A message came in from my husband.
Glancing down at my new phone, I wondered what it would say. He needed me to pick up more paint from Home Depot? His meeting had been canceled? Or he would be late for dinner?
But no. It was none of those. Something rather different altogether.
“You encourage me.”
That’s it. That’s all he’d written. But talk about making my day. I looked down at those three words and couldn’t stop smiling.
He had noticed. And it had mattered.
Would you believe he’s never said those words to me before? Not in 20 years of marriage.
We’d been going through a tough season. A time of heavy hearts and great discouragement. You could see how it weighed him down. I could tell by the way he walked, the way he sighed, and hear it in the edge of his voice.
Naturally, I was affected by the same troubles and it wasn’t easy for me either. But then again, it wasn’t all sitting squarely on my shoulders — the way it did on his.
I sure would have liked to have lightened his load.
Except I couldn’t. Couldn’t fix it. Couldn’t change it. Couldn’t do much of anything.
All I could do was try and encourage him. So I set out to do those little things that might pick him up while he was down. Here are a few of them, in case you’re ever in the place where your guy could use a lift too.
Each day make it a point to tell him something you admire or appreciate about him. Write it. Speak it. Email it. Even text it. Short, sweet, and sincere seems to work the best.
Offer Him Hope
Sometimes it’s hard to see past the darkness and he could use the assurance that someone can see light at the end of all this. Tell him you believe God has good things in store for him. For you both.
Give Him Grace
And maybe a little space. Let him know that it’s okay and he doesn’t have to be strong for you all the time. Encourage him to go for a hike, go fishing, tinker on his old car, or work out in the garden. Do those things which lighten his soul.
Pray for Him
Set aside a specific time each day to lift him up before The Lord. Ask Him to show your husband what he should do and give him the strength to do it. Maybe quietly mention that you’re praying for him.
Stick with Him
At times such as these, it means a lot to your man for him to simply know that you’re not going anywhere. He needs to hear you’re committed to walking by his side — through the good times and the hard times. You’re standing by your man.
At the time, my small efforts didn’t seem nearly enough and I doubted whether it really made a difference. But how good to know that it meant something in the end. His short message to me said it all.
And, yes, I messaged him back. Mine was a bit longer though. Four words from me.
“I love you too.”
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
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-- Arlene Pellicane, co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
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