Be His Encourager

Your husband is counting on you for encouragement--here's how to do it well. #marriage #valentine

I’m glad you’ve joined me for day 6 of this 10-day series, “How to Be the Wife He Really Wants.”

Do you know God created you to be your husband’s top encourager?

No one else knows my husband as well as I do.  No one else has the same access to his heart.  And, no one else has seen him at his lowest and his worst.

In the rockiest times of our marriage, I was overly focused on his negative aspects.  We were both at fault for our marriage problems, and one of my main contributions was a lack of encouragement.  I was so focused on what was going wrong, I forgot that one of my husband’s primary needs is to hear words of respect.  He is encouraged when he feels respected.  He is built up and strengthened by phrases like “You can do this” and “I believe in you,” and particularly phrases like “I respect your decisions” and “I respect your role as the leader of our family.”

Look at this scripture:

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

I used to spend more time tearing him down than building him up.  To overcome my problem, I had to study how men and women communicate differently.  Books like Love and Respect and For Women Only helped me immensely.  I learned that I was unintentionally offending him with phrases I thought were neutral or “helpful,” but he heard them as critical and shaming.

Over time, he began to trust me again as I stopped criticizing and started listening and affirming more.  Now I choose my words more carefully so he will hear them as encouragement and support.

Listen to this advice from Lee Strobel in The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage.

[My wife and I] praise the best qualities in each other.  We try to accept each other unconditionally.  We paint a vision of what God can do with each other if we stay true to Him.  Yes, there are times when we need to deal with our faults, but now there’s such a deep reservoir of goodwill that we’re able to hear critical words without as much defensiveness as we had in the past.

This week, I’m working to encourage my husband in these three specific ways:

  • Listen carefully to his work stories and pick up threads where I can encourage him.
  • Wait for the right time to say, “I appreciate how you lead us as a family.”
  • Send him an encouraging text (I’m not one to text, so this will be special).

What practical step can you take today to be an encourager to YOUR husband?  I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!

Join me tomorrow for Day 7, Be His Comfort.

Photo generously provided by Lillian at Embracing the Lovely.  Visit her site for more beauty and inspiration!

Looking for Newness of Life in your current life season?

My book Newness of Life will help you apply Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 so you can understand God’s plan in your current season.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

No matter what season you are in, God is teaching you valuable lessons to grow your faith and trust in Him.  We will discover what God is saying through the different times and activities we traverse.


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10 thoughts on “Be His Encourager

  1. ‘Encourage one another daily …’

    I’m guessing that the writer of the Hebrews wasn’t thinking of marriage when he penned that verse, but it sure does apply, doesn’t it …

  2. Such a great post, Sarah! ‘I forgot that one of my husband’s primary needs is to hear words of respect. He is encouraged when he feels respected.’ Praying I’ll remember that more and more. Thanks for the timely reminder.

  3. I’m so glad I stopped by here today!

    Your insights and wisdom were very encouraging. Often times I will say something not meant to be critical at all, but my husband will receive it that way.

    You reminded me about the book Love and Respect. My daughter and son-in-law did a Bible study on the book and it helped their marriage immensely. I will need to pick up a copy.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Karen, I’m thankful for your comments. Yes, Love and Respect helped me understand my husband better, and it improved our marriage dramatically. I highly recommend it.

  4. This is so true. My husband and I have gone through some rough patches and I can’t always say I’ve been his greatest encourager. But when I am using my words to build and lift Him up, He’s a completely different man, so full of love and life. Thanks for sharing!

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