Most men seem to take most things in stride – the men in my life at least. They tend to be more level headed, logical, and laid back with their steady flow of hormones opposed to most women’s unending supply of emotions, worry, and hormonal roller coaster ride. I know that in our two years of marriage, my husband has a lot more experience comforting and encouraging me than I might get in our entire lifetime. My breakdowns are almost daily while he keeps things more in perspective and rarely voices worry. Even in some of the most difficult situations life has thrown at us, he shows his unwavering faith in God and somehow manages to avoid a complete breakdown – essentially the opposite of myself.
No matter how level headed, no person can live his or her entire life without needing a bit of encouragement. My husband, in particular, has had a fairly busy year growing his businesses, some health issues, and being active in our community. I’ve found that when I am intentionally seeking ways to serve and encourage him, our marriage thrives. He is the able to find rest in our marriage and our home.
These strategies have worked for me, and I pray that they inspire and encourage you.
- Encourage him with your words. Tell him that you are proud of him and believe in his cause. Keep your words affirmative and avoid bringing people down while building him up.
- Find ways to serve him – and DO THEM. Even the most selfless people have things they enjoy getting from other people. Whether it is breakfast in bed, picking up the dry cleaning, or taking out the trash – find some things (They don’t have to be big tasks!) that show him you care. Mr. Berry’s love language is Acts of Service so this is a big one for me.
- Surprise him. Plan a surprise date night. Cook his favorite meal. Go on a secret destination vacation. Give him a time and a space to relax and rest. Communicate essentials to avoid disappointment. It can be an unpleasant situation when you plan a weekend getaway when he has an important deadline the following Monday. Tell him in advance that you are planning a date night or a full weekend and let him tell you when would be the best time for him. The goal is to relax which is near impossible if he is stressed about work the whole time.
- Give him space to do what he needs to do. Men tend to be more efficient in all areas of life when their home life is pleasant. Nick works late at least 3 nights per week (and that’s a generous number – more like 5). We discussed this early in our marriage and came to the understanding that these late nights are essential for him to grow his business to be the most impactful it can be. Some days are easier than others to avoid the “n-word” (nag – I hate it). On late night #3,4,5… I have to remind myself why he is working late (providing for our family, growing his business to live out his calling, sacrificing time now to have more later… the list goes on and on). I have to resist the temptation to call/text 1,000,000 times and/or give him the silent treatment until I forget what I am upset about in the first place. Find what works for you – it might be the opposite of the above and that’s okay! Communicate and BE UNDERSTANDING.
- Pray for him. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer, but it is a disciple that I need continual growth. In time of frustration, celebration, fear, trials, and success – any situation really – I pray for my husband. It gives me peace beyond understanding, and it gives him exactly what he needs, whatever that may be.
Encouragement has been one key to the survival of our marriage over the past year. I am nowhere near perfect and don’t always follow my own advice; however, when I do, my life, his life, and our marriage are better for it.
What are some ways that your encourage the ones you love? I can’t wait to find some fresh ideas.