How to be a better wife by elevating your husband

How To Be A Better Wife By Elevating Your Husband

In last week’s post, I let you in on my struggles with being a submissive wife, and how God answered my prayers for wisdom about how to be a better wife with an acronym: Y.E.S. Honey, which stands for Yield, Elevate and Supplicate. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about the second part of the acronym: what it means to elevate our husbands. But before we talk about what it means, I think it would be helpful to talk about what it doesn’t mean…

Antonyms: disgrace, disdain, put down3 Ways to Be A Better Wife

What Elevate Doesn’t Mean

As I started looking at the antonyms for elevate, I realized that if I’m honest, I’m guilty of those things in my marriage. I don’t know that I “disgrace” my husband, but in our interactions, sometimes I think I express an undertone of disdain or contempt for him; we have three children, and our life is crazy-busy. In the hustle and bustle of life, my kids get most of my energy and patience and time, and he gets the leftovers.

I rarely consider how I speak to him, or weigh how my words come across. I’m often in survival mode, going from one project or activity or obligation to another, so what I say to my husband and how I say it just comes out, and I’m sure at times it comes out all wrong.

The words “put down” also struck a chord. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t go around bad mouthing my husband. But if I could gather up all of the words I’ve spoken about him over the years and sort them into barrels, would there be more positive than negative (this includes nagging!)? I honestly don’t think to generate positive words to acknowledge his strengths and the blessing he is to our family, unless it is through a prayer exercise of thanksgiving, or a birthday or anniversary. It’s just not a habit.

So if I’m not routinely building him up, I have a feeling that many of the rest of the words serve to put him down. Our thoughts count, too. Yikes! We may be really careful about not tearing our husbands down to others, but what does your thought life about your husband look like? Luke 6:45 tells us that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. When our thoughts about our husband are negative, our words and the tone of those words is going to convey that inner attitude.

Elevate: to uplift, uphold, raise up

[ctt template=”2″ link=”3DffS” via=”yes” ]What does the overflow of your heart say about your husband?[/ctt]

3 Ways to Elevate Your Husband

So after confessing to you just how rotten I’ve been at elevating my own husband, I’d like to shift gears and get positive, so I’ve put together three ways you can elevate your husband.

1.) Elevate him in your mind.

Elevating your husband must begin with training your mind to think about him in a God-honoring way. This may take some practice; old habits die hard! Our human nature seeks out fault, and keeps track of ways we’ve been wronged. But 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that love keeps no record of wrongs. We must practice taking the negative thoughts captive, and replacing them with positive thoughts about our husbands. Another practical way to do this is to offer prayers of thanksgiving for your husband, listing the things you are thankful for, to get into the habit of being aware of those good things.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

2.) Elevate him in front of him.

Once you’ve become aware of the positive qualities your husband possesses, it should be a natural transition to begin verbalizing those thoughts in his presence. It may seem kind of forced at first, or even embarrassing, but I think it will end up being a blessing to both you and your husband! You may already be a pro at this, but for those of us who need practice, don’t give up or be discouraged if it doesn’t pan out the way you’d hoped, or if your husband doesn’t seem to notice.

better wifeSome husbands may not be directly reached by words of affirmation, and that’s okay. Remember, we are doing this to honor the Lord, not for the results it will yield! But no matter what your husband’s immediate outward response, you can bet that the inner transformation that takes place in you is going to have a huge long-term impact on your relationship.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”– 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

3.) Elevate him in front of others.

If you have children, they might be the safest testing grounds for speaking positive things about your husband to others. If it was a little intimidating for you to elevate him in front of just him, elevating him in front of others may be even more so! But don’t let fear keep you from speaking life into your husband and into your marriage.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

“The tongue has the power of life and death…” – Proverbs 18:21a (NIV)

If you have young children, you can start off by saying things like “Didn’t Daddy do a good job washing the car?” or “Doesn’t your father look handsome in that suit?” while he is within earshot. You can elevate him when he isn’t around too; speaking well of your husband to your children can be a powerful way to positively shape their view of their father, and of a marriage relationship. When you’re in a group of friends, when conversations turn to complaining about spouses, be extra-vigilant not to take part, and try to use the conversation as a springboard for changing the topic to something positive, like, “but you know what, I think all of our guys do a great job at…”

A Little Honesty…

Let me be clear: I don’t do any of these things well. Not yet. But I really, truly want to begin! So, if you’ll join me in committing to elevate our husbands for the next week, I’d love for us to begin a conversation in the comments about our success stories, as well as our disappointments and failures. This is what Candidly Christian is all about – sharing our struggles, and then linking arms as we move forward together to become more and more like Jesus!

[ctt template=”2″ link=”0IfbH” via=”no” ]Become a better wife by intentionally elevating your husband.[/ctt]

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  1. Love this, Jaime! Building our husbands up is so important. Years ago I went through the 30-day husband encouragement challenge with Revive Our Hearts and it totally changed my life. I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with this.

  2. I really appreciate your statement, “if I could gather up all of the words I’ve spoken about him over the years and sort them into barrels, would there be more positive than negative (this includes nagging!)?” YES! This is a valuable way to look at the issue of “putting down” our husbands… I’m imagining the different seasons of marriage Rob and I have been through, and it’s not always evident that I want to elevate him. There’s a lot to be said about your first point – elevating our husbands in our minds – as being the first way to go forward. What useful ideas – thank you!

  3. These are great tips, Jaime! These are things God has been working on with me as well. I can’t wait to go back and read the previous posts in this series! Thanks for linking up at Salt & Light today!

    1. I still have such a long way to go in my own marriage, but just becoming aware of the need to take my thoughts captive has been a start. Thanks so much for stopping by, Lori!

    1. Ginger, I love the reaping and sowing thought – that sowing positive things into our marriage may not have immediate results but that we will reap a harvest in time. It’s hard to be patient and put the hard work in, but having this mindset helps. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Yes! This is such good advice. Speaking life is so important in our marriages, and our husband often do so much to hold up our families, and deserve to hear how much they mean to us. I love that you said to start in front of the kids!! Our kids are learning so much about Godly relationships from us. It gives them such a good foundation for respect and caring for each other.

    1. I agree about our kids, Jennifer – I feel like even my subtle attitudes about my husband are picked up by them. Just when you think they aren’t paying attention…:)

  5. The way my husband feels the most elevated is if I spend time really listening to him, making sure I really understand the burdens of his heart. It is so easy to assume that I know because I know him so well, but he often surprises me.

  6. I, too want to truly begin elevating my husband. It is so easy to be sitting with other moms at a playdate and get caught up in the put downs, usually in a joking way, but put downs regardless of our husbands. I have been working to stop this and will continue working. I have loved your posts in the three part series so far, I’m excited for next week!

    1. Thank you so much, Heather! I think you hit the nail on the head – often we disguise our putdowns as jokes. It may not even come from a mean-spirited place but becomes a habit and I think it still shapes our thinking on a subconscious level. I’m praying for you as you seek to elevate your husband around other moms!

  7. This is so important. My husband and I have been through so much. When the world would tell us to emasculate our husband God is saying, “Empower him!”

  8. Men sometimes hear a different language than what we speak which is why your words are so important. We may not consider what we say as condemning, but we have to always consider how he hears it. You are right on, girl!

  9. I think we go in spurts of being good at this and not-so-good–I know I do. Thanks for the reminder to be more intentional. Our husbands are worth it!

    1. Yes they are, Tara! And I’m with you on the spurts. I’m praying to be more consistent too. And not just dependent on how well our marriage is doing or how loved I feel.

  10. I have to be careful how I say things because sometimes when I’m tired and stressed, my tone can be more aggressive than loving.

  11. This is a good word! How often do we major on the negatives and shortcomings and forget to elevate the good! How many of us would want our spouses to do this to us? It’s time that we as Christian wives do exactly what you said here and begin to lift and praise rather than criticize. Thanks for your powerful words!

  12. I have a wise friend, Carol, who has spoken many things into my life but one of my favourites was the concept of”fluffing feathers”. She said one day in the middle of a teaching on Solomons Temple of all things, “for the married women here I have a tip for you; if you don’t fluff his feathers, someone will!” I never forgot. I realised she meant just what you shared, about elevating and encouraging and speaking good over, and to, our man.
    I’m 54 and after 24 years of singleness and stupidity, I never planned to marry a second time but God sent an amazing man into my life. I’ve only been married for 11 months and I’ve had a sharp learning curve, believe me, but every day I practice fluffing. I often see his shoulders straighten and he draws himself up taller – I think it’s unconscious – which shows me he may act like it’s no big deal but he’s listening. Great blog, and wise counsel. Stay blessed and keep writing! K

  13. My husband and I had a really good relationship going right before we got married and shortly after. I was almost 8 months pregnant when we tied the knot and now that little one is here and I’ve been staying home to try and get him on a schedule our relationship has dropped drastically. I catch myself doing the opposite of these things fairly regularly and never thought about it til I read this. My heart hurts for him because he daily expresses to me his feelings about how our son has “taken his spot” and “I’m no fun anymore” and it really hits home. I’m going to start working on these things this week. And hopefully there is some change, even if it’s a little. Thank you for your post.

    1. Britiany, you aren’t alone! Little ones are such a blessing, but I don’t know many women whose marriages don’t suffer because of the physical and emotional energy that goes into caring for babies (myself included). God bless you for recognizing steps you can take to restore your marriage – I know that you will see fruit as you seek to reflect the love of Jesus to your husband! Just remember that this is a season; there will come a day not too far from now when it will get easier. Until then, I’m praying for God to give you everything you need to follow through with the things he has placed on your heart to work on, and for your husband to have eyes to see your love shining through the crazy life of a new mom! Blessings to you, your marriage, and your baby.

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