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 means 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!
You want a quick and easy way to show respect to your husband and improve your marriage? Just notice a few small things your husband seems to appreciate and then…..do them! What a concept! I mean, why wouldn’t we want to please our husbands? Why wouldn’t we want to be kind and thoughtful? Colossians 3:12 tells us “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” So, if we could do just a couple things differently, in a way that our husbands prefer, why wouldn’t we extend that kindness to them?
Let me give you some examples. My husband insists that if we load the dishwasher in a certain way, it cleans the silverware better. (I don’t think it makes any difference!). But, I do it the way he likes…because it pleases him. I know my husband loves it when I leave a little note of encouragement for him on the kitchen counter at least once a week. So I intentionally do that every week. I know my husband really appreciates a clean kitchen counter, so I try to keep the counters tidy. Why wouldn’t I want to please him in such a small way? I’m not saying a wife should have no opinion and should simply be a doormat for her husband. But I think God would be pleased if I stopped only thinking of myself and started thinking a little more about blessing my husband!
How about you? Could you intentionally take note of a few things your husband really appreciates, and then actually do some of those things? It would make him feel respected. It would draw his heart to you. It would likely improve your marriage. Sometimes, it’s the little things…
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.”
Our husbands need our 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 us, and one of the biggest ways we can help our husbands is by encouraging them with our words.
With that in mind, here are some words that your man longs to hear from you:
I need you
Thank you for taking such good care of me
I’m so proud to be your wife
You have a good heart
I believe in you
You’re so strong
I know you can do it
You’re a good provider
I trust you
You’re a good man
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE
Did you know you can enhance the relationship with your husband by allowing a gap for him to fill? It’s true. So often, women zoom in to fill all voids in leadership, responsibility, or tasks. There’s something that needs to be handled, and you might even ask your husband to do it, but if he doesn’t jump off his chair and do it in the next 2 seconds, you do it yourself! In a nutshell, you subtly communicate that you don’t really need him. But your man wants to be needed by you. He wants to be your hero. He wants to be your knight in shining armor.
Your man is wired to crave your admiration and respect. That’s likely why God tells wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“. One of the ways your husband will feel respected is when you demonstrate that you value and need his abilities, strength, and character.
Start thinking of ways you can let your man know that you need him. Do you have a bad headache? Ask him to pray for you. Do you have a heavy box that needs to be moved? Ask him if he can lift it for you. Let him know he is needed. He will feel better about himself as he senses that you truly value him and need his strength, abilities, and character.
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE
My husband regularly talks with other men as the leader of a large men’s ministry called Band of Brothers For Christ. Recently, I asked my husband what 2 things he believes most husbands wish their wives understood about men. Here’s what he said:
1) That he needs to be valued by you. In other words, he wants to hear you appreciate the things he does for you and the family. He needs to be needed.
2) That you would appreciate his efforts….efforts to grow spiritually and in character, and that you would be patient and encouraging during that process. My husband said it takes time for a man to break free from all the temptations of the world and the lusts of his flesh, and that it’s super helpful if his wife acknowledges any forward progress he’s making, no matter how small.
After my husband explained this to me, it occurred to me that wives will automatically start filling these needs in our men when WE seek to follow God’s instructions on “how to love” in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
I teach women about the Bible instruction for wives to display a respectful attitude toward their husbands (Ephesians 5:33), but apparently I haven’t perfected this myself! The other day, I was in the process of texting back and forth with two different women about a need within the Squadron of Sisters wives’ ministry…when my husband came into the room and stood in front of me. I didn’t look up right away because I just wanted to finish my text and be done with that task. My husband turned around and left the room, obviously a bit irritated. My thought was…”huh? What just happened?”
Later, I asked my husband why he was upset. In a nutshell, it turns out that he felt as if he didn’t matter to me. He felt that other things came before him. He had wanted to talk with me about something important and I didn’t even look up when he stood in front of me. He felt disrespected. Oops.
I’ve been discussing this with God since that time, and I believe he’s showing me that respecting my husband means treating him with great honor. In fact the original Greek translation of that word “respect” in Ephesians 5:33 means “to have reverence for” or “to be in awe of”. Wow! Those words seem applicable to how a servant would treat a king! Hmmm. Maybe God wants me to treat my husband as if he is as important as a king. I’m going to try an experiment this week. I’m going to attempt to honor my husband, and pay attention to my husband, as if he were the president or a king (without making it too goofy or weird!!). Are you willing to try this “respect experiment” too? I can’t wait to see how my husband will be impacted and how our marriage may be changed for the better!
Did you know almost all 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 or father. 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, alcohol, or 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.