Part 2 of the series "Soul Detox" I watched the other night (in front of my treadmill, wahoo!), was just as amazing as the first part, I just had to share.
I have learned over the years, in my marriage, that often it was more beneficial to be silent and praying for God to transform Sean than what I called 'being encouraging.' When I was 'encouraging' I was spouting off about all he could be, and did that for years before I realized I was doing exactly what hadn't worked on me, and in fact had hurt me deeply, with lasting insecurity issues. So, since I couldn't say anything 'nice' I didn't say anything at all and prayed instead. It worked......slowly. But Sean grew at a much more rapid pace when I learned what real encouragement was.
About 8 months ago I read a book, 'His Needs, Her Needs.' The section about His Need for Admiration hit me like a bullseye. Summary - Admiration is one of the greatest motivators for men. When a woman in particular expresses admiration for her husband that inspires him to achieve more. Then he sees himself more capable of achieving more. Admiration from his wife gives him more satisfaction than from a paycheck. He needs to be appreciated for what he already is, not what he could be (if he lived up to your standards). Without admiration men lack belief in themselves and are inherently more defensive about their shortcomings. They hate/fear hearing a critical view of themselves. A man expects, and needs, his wife to be his most enthusiastic fan. That's where he gets his confidence and energy. So when a woman feels it's her right/obligation to 'straighten out' her husband it feels like a downpour of disapproval, not the shower of approval they need. Criticism/disrespect makes massive Love Bank withdrawals.
At the GLSummit this fall I watched a session by Craig Groeschel, the toxicity in different relationships, and he gave an example of counseling a couple with his wife and the woman spent the entire session picking apart all that her husband needed to fix about himself. They couldn't believe, even in a counselling session she would speak so disrespectfully about him in front of others, and tried to correct her on that attitude, and she replied to Craig's wife, 'well, if I had a husband as great as yours maybe I could appreciate him more.' His wife quickly replied, 'maybe if you appreciated your husband, he could be a great man.' That really confirmed what I read and I tried to really absorb that message.
Well, this message from Craig Groeschel reiterated that same idea, and it sunk in even deeper. The words I speak to him are either life-giving or life-taking. I want my husband to feel like he's winning! I want my words to build him up. Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
If you struggle with how to talk to your husband with life giving words (or anyone for that matter), I greatly encourage you to watch this video.