I’m married to an amazing man, so it’s easy for me to forget he’s not Superman. Jose is one determined, diligent guy. He started his second master’s degree at age 45 and finished his PhD at 59. He’s dared to do things many people would shrink back from. At 46, Jose left behind the life he knew to start a new job in a new country and learn a 4th language.
He’s not afraid of challenges. When God called him to start a new church in our city, I was scared.
I wanted to say, “Um, I like my life just the way it is, thank you very much.”
But I knew that if God was giving my husband a vision, He was calling me to support that vision. What I didn’t know was that it would take three years of constant struggle for our little church to finally start growing.
Sometimes the very challenges he embraces can get a good man down.
Like most men, my husband’s gone through periods of discouragement. Your life may be different from ours, but your husband has probably faced discouraging times too. Tight finances, illness, and problems at work cause stress. Unemployment undermines a man’s confidence.
When a man meets with discouragement, a good wife can help him through it.
How to Be Your Husband’s Helper When He’s Down
Stay Positive Yourself
It’s hard to see your man suffer, isn’t it? When Jose goes through hard times, I tend to join in and fret. Rather than helping my husband get back up, I end up pulling him down further. When our husbands are downhearted, that’s when they most need us to hold on to God’s promises and keep a smile on our faces.
Focus on Christ
A despondent man may be temporarily unable to give much to meet his wife’s needs. We need to place lower expectations on our husbands and higher expectations on Jesus. Our Savior meets our needs for love and encouragement like no one else can.
Pray for Him
Our husbands desperately need wives who will faithfully intercede for them. The best way to help your man is to pray for him daily.
Speak Positive Words
Let your husband know what you appreciate about him. Without preaching at him, gently remind him that God is on His side and has a solution to his challenges.
Know When to Keep Your Mouth Shut
This is where I fail. I give too many suggestions about what my husband could do to get out of a rough patch. My husband appreciates a word of advice–particularly if he asked for it—but when I go overboard, it gets to him. Most men interpret too many suggestions as criticism.
Remember the Power of Touch
Don’t you find a pat on the back or an affectionate handclasp reassuring? I’ll bet your husband does too. A simple hug communicates, “I love you. I care about you. I appreciate you.”
When your husband is down, remember that God has given him a great helper: you!
Hang in there and stay positive. Keep praying. Sooner or later, God will see him through, and who knows? The next time you’re discouraged, God just might use your husband to encourage you.
Now it’s your turn: What do you think is the best way to help your husband through hard times?
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I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup, Holley Gerth’s Coffee for your Heart, Crystal Storms’ #HeartEncouragement, and Arabah Joy’s Grace and Truth. Check out these communities for more encouragement.
Well done Betsy – very well done – thank you
Thanks for your kind words, Ken. Have a great week!
Karen Brown says
Betsy- This is a great list and such an encouraging message. We forget that our husbands need our ministry and our calling is to help and encourage him. Thanks for this beautiful reminder.
Yes, Karen, it’s so easy for me to get into a “this is all about me” mindset. I forget I’m my husband’s helper!
Mary Geisen says
Since I am not married I am going to answer your question a little differently. Ways to be there for a good friend are just checking in via a text or quick phone call, sending encouraging notes (who doesn’t love to get real mail) and praying for them. I am blessed with friends who are willing to do that for me too. I loved getting a little glimpse into your life. You should write more about starting up the church. I would be very interested. Have a blessed week!
Kathryn Shirey says
I was thinking, too, this is a great list for anyone to be an encourager and supporter. Ways for a friend to encourage, for a husband to support his wife – and for a wife to support her husband. I too would love to hear more about your ministry, Betsy, and the adventure God has you on.
Kathryn, you have a great point here, that a list like this is good for encouraging anyone! I think it’s especially hard for wives to see husband’s struggle, but we can use these with anyone. I rarely share about our ministry due to my location, but I did write a post about it recently for God-Sized Dreams. Don’t know if you read this: http://godsizeddreams.com/keeping-god-at-the-center-of-your-dream/
Thanks for reading this today, Mary. And yes, Kathryn below also commented that these same steps can be used to encourage anyone! Good point! I’m with you. I think texts, phone calls, and old fashioned notes are tops for encouraging someone. I rarely write about our ministry, but I did last February. I don’t know if you read this: http://godsizeddreams.com/keeping-god-at-the-center-of-your-dream/
Kelly Balarie says
Betsy, I am thankful for your words. These are really practical tips. It can be hard to know what to do when you see your husband struggling, so this is a big help. I appreciate your insights so much. Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.
I couldn’t agree more, Kelly. It’s HARD to see your husband struggle, and it happens to the best of them. May God equip us to be better wives with each passing year!
Holly Barrett says
What great encouragement for wives, Betsy! Thanks for sharing so transparently from your own life. I’d say Jose is one blessed man for having chose you!!
Oh, I’m beyond blessed to have Jose, Holly. Thanks for being here today. I love your link up!
Amen to your list. One other suggestion is to remember your husband’s love language and be more intentional in that area. For my husband, it is acts of service which translates to fixing him a special supper or taking the time to do one of the chores he would usually do.
That’s a GREAT idea, TJ! My husband’s love language is acts of service too! (And I’m not such a natural servant, so I have to work double time to communicate love in that way!)
I love this list! My husband went through a really difficult time a few years ago and I desperately wanted to help him but I struggled with how to do that. Fortunately, God was so good to lay many of these things on my heart, but I’m going to tuck this away as a reminder for when we are met with a challenge again!
Thanks for sharing, Kaylie. I think we all struggle with how to encourage our husbands. I’m sure you would have some good ideas for me too.
Leah Colwell Adams says
What a great mentor you are for wives! This post is so good. Thanks for reminding us of the incredible influence we have as wives. Blessings to you. Stopping in from #RaRaLinkup!
Thanks for your encouragement, Leah. We do have an influence as wives, and I’m hoping to be a good one! Blessings to you and your marriage!
Michele Morin says
Isn’t it amazing how God gives us the opportunity to be strong for each other? I’ve found so many times that when I’m down, God is using my husband to lift me up, and vice versa. I loved hearing about your husband’s accomplishments. Inspiring! Blessings to you today!
Thanks Michele. God uses my husband to encourage me too. That’s partnership!
This is great!! Thank you : )
I so appreciate this truth: “Most men interpret too many suggestions as criticism.” God did make us differently, and I have found this so often! Hard to remember and act on sometimes.
My husband and I have been through some very difficult circumstances and, on top of these excellent tips(!), have an unspoken rule that we get to “take turns.” When we’re in a situation that’s really tough for us, we know that someone needs to “keep watch” against our becoming bitter, losing hope, or giving into the temptation to go our way instead of God’s way. So if one of us is really feeling the heat and needs to doubt or get frustrated or vent all those worries, they can. But the other “keeps watch” until we can both get going again.
Blessings on you and your husband and your faithful service to the Lord together! Much love to you #RaRaLinkup sister : )
That sounds like a great system, Bethany. Keeping watch. I like that idea. And yes, I have a hard time remembering that too many suggestions can be like criticism to a man!
Kristi Woods says
As always, such good encouragement, Betsy. Words and touch truly are important. It’s easy to forget that or let it slide with our husbands due to complacency or day-to-day living. Your points in today’s post ring in a good reminder in this battle. You rock, my friend, and your words do as well. Thank you! Visting via #TestimonyTuesday & #raralinkup…and just because. 🙂
I know what you mean, Kristi! Letting it slide with the most important person in our life is the easiest thing to do. I wrote this post to myself too.
Thanks Betsy. I needed these tips today. My husband is facing his fourth back surgery next Monday. Not only does he live in constant pain, but he also stresses easily over finances, so this surgery is hard for him. Like you shared, it’s tempting for me to despair with him, but I need to stay positive.
Oh Kay, I’m praying for your husband, and for you too right now. That is hard. May the Lord be the lifter of your head and keep your eyes focused upward. Blessings and grace to you, sister.
Betsy, I am so glad I stopped here today. It is so true. I, too, have been blessed with a husband I consider to be strong. Everybody loves him and he is a help to so many. It is easy for me to forget that at times, he needs encouragement as well. Thank you for this reminder today. Blessings!
What a gift that God’s given you such a wonderful husband, Joanne. Sounds like you have a keeper for sure!
You and your husband are doing great things. Thank you for sharing.
S.L. Payne says
I’m so glad to have found your blog! This is such a good list and reminder- I always do better when I have some concrete ideas for those moments when I’m feeling like I just don’t know what to do. Honestly, it is so encouraging to hear how you are trying to do these things in your marriage and it gets me excited to put that extra bit of effort into mine 🙂 I love the Love Languages book by Chapman and I usually try to do things that are along the lines of my husband’s love languages when he is feeling stressed. It’s always nice knowing that it communicates what I want it to for him even if it doesn’t quite feel the same for me. Love this post!
I know what you mean about having some concrete ideas. That’s kind of how I am too. May the Lord bless your marriage and encourage your husband through you!
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
I like and agree with all your points and they are much needed reminders. I especially like “Focus on Christ”. I think that is good advice even when things are going well because men aren’t mind readers and we often put way too many expectations on them. Putting our expectation in Christ is a much better option. Thanks for the positive encouragement.
Oh I hear you about those expectations, Bev. I was writing that point to myself, believe me! It’s so easy to get our expectations swtiched around! Men aren’t mind readers, but Jesus is!
Lisa notes... says
Excellent advice here, Betsy! I know my husband would appreciate me reading these. ha. “Know when to keep your mouth shut” is probably the hardest one for me too. I don’t particularly say harsh things, but might offer too many “suggestions” when they’re not wanted. You’re a wonderful wife to Jose!
Oh I don’t know how wonderful of a wife I am, but I’m trying! Trying to learn to keep my mouth sweetly shut sometimes! 🙂
Betsy, what great marriage advice. I especially love keeping your focus on Christ and looking to Him to meet your needs. Visiting you from Coffee For Your Heart. : )
Yes! Me too. Thanks for the visit today.
Anita Ojeda says
Excellent advice, Betsy! I used all of those and made some of the same mistakes (talking too much, give too much advice). My husband was career-less for ten years (although he had occasional jobs). It was rough, but in retrospect, we both see those hard times as preparation for the job he currently holds–principal of a small mission school for Native American students. All things really DO work together for good!
Being without a career for ten years does sound tought! How wonderful the way God has given him a great position now, Anita! Bless you as you cheer your man on!
Betsy, love this and how you are cheering us on in our marriages. I need to work on “Remember the Power of Touch” – that is my hubby’s love language but not mine and I need to work on showing that to him more. Thanks for the encouragement today sweet friend. P.S. i am SOOOOO excited about you coming to Dallas! Kim Stewart
The language of touch isn’t my love language either, particularly, nor is it my husbands, but it’s still good for us both when I try to remember it!
Rachel Quigley says
What a great reminder that we are a team in all of this! Thanks for these encouraging words!
Thanks for being here, Rachel!
Daune Smith says
This past winter my husband was working two jobs. He WAS discouraged, and very tired a lot!
I made it my ‘job’ to intentionally love him sexually and send him text messages about how amazing he is, how thankful I am to be HIS wife and I prayed for a breakthrough.
In Jan. the part time job turned into full time and he quit the first job! Praise God…
This new job is 36 miles away, one way and again, he’s home later, tired and needs me to be his biggest fan.
Thanks for your post. It’s very encouraging to be reminded that we have such a place of influence in our man’s life.
You sound like an amazing wife, Daune. I’m sure you could teach me so much. That prayer for breakthrough must have been a key to his new job. Blessings and grace to you during this new stage of the 36 miles away job.
Lisa @ LisaAppelo.com says
Aw, these are good words and your husband has a great treasure in you. Men definitely need their wives to be their #1 cheerleader! Visiting from #TellHisStory.
Doris S. Swift says
Love this Betsy, such truth! Well written and chock-full of good reminders. Thank you.
Kaylene Yoder says
Betsy this is so good! Your words give me the hope that just maybe I can learn to keep my mouth shut! 😉 Thats where I struggle sometimes. Often its not the words I say, but the body language and the facial expressions that go with it that give away the irritation in my heart.
Thank you for sharing at Grace & Truth. I will be featuring you next Friday. Please stop by and grab my featured button when you get a chance. xoxo
Thanks for featuring me, Kaylene! If you can learn to keep your mouth shut, do you think you could teach me too? I have the hardest time with that!
Jennifer @ A Divine Encounter says
Such a great post, Betsy! A couple of years ago, my husband battled thyroid cancer, and a few months after beating it, he lost his job in a very unfair and hurtful way. I can see as I look back at those experiences that God enabled me to incorporate a lot of these very things you suggest. From the very beginning, wives have had great influence over their husbands. We can use it for harm or for good. Thank you for prompting us to use it for his good! Thanks so much for linking up with us at Grace & Truth!
Wow, Jennifer, that sounds really tough. I’m sure you would have a lot to teach us all about encouraging your husband. Blessings on your weekend!
I too am often guilty of making unnecessary suggestions. I’m learning to accept more, change less, listen and rely on God’s promises. Thanks so much for sharing.
I like that: accept more, try to change less!
I pray for him and I encourage him. I believe one of my gifts is to be an encourager I do it well. I keep the children from bothering him too much and I shoulder some responsibility that is depending on what is causing the stress.
Praying for you now, friend. And your marriage and family. Prayer for our mates is so important, isn’t it? (And it’s something I sometimes forget!)