Encourage Your Husband by Reviving Your Praise!

Revive Your Marriage Series

It’s time to…Revive Your Marriage! This month I’m joining three bloggy friends, and every Monday we’ll all write our own posts on how you can Revive Your Marriage!

We’ve talked about reviving your attitude, reviving your friendship, and reviving your prayer life (by praying with your husband more). Next week we turn to my favourite–Reviving Your Sex Life!

But today we’re going to tackle “reviving your praise–how to encourage your husband by calling out the good that you see in him.

Encourage Your Husband: How to praise him, even if you don't always feel like it

I know many of my readers really struggle in their marriages. Is the change really all up to me? What about my husband? Shouldn’t he be responsible for being better? And many of you are hurting.

And I know that you’ve read advice saying, “you need to express gratitude towards your husband“. I’ve written about that myself, too! And I do believe it. Men thrive on appreciation; when they feel judged and inadequate, they often retreat.

Praising your husband does two main things: it will encourage your husband to feel empowered, but it also will help you to feel more positively about him.

After all, the things we say out loud also become the things that we think. Sometimes by making ourselves think of positive things to say, we start noticing more positive things! And that, in and of itself, can transform a marriage.

But I want to take this a little bit further today and look at what praising our husbands really means.

Praising your husband means that you’re agreeing with God.

Let me explain. The reason so many of us have a hard time praising our men is because we don’t feel particularly positive about them right now. And if we try to force ourselves to find positive things to say, aren’t we then lying? Or at least distorting the truth? After all, this isn’t really how we feel. And if I’m going to be honest with my husband, I need to be honest about my feelings, don’t I?

And how can we maintain, or even create, an intimate marriage if honesty is not at the heart of it? If my husband is hurting me, you may say, then I have to let him know. I can’t go around saying all kinds of nice lovey dovey things that I don’t even feel in hopes of changing him, because that’s not honest. It’s manipulative. And it’s the opposite of intimacy.

Well, yes. And no.

The question is what we mean by honesty.

To be honest means that you tell THE TRUTH.

But what is the truth?

Here’s where things get interesting.

The truth is not always how you feel.

When we tell the truth, it simply means that we are agreeing with God about something, because Jesus is The Truth. So praising your husband is simply the same thing as telling the truth about the positive things that God is doing in his life, whether or not you are also feeling negatively about him. Do you see the difference?

So you may be angry that your husband is lazy around the house, but has God made him a good provider? You may feel that he doesn’t share his emotions enough, and that he’s curt with you, but is a natural leader? Is he decisive? Is he easy to respect? Call out those positive things that you see in him. Is God slowly changing him? Notice these changes!

Think About the Good Things in Your Husband

One woman sent me an email recently saying that she had felt convicted lately because she had too many expectations on her husband. She was expecting him to be everything that God said a godly man would be, and when he didn’t measure up as a spiritual leader, she felt angry. But she knew that she had to stop holding him up to the ideal, and simply see him as he was right now: a man that God created, that God loved, and that God was molding.

Right now, your husband is a man that God loves. Your husband is a man that God is molding. And that is all a good thing! And when you call out the things in your husband’s life and character that are good, you are agreeing with God about him. Sometimes, even in the depths of our disagreements with our spouses, when we take a step back and say, “this is what I admire about you”, what we do is we put the focus back on what God is doing, and away from our own hurts.

But what about our needs?

Well, this weekend I threw up a reader question on this blog about what to do when your husband’s poor eating habits are endangering his health, but he refuses to eat healthy food that you cook. The comments on that post were most interesting, and I want to write a follow-up post tomorrow to deal with some of them. The theme of some comments, though, were: “I don’t like being told not to nag. If I’m upset about something, is it really nagging to say it? Don’t I have to tell my husband?” And in a way, I’d agree (come back tomorrow to find out more about why!). When we talk, we need to agree with God, and if there is an area where you feel that your husband is endangering the relationship, yes, you must speak up.

But it is so much easier to speak about that if you are also, and even first, telling the positive things you see in your husband. God doesn’t bash us over the heads with all the things we do wrong; he rejoices over us with singing, and then he gently shows us where we’ve strayed.

It’s not wrong to tell your husband why you’re upset. You need to have ways to talk to him frankly about things.

But may I suggest that laying a foundation of praise, where you agree with God about your husband’s good qualities, is so important first? It will encourage your husband, and that will change the dynamic in your marriage.

So here’s this week’s challenge:

My three blogging friends have also written on this today, and you can see what they have to say, too!

Courtney from WomenLivingWell, Darlene from TimeWarpWife.com, and Jennifer from UnveiledWife.com have all written awesome posts on praise! Click on through to see what they have to say.

And you can have your say, too! Just leave a comment to tell us how you encourage your husband, the struggles you have with praise, or what you’ve found will help bring connection in your marriage.

Join us next Monday when we talk about how to “Revive Your Sex Life“!

Comments

  1. I just wrote a list….it wound up being a list of eight things! Here’s the list:

    You love, adore, desire, and cherish me the way God intended.
    You’re honest and I can trust you to tell the truth, even when I might be upset.
    You’re extremely giving, and always show your love to me through actions as well as words.
    You have Godly values and seek to always live by them.
    You put effort into speaking my love language of physical touch.
    You are patient, kind, and understanding of my struggles.
    You are a man that I can genuinely respect.
    You are the strongest and bravest man I have ever known. You’re my hero.
    ….Oh, and you’re incredible in the bedroom!

    Sometimes we’ll have arguments, and at those times it sometimes seems to me that he’s pigheaded and has anger issues and overreacts to little things! But all of the things on the list I wrote (and shared with him) are fully true, and he is a wonderful man worthy of my admiration, respect, and love. I’m blessed to be his wife.

  2. Love this post! I think it is definitely true that if we start to notice and comment on positive things, more positive things will start to happen (or you’ll notice ones that were already happening).

    I also love the advice about making a list of qualities you adore in your husband, and letting him know you adore those qualities. I have also heard that a wife should make a point to publicly build her husband up, which I definitely agree with.

  3. Judy Katherine says:

    Thank you. This is brilliant and so helpful. You have a lovely way of getting this message across :-)

    God Bless

  4. Thanks for this! Definitely something I struggle with ….. since hubby’s away at school I shall endeavor to write a note and email him! :) Sometimes as an AD Army wife I store up everything I need to tell him while he’s gone and then when he’s home and doesn’t seem interested it can be highly annoying! ;)

  5. In the book Love & Respect, he encourages wives to comment on things that the husband desires to do, even if he isn’t doing it well right now. That made me feel a lot of freedom about praising him even about things that aren’t going perfectly without feeling like a phony. I make sure to mix it in with a praise about something that is currently doing well so it doesn’t turn into just another sneaky way of nagging.

    For example, I’ll put a note in his lunch and say something like, “Thank you for working so hard to provide a nice life for us! I really appreciate all you do. I really respect the desire you have to lead a men’s Bible Study at church – I know God has big plans for you!”

    That way, even if he hasn’t gotten around to actually starting the Bible study, I can still encourage him and build him up w/o nagging or criticizing.

    It has helped me to be more positive w/o feeling phony. And let’s face it – my husband (and I’m sure lots of other husbands) is really pretty awesome and has a lot to praise, even if I’m not feeling a ton of warm fuzzies right this second.

  6. living in blurred lines says:

    I look forward to you embelishing on the “nag” issue! I agree that harping on your husband for piddly things is wasteful, but as I said before, I think there is an over use of the word to shut women up when the man is just being lazy and selfish and doesn’t want to hear the truth. Of course, even in those situations, there’s a time to keep quiet rather than beating the dead horse.

    Now for this post: Hubby and I have a game we play. One says, “I love you.”. The other asks why. The first then thinks up a reason or two….something admiring about the other. Sometimes, I admit that it is hard when he’s not been very likable, but it is a good game to play even in the toughest times.

  7. I’m 17 weeks pregnant, and have been working 12 hour shifts, full time at a factory. Due to body changes, it isn’t going to work anymore. At the beginning of the week my husband and I had some rough conversations about what to do that didn’t go well. But then it became clear that he was frustrated because I was suffering and he couldn’t see a way to make things better. When I realized that, I started to listen to his heart and not his words, to see past his upset voice and comments and to honestlt praise and thank him for all the ways he tries to make my life easier. I now try to tell him what I appreciate about him as we cuddle at night and whenever I get a chance during the day. Because I see the problem is a stressful situation, rather than an issue between us, I once again feel very secure with my husband and there is not tension between us.

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Trackbacks

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