I am sure we have all heard, “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.” But do we? Do we lean more on the “say nothing at all” when we could say something nice? When we understand that death and life are in the power of the tongue and we fully grasp the power of our words, we must put it into practice! Say the great things you are thinking, those things that make someone smile and be a word of encouragement to someone’s discouragement.
As much as this applies to anyone on the planet… I want to focus on the one we love the most, our spouse, today. As a mom, it has always been super easy to encourage and boost confidence in my three sons. I grew up with parents who did not speak words that built me up; they didn’t use word choices that made me feel like I could be anyone and accomplish anything in life. As a result, I have been determined for my children to never question how I felt or what I thought of them. I intentionally extend verbal love, reminding them of who they are and who they are called to be. I wanted my sons to clearly understand they were loved, they were champions, and believe they could do anything they set their minds to accomplish. However, I had to check myself when it came to my husband, Danny. After all, shouldn’t my husband automatically know that I love him? Doesn’t he know I think he is amazing? He should understand how grateful I am and how much I value that he is the father of my children, the love of my life and the rock for our family… right?!
See there was a day I realized that my thinking he didn’t need or care to hear all those things – was wrong. I thought all the accolades he was getting from everyone else as a successful and brilliant man was enough, that he didn’t need to hear more from me. After all, how much encouragement does a strong man need? (Ironically, I was very aware of my own want and need to hear words of encouragement and love from him.) When Danny tells me how beautiful, strong, and great I am (and of course how much he loves me), my cup fills every time. I am convinced that I have become who I am because of whom I married. Not just because of my last name or having kids together, it’s because of his expressed belief and vision in me over 26 years of marriage. His willingness to cheer me on and encourage me forward to be all I could be is such a gift and so incredibly special! So understanding how I felt when he made these love deposits in me, why wouldn’t he feel the same way? After all, if anyone should be filling my husband’s cup, shouldn’t it be me?
So… I made the decision to start! I became intentional at speaking my love toward my husband on a daily basis. Anything you do at first may seem awkward, but very quickly became as rewarding and beneficial for me to speak it, as it was for him to receive it. To build up, validate and encourage your man in ways that no other human can is a complete honor. Accept this unique benefit as a wife who can help your husband carry more confidence, walk in greater strength, and give him the attention and respect he deserves as the man of the house, the authority of the family, and the incredible husband he is to you. Learning to say things like “You are amazing!” “I am so glad you are mine!” “You are so handsome!” “You look great!” “You are an incredible father!” “Thanks for being great!” or when he makes dinner and helps clean up (even when it’s not just the way you would do it) give him a genuine, “Thank you honey, I really appreciate you!” I think you get the idea… it’s not enough to think these things, Facebook, Tweet or even text him – we must speak these things to him.
While this is not hard stuff… you may have grown up in a home where these type of conversation was not modeled (as in my parents’ marriage) and you may not have understood the power of applying this daily, verbal encouragement or the health it brings to your household and marriage! Speaking loving words might come easier to your dog or plants than to your own husband; however, there are things you must do to get the results you want in life. Taking time, gaining discipline and being intentional to start to do something great for a thriving, lifelong marriage is something we should all be willing to do. I believe that this intentionality has not only kept us together for now 26 years, but has kept us growing closer, stronger and more in love than ever before!
Yes, I know what your thinking… sometimes this is very hard and we must do it when we don’t feel like it or feel they don’t deserve it. While your husband may not be the greatest with his words, that’s no excuse for us to not improve our own. This is called unconditional love and commitment. See, having a great marriage is not about feelings… there are times that as much as I love him, I didn’t like him and it was difficult to be the one to help encourage, lift, or honor. So, since it’s about commitment and not feelings… become committed to using the power of your life filling words to help him up from the stressful day, the tough job, the annoying boss, the burdens of life or whatever reason he has for his moodiness, quietness or exhaustion. So often we take their moods personal and we cannot allow ourselves to do this anymore. Instead of adding to it, help him by loving him through it.
Saying nice things to people is not a new thing, but is this a YOU thing? Are you intentionally speaking kindness to strangers, friends in your life, family members, your children and most of all… your God given husband? If you are… congratulations and keep up the great work or focus on becoming even better! If your not… start today! Today can be a new day for your mouth. To process and think about what needs to be said and what should not be said, to understand the importance of your words as a wife, to be clear on the fact you are building up not beating up with your word choices will be revelation for your future health and life-long commitment to each other as husband and wife!