Monday, May 11, 2015

13 Ways to Encourage Your Husband

We want to be wise women who build up our houses and not tear them down.  I am firmly convinced that one way we can build our houses up is by building our husbands up.
With that in mind, I'd like us to work together to think of ways we can encourage our husbands.  I've remembered things that have been good for my husband over the few years of our wedded bliss, and I've asked him what encourages him the most.  I'd love to have your feedback on what you do to encourage your spouse!

  • Learn his love language (This one was from my Handsome Geek, HG for short).  If you haven't read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I encourage you to pick it up.  He postulates that every person has one or two ways that speak "love" loudest to them.  The five languages are Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Gifts, and Words of Affirmation.  Once you read the book, you won't even need a quiz to know what your husband's language is.  Speak it. 

  • Thank him.  Show him gratitude for everything he does, from working hard to provide for you to helping in the house to playing with the kids. Yes, those are things he is supposed to do.  Thank him anyway. 

  • Tell him. Tell him how great he is. Let him know how handsome he is, how much you respect his hard work. Praise him in front of your friends.  Even if his primary love language isn't Word of Affirmation, I promise that hearing praise from his beloved means more to him than we can imagine. (This one came from HG too)

  • More sex.  I'll be talking about this a little more next week, so today just trust me that this will build your husband up.

  • Don't bottle.  If something is bothering you, don't bottle it inside.  I've learned from painful recent experience that if you don't find a tactful way of telling your husband the things that are concerning you, it will burst out at the worst time in the worst way.

  • Be kind.  When you do need to share a concern with him, be kind.  Don't do it in front of the kids or right before he has to go to work.  Wait until you are both ready to talk.  Then bring up whatever is bothering you in a kind and positive way.

  • Shut up. Once you have brought something to his attention, don't keep bringing it up.  Trust that he's doing his best to deal with it without reminders.  Don't let your anxiety drive your tongue.

  • Follow his lead. God has made him the spiritual leader of your household, but that doesn't always mean he feels confident doing it.  If you question his every decision, he'll feel even less sure of himself.  Sometimes we just have to follow his lead without question, even when we aren't sure ourselves.

  • Notice his moods.  Women have the reputation for being moody, but men have emotions too.  If he's down, be aware of it and act accordingly.  Talk if he wants to; be a silent presence if not.  (Another contribution from HG)

  • Let him pamper you.  This sounds counter-intuitive, but rebuffing his attempts to do nice things for you is actually discouraging to him. (Hanging my head here. Definitely an HG suggestion) 

  • Attend to him. Sometimes the things our husbands want end up at the bottom of the pile because we have so many other things fighting for our attention. Don't let that become a habit. 

  • Pay attention to him. If it is at all possible, when he wants to talk, make time.  Our husbands don't talk as much as we do, and when they do, it is usually important.  Our kids, phone, and facebook can wait for 5 minutes.

  • Do the little things. For Helene's husband, bringing him a surprise Sonic drink to the office means a lot to him. Mine likes a bag of Hershey's kisses every once in a while. 
Being the leader of the house is a hard job.  Sometimes our men feel like they have the world on their shoulders, but all we see is a big strong Atlas.  We don't always realize the stress they are under. Encouragement matters.  Anything we can do to build our husbands up is going to be good for our relationships!  Now we'd like to hear from you.  How do you encourage the man in your life? 

Helene & Melissa

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