Encourage Your Husband
By Pam Farrel
We all long for a loving environment in our marriage. One panicked husband needed a creative idea for his wife. He was caught in gridlocked traffic with a dead cell phone on his anniversary. Knowing the whole evening would be ruined if he was late and didn’t call, he wrote a message on some paper and taped it to his rear window, asking the passing motorists to help a guy out.
When he finally arrived home, his wife gave him a passionate, lingering kiss, and he knew his night would be good as she said, “You must really love me. Fifty people called me to tell me so.”
So how can the Spirit help us keep love red hot even amidst a hectic schedule? The antidote for cold hearts is a lifestyle of encouragement. To be sure, words are a vital part of encouragement, but they are not the complete story. One of the Greek words translated “encouragement” in the Bible is a compound word - Paraklesis - which means “called alongside another individual.”
The implication, especially in marriage, is that you are committed to bring out the best in the other person. You will use kind words, offer your assistance, and confront your spouse if that will help your partner be the person God designed him or her to be.
Encouragement is so powerful because you partner with the Holy Spirit when you encourage your spouse. Jesus could just as easily have called the Holy Spirit “The Encourager,” because that is what He does in our lives. He is called alongside us to help bring out the best in us.
Your small efforts join together with the big efforts of the Holy Spirit, and the hearts of those you love soften. The Holy Spirit is committed to helping you love your spouse. He will make suggestions about what you can do to make your spouse feel more confident and gain energy for the pursuits of life. Pam and I decided that our favorite relationship song is Unforgettable. Because of Pam’s speaking schedule, we spend many weekends apart. One day this song came on the radio, the thought jumped out at me, Bill, anytime you hear this song and are not with Pam, you should call her and hold your phone to the speaker. I didn’t come up with that idea on my own, and it has been a winner. Just the other day, our song came on the radio, so I called Pam. It was one in the morning her time, and as soon as I heard her sleepy voice, I moved my phone to the speaker. When I held the phone to my ear again, I heard a very sleepy, “Thanks, honey. I love you.”
The Spirit will also suggest acts of kindness for you to do for your spouse. All of us live challenging lives that sometimes get out of our control. At these times, a helping hand or a kind gesture have a way of lightening the load and resurrecting hope.
I was driving home from a speaking engagement when the thought hit me, I should whisk Bill away for a surprise. I called a friend to ask if she could watch the kids overnight and I made a hotel reservation. When I got home, I put on an outfit that I knew Bill really liked, and I wrote down on a 3 x 5 card some of the more interesting places we had made love and included an invitation for Bill to come away with me.
As I walked into church, Bill was on his way to the platform to deliver the message for the night. I caught him and placed the card in his shirt pocket.
Well, Bill thought I had just given me an announcement to read to the congregation. I took a quick look, and all I could get out of my mouth was, “Ohhhh!” as I put the card back in my pocket.
Bill didn’t read the note out loud, but he did deliver the shortest sermon in recorded history. Encouragement! Pray and ask the Spirit for a little creativity this week that might just make a memory for both of you.
Try Some Encouraging Dinner Conversation
In Pam and Bill Farrel’s book, The Marriage Code, and its companion study guide, there are dinner and dialogue questions as well as daily devotional moments meant to help a couple learn how to listen and respond to God’s Spirit in order to be drawn together in unity. In preparation for your dinner and dialogue this week, to focus your thoughts on being encouraging, write out your thoughts on the following:
- When I look at you, the unique strength I see is...
- What I most appreciate about this strength is…
Then pray for wisdom as you discuss the following questions in response to your spouse’s insight:
- What can I do that encourages you in this area?
- What is the kindest thing I have ever said? Done?
- How does the way I touch you impact your area of strength and uniqueness?
Try a Love Letter
Choose one of the prompts below to write a love letter to your spouse:
- The song that best describes our relationship is…
- The reasons I love this song are…
Encouragement means to be called alongside to bring out the best in another individual.
- The ways you have brought out the best in me are…
- The ways I hope to bring out the best in you are…