By Karen Friday
When did you last express that you admire your husband?
It’s easy in our present day culture to applaud and think highly of others.
Perhaps our admiration commends what someone has accomplished. Or we like what a person stands for such as courage, integrity, character and faith. Maybe we look up to people in the spotlight, online or offline.
But when was the last time you told a friend how you admire your husband and why? Better yet, when was the last time you expressed your admiration for your husband to him?
Admittedly, this is a rare occurrence in my marriage. And it’s sad. I want to change that.
While to admire isn’t included in conventional marriage vows, I believe there’s a place for it in our marriages.
6 Practical Ways to Admire Your Husband
Let’s unpack 6 practical ways to A-D-M-I-R-E our husband.
A – Abandon self-admiration in your marriage.
Nothing puts a damper on admiration for your husband quite like thinking too highly of yourself in the marriage. Thoughts may try to invade your mind of how much more you contribute to the marriage, care for the kids or conquer most marital areas better than him.
Christ is our example of not thinking too highly of ourselves when he humbled himself on the cross. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (ESV)
Ask the Lord to help you view your husband with eyes of humility and how you can build him up in your marriage. A man who’s admired will joyfully rise to the occasion.
D – Decide to focus on the praise-worthy attributes of your husband.
Don’t fall into the trap of only focusing on what you see as your husband’s flaws. It will not only negatively affect your perspective of your husband, but also influence how he sees himself and how others view him.
Become intentional to praise all the things that make your guy a good husband and man.
Is he careful with finances?
Does he carry the burden of responsibility to provide a living for your family?
Is he respectful in how he speaks to you in front of others?
Is he merciful?
Where does he excel in life? No need to limit this to just your relationship.
Make a list of your husband’s wonderful qualities, then give praise where praise is due—speak life over him.
M – Melt your husband’s heart with genuine compliments.
That list you made of your husband’s qualities? Never underestimate the power of genuine compliments in your marriage. This is not a one time list-making and compliment-giving exercise.
Instead, it’s about staying connected to your husband’s heart by authentically letting him know what you appreciate about him in your daily lives together.
I – Ignore temptations to admire other men above your husband.
Temptations may come to put other men on a pedestal. He may be a pastor, a counselor, a co-worker, a friend’s husband or a man at church. You may admire his godliness, attentiveness, goodness or other admirable traits.
This is a tactic of the enemy. Satan works to turn your gaze and affections from your husband onto a man in place of your husband.
Sure, it’s normal to admire others, but not when it clouds the affection and admiration for your husband.
R – Remember what you admired in your husband during dating days.
Reflect on what you first admired in your husband and attracted you to him as a person. That man is still there. You can be the catalyst to bring those things back to life in him if they are dormant.
Remember your words can make or break your husband.
E – Echo your admiration for your husband to your children, friends and family.
When those closest to you hear and see your admiration for your husband, you become a noble wife others want to imitate. It also helps ground your children in a strong family unit.
Wife Step: Write or type the word A-D-M-I-R-E then ask the Lord to reveal where you lack in these 6 ways and to empower you to fulfill them.
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader. A blogger, Karen “Girl” Friday engages a community every week, Hope is Among Us. She has published a number of articles and devotions in both print and online media, and is currently working on her first book. Vulnerable about her own marriage journey, Karen knows life never gets more real than as a wife. Karen and her husband Mike have two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology. Visit her blog at KarenGirlFriday.com