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Encouraging Your Husband

How you can put wind in his sails.


by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby

In his book What Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew about Men, Patrick Morley says:

If I could make only one observation about men today, it would be that men are tired—mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually tired. Weary of life. When I make this observation at our men's seminars it evokes as much response as anything else I say. Many heads nod in agreement while others droop to their chests.

Mr. Morley has spoken to hundreds of men, and this is the issue that seems to hit home the hardest—their need for encouragement. It can be so easy for women to forget their husbands need this; we assume they are getting plenty of encouragement at the office. But "at the office" encouragement just isn't the same as "in the home" encouragement. And the best "in the home" encouragement that exists is the encouragement that comes from a loving spouse.

I remember my (Connie) husband coming home from work one day. I sensed his day had been difficult when he came through the door, though he didn't say a word. Perhaps it was the slump of his shoulders or the sigh that escaped his lips. My warrior was weary.

When warriors are weary, they need to be encouraged. I don't remember what I said or did, but I do remember that later that night my husband thanked me for encouraging him. This was a big deal to me because in prior years I might have rolled my eyes and asked him why he was so tired. It's so much better to put the wind in your husband's sails than put in a rip that deflates the sails completely

A friend told us recently that her husband had gone to work at a car dealership. After the first few weeks on the job, his manager approached him and handed him a hundred-dollar bill. "I've noticed what a great job you're doing," he said. "Keep up the good work."

The woman said it was as if someone had given him a prized possession—he was so excited. Certainly he didn't mind the extra money, but even more it was clear that what meant so much to him were the encouraging words.

An encourager is one who gives strength, one who gives courage. You may find that your husband's heart softens towards you as you encourage him. It is one of a man's deepest needs.

Do you need to become more of an encourager to your husband? Do a quick check to see how you're doing in this area:

  • How often do you say, "You can do it! I believe in you! You're the best!"?
  • How often do you notice his effort to make the yard look nice or to keep the cars running smoothly?
  • When was the last time you said, "You handled that situation so well"?
  • Do you acknowledge when he's going through a difficult time and let him know you're there for him?
  • Is your home a place your husband enjoys returning to every night?
  • Are you a chronic complainer?
  • Do you look for opportunities to compliment him on his wisdom?

As one man told us, "When my wife encourages me, I feel like there's nothing I can't do! There's no mountain I can't climb or problem I can't solve. I'm the man! I'm her man! Nothing reenergizes a man like a little encouragement from his wife."

Adapted from How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You © 2001 by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby. Used by permission of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. Excerpt may not be reproduced without prior written consent.

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