Fill His Heart With Courage: Practical Ways to Encourage Your Husband by Kelsey Van Kirk
“....so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved thinking of my husband as a strong and mighty warrior, ready, able and willing to draw his sword to protect my life and honor. Something about it just gets me right in the feels. Many might call it old-fashioned, idyllic romanticism, but I’m convinced God designed it to be that way.
Here is what I know to be true: our Heavenly Father is a pursuer of hearts. He is strong and mighty and a fierce protector of those who follow him. Jesus himself laid his very own life down in exchange for ours, a sacrifice made in pure, unconditional love.
I think that’s how God designed our men to be - mighty conquerors with hearts of gold who will seek wisdom, walk in love and vanquish darkness on behalf of their brides. It is a beautiful reflection of the nature of our relationship with God - and also a very tall order for any man to fulfill.
Life is hard. We women know this. It’s easy for us to relate to the idea that our lives as wives and moms are exhausting, because - it’s the truth! We are constantly pouring ourselves out in the love, care, nurture and service of our husbands and babes.
But we mustn’t forget that our husbands grow weary too. The weight of leading, providing for and protecting their wives and children can be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually draining. And when warriors become weary, they need encouragement.
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a good word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25
Quite literally, encouragement means to “fill with strength and courage.” There is power in a word of encouragement, ladies. Think about its power in your own life! One expression of appreciation, love or affirmation can turn your entire day around and bolster you to press on. Encouragement is an outflow of God’s sustaining power through us into others.
Regular encouragement can sustain our warriors through the daily challenges of life and quite literally fill them with the courage to show up to battle every day. It is one of a man’s deepest needs, and one that we wives have both the privilege and responsibility of meeting.
Encourage him in who God is.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
One of the best ways to combat feelings of weakness, despair or inadequacy is to speak and soak in the truth of who God is. When you see that your husband is weary and needs encouragement, remind him that he isn’t on this journey alone and that he has the ever-present, faithful goodness, grace, justice, power and strength of God on his side.
God is GOOD.
“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” Psalm 86:5
God is WITH US.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7
God is GRACIOUS & JUST.
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18
God is FAITHFUL.
“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9
God has POWER.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18
Encourage him in who he is.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Sometimes we all just need to be appreciated and reminded of how awesome we are! Our husbands are no exception. One of the most spiritual things we can do is affirm each other in who God created each of us to be. Let him know that you believe in him, because of who his creator is. Thank him for being your husband and shower him with compliments about who he is, outside of just what he does. Remind him that you love and appreciate him just as he is, the way God does. Remind him that God has a plan for him, and that he will be faithful to see it through.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6
Encourage him in what he does.
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us.” Psalm 90:17
Nothing is quite as sweet as being recognized, appreciated and validated for our hard work. Men especially need to know that what they do matters. One of the biggest ways the enemy of our souls will try to break us down is by leading us to believe who we are and what we do doesn’t matter. As wives, we have the amazing privilege of noticing, praising and affirming the work of our husbands’ hands. Be generous in vocally expressing thanks and appreciation for everything your husband does. Don’t let the areas where your husband needs growth cloud your view of everything he does well.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that i may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
In choosing to focus on and affirm the areas that our husbands are doing great work, we play a role in the building up of their self-worth and courage to move forward in their fight to become more like Christ.
Encouragement is a spiritual discipline that takes daily practice to develop. The beautiful part is that God is faithful to speak through us when we align our hearts with His truth and will. So, the more we seek Him the more easily and often encouragement will flow from our hearts, to our mouths, to our husbands’ ears.
Hey! It's Maggie here - I'm thankful that Kelsey took the time to share with you some practical ways you can encourage your man. If you want more resources, be sure to check out this guest post by Carrie Sharpe on the power you have as a wife. Also check out this wonderful package we've created to make texting to your husband fun, loving and encouraging!