My husband struggles with mental illness and has been making such amazing progress. The other night I told him how much progress he had made and it hit me how long it had been since I built him up. That my friends, for a successful marriage should not be a foreign feeling!!
What I believe is so important is to build up our spouses. No matter what; when they look back, they need to see you as their biggest cheerleader throughout life. They need to feel your support because yours is the one that matters.
The hardest part of this marital commitment is that there are many times they are undeserving of that support and praise, many times we are angry or fighting and the last thing you want to do is say something nice. But that’s Grace; that’s what we are called to do regardless of how we feel and regardless of how deserving they are. (I am by no means claiming to be good at this!)
I heard once that men’s deepest desire is to be respected and women’s is to be loved. And the command that Christ gives us is to give what they need even if we are not receiving what we need. What this means is Respect even if you are not feeling the love you need. (I wrote another post about going to God to get our needs met…this may help here.) I am not saying to go on with your needs not being met, but what I am saying is we as individuals in this marriage are called to do what is right regardless of the other person. That is where our character is defined.
So what are some practical ways we can tangibly do this? Here is a couple area’s to start.
Always Support Their Dreams
One of the best pieces of advice I got from one of my mentors was this. She said 90% of them don’t come to fruition but they need to feel safe to dream around you, and supported by you while they do.
Try and compliment or build up your spouse ONCE per day at minimum.
It’s important to be intentional in your daily interactions with your spouse. The enemy will plant lies in your head and your spouses, but you building them up, it can squash those lies right in their tracks before satan gets a real foothold.
As the leader of the home, we need to allow that leading to be supported. In our home, I have the strong personality and my husband is a lot more timid. It’s really easy for me to overshadow and take over that leadership role. I constantly have to humble myself and give back the reins. By trusting him, for example in decisions about our family, our finances etc. I can allow him to lead us, but also show him I trust where he will lead us. I’m not going to get into submission in this post because that is a whole other can of worms. I am just saying and asking that you give your husband opportunities to lead your family and show him you trust that leadership.
Build him up SPIRITUALLY, EMOTIONALLY and PHYSICALLY
You are the opinion that matters most, your criticism hurts more than anyone else’s. Keep this in mind with your words, they have power especially to our spouses. There are many times I have said damaging things while angry to my husband that were not worth the pain they caused him during a moment of weakness I fell into. I encourage you to build up each area of your spouse and continually remind them.
Remember how important you are, remember your words matter and remember you have the power to build up or tear down but the choice is yours alone.