I often find that women, usually unintentionally, have established a home environment where their husband feels “threatened.” Perhaps the husband has never admitted to this, but he may feel he can do nothing right, is unable to please his wife, or has lost all desire to try.
At the True Woman ’10 Conferences, many women responded to the video testimony of God’s transforming work in my marriage. I left each conference burdened for the women who came to me asking for prayer or who confided that they’d lost all hope for their marriage. I’m praying some of you are reading this today, because I want to give all of you a few practical handles as you work on building marital unity.
For those of you who need some direction in this area, or need insight in how to encourage a struggling friend, I’ll be posting an article each Wednesday for the next several weeks, sharing ways to develop a “safe place” for your man.
If your man fears criticism, emotional conflict, or a demeaning response from you, his typical reaction will be to slip into "self-preservation mode" which may manifest itself in a number of ways including: isolation, building walls of protection, angry retaliation, or simmering resentment—all of which will destroy your marital unity and intimacy.
If you desire for your husband to communicate with you, to be drawn to you, to connect and spend time with you, I encourage you to cultivate a haven of rest and security for him.
Prepare a “safe place” for your husband through “APPRECIATION.” Let’s look at the “A” in this acronym today:
A—Admire and Affirm
You may feel as though you currently see nothing to admire, but begin with looking at the basics and being grateful for them. For example, has your husband remained faithful to you? Would he protect you if you were in physical danger? Does he help in providing an income for your family? Does he attempt to be a good father? Is he a good neighbor?
Perhaps none of these are applicable to your situation, but when you married, he had some qualities you admired—try to see glimpses of those same characteristics which may be lying dormant and convey your appreciation for these things.
Affirm him OFTEN!! Husbands have a need for our affirmation. This is at the heart of the "helper" role and why God said it is not "good" for the man to be alone. Your man needs your affirmation! Give at least one encouraging statement (really more than one) daily and watch him come out from hiding!
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones (Prov. 12:4).
Why not start by admiring him here? Pass on one word of praise for your man below!