Ladies, your words are so very powerful and influential in your husband’s life! Whether we realize it or not, every time we criticize our husband or correct our husband or point out flaws in our husband’s ideas, we are crushing his spirit. Every time we crush his spirit, we are making him feel 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!
All men crave respect, and husbands especially crave the respect of their wives. In fact, the Bible even commands wives to respect their husbands! You can find this instruction in Ephesians 5:33. The question is: How can you offer respect to your husband in a meaningful way?
Here is one way to show your husband respect and honor. Ask his opinion about how he would like things to go in your home and in your marriage relationship, listen attentively, and actually incorporate his opinion within reason. When you do this, you are showing him that he matters! You are also carrying out another instruction to wives found in Ephesians 5:22 where God says “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.”
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. Have you asked your husband how he likes you to dress or fix your hair? Why not honor him by doing things the way he likes? Have you asked your husband what’s most important to him when he walks through the door at the end of his workday? Would he like you and the kids to greet him at the door with kisses, or would he prefer to have 10 minutes of peace and quiet to unwind? Have you asked your husband how many activities/sports he thinks are ideal for the children? Ask him, listen to his opinion, and begin incorporating his desires into your routine. This will communicate respect, and when he feels your respect, your whole marriage relationship will likely improve!
It’s actually a really awesome thing when you talk about your husband in public! Well, it’s really awesome IF what you’re sharing is complimentary! In fact, it’s one of the kindest things you can do for your husband. Men are wired to crave respect and affirmation. That’s why God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33 to “respect their husbands”. I have seen my husband begin glowing (in a masculine sort of way!) when I affirm him in front of his friends or our family members.
However, there is a flip side to this business of speaking publicly about your guy. My husband tells me one of the very worst things a wife can do is to disclose some of her husband’s failures, character deficiencies or mistakes in front of friends and family. He says when a wife shares her husband’s personal failings, he’s absolutely devastated and emasculated. Don’t emasculate your man! If he begins feeling that way, he will likely subconsciously gravitate toward another woman who will build him up instead of tearing him down.
One other note: Obviously, if your husband is engaged in a pattern of sin, it’s appropriate to disclose those kinds of personal failings to a counselor or pastor as you two are seeking help in your marriage. Just don’t go broadcasting his mistakes and failures during gatherings with friends, family, co-workers, or church members!
Here’s something to ponder. The Bible instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33 to respect their husbands. But what does that really mean? Well, when I looked up the original Greek word for respect, it means “to be in awe of” or “to revere”. Oh my! I love my husband, but I confess I don’t usually treat him as if I “revere” him!
I wonder how my marriage would be impacted if I really sought to revere my husband? Hmmm. Well, first we need to better understand the word “revere”. Webster’s dictionary says revere means to treat with deferential honor or to regard as worthy of great honor. Ok, I’m starting to get the picture.
Here’s how I’m going to try to press into this Bible command this week. I am going to strive to treat my husband as if everything he says is really worthy of my complete attention. Yes, I’m actually going to pay attention when he speaks and treat his thoughts and feelings and ideas as very important. That’s how a person should respond if they think someone is worthy of great honor. Are you doing this with your husband? Are you even pivoting from what you’re doing to greet him when he comes home at the end of the day?!
I wonder how your marriage and my marriage would be impacted if we started showing respect to our husbands, whether we FEEL like it or not. I have a sneaking suspicion that our men would stand a little taller, feel more confident, and be more courageous in seeking to honor God!
My husband and I have had some interesting conversations lately. One of things he mentioned several times is how devastating it is for a man to hear his wife criticize him or make fun of him in front of other people. Even if she is trying to be funny, and even if he seems to be laughing along with everyone else, most men are quite offended by this and feel disrespected by the one person who is supposed to be for them…their wife!
So, this is just a brief reminder for all of us to be ever so careful with our men’s fragile hearts. Even though I think my husband’s little quirks are funny, it’s probably not a brilliant idea for me to share those quirks with other people. Even though I thought one of his blunders was hilarious, he’s going to feel disrespected if I share that funny story with others. Let’s all be vigilant in protecting our men’s hearts. They so desire our respect, especially in public. Maybe we all need to quote Ephesians 5:33 every morning before we start our day. It very simply says, “The wife must respect her husband.”
We all know that women are greatly concerned about their body image….maybe even obsessed about it! But did you know that men are also hyper-sensitive about one aspect of their body image? Almost every man really wants to be perceived as strong and muscular. This means your husband yearns for you to notice and appreciate his muscles! He’s not going to tell you that, but he really wants to be perceived as strong!
Perhaps this is why the bride in the Bible’s Song of Songs continues to tell her groom over and over again how she values his strength and muscular body. Here are some examples of what she tells him: Song of Songs 2:8-9 “Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.” Song of Songs 5:14-15 “His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.”
When’s the last time you verbally admired your husband’s strength? When is the last time you noticed his biceps and made a little comment about how impressive they are? Your husband craves those comments! He feels respected when you notice his strength and masculinity. As you vocalize your appreciation for his physical strength, he will be drawn to you!
You’ve probably heard of the “Five Love Languages”. It’s something Christian author and psychologist Gary Chapman figured out about how people are wired in terms of receiving love. The love languages are: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts. Well, here’s something I’ve learned after talking with many wives whose husbands have completed the love language assessment. Almost all men have “physical touch” as one of their top 2 love languages.
Ladies, this means your husband craves not just sex, but little signs of physical affection throughout the day. When you do these small things, he feels loved by you. So, why wouldn’t you give him the physical affection that you know would bless him? By withholding what he needs to feel loved, we’re actually sinning! James 4:17 says, “If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
Here are several ideas on how you can communicate love through physical touch. Reach out to hold his hand as you walk through the store. Give him a 20 second neck and shoulder rub as you’re walking by. Pinch his tush as he walks through the kitchen. Lean over his shoulder while he’s on the computer and give him a kiss. Rest your hand on his leg while you’re sitting together on the couch watching TV. These small acts of physical touch are totally easy and yet they mean so much to most husbands. Try it!
If you’re a wife and a mom….life can get pretty busy! If you’re a wife and mom and you work outside the home, well then life can be pretty chaotic and crazy!!
Sometimes in that busyness, we can get so caught up in chores and children that we unintentionally ignore our husbands! So, here’s something I’m trying to remember to do. When my husband enters the house after work, I’m trying to remember to actually pivot toward him and make eye contact. I even try to throw in a smile as an extra bonus! Sometimes, I even take the 3 extra seconds to run over and give him a little kiss. J
I know this isn’t rocket science, but we often are so intent on our children or cooking or cleaning, that we don’t even glance our husband’s way. That leaves him feeling unimportant and disrespected. Remember, respect is a really big deal to men. That’s why God instructs us in Ephesians 5:33, “The wife must respect her husband.”
So, give it a try. Make eye contact with your husband when he comes home from work, and actually any time he enters a room you’re in. Smile. Make him feel happy to be in the same room you. You will draw his heart to you and strengthen the bond between you. J
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…
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.”