Hi, beautiful friend.
Have you ever found yourself trying to encourage your husband in difficult times but saying all the wrong things? Or just not saying the right things?
In this post, I want to talk to you about how to encourage your husband through a difficult time—the way he wants to be encouraged.
As wives, one of our many vital roles is to find ways to encourage our partners. But this can be hard to do. The problem is that we encourage in the same way we would like to receive it and not how the other person does.
We all know that men and women work differently. We also receive things distinctly; encouragement is one of those things.
To understand how a man wants and needs to be encouraged, we must first recognize who they are or how God created them.
Men’s primary roles in marriage are to lead spiritually, to protect, and to provide. Therefore, when we want to encourage them, we must look at how are these difficult times affecting their roles and, from there, learn how to specifically support those roles.
We are living through a crisis. This Pandemic has been a curveball for all of us. But I feel like it has especially been hard on men. A lot of our husbands have been laid off or have gotten paycheck cuts. When your role is to provide and protect your family, that’s a terrifying thing to happen to you.
When these roles are threatened, your husband wants to be encouraged in this way. He wants to be cheered, trusted, not advised unless he asks, and prayed for.
When I was newly wedded, someone told me that I must become my husbands’ greatest cheerleader. I never understood the weight of that advice until we walked through difficult times.
It’s always a good day to praise your husband. But you must fill your mouth with words of praise for your husband when crises arise.
When my husband Jerrod and I were just married, we were not making a lot of money. This lead to my husband feeling insecure and stressed out every day.
So, to help him feel better, I thought I would clean the whole house and make his favorite food so that he would come home to a pleasant situation. But this wouldn’t help him feel better. Then I would get mad at him for not appreciating my hard work and, there we go again into the crazy cycle. Instead of making things better, I would make them much worse.
What I didn’t understand then, which I know now is that I was trying to encourage him the way I wanted to be encouraged. I would have loved to come home one day and He had done the laundry the dishes.
Women tend to prefer actions rather than words.
Can I get an amen, ladies?
We don’t care so much about what you have to tell us if your actions don’t prove those words right.
But men aren’t like that. They prefer to receive kind words over kind actions. That’s not to say they don’t want you to treat them nicely. But words have a more significant effect on them.
As wives, we can build a man up to be what God called him to be with what comes out of our mouths. But we can also tear him down create the opposite of growth in them with our words.
Your cheers will create their reality.
So, even during a crisis, if you begin to tell your husband about how good he is handling things and how proud you are of him for doing his best, how much you trust and stand by him, he will have the confidence to rise above it and God will bless your marriage for that.
The Bible says in Proverbs 31:11-31 “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.”
When your husband is convinced that you will care about his emotions and protect his heart, all he will ever do is gain, elevate, level up, grow, etc.
If you care for his heart, God will cause him to continue to gain and care for your family.
Now, women need time to cultivate this attitude. Meaning we don’t just wake up one day and suddenly only talk sweet unicorns and rainbows.
So, don’t expect to be perfect at it immediately. Because we must retrain our brain to look for the good instead of the bad, and that takes time to do. Give yourself a lot of grace as you readjust your way of speaking.
The fact that you are even trying to get better at encouraging your husband means that God is doing a work in you, and he will finish what he started.
The best way we can make them feel trusted is just believing in their ways of doing things. I know, the actual hardest thing to do for most wives, including me.
Men want to feel like you believe in them. Like you have trust in their leadership and their methods.
A lot of us struggle with this desire to control everything, including how your husband leads your household. In times of crisis, we should try our hardest to fight that urge and behave differently.
In my family, my mother, my grandmother, and her mother were all the heads of their household. So all I ever saw were women telling men how to do things and when to do them.
Going into a marriage with that controlling mindset caused a lot of friction between my husband and me. I thought I was supposed to “help” him by ordering him around. But that strategy failed miserably, and I had to learn my real role in our family; To trust him.
So how can we show our trust in them?
1) Listen to what they are saying without interrupting.
2) Make sure you understand their plan of action.
3) Agree to his system and act accordingly.
First, listen. People say that we have two ears to listen more and one mouth to speak less. This statement might be true because the Bible also tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. (James 1:19)
So, when your husband is giving you his thoughts on how he will handle things, make sure you let him fully express himself and that you pay close attention.
Second, make sure you understand. An excellent way to do this is by repeating back to your husband the information you received and how you interpret it. Now be very careful with the tone you use when you are doing this.
Sometimes our protocol is correct, but our intentions are not.Tweet
What I mean is that you could be saying the right things but using the wrong tone because you are not entirely in agreement with the information. Be careful with that because we could do more damage than good when we take that position.
Say things like, ” what I hear you say is…” And if what you heard wasn’t what he was trying to say, then repeat the steps until you get on the same page.
Third, is to come into agreement. Give your husband’s plan a chance. Let him take the lead. Go with how he wants to do things.
You might tell me, “but he is usually wrong” to what I would say, dear friend, how can he ever get better if you don’t let him try.
And I want to add this here; sometimes, you have to trust in the God in Him. If your husband believes in Jesus, God is in him, and He can speak and use your husband as much as he can use you.
When you give a man your trust, and you believe in him, it empowers him to become his best version.
Refrain from advising.
Your mind is set up to look for what could go wrong continually. Its job is to keep you alive and away from threats.
That’s part of why we’re always looking for what’s wrong and how we can improve our situations. But when we do this in the middle of a crisis to our husbands, the message we are sending is, ” I don’t believe you are capable of leading us.”
How would you feel if someone tells you what fantastic work you did doing something, and immediately after that, they proceed to tell you how you should have done it differently?
Wouldn’t that entirely cancel the good feelings you had from the compliment?
That’s what we do to our husbands when we correct the way they do things all the time. If we tell them what a fantastic job they are doing and in the next sentence, we tell them how they can do it better; we send mix signals to their brains.
There is a time for everything. There will be a time where your wise counsel can be received, and it can do what it was meant to do and help your spouse. But we need to be thoughtful and discern when those times are so that God can use us to speak to our husbands.
When you are praising your husband or when your husband is sharing his fears and thoughts with you is probably not the best time to give him advice.
In those times, try to extend empathy instead of correction.
I believe that God uses wives to give wise counsel to men all the time. But I think that sometimes we allow the enemy also to use our words to tear men down.
The passive-aggressive comments, the sarcastic tones, the eye-rolling, the rejecting body language all send the message to your husband that you are not for him but rather against him. This attitude is very discouraging for a man.
Last but certainly not least, if you want to encourage your husband is to pray for him. I would say this is the absolute most vital way to help your husband. Cover your husband in prayer as often as you can. Prayer will protect his doings and help his feelings.
Prayer will also help you become a better helpmate to your husband.
I remember so many times when I was at a loss and didn’t know how to help Jerrod feel better, and I would go to God in prayer. I could see God work in my husband almost immediately. But I could also see God work in me and give me more grace and patience for Jerrod.
If you don’t know how to pray for your husband, I included a prayer list for them in the ultimate quarantine guide for moms.
A man longs for a woman who sees him as a hero and not a loser. In times of crisis, we can give that to our husbands by cheering them, trusting them, not advising them unless they ask and praying for them.
They need us and our support so badly to do what God has called them to do. So, let’s help them.
Ok, friend, now let me hear from you in the comments. How do you best encourage your husband?