We all love to hear praise. We love to be told we look lovely in our new dress or that we did a great job singing that special song on Sunday or the meal was marvelous. Everyone of us longs to be praised. It is even more special when the praise is given to us by someone we love and admire.
Why is it that, as wives, we seldom praise our husbands?
Do we think, “they are only doing what they are supposed to” or “it’s just taking out the trash (or mowing the lawn), what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that our praise should have nothing to do with the size of the task but with the size of our gratitude. So the question becomes: are we truly grateful for the husband God has given to us?
You wanna know something? Chances are high that there is some other woman giving your husband praise in his life – in his job, in his ministry, in the neighborhood.
Praise can cause us to become attentive to the praise-giver.
A wife should be the receiver of that attentiveness – and therefore we need to make sure we are the major ones giving praise!
But, you say, you don’t understand my husband…he doesn’t really deserve praise. Oh really? Nothing he does deserves praise? Not a,
- “Honey I was so blessed by your giving the baby a bath tonight” or
- “Thank you for carrying those groceries in for me, I felt so loved” or
- “I feel so cared for when you went to work today when you were feeling ill, thank you!”
If you think nothing he does deserves praise, then I think it is time for you to spend some time on your knees before the Lord and ask Him to give you eyes to see your husband with compassion and gratitude rather than with a critical spirit.
Finding things worthy of praise.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Phil 4:8
For those of you who do recognize the praise-worthy things your husband does but just forget to say anything, I would like you to build a pattern for the next week of giving 5 praises a day to your husband. They don’t have to be huge things. In fact, most of our lives are lived in the midst of the small things. Maybe it was common courtesy of holding the door or carrying something heavy. Maybe it was a kind word he spoke to a neighbor about you. Maybe it was a compliment he gave.
At first it might seem awkward or artificial, but after a few days you will begin to see even more all the way he cares for you, protects you and loves you. And the praises will begin to flow. It is also a great way to teach our children what a healthy marriage should look like!
Praise, love and gratitude go hand-in-hand.
When we look at others with hearts of praise, it changes how we view them. If we have been taking our husbands for granted, we look at them with critical spirits and our love begins to wane – just a bit. But if we choose to live in gratitude and look at those things that are praise worthy, our love begins to bloom, just a little bit.
When we begin to change, our husbands very often will respond back. If we fill our hearts with praise and gratitude, it is a natural human instinct to respond in kind. In a healthy loving relationship, their love and gratitude begin to build toward us as well. (This will probably not have much affect in a dysfunctional unhealthy relationship, but that is a different post.)
Now, I am NOT saying that praising our husbands will keep our marriages safe from adultery. But I AM saying that the enticing words of the adulteress will have much less affect on a man who loves the Lord, seeks to live the surrendered life and is showered with praise from a loving and grateful wife.
Try it. You might find some eye-opening (and romantic) results!