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7 Ways for a Husband to Encourage His Wife

By October 28, 2016July 10th, 2017Encouragement, Marriage

I’m not a perfect husband.

I’m not a perfect husband.

I’m not a perfect husband.

I would write that 100 times, but I think you get the message and I’d probably lose most of you at number 17. That’s the average number of times you’ll read the same thing. (Of course, I just made that up.)

But, I want it clear up front, I’m not a perfect husband.

I have learned a few things and I do want to be a better husband. I know, for example, part of my happiness is found in Cheryl being happy. I love my wife enough I want her to be happy. I think most husbands would agree with this statement. If not, its time to get outside help for the marriage.

Obviously, I can’t control all the things which happen in a day for her. I can’t stop people from being rude to her as she drives to work. I can’t keep the co-worker who is having a bad day from taking her bad day out on Cheryl. I can’t stop the pressures and stress Cheryl will encounter by being a pastor’s wife or by being a friend, mother, daughter or sister.

All I can control is the way I respond to Cheryl and the things I do to encourage her happiness. I do believe – as I read Scripture – just as I strategically think for my ministry, I should strategically think how to encourage my wife. It’s part of loving my wife as Christ loves the church.

Obviously a wife wants to know she’s loved, that you believe in her and respect her, and that we are committed long-term to the relationship. But, what are some practical ways to show this on a continual basis? Allow me to offer a few suggestions.

Here are a 7 ways I try to encourage Cheryl:

Send flowers – when they aren’t expected. 

This seems so trivial, but I honestly have to remind myself to do this. Flowers on a special occasion are nice, but I have found the ones she enjoys the most are sent on the days she’s not looking for flowers. This could be something besides flowers if your wife isn’t into flowers much, but I’ve also discovered many of the practical-minded women who say they don’t want flowers actually love receiving them occasionally.

Reserve a day – just for her.

I try to do this every Saturday. I let few things interrupt this day and none without consulting with Cheryl first. You may not be able to do this once a week and it may not be for a full day, but it should be consistent enough she can anticipate it. I think it’s great if these are placed on the calendar and trump other interruptions. (There are always emergencies, but as much as possible keep them. Plus, some things we claim as emergencies could actually be delegated to someone else.) During the times when life is most stressful and you are pulled in different directions, these reserved times give her something to look forward to and remind her you’ll be able to “catch up” soon.

Give a gift which keeps on giving.

This idea is brilliant, I must admit. I love to give a gift which takes a while to receive. When the boys were at home and getting away was more difficult, I would give Cheryl a trip for Christmas every year. We would take the trip in May. I would usually pick a location, request brochures, and give them to her as her “big” gift at Christmas. We had months to plan for it, which built positive emotions leading up to the trip and then anticipating the next Christmas trip. (Plus, many of these expenses were paid outside the Christmas spending frenzy, which helped our budget.) We are more flexible with our schedule since the boys have moved out, but I still try to keep something planned ahead for Cheryl to look forward to in the future. These are huge boosts on otherwise cloudy days.

Be a responsive listener.

I realize whenever Cheryl says something there is usually a deeper meaning, so I try to listen for the deeper meaning. I try to understand her thought process.(Girls, guys really do talk in simpler facts, which makes it more difficult for us to understand subtleties sometimes.) Instead of dismissing what Cheryl said, because it wasn’t clear or assuming I know what she’s saying, I ask questions for clarification when needed.

Give her details.

Okay, I know, this one can hurt – and, I’m not the best at it. Again, I’m not the perfect husband here. (Do I need to write that again?) I try allowing Cheryl to ask me questions and I try to tell her when I’ve told her everything I know. I realize details are more important to her than to me. (This may be opposite for you and your spouse.) Cheryl is very accommodating here – knowing I don’t like details. We plan times together where she knows I’m more likely to talk – such as our morning or evening walks. I have to remember though – just because details aren’t important to me doesn’t mean they aren’t to her.

Listen without fixing.

This is my toughest, but just in the last couple week I did this. I hope she caught it. She had a list of things on her mind she was struggling with and I didn’t say a word until she got through all of them. And, it was hard. I am a fixer. I fix problems everyday. Give me a problem and I’ll be quick to race to a solution. I realize many times, however, Cheryl simply wants my ear and not my expert insight.

Brag to others about her.

Let your wife hear you bragging about her to other people. She’s wonderful, right? Let her know you recognize it. Of course, this should be genuine, but I know Cheryl appreciates hearing me affirm her to others. And Cheryl is wonderful. You heard it here first. It’s funny sometimes, because people who haven’t picked Cheryl out in the crowd on Sunday or met her yet, will ask – “Are you ‘the Cheryl’?” They’ve heard me talk about her enough they want to know who she is.

Guys, your list will be different from mine, because your wife is different. Some of them will be the same. The point of this post is to encourage you to think strategically about how you can encourage your wife.

Ladies, feel free to help us men. Most of us really do want you to feel encouraged. So, anything you would add to my list which would encourage you?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 37 Comments

  • Aaron says:


    I have struggled with this for as long as I’ve been in relationships. I an engaged for the second time in my life to a wonderful woman. We are a blended family with my kids and hers. We try our best and most times she and I feel differently. I want to be the man she wants and deserves with everything in me.
    We have recently had a life altering event in our life as it has changed our life completely. My fiancee had an affair with someone that is very close to me. It started as someone who could listen to her during our hard times when I wasn’t. It then progressed to simple flirting to more.
    Since finding out and us dealing with it, she has shown me true remorse and regret. She has taken measures to ensure me that she made a mistake and wants to better things between us. And so far it has made us closer, communicate better, and be more intimately involved in each other. She made a mistake and she hates it.
    I have forgiven her but it still hurts. I feel I’m not the same person I was. I know it’s not my fault this happened to me but it is my fault for not supporting, listening, encouraging, and loving her the way she should have been.
    I truly want to be a better man for her. I know she never wanted any of this to happen. I don’t know what I’m asking or what I need. I just need something. Any advice?

    • Ron Edmondson says:

      Sounds like you are moving forward. If you are, then I’m not sure you should strive to be “the same person”. You want to be different – both of you – to keep this from ever happening again. The feelings of trust and “wholeness” will take time. Forgiveness is a choice, but the consequences of sin take time to overcome. Both of you will need to understand this and gradually work back to complete trust and for the emotions to heal. Don’t be afraid to get counseling. Don’t dismiss the emotions you will naturally have.
      One book suggestion: Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration by Cindy Beall

      Praying for you.

  • Shaylove says:

    I would add…

    Ask for her permission or input.

    If you are asked to commit to something, check with your wife first, especially if it effects time she could be spending with you! You will make her feel included in your life & decision-making.

  • Michelle says:

    These are great articles! Thank you for writing them! I am getting married in a couple of weeks and with all the wedding details to tend to, it’s easy to lose track of the importance of building our relationship. Thank you for the reminders and advice!

  • Becky says:

    Don’t roll your eyes when she says something or remembers when shopping to get something and need to walk all the way back to the isle you just left.
    Toss the remote towards me an say go ahead and watch you Lmn. But your playing in the phone and not watching tv. Watch shows she wants some time

  • brian says:

    Ojust wanted to say that I cant get enough of these posts. Ive read about 5 today and it will be helpful once I start to implement some of these things in my marriage. Its almost as if you are writing these for me haha

  • Meredith says:

    I wish m husband would offer to help in the kitchen more and help fold laundry. It makes me feel like he understands how tired I am after work, while I would love nothing more than for us to just sit around, things still need to be done. His offering or at least staying in the kitchen to chit chat about his day. It jus doesn’t seem as bad if he he’s in there with me.

  • Kassie says:

    I’ve been engaged to the most wonderful man on earth for four years. Yes I said four years. We’re not putting it off because we’re not ready. We’re putting it off because over the last four years we’ve been trying to settle issues with our ex spouses. He’s finally through his mess. Unfortunately I’m going into round two with mine. What I’m trying to say is I now know what a healthy happy relationship is. I’ve been through hell and my fiancé is my heaven on earth. The only thing that bugs me is when he doesn’t tell me stuff or lies about things. I talked to him about it and he told me……he didn’t tell me about this or that because he didn’t want to worry me or stress me out. I explained that I worry about everything all the time. He agreed to fill me in on things but here we are again, with me wondering about this or that. It’s mostly financial stuff which is driving me nuts. Because I pay the bills, I handle the stocks and retirement stuff. How do I get him to understand that not knowing is far worse than knowing? And how do I get him to stick with it and always fill me in? I realize he’s an amazing man, father, step father but he’s a mess when it comes to bills and financial stuff. So I’ve never put this bills in his court. Simply because I know it wouldn’t work. So I started filing him in more on our finances. But that doesn’t do much either. Because he tends to mentally shut out what I’m saying while still listening. If that makes sense? Maybe I should just be happy he handled the insurance today and leave it at that. Goodness why does he out everything off to the last second. I don’t know anyone that would pay insurance on a car that hasn’t been used or registered in six months.

    • Mainey says:

      Reading your post reminds me so much of my best friend and her relationship. She deals with the same things you are dealing with, ie. the lying or withholding information, the inability to discuss finances. These things were all there before she married this guy. But after the marriage these things became even worse. One time she and I were at the grocery store and when she went to pay, her bank card didn't have enough money in it. Much to her surprise, she found out that her husband had taken the money out to buy something he wanted and he never told her about it. He goes behind her back all the time now because he doesn't want to hear that he can't do what he wants with the finances even though he never lets her show him where they are financially. So as a result she feels no security and has to deal with these things all the time. I would say, think and pray about this relationship before you decide if you will marry. God has much more for you than you can imagine giving yourself. Don't step into a snare. Ask God what to do, get with a good Pastor who can counsel you in how to deal with these issues. You are not imagining things. These are legitimate concerns. Don't settle for less than God's best for you.

  • Andrew says:

    Good advice. How do I encourage her to read her Bible and attend church? She doesn’t seem hungry for spiritual things.

    • ronedmondson says:

      That's only accomplished by prayer and example. Never by pleading, begging or nagging. Always influence over control or manipulation.Praying for you

  • Dave says:

    I like reading these articles and getting ideas for romance and encouraging my wife. An older gentleman that I respect a lot once told me: “the husband is the first to love and the first to forgive”. I have based my marriage on that, and the wonderful thing is that my wife responds to it so well. The smallest romantic gestures and signs of support and understanding melt every stress and challenge she has, and then she turns around and gives it back to me. Great agape love. Thanks for the article; it was great!

  • Rod says:

    This is great, and stuff I've been working on from day one. My question though: how do you encourage your wife to do something. For example, my wife loves art, but I feel like I'm failing to encourage her to paint more (or draw more, etc). I'm a pretty creative guy, and I spend time writing or creating every day. I'd love my wife to join me in this, and share my passion with me, but it seems that every time I try there's a massive breakdown in communication and I feel like the bad guy. So much for good motives hey. I have learn't that perceptions can be quite skewed, and sometimes what I see and she sees are different, but I know she has talent and I want to help her shine.

  • Ajiro jessah says:

    This would help alot

  • Kathryn Talbot says:

    I do understand part of what you are saying Fred, if men are to think they are 'slow' or communicate so differently? than women because men are factual and less detailed or show less emotion (that I disagree with), it could make women feel their communication skills are better maybe somewhat 'superior' . Then that becomes the problem, not the fact that she could be making a big deal of nothing, she wants attention, she has her own issues with others and needs to work on a better attitude or other personality flaws on her part.
    The idea of saying men don't understand what women are really saying because there is so much more behind their words could make some women feel they do communicate on a higher level. Obviously it could affect a relationship negatively as the husband/man would automatically think he is at fault: he didn't listen intently enough, he had no right to make her feel better by solving her grievances/problem or he just isn't capable of understanding such an complex mind as a woman's ….. ummm…problemo right there!
    What I've witnessed and experienced is that there can be enormous amt of emotion in men's communication, they too want to relate experiences without hearing a solution sometimes esp from a wife, there is a lot more deeper meaning behind the words they speak and they too can relate a lot of details- so I say to both: 'be fair when communicating, neither male or female are necessarily better @ it or should they have any special 'status' or be put on a pedestal for communicating more effectively.
    I say all this with the admission that 'I am not a PERFECT wife' 🙂

  • Fred says:

    For starters, of course, she's also to do the same for you as a husband, yes?

    For another, I hope we try to get away from this idea that men are somehow idiotic and, as you put it, “slow” and in need of help. It's wrong and a put-down of one sex and the pedestalization of another. It's not right, please stop. As a pastor, you should not be saying things like this.
    This is why men are no longer attending church, these kinds of benign insults from a pastor.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Sir, you obviously haven't read very much of my blog…so you're taking one blog out of context. Did you read this post?… (The "slow" comment was a joke…sorry it offended you.)

      Second, you obviously don't know my church. We are reaching tons of men's men.

      Third, your approach to addressing an issue of concern doesn't welcome the gentlest response.

      • Fred says:

        You third point first: I'm not quite sure what a ‘gentle response’ has to do with the logic or illogic of my comments. Regardless of my approach, you're commanded by God to respond gently anyway. However, I apologize for my harsh approach, I'm just sick of the pervasive put-downs of men, even jokingly. Just think if you'd written: “Men, help the ladies out, they're slow”. Would such a statement, even in jest, ever have crossed your mind? I think not.

        Second point: you're right, I don't, but I'm not referring to your church now, am I? I'm talking about capital C church. There's no need to be that defensive and the fact you are seems to me to indicate this is a sore point in general, and it should be!

        First point: why, OF COURSE! You've written a post, just like you would have in say, a magazine. Do you expect me to go through every single article you'd ever written in that magazine for the last two years just to get context? No. Your posts necessarily stand on their own and I'm sorry to say that this one didn't stand very well in its own right, which is why I felt I should comment.

        Iron sharpens iron.

  • Awesome post!!! The listening with fixing is so huge…If men would only work on this one point for a week, I promise that their wives would notice a huge difference in their relationship… It took me many years to learn this.

  • Cindy Holman says:

    These are ALL great! Love the listening and not "fixing" – Greg is learning this one as well 🙂

  • M-MO says:

    Ok….remember, you asked 🙂 Stability….security…that's the best way to encourage a wife. Find ways that show or remind her that no matter what you are walking through or what circumstances are around you, that you would still forsake all others and choose her!

  • My only addition would be "stop making excuses." I just went down your list and thought of reasons why I could not do that one… or the next…and so on. Yep, except the "I'm not a perfect husband." That's the one i consistently get. I need to cut and paste this over my monitor.

  • Eric

    These are some great ideas Ron. One of my favorites is to be a responsive listener. It's easy to get distracted and not really pay attention to what our wives are saying.

  • Tami Heim says:

    Way to go Ron – Good stuff.

  • Chris R. Smith says:

    I like to try and make sure the woman in my life knows that her hopes and dreams are my priority too! We all need encouragement and we are all capable of some really great things when we have someone on our team that pulls for the best in us each time! Not to mention she will understand that you value you her as an individual and that you value you what is important to her!