When I was a child there were challenges and difficulties. My eldest sister passed away before she entered high school and my parents divorced the following year. I was about 10 years old. It was a rather dark time in my life as I had not yet been introduced to Jesus. Mom left the state and dad worked hard to raise the three of us that remained. A couple of years later mom returned but there were still problems with her new husband and a host of other issues. Dad had some anger issues and there was a fair amount of yelling between us as children and him.
By all rights I should have come out of that situation emotionally stunted and very withdrawn. However if you’ve ever met me you know I am a positive person, chronically happy and high on the self-confidence scale. Why?
Two reasons. The first is, of course, the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. The second is less clear from the story of my childhood. My parents, like all of us who have children, made many mistakes. But they got one BIG thing consistently right.
Over and over I was told that I was intelligent, that I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to achieve, effectively built up to the belief that I was able to change the world if that was my desire. There were times that I took it too far, issues with arrogance had to be dealt with by the Lord, but all in all it was healthy to have the uplifting words in my life. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
My parents didn’t take me to church at this time in my life, but somehow they both had the gift of encouragement. I firmly believe God planted that in them for a specific reason.
How does this apply to HappierHusband? Simple, encouragement is part of my spiritual DNA. I constantly talk up my lovely bride (see what I did there? :-)). In fact it is very uncommon for me to speak to Sally using her given name. My conversations with her are sprinkled with terms of endearment such as “pretty girl”, “hot wife”, “my love”, “love of my life”. This type of speech is a constant reminder to her just how precious she is to me. From the other perspective it is a constant reminder to me to treat her with love and care.
When I am away from her speaking to others she gets complimented by me. A LOT! Guys you want a way to get some points with your lovely lady? Talk her up to family members, mutual friends and even strangers. I promise it will get back to her and you WILL be rewarded. That’s not why you do it, just a fringe benefit.
Three final points:
1) Never ever EVER EVER insult your wife. Never. Ever. Ever. Words can cause incredible harm. “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18. Encourage her and build her up and you will see her spirit be lifted up and her joy increase.
2) I do not tell you about how I speak to my wife in order to brag, but rather to encourage you. Every word out of a husband’s mouth to his wife should be filled with kindness and love, compassion and grace.
3) If you make a habit of telling her how amazing she is, how much you love her and how much she means to you it will not only affect her, it will affect you. You can’t help but fall more and more in love with the person on whom you constantly lavish affection.
Now go and tell her..and everyone else!