting after scantily-clad Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. Instead, I’m talking about how men are naturally drawn to women who are cheerleaders in the sense of being their supporters and encouragers. So let me ask you this question. Does your husband sense that you are his cheerleader?
Most men struggle with feeling inadequate. Most men wrestle with feeling like a failure. Many men may never put effort into being a better father, husband, employee, or disciple of Jesus because they fear failure. In other words, they’d rather not try at all if it means they could risk the embarrassment of people noticing them failing in their endeavor. Perhaps this is why God instructed Joshua over and over again to “be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9). Joshua’s natural bent was to fear failure instead of stepping out with courage.
This is where a wife can make a huge difference! By speaking words of encouragement and affirmation and respect, your husband may find the courage to move forward. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 instructs us to “encourage one another and build each other up“. By becoming your husband’s cheerleader, your man may risk failure to step out and seek to be become a stronger, and more godly leader of your family. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!
Did you know a huge majority of men struggle with feeling inadequate on almost every level? It’s true. Since God designed men to be leaders in revealing the nature of God, it’s to be expected that Satan would try to destroy that mission by making men feel like they’re not up to that challenge! Satan is constantly whispering to your man that he is a failure, that he’s not good enough, that he’s not smart enough, and that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a godly leader, husband, father or provider. These are all lies! Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that Satan is “the father of lies“.
Unfortunately, when a husband starts believing these lies, he often decides to either give up trying to be a good husband or he may numb out by using pornography or alcohol, or by becoming a workaholic.
However, a man’s wife has the ability to counteract the voice of Satan! Ladies, why don’t you start telling your husband that you believe in him? Tell him that he CAN do it. Let him know that you see good qualities in him. Remind him about his unique talents and spiritual gifts. Show him the respect that God commands wives to display in Ephesians 5:33. As you affirm him and esteem him, you may likely find that your man becomes more confident and becomes an even better man than he is now.
Ladies, your words are so very powerful and influential in your husband’s life! Whether you realize it or not, every time you criticize your husband or correct your husband or point out flaws in your husband’s ideas, you are crushing his spirit. Every time you crush his spirit, he ends up feeling like more and more of a failure until he eventually gives up trying. I have lost track of how many husbands have told me and my husband in a counseling session “I can’t do anything right”. When a husband says this, he has pretty much conceded defeat. He no longer has the motivation to strive to be a better husband and father. He no longer even believes that’s possible,
On the other hand, ladies, a husband who is frequently affirmed and encouraged by his wife gains the courage and the motivation to do the hard work to become an even better husband and father. He can tell his wife believes in him, so he begins believing in himself as well. A wife’s kind, encouraging, affirming words can actually esteem her husband to greatness!
Ladies, in Genesis 2:18, God says, “It is not good for man to be alone: I will create a helper suitable for him.” One of the best ways you can help your man is by being his chief encourager! Resist the urge to point out his faults and failures. Choose to encourage him instead. Catch the vision of esteeming your husband to greatness! You’ll both be happier!
If you and your husband are followers of Jesus, then you are both being sculpted. The Bible says in Isaiah 64:8 “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” God is molding and shaping us each and every day.
God uses many tools to shape us. He sometimes allows us to make foolish decisions and then experience the natural consequences of those decisions. Hopefully, we learn something valuable from those painful lessons! But when it comes to your husband, God has another powerful tool in his tool belt…you! As a wife, you have the unique ability to encourage your man. You can choose to be the voice that points out his good qualities. When you do that, most husbands seem to grow 2 inches taller. Your words of encouragement often become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy for your man. As you affirm his good character qualities, talents, and spiritual gifts, he feels emboldened to step into those things with more confidence and vigor.
God may even want to use you as a tool to lovingly but firmly confront your husband if he is entrenched in a pattern of sin. You know your husband better than anyone else, so you’re the one who will likely notice if he is caught in a sinful pattern. Pray and ask God if he wants you to have a loving conversation with your husband about that sin pattern. Does God want you to request your husband see a counselor, attend a 12-step group, meet with the pastor, join a men’s ministry? Does the Lord want you to draw a firm boundary with your husband, thereby putting pressure on him to do whatever it takes to get free from this sin? (Read Matthew 18:15-17 for more guidance on this)
Will you be a tool in God’s tool belt? Pray and ask the Lord to show you if and how he wants you to be a tool!
I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. That’s the self-fulfilling prophecy repeated over and over again by the little train in the well-known children’s story. The train faced an up-hill battle, but it encouraged itself by stating positive thoughts out loud. In the end, the little engine’s encouraging words to itself spurred it on to successfully climb the hill.
Husbands are like that little train. They face an uphill battle. The world tells our men they are failures, that they don’t measure up, that they’re not good enough. Satan constantly whispers words of discouragement to our guys. As a result, our men often stop attempting to grow spiritually. They often stop taking courageous steps forward in leading their families. Instead of boldly fighting for justice and integrity, many choose to check out through alcohol, drugs, video games, gambling or pornography. But WE can be that voice speaking encouragement to our men! We can say, “I think you can”. “I know you can”. “I believe in you”. “I’m praying for you.” “God’s going to give you the strength”. Hebrews 3:13 is a good reminder to us. It says “Encourage one another daily as long as it is called ‘Today’ so that no one is hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
You can help move your husband from defeat and retreat to a place of exciting victory simply by your words of encouragement. Will you help your husband be the little engine that could? I think you can. I think you can. I think you can.
Recently, I asked my husband what one thing most husbands really wish their wife would understand. Here is what he said. Most men long for their wife to notice something good about them and to tell them what they see! It could be a positive character quality he displays. It could be the fact that he works hard to provide for the family. It could be a talent he has. It could be the way you notice him submitting himself to God.
According to my husband, men desperately need this validation because they feel like a failure much of the time. In fact, my husband described men as being a bit like dry bones in a desert, in desperate need of water. Your words can provide water for those dry bones and breathe life back into your man! Proverbs 16:24 puts it this way, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Will you commit to finding something to affirm about your husband every day for the next 7 days? Will you commit to actually telling him about the good you see? He will soak up those words like a sponge, and it will bring life back into the dry bones of his spirit.