By Kelly Basham
Have you ever paused to think about the power of your words? Can we encourage growth by speaking words of affirmation over someone? More importantly, can the lack of positive affirmation stunt someone’s growth? Your words have great power, and you can encourage your husband with words of affirmation.
The Influential Power of Our Words
Our words can cause damage or bring healing. Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (ESV) When we speak foolishly without thinking, our words can tear others down, causing detriment and preventing growth. I didn’t realize my words, or lack thereof, had the power to influence others for better or worse.
About ten years into my marriage, God revealed that I was quick to point out my husband’s failures and flaws but slow to praise him for his successes and strengths. I never used to think about how my words impacted others. I just blurted out whatever came to mind.
When I wanted my husband to do better, I would nit-pick everything he did wrong, but I never affirmed what he did right. In Ephesians 4:29, we read, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (ESV) Instead of encouraging my husband, my words had the opposite effect on him.
Affirming the Good in Your Husband
As I let God work on my heart, he showed me I could better help my husband if I affirmed the good more often than pointing out his faults.
What does it mean to affirm? Dictionary.com defines affirm as supporting (someone) by giving approval, recognition, or encouragement. To affirm the good in someone, you would encourage them by speaking positive truths over them.
Our words can encourage growth. First Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” No one wants to feel unappreciated or insignificant. When we neglect to affirm the good in others, as I did with my husband, they aren’t encouraged to do and be their best.
3 Ways to Encourage Your Husband with Words of Affirmation
God’s word is powerful and full of life-giving truths. We are imperfect human beings; we all have weaknesses and make mistakes. These imperfections can leave us feeling less than and not good enough. But words of affirmation based on God’s Word can change that. Here are three ways we can affirm the good in our husbands:
Affirm the Truth in God’s Word
When we see our husbands struggling, we can remind them that their mistakes don’t define them by affirming what God’s word says about them. Psalm 139:13-14, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Reminding our husbands that God loves them and wonderfully created them with a purpose for their lives will encourage them to continue pressing forward. (Jeremiah 29:11; Eph. 2:10)
Affirm His Strengths, Gifts, and Talents
God has given each of us gifts, talents, and strengths. We all could use some positive encouragement to help us develop and hone these skills. If we point out these attributes when we see others using them, they will feel encouraged to grow and develop them. You can help motivate your husband to do better, go further and help him grow into the person God has designed them to be by affirming his strengths, gifts and talents.
Affirm His Accomplishments
No matter how big or small, we all have accomplishments and successes. A cheerful word can stimulate others to flourish! Whether it’s mastering a new skill, getting a promotion or finally cleaning out the garage, make it a point to let your husband know when he accomplishes something good. Celebrate his achievements and let him know you appreciate everything he does.
When we affirm the good in others, our words can motivate them to do better, go further and help them grow into the person God has designed them to be. By affirming the good in others, we are building a solid foundation that inspires and encourages others to thrive.
Wife Step: This week, look for something your husband does well and commend him for it.
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Kelly is a writer and blogger passionate about pointing others to God’s word for all of life’s obstacles. On her blog, Blossom In Faith, she writes to encourage others to grow in their relationship with Jesus as they seek, study, and reflect on God’s word. Kelly lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Brandon, two young adult children, their son-in-law, and two very cuddly puppies. When she isn’t writing, you’ll probably find her working on a new arts and crafts project, hunting for vintage accessories, or planning her family’s next visit to the mountains.
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