There’s an old joke about one of our presidents walking with his wife, who sees one of her old boyfriends in a less-than-glorious occupation. The president looks at the old boyfriend and remarks, “If you hadn’t married me, you might be married to that guy.”
The first lady answers calmly, “If I had married him, he’d be president.”
Now, occupation is not the measure of a man. But as a wife, you do possess a unique power to inspire your husband. Your loving vision of the man he’s becoming propels him toward greatness—not necessarily by the world’s yardstick of success, or even your own, but of God’s.
When you believe in him, he is secure. He can take the leaps of faith required to surmount fear. He can bear up under pressure, pioneer new territory.
An inspired husband feels the freedom to reach the fullest potential of the man God has created him to be. He’s not merely encouraged. He’s a man who’s empowered; a conqueror. If you want to give your man some “wind beneath his wings”… start here.
2. Send him an email. Example: “Praying for you today. Thanks for being so courageous in [insert specific area].”
3. Give him one night on a regular basis to do something he loves.
4. Consistently mention ways you see him growing to be more like Christ.
5. Ask him about his “bucket list.”
6. Give him a book, audio CD, or ticket to learn about something he loves doing.
7. Ask him about some dreams he has — and pray about them together, evaluating them. Then ask how you can help him go after them.
8. Text him. Example: “REMINDER: I BELIEVE IN U.”
9. Make sure he feels respected by you.
10. Leave sticky notes in his lunch, on his steering wheel, in his briefcase, etc. “So proud of all you’ve been doing with ___.” “You are so great with our kids.” “You are my dream come true.” “You are an incredible lover.”
11. Suggest that he take some time to go pursue a hobby.
12. Leave a message on his voicemail: “Thanks for going to work every day to take care of our family. You are so good at what you do.”
13. Ask him how you can pray for him at work. Later on in the week, ask about his prayer requests again.
14. Be proactive about doing something together that he really enjoys: make a date, get him excited, and share his enthusiasm!
15. Tell him areas he’s gifted in. Don’t stretch the truth; be honest so he can trust you.
16. Pray for him.
18. Start and keep a “Dreams” binder with him. Include some travel brochures or whatever gets you excited. In the back, make sure you have a “Dreams turned reality!” file.
19. Talk with him about setting aside a small part of the budget to pursue the ways God has created him — through education or through sheer enjoyment.
20. Post on his Facebook wall: “I love being your wife! See me tonight regarding this.”
21. Gently communicate with him about what you like in bed, and respond encouragingly to his attempts.
22. Remember a dream that he had a long time ago. Talk with him about whether it’s still a dream — and still a possibility.
23. Ask God to open your eyes to the ways He has made your husband and to give you wisdom about how to maximize that workmanship.
24. Have your children write him notes or letters about what they love about their dad.
25. Initiate great sex.
26. Ban yourself from any nagging, the Great Life-Sucker.
27. Ask, “If I could do one thing I’m not already doing that would really empower you and inspire you, what would it be?” Listen — resist being defensive (the hard part) — and follow through.
28. As you think of them, remind him of specific times and areas he has impacted people’s lives: “Hey, I was thinking the other day about all the time you invested in that Cub Scout troop. Wonder what those boys are doing now. It was so cool to watch them grow with you as their leader.” “Our son has grown so much in encouraging people lately. He gets that from you; you are such a good example for him in that.”
29. Buy him something small to stoke the fires: a journal for a writer; some carpentry pencils for a woodworker; some grilling tools for the master chef. Add a sweet note: “Just because I love the way you’re made.”
30. Do something fun and unexpected together: paintball; laser tag; on a spring day, have a picnic, blow bubbles, and bring the books you’re reading; swing; go to a drive-in movie, bring popcorn, and instigate a make-out session.
31. Think about a way you’ve been hurting him, annoying him, or not “seeing” him. Apologize, and work hard at showing true change.
32. Initiate great sex.
33. Go to a home improvement store to plan a small, doable project that energizes both of you, even if it’s just painting a room or fixing up some landscaping. (Hint: Make sure it’s something by which he won’t feel burdened.)
34. Do something from his to-do list for him — something that he’d rather have you do anyway.
35. Find a mutually enjoyable activity you like doing together on a regular basis — even if it’s playing the Wii together.
36. Create a cheerful atmosphere when he comes home.
37. Design a date night that will help him to de-stress and have fun.
38. Discover his love language and become even more fluent in it.
39. Pray about and pursue at least one dream of your own, talking with him about it.
40. What’s hard about his life right now? Pray for his endurance, and encourage him specifically. Galatians 6:9 is a great start for both.
41. Organize or clean something in your home that you know he finds messy.
42. Send a snail-mail love note to him at the office, affirming him in his work.
43. If there’s something on his “Honey Do” list at home that he finds overwhelming or has a hard time finding time to do, talk with him (respectfully and gently) about the possibility of having it hired out. Make sure he knows it’s not because you find him incompetent, but that you want to free him from a burden.
44. Initiate great sex.
45. Be a student of your husband. Does he feel inspired if he’s got all his ducks in a row? If he’s got a creative space to think? If he feels verbally affirmed?
46. If he’s into dressing nice, go with him to shop for clothes in which he feels confident.
47. Let him overhear you speaking well of him on the phone, among friends, or in public places.
48. In his area of weakness, pray about how to subtly and gently step in and help him.
49. Tell him what a great dad he is. Be specific.
50. If and when he messes up, respond with the kind of grace, compassion, and mercy that God gives us. Respond in a way that communicates, You’re safe with me — and I’m not going to rehash your failures. This is a secure place for you to grow … and I love the journey with you.