Husbands Need Encouraging
Proverbs 12:25 TLB
Make the Weekends Special
My husband, Jeff, works long hours during the week so I try to make his weekends worthy of “bragging rights” on Monday at work. I make sure he sleeps in while I wake up early with our toddler and make him a special breakfast. The morning and afternoon is his to enjoy.
Whatever he wants to do is what we do. And, I do it joyfully. What Jeff wants to do is not always the most fun, like digging trenches, spreading compost, or going to the comic book shop. But, I still do it without complaint and with a smile.
This Saturday we met our family at the cider mill and picked apples. On Sunday we took a long motorcycle ride after church.
When Jeff says to me, "I wish I had more time, I would love to do this..." I take a mental note and make it happen. Making the weekends special for Jeff often means a lot of work for me, but when he leaves for his job on Monday morning and says, "Amber, I'm going to miss you. I didn't want the weekend to end," it is worth every sacrifice.
Casco Twp, Michigan, USA
At our house we have a "Dad Alarm.” This is a recurring alarm that I set on my cell phone. It goes off one hour before my husband arrives home from work. It reminds my children to clean up any messes around the house and tidy themselves up. It reminds the older children and me to start supper. It also reminds me to make sure my clothes are fresh, to fix my make up and my hair and say a prayer for my big sweet hubby.
To be honest, we are not as consistent with this as I would like to be. Sometimes the alarm goes off and I ignore it, thinking to myself "too busy." But when we are consistent, the results are not only a blessing to my husband, but a blessing to our whole household. My husband is never "too busy" to go to work to provide for his family and this family should never be to busy to provide a warm, clean, "Welcome Home" for him.
Pierson Station, Illinois,, USA
Once a month or so I pull out some pretty paper and write to my husband. If I don't have pretty paper, I draw hearts and flowers on blank paper. Sometimes I glue pictures of us together to the front of construction paper. I express how much I love and appreciate him. This way he knows that the "little" things he does don't go unnoticed. I often talk about our dreams for the future which spurs him on to "fight the good fight."
I put my love letter in his lunch box, on the seat of his work car, under his pillow, or by the bathroom sink for him to find in the morning. I know my husband enjoys these love letters because for several days after receiving one, he has a huge smile on his face and holds his head up a little higher!
Talent, Oregon, USA.
One Good Thing
One day, about two years after we were married, it dawned upon me that this man I married was not all I had imagined. I started questioning what I was really doing being married to him. I could no longer see anything good--only the bad! These thoughts soon reflected in my behaviour toward him.
Fortunately, I found an article where I was encouraged to look for ONE good thing in my husband and thank God for it. Not only did I do that, but I also thanked God for that quality when we prayed aloud together, e.g., “Thank you, God for Chris and his patience with the children.”
This article also encouraged me to thank God for his manliness. I started thanking God in our prayers together for his strong muscles and the way he uses them to provide for us. Chris would thank me for my prayers and walk with a lighter step.
These prayers continued. My focus on one Christ-like quality grew and grew until I could no longer see the faults and thought more and more of my husband’s fine qualities. In the process, Chris was greatly encouraged. Even today, the most encouraging thing that I can do for him is to pray aloud for him and specifically thank God for his Christ-like qualities.
Wairoa, East Coast, New Zealand
Leave a Voice Mail
When my husband is feeling stressed or having a rough time at work I like to call his office and leave him a voice mail. I make sure to call right after he leaves the house.
When he gets to work, it’s on his voice mail. I tell him how much I respect him and his commitment to provide for our family, how much I appreciate all the hard work he does for us, and how proud I am of him for sticking with it even when it is very difficult. He saves the message and listens to it again when he needs a boost!
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Cheer him on!
Over a year ago my husband cut off his left thumb. I try to point out to him the many things that he does with one thumb (like plumbing for instance) that a lot of men with two thumbs still cannot do. I think this encourages him to see how far he has come in his recovery. When he feels frustrated or discouraged, it is good for him to hear me say that in my eyes he is an overcomer!
Missionaries in San-Pedro, Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. When in USA they live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
Almost every day, for 22 years, I have got up with my husband at 4:45 am, ironed his shirt, packed his lunch and made his coffee. The only times I have not done this were when I was in the hospital after delivering a baby and on rare occasions when sick.
Many friends have told me that I am crazy and that I should do all this the night before and sleep in. I tried this the first time someone gave me that advice and never did it again. I can be sleepy, achy, irritated or just selfish on some mornings, but I have chosen to put that behind me and act kindly towards my husband.
It has blessed us both over the years. The Lord has taught me that acting lovingly and encouraging my husband is more important than how I feel at that moment.
I want my husband to know that this is OUR time together. My husband travels 75 minutes to work each day (with good traffic!) and often there are accidents. I have the comfort of knowing that if God called him home, our last words to each other will have been "I love you."
The second way I encourage my husband is by having dinner ready when he comes home. Even if it is not quite finished, to have something smelling good and nearly ready is a great blessing to him. I have noticed that he is so happy when he can sit and eat a fragrant, hot meal right away.
Aberdeen, Maryland, USA
Dress to Please
Recently I have begun to honour my husband by dressing more femininely and lovely to look upon. I wear far more skirts than before. I wear bright colours and take care with my hair and make-up. My husband loves to come home and be greeted by a wife who has made a real effort to please him. He always says he loves me no matter what I look l like, but he is encouraged to know I love him enough to spend the extra time to delight him.
Geraldine, South Canterbury, New Zealand
Sing Him a Song
My husband, Jim is in sales which has its ups and downs, much like a roller coaster. I started to sing to my husband when he closed a sale, "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of you, Oh yes, I'm so proud of you. Boop, Boop, Dee, Do!" Much to my surprise, it really spurred him on. He tries his hardest to get as many sales each day as he can, so he can call and hear me sing his reward. I know this really showed him how much I appreciate him going out and working hard for our family.
Crete, Illinois, USA
This is what I have learned to do to bless my husband.
1. Listen to him without any comments or advice.
2. Give him a five minute shoulder rub when he does not expect it.
3. Smile at him - a lot!
4. Ask him how his day was without including anything about my own day.
Lithia, Florida, USA
I special ordered a T-shirt that says, I Ü• Doug. He is a fire-fighter so another one I wear says, I'm In Love with a Firefighter. He gets a kick out of it.
Yakima, Washington, USA
For my husband, Jeremy's 33rd birthday, I asked family and close friends to send their words of encouragement to me via email--a favorite memory, a letter, a poem, verse of Scripture or a word of encouragement from the Lord. I then compiled these messages into a binder that Jeremy can read when he needs a pick-me-up.
Upland, Indiana, USA
Our van recently needed a new battery. My husband, Larry, checked on the price. Over $100 installed! He looked at me and said, "I can find it cheaper." He did. But, installing a battery on our van is rather labor intensive and involves removing much of the housing around the battery. Gathering courage Larry said, "I'm going to go out there and rip it apart myself!"
I cheered him on as he left with all three boys in tow. Pretty soon our oldest stuck his head in the door and declared, "Mom, Dad says that he almost has all the necessary parts removed." I replied, "You tell your Dad that if he succeeds, then he'll get a GREAT BIG kiss from me!"
Well, that just set them off! They came back a few minutes later and beamed as they reported, "He's putting the new battery in place!" I said, "You'd better tell him to start puckering up. I'm sucking on a lemon to be sure I have a REALLY big pucker ready for him." They giggled and gave him my message.
Soon they reported, "Mom, the new battery is installed and everything is back in place!" As they looked at me expectantly, I said, "Tell Daddy that he has to test it out before claiming his reward".
They raced outside with me close at their heels. Soon the engine roared to life and three boys yelled, "He did it!" Then six eyes watched (and who knows how many neighbors) as I grabbed their dad and laid a huge congratulatory kiss on him. The children applauded!
This was also an encouragement to our children to see me take the time to thank their father for a job well done. And, of course, it was a lot of fun, too!
Peoria, Illinois, USA
My husband, Karl, had been going through a difficult time around his birthday. I got an idea. I gave him a card for his birthday, asking him out to supper.
During the day I packed everything we would need for camping. I packed fun treats, his favorite game, and a book to read together. Some friends went to a camp ground and set up their camper for us to stay in. That evening we dropped our son off at grandpa and grandma's, my husband thinking we were just going out for supper.
After supper I gave my husband another card inviting him to spend the weekend with me. He was completely surprised! It was a blessing to have time together and be able to enjoy some time away without expensive hotel costs!
Karl and I also enjoy talking on instant messenger. Often I go online while he is on his way to work and leave him encouraging messages. When he has to be gone over night, I put love notes throughout his belongings--in his billfold, razor bag, with his pajamas, etc. It is fun thinking of the surprise he will have when he opens his bag.
Salina, Kansas, USA
The following is my "top ten" list of things I like to do to encourage my husband:
1. When he is traveling I sneak a card or love note into his suitcase.
2. When he is taking a sack lunch to work I have made for him, I put in a picture that the children drew especially for him.
3. On a work day when he has something especially tough ahead, I leave an encouraging note on the dashboard of his car.
4. In the morning I make his coffee and breakfast.
5. I sneak a peak at his "to do" list and find things I can do for him.
6. When he leaves the house, the children and I all huddle around the front window and wave goodbye to him as he drives away, waving to him the American Sign Language “I love you” sign and yelling loud enough to wake all the neighbors up, "Bye, we love you!"
7. I call him at work every day at noon to check in, say “I love you” and ask him if there is anything he needs me to do. I've done this so consistently for the past nine years that he gets concerned if I happen to be a little late in calling.
8. I regularly thank him for being such a good provider and working hard so that I can stay home with the children. I also tell him what a great father he is and point out when his fathering skills are especially good in a certain area.
9. When he comes from work, my goal is to greet him with the five senses. This is what I try to do:
When he comes through the door, I have myself, the children and the house looking presentable.
When he comes through the door, I greet him with warm hugs, kisses and maybe even a little back rub!
When he comes through the door…
• I do not talk on the phone. Everyone I speak with regularly on the phone knows that when I hear my husband driving up the driveway the phone call ends.
• I have the television off (unless it is his Monday night football game.)
• No whining, crying or screaming children.
• I save my need to speak with him about all the issues of the day until later, and greet him only with words of blessing and "I'm so glad your home.”
• Sometimes I have some of his favorite relaxing music playing--praise music, jazz, or other soothing music.
My husband loves to have dinner ready when he walks in the door. The smell of food cooking is so comforting.
If dinner is not ready, I have a little plate of appetizers for him to munch on while he waits, such as cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, etc.
10. I pray diligently for him.
Hugs and Kisses
Quality time with one another is a must and has a positive effect on the children as well. When Dad and Mom are passionately in love, the children will thrive.
My husband and I always make a practice of hugging and kissing after we have a meal together, before he leaves and when he comes home from work. The children don’t miss much. When they see us hugging, they come running to do the same.
Another thing that has blessed our marriage is our chat time before bed. It's a great time to unwind, share the details of our day and a kiss and a hug always seals it.
I daily tell my spouse how much I love him and that I couldn't imagine life without him. Our marriage is a daily commitment, not a once and done thing.
Lititz, Pennsylvania, USA
Keep Your Mouth Shut
For as long as I've known my husband of 19 years he has battled low self-esteem. The greatest way I encourage him is to keep my mouth shut at "critical" times. It’s so easy to say, "I told you so--you should have listened to me!" when he makes a mistake, big or small.
I still have bouts of opening my mouth and then biting my tongue before saying too much. It’s a constant, daily battle to keep the doors of my mouth under tight surveillance.
I try to give my opinion only when my husband asks for it. When he doesn't, it is hard to watch my husband make mistakes, even with our finances. However, I enjoy watching the Lord work in my husband's heart, something that I can only influence but not truly change. Trust is key.
I know God wants what is best for His children, just as I do for mine. I want my husband to feel the freedom to lead and to watch him grow in faith and spiritual understanding is exciting.
Even though I am scared to death of the unknown territory we've begun to climb, my spirit feels victorious because I'm holding to God's unchanging hand. As long as I can help my dear hubby hang onto Him through prayer and submission, nothing else matters.
Nothing Better than Prayer
I believe the greatest way we can encourage our husband is through our prayers. Here are some questions I ask myself. I found these questions on the web, www.doorposts.net/Samples/aul_prayer.pdf, but have added my own comments.
1. Do I earnestly pray for my husband's spiritual growth and wisdom as he leads our family?
I pray that my husband seeks to know God and His plans for his life and I pray Paul’s prayer in Colossians.1:9-12 for him. I pray earnestly for my husband as he leads our family. I pray that he will actively seek God in all that he does. I pray for the Lord's wisdom as he answers our children's questions about spiritual matters.
2. Do I pray for my husband in his work, his leadership responsibilities, and his relationships with others?
As my husband interacts with the people he contacts at work, I pray he will lead a godly and honest life, one that reflects the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that those around him might see the difference that God has made in his life. How often we forget that our husband's mission field is his workplace.
3. Do I pray for a reverent heart and submissive response to my husband?
I have learned that neglecting my spiritual walk to do other seemingly important tasks benefits no one, especially me. I serve the Lord through serving my husband. I am learning God's will as I show reverence to my husband. I cannot be the wife that God has created me to be if my heart is not right with Him. (Psalm 139:23-24)
4. Do I pray for my husband’s relationship with each of our children?
In Malachi 4:6 it says that a father's heart is to be turned towards his children. I pray daily that my husband’s heart is turned toward his children. I pray that he will see the individual needs of each child and that God will guide him as he interacts with them. A great book is Keeping Our Children's Hearts by Steve and Teri Maxwell.
5. Do I pray for my husband when I know he is going through times of testing and hardship?
We are to “bear one another's burdens.” (Galatians. 6:2) We need to be mindful of what our husband's are going through. I make it a point to find out what is bothering my husband so I can pray specifically. I will ask him, “How can I pray for you today?”
6. Do I pray for my husband to be strong in his particular areas of weakness and temptation?
I know that many temptations face my husband daily. I usually try to pray a pray of protection over him as he walks out the door each morning. It is getting harder for a man to stand strong in this world when everything relates to a humanistic value system with no fear of the Lord. But God will deliver the godly out of temptation. (2 Peter. 2:9)
7. When my husband is in sin or when I believe he is making an unwise decision, do I humbly entreat him and then earnestly, patiently, and quietly pray for God to lead him?
I sometimes lash out at my husband if he is wrong or making a bad decision. How many times have I said something only to regret it two seconds later?
Why don’t I remember God’s word in Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”? I know that my husband's heart is in God's hand and He will turn it as He wills. (Proverbs 21:1) As I pray faithfully for God to change my husband’s heart, I try not to say “I told you so” when God does change his heart. I must give the glory to the Lord for He deserves the praise.
8. Do I pray for my husband when he has offended me, or do I criticize and harbor bitterness?
Forgiveness is hard. How God forgave us I will never understand. Only by His grace. I pray that God will hold my tongue in situations like this. In Proverbs 21:9 and 19 it says that it is better to be anywhere else than with a brawling angry women. I am a miserable woman to live with when I have been (or think I have been) wronged.
It is important to be open with your husband about your feelings. I am usually surprised my husband didn't even know he had hurt me. I pray for the Lord to help me forgive, move on and forget. What if God kept on recalling our past sins all of the time? Let us not do this to our beloved husbands.
My favorite verse to help me to remember to pray for my husband is 1 Samuel 12:23a “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.” I sin against the Lord by not praying for my husband.