As a husband, I realize my primary role is to serve my family with Christ-like love and tenderness. I’m called to love sacrificially–and that means seeking Selena’s and Dela’s needs before my own. I don’t always succeed, but by God’s grace, sometimes I do (hopefully more than not).
How do I serve my family with Christ-like love and tenderness? Most days, half the battle is figuring that out! It changes. I wish it didn’t, but it does. I guess that’s life.
Most often, serving my family means I work diligently to provide for our needs, I aim to create an attitude of peace and faith in our household, and most importantly, I lead my family closer to Jesus and toward deeper faith in the gospel.
With that said, I do get weak.
I don’t always feel like loving and serving my family well. Those are the times when I wrongly choose selfishness over servanthood. And that’s one amazing aspect of marriage: when I’m weak, my sweet wife swoops at the perfect time to encourage and strengthen me. My wife helps me be the best man I can be, she is God’s grace in action in my life.
That’s exactly why I’m writing this post: to show wives how they can help their husbands be the men God is calling them to be.
5 Phrases Wives Can Say to Deeply Encourage Their Husbands
1: “I trust you”
I have a different vantage point than my wife; I see things differently (as does she). There are times when we’re in the trenches of day-to-day life, and the big picture becomes harder and harder to see. For example, when we made a big move last year, it was just the beginning of a much longer journey of faith. Basically, we’re trying to make this Fierce Marriage blog/ministry our full time job, which means living lean, paying off debts, and sowing lots and lots of seeds (i.e. WORK) into things that won’t pay off for years. We’ve both committed to the journey (this is very important: be in agreement), so that’s not the question.
But, while Selena is knee-deep in toddler toys, diapers, and household hubbub, things can get very frustrating and the big picture gets lost. As a husband, it’s part of my job to understand and sympathize – i.e., don’t dismiss her frustrations. I do get it, her job is 10x harder than mine.
This is where she has a unique opportunity to blow me away with her words: when things are particularly hard and the vision is tough to see, she can simply say “I trust you”. I know she doesn’t feel it or see it, but that’s what trust is! And when she tells me she trusts me and I know it’s a challenge for her, it gives me confidence like none other.
2: “I believe in you”
Anyone else in the world can tell me they believe in me, but it’s never as potent as when I hear it from my wife. This woman knows me more than anyone else (good, bad, ugly); she sees what no one else sees and if anyone can be accurately critical, it’s her.
I could have had the worst day in months, and these simple words from Selena are like an adrenaline shot to the arm. It’s especially helpful when I’m feeling down about my abilities and accomplishments (usually because of stupid comparisons).
There’s nothing like the consistent, genuine belief spouses place in each other: it’s a belief that says, “God is working in you, He isn’t done with you, and neither am I.”
3: “I’m with you”
When Adam saw Eve for the first time, he broke out in an epic song (right now I’m imagining a high-flying rock opera ballad). She sincerely blew his mind!
He was longing for her, for her partnership, and for her presence. (See Genesis 2:23)
Husbands long for the partnership and complicity of their wives. When a wife says to her husband, “I’m with you”, it’s enough to make him break out in song (or at least try a little jig). I know I feel that way.
4: “I desire you”
Ladies get lots of “press” for wanting to be desired and pursued. While it’s definitely different, I will say that most men want to be desired as well. And yes, I do mean physically.
I want to be attractive to Selena. I want her to think I’m strong, handsome, and debonnaire (full of sophisticated charm). I want to make her swoon; and I have! However, after 12 years of marriage, there’s only so much passive swooning that happens – wives usually play a part by remaining “swoonable“. I don’t mean to oversimplify, but in short: wives, let your man sweep you off your feet when he tries.
5: “I know you’re not perfect but I love you anyway”
This one’s the most important. When a wife recognizes her husbands faults and still loves him (and vice versa), that’s grace. When Selena expresses her love for me in the midst of my obvious flaws, I see the love of Christ in action in one of the most vivid ways possible.
This is the kind of love that pushes us closer to Jesus, and it’s the kind of love that we’re all called to display in marriage. That’s why when I hear her say “I know you’re not perfect but I still love you” it disarms my defenses and builds up my strength in a way that is truly remarkable.
Wives: Do you encourage?
Wives, have you said any of these phrases to your husband lately? Are they part of your regular vocabulary? If not, I urge you to seize the unique position you’re in to help your husband.
Fierce wife, you have an unmatched opportunity to be a force for encouragement to your man. Nobody knows him like you, and trust me when I say this: he is looking to you for help every single day.
Be sure to include at least a few of these phrases in your daily conversation. When you do, I’m confident he’ll thank you for it.
Leave an answer in the comments:
Husbands, did I miss a phrase that encourages you? Care to share?
Wives, what are some things you say to your husband to build him up when he needs it most?
Encouraging marriage quotes and images
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Have you heard of the The 31-Day Pursuit Challenge?
Every marriage begins with passion, purpose, and pursuit, but few stay that way. That’s why we wrote Husband in Pursuit and Wife in Pursuit Together, they make what we’re calling the 31-Day Pursuit Challenge. Couples are encouraged take the challenge together. We’re already starting to hear stories of transformed marriages! Are you up for the challenge?