Encouragement: An encouraging word. A note expressing appreciation. A quick “You Got This” text. It may seem like such a small act but it can be just what a person needs to lift their spirits or give them that much needed inspiration.
Last week I felt like I was being pulled in 100 different directions—work, volunteering at church, Girl Scout leader responsibilities, and of course my regular duties of being a mom and wife—and out of the blue a mom in my daughter’s girl scout troop sent me a text telling me how much she appreciated me and that the extra little things I do for our troop don’t go unnoticed.
You would have thought I just won the lottery with how happy I felt after reading her text. Ok maybe not I just won the lottery level happiness but I was feeling pretty good. Her kind words made all the difference to me, it immediately changed my mood and made me feel so much better about myself and my work. Her words made me think, “I can do it” and that my hard work is not in vain.
While my mood had been lifted and I now felt like could I could conquer the world my husband walked through the door looking discouraged and frustrated. Carlton began talking about how he felt like he wasn’t being noticed at work, how other people were getting opportunities but not him, and how he really could use a change of scenery. As I listened to my husband talk, I began reflecting on how that small text brought me so much joy and encouraged me to keep on going. It made me think: When was the last time I used my words to lift up Carlton, let him know that all his hard work wasn’t going unnoticed? If a little text from a person outside my family could inspire me to continue my work and keep going; imagine what encouragement from me as a wife could do for Carlton.
How often do our husbands receive an encouraging word when they are facing a challenging time at work, struggling with insecurities, or stressed because of the great task they’ve been given to lead their family? As wives one of our most important roles is that of the encourager – uplifting our husbands and being their biggest cheerleader. Maybe our husbands might get a pat on the back or a job well done from their supervisor but what they really want is to hear from us, their wives, how proud we are of them and praise them for all their efforts. Our encouraging words can often influence, build up, and bring out untapped potential in our spouses. I personally know that I want my husband to be the best version of himself and I don’t want my lack of encouragement to hold him back—I want my words to act as a catalyst for him.
I’m learning that being an encourager and inspiring courage within our husbands goes deeper than just sending a random text message, we need to be intentional and heartfelt. It is so critical that we study our husbands and learn the areas that are important to them and where they need courage. Take a quick moment to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I giving strength to my husband?
- Do I look for ways to compliment him?
- Am I a chronic complainer?
- Does my husband feel like he can come to me when he is faced with a challenging situation?
- When was the last time I offered an encouraging word?
- How do I show my husband I support him?
When I answered these questions I had to say OUCH!! If you’re like me these questions showed areas where I haven’t been the best at encouraging my husband and lifting him up.
I challenge you this week to use at least one of these approaches to encourage your husband:
Pray For Him
The most powerful form of encouragement is praying for your husband. This helps him draw his strength from God, and lifts him up in those moments where he feels weak. Don’t be afraid to ask him, how can I pray for you today? This is showing that I care about your well-being and signals that you are thinking specifically about him and want him to grow spiritually.
Highlight His Good Qualities
This is more than just a generic compliment of “You look nice today.” We are taking the time to specifically point out the traits that we love about him. It might be drawing attention to how patient he is with the kids, or how he has wisdom in the area of finances. You are telling him all the ways he is attractive to you and affirming him.
Everybody loves to be acknowledged and our husbands are no different. Praise him for all that he is doing right both in public and private. Praising our husbands expresses to them that we are proud of them and we believe in their abilities.
Listening is one of the quietest forms of encouragement. We are truly hearing what our husbands are saying without trying to respond. When we listen to what our husbands are saying it signals that we care and that we are with them. This is the time that we learn areas where our husbands may be insecure or need the most encouragement to reach their full potential. Listening will guide us on how our husbands need to be encouraged and inspired.
You’ll be amazed to see how just a little encouragement can make the biggest difference in your husband’s life. Our husbands thrive on our praise, appreciation, and support. Let’s give our husbands a daily dose of encouragement – let them know that we love the great guy we’ve married.