Everybody knows the popular saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Though it rhymes nicely, it’s a very false statement. Words can leave far bigger scars than sticks and stones on an individual’s life. However, words also have the power to build up and encourage those around us. This week’s focus is affirming your husband through use of the written and spoken word.
Week #2: Words of Affirmation
Day #1: Give him a note listing the top 10 reasons you respect him.
I wrote my list inside a card and placed it on his pillow for him to find while getting ready for bed that night. At first he didn’t say anything about it, but he had set it up on his nightstand so I knew he had read it. Right before turning out the lights he leaned over and said, “Thank you for the card” and kissed me. I’m not sure, but I think he went to sleep with a smile on his face that night.
Have you told your husband you respect him lately? According to the Eggerichs, authors of Love and Respect, saying “I respect you” to a man is more powerful than the words, “I love you.” You don’t have to write the reasons down, but I find it helpful. It would also be nice for him to be able to go back and look at the list every now and then. But take time to think about at least three reasons you have respect for your husband. Then, make sure to voice them to him in one way or another.
Day #2: Tell him, “I appreciate your hard work providing for our family.”
When I told my husband this his response was, “That’s good.” I try to make a habit of voicing my appreciation for all the things he does every day, so he knows I appreciate his hard work, but it’s good to remind him every so often. This is especially important to say when money is tight, he’s feeling stressed about his job, or he’s having to put in more hours than usual. At the beginning of our marriage I resented that my husband worked second shift, 50 hours a week. He didn’t like it any more than I did, but I think my poor attitude made it all the harder on him.
Have you expressed your appreciation for all the hours your husband puts in to provide for you, recently? This is their God-given role and many men take it personally when they feel they’ve come up short. Make sure you’re not adding to his stress, but encourage and support him, instead.
Day #3: Thank him for as many things you can think of and as many times as possible through out the day.
This is a habit both my husband and I formed right from the start in our marriage. As a result, he thanks me nearly every night for making dinner and every time I do the laundry; I thank him for taking out the trash and clearing the table. These are small tasks that we’d do whether we were appreciated or not, but gratitude sure does motivate you to continue doing what you’re doing. Gratitude goes a long way and I think it’s under-emphasized in our society. When I’m in a bad mood, just a simple “thank you” from my husband immediately softens my attitude. On the other hand, if I feel unappreciated, a battle begins within my mind and feelings of resentment and bitterness threaten to take over.
If you don’t regularly thank your husband for the day-to-day tasks he does, start today. Take note of the little things like filling the car up with gas, loading the dishwasher, fixing what needs fixing, helping with the kids, etc. and tell him, “Thank you.” He may shrug it off or not even acknowledge your appreciation at first, but continue to do it and you may find he starts to reciprocate by thanking you for all the little things you do, as well.
Day #4: Text, email or call him during the work day and let him know you’re thinking of him and love him.
I decided to email my husband, sending it to his new work email. Here is what I wrote:
I just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you and praying for you. You shouldn’t leave your business cards lying around… you never know who will see it and email you. 😉
I love you to the moon and back!!
I decided to put in a little humor. I was actually in the room when he read it (sometimes he works from home), and he chuckled out loud a bit and then turned and said, “I love you” with a grin.
Depending on what your husband does for a living, it may not be possible to call him at work. But just make any gesture to let him know you are thinking about, praying for, and love him during the day. Perhaps it could even be in the form of a sticky note with the words, “I thought of you today and prayed for you.”
Day #5: Before going to bed tell him, “I can’t believe how lucky I am to be sleeping in the same bed with you.”
My husbands’ response to this was, “Oh yeah?” I could just see his eyes light up as he smiled. We’ve been married 4.5 years and I still try to recall the days when I was first crushing on John. I liked him before he hardly even noticed me and I knew of several other girls who also had their sights set on him. So to this day I try to remember how he chose me out of all the beautiful, bright, and godly eligible young women he could have chose. Keeping this at the forefront of my mind helps me to cherish him and guard the way I treat him.
Do you remember the feelings you first felt when you and your husband were falling in love? Perhaps you have journal entries or letters from one another to remind you. Take some time to recall what attracted you to him and how you felt in the early days of your relationship. Then, in this mindset, tell him the above statement. Maybe you cannot honestly say the above statement in the current state of your marriage. That’s okay, I’ve provided other ideas below that may suit your situation better at this point in time.
Day #7: Compliment him throughout the day.
I complimented my husband’s appearance, his intellect, his muscles and the fact he’s capable of doing anything he sets his mind to. It’s hard to say how these compliments affected him, but I’m sure they gave him an ego boost.
We should be our husbands’ number one fans. If you want your husband to have positive thoughts about you, start building him up with your words. If you like how he looks in a certain shirt, tell him so. If he teaches you something new, let him know you admire how knowledgeable he is. If he gets a raise or promotion, praise him and tell him he deserves it. What is your husbands best feature in your opinion? Whatever it is, tell him. Complimenting each other seemed second-nature while dating, but once married we tend to be less vocal about what we like about our partners and more vocal about the things we’re dissatisfied about them. Put an end to this trend and form the habit of regularly complimenting your husband.
Need more ideas? Here are a few:
-Write letters to one another that you will read 20 years from now.
-Let him overhear you bragging about him.
-Tell him you appreciate him in front of others.
-Wake up and tell him, “I’m so glad to be waking up next to you.”
-Tell him, “I’m glad I married you because ____________.”
-Remind him how happy you are to see him when he walks through the door.
-Tape a sticky note to his steering wheel that says, “I think you are a great husband!”
-Compliment his muscles and other physical attributes.
-Find ways to uplift him on a difficult day.
-Tell him, “You’re my hero.”
-Write “I love you” on a banana with a pencil and send it to work with him.
-Tell him, “You’re my favorite.”
-Write him a romantic letter.
-Leave him an encouraging note in his wallet or in a book he is currently reading.
What kind of affirming words do you shower your husband with? Leave a comment below.