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 remember the time a little over a year ago when I realized how much impact a wife’s words have on her husband. I was having a super frustrating day and I was kind of sharp with my husband. He seemed to withdraw emotionally and within moments, he physically removed himself from the room. Hmmm.
Then fast forward to a different day, and I decided to purposely look for something good about my husband and to actually tell him about that “good” that I see in him. The minute I did that, he got a little spring in his step. His entire countenance changed. Interestingly, he also seemed to be even more thoughtful and gentle toward me. It was as if my encouragement and respect made him feel so much better about himself that he now felt secure enough to be kind and loving and patient with others. Wow!
This reminded me of the Lord’s instructions for us to encourage each other. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” We need encouragement, but so do our men! When was the last time you intentionally looked for good qualities in your husband and told him about those things? When was the last time you took note of him taking time to play with the kids, or handling a household chore without being told, or being kind to others?
Let’s commit to building up our guys. They need our steady encouragement, and we’ll also benefit as they begin to feel valued and respected.
Whether we realize it or not, most husbands are actually very insecure. Many of our men have suffered deep emotional wounds in childhood. Some were teased incessantly at school. Many were physically abused by their dad or grandpa. Others were sexually abused by the neighbor man. Some were basically abandoned by one or both of their parents. The emotional wounds, though often never revealed openly, still exist.
Unintentionally, we sometimes take a knife to that open wound and rip it open a little further. When a man’s wife constantly points out his faults, the wound becomes larger. When a wife complains that he doesn’t make enough money, isn’t romantic enough, doesn’t play with the kids enough, doesn’t talk to her enough….his insecurity grows deeper. He feels like a failure once again. He feels unwanted, unappreciated. He feels like he’s just one big disappointment.
Ladies, let’s truly become our husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) by being the one person in his life that always sees the best in him…who truly believes in him. Let’s consciously work to affirm anything and everything he does right. Think of yourself as your husband’s biggest cheerleader. He needs to know you’re on his team. This doesn’t mean you should never confront him if he’s way out of line, but even then, you can confront him lovingly and respectfully. Let’s become the soothing salve for the emotional wounds of our men!
God has given me a vision for Christian wives. I see him raising up an army of strong but gentle wives who do specific things in such a focused and powerful way that their husbands are propelled to become mighty men of God! Don’t we all want that?!
The qualities of these strong Christian wives are all Biblical, and if we press into them, I’m confident we will have a tremendous, positive impact on our men! As we encourage and pray for our men, our men will be much more likely to step up and become mighty men of God. Hallelujah!
The most important thing we can do is to respect, honor and love the Lord. But beyond that, catch this vision of the wife He is calling you to become. He is calling wives to be…
encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11…encourage one another and build each other up)
respectful (Ephesians 5:33….the wife must respect her husband)
gentle (1 Peter 3:4 …the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight )
compassionate (Colossians 3:12 …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience)
courageous (Joshua 1:9… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.)
loving but firm confronters of sin (Luke 17:3 If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him)
prayer warriors (Colossians 4:2… Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful)
I often talk and write about how wives were created to be their husband’s helper, and while that’s true, I feel it’s necessary to make a clarification. Yes, a wife should help her husband by showing him respect, allowing him to lead the family, and assisting him as he seeks to follow God’s promptings in his life. However, that doesn’t mean a wife should give up her own individual identity in the process.
Submitting to your husband’s leadership does not mean that you become a doormat which has no value. Helping your husband does not mean you sacrifice doing the things that bring you great joy. Respecting your husband doesn’t mean he’s always right and you’re always wrong. If you go too far in that direction, you will become an empty shell. It’s as if your heart doesn’t matter. God doesn’t intend that for you. In fact, He says in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”
Spend some time in prayer with God and ask Him to reveal if there are any areas of your life where you have lost your true identity. Have you stopped doing some things that bring you fully alive? Is it time to sit down with your husband and talk about how you can both live in a way that brings joy and fulfillment? Don’t allow yourself to disappear in the relationship.
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?!