3 Free Ways to Encourage Your Husband 

When I started thinking of Valentine’s Day and how I could show my husband my appreciation for him (for free of course), I came up with – what I thought was – a pretty good list!! Writing notes, being his cheerleader, keeping our home clean… (I’m hearing Olaf saying, “All good things, all good things!”) However, when I asked my husband about this, his list was totally different from what I thought it would be (glad I asked!).

These may not be just right for every man, but here’s what my husband said:

  • Make it clear you’re on his side. Whether he knows it’s happening or not, whether you realize it or not, be on his side. He should always know that you have his best interest at heart. My husband gives the example of a lady who had her husband’s car and needed to park it in the church parking lot. With kids and stuff to take inside and being pressed for time, she was tempted to park in a handicapped spot. However, because she was in her husband’s car and knew her husband would not appreciate that, she decided against that and found another spot, though it was less convenient.
  • Figure out what he likes or appreciates, and do it better than he would. Not in a competitive way. In a “I did my research; you didn’t even know I was thinking about it” kind of way. Exceed his expectations. If he appreciates food (most guys do, right?), make it better than normal, add nice linens, candles, etc. (My husband would appreciate the details more than the meal!) If he appreciates a particular sports team, have his favorite snacks ready for that game. Not hard, yet impressive.
  • Let his standard be your standard. Not gonna lie, this is not an easy one for me. Because my husband is, in a word, particular. And don’t get me wrong: I love his attention to detail. But I love it more when he’s the one taking the time for details. But from experience I’ve learned that our relationship is so much better, he feels much more respected (which to him is better than feeling loved) when I just adapt.

If nothing else, this gives you a starting point to ask your husband if these work for him or if he would have something to change or add to it. (I would love to know if he adds “write me notes” or “have the house clean when I come home” :).

Happy encouraging!

7 Super Helpful Christian Marriage Resources

Marriage. It’s just so wonderful! I can’t imagine life without my loving, godly, brilliant, generous husband. God knew Jesse was and is everything I could ever want or need.

As my husband and I have tried to reach out to other couples in times of need (physically, spiritually, maritally), I’ve realized how blessed I truly am. We’ve seen marriages in shambles, torn apart by alcohol, drugs, or just plan selfishness. Thinking about my husband and how good he is to me (and I recommend you think of your spouse and why you’re thankful regularly!) makes me wish everyone had this amazing gift of marriage. What a gift it truly is!

Now I know marriage is not for everyone. The Bible even says so. However, for the ones who have chosen marriage but haven’t seen the goodness of it as I’m referring to, my heart hurts for them because God has designed it to be awesome.

I’m certainly nowhere close to perfect, and I can’t boast of having a perfect marriage. I’m learning and growing, and so is my husband. He is so patient with me, and God is so merciful. I’m sharing these resources because I believe they can revolutionize a marriage if just one spouse will read or listen and apply the principles (and especially if both spouses will read it and attempt to apply what they read to their lives).

Yes, I typically stick to the topic of saving money. But if you think about it, preventative maintenance for your marriage does save you money. It’s usually cheaper than counseling, than alimony, than trying to live separate lives…. Think of these resources as the investments they truly are.

Love and Respect – Men are created to need respect, just as women are designed to crave love. Have you ever gotten into the crazy cycle? It’s like this: without respect, he responds in an unloving way. And so without love, she responds disrespectfully, causing him to respond unlovingly. And the craziness continues! Simple concept, yet applying it is not always easy.

His Needs, Her Needs (which is actually similar, in my opinion, to Becoming Your Spouse’s Better Half, JFYI; I just prefer the writing style of Harley) – Although we would not admit it, we subconsciously enter marriage thinking our spouses will magically know and meet all our needs. And then we forget that our spouses have needs we don’t naturally know and meet. Why are we so quick to blame and feel so wronged when our needs aren’t being met, yet so slow to consider whether or not we are meeting our spouse’s needs?

The Five Love Languages – As individuals we all receive love in different ways. You may feel unloved because your husband never buys you anything – if your love language is receiving gifts. But maybe his language is spending time together; he may think he’s showing you immense love because he’s always spending time with you, but if your language is receiving gifts, his time doesn’t mean as much to you as it does to him. Quite a fascinating concept. Do you know your spouse’s language of love?

For Men OnlyFor Women Only – The facts and statistics speak for themselves. These authors truly put great time and effort into this survey-filled book, giving you a window into the typical mind of the opposite gender. Did you know men are created visual? Yep, it’s a fact. About 75%-80% of men are visual. I’m thankful my husband read For Men Only and that he can confidently say when I’m crying and don’t know why, “It’s okay. You’re a woman. Sometimes you need a good cry…for no reason at all.”

Intended for Pleasure – I won’t go into this much except to say that if you’re married, you should read this, no matter what stage of marriage you’re in (and probably especially if you’re a woman).

gabrielruhl.com is an fantastic website with marriage lessons you can listen to. He daily helps marriages of people who don’t even know some basic marriage principles, and he does so passionately. Many arguments have never come to fruition because of these inspiring lessons.

Dr. James Dobson’s…anything on marriage! I love his insights. He’s a Christian, a physiologist, a husband, a father, a writer, and the list I’m sure could go on. He has an app for you to easily listen to while you clean or exercise or travel. I could listen to his thought-provoking material all day!

What about you? Have you read or listened to any of these? What are some books that have definitely enhanced your marriage or relationships?

Photo credit: Naomi Green

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