By Keren Kanyago, Crosswalk.com
It's been said that women fall in love through their ears. I know I did. Among other crucial traits, my husband's endearing words, wit, and sense of humor played a huge role in convincing me to marry him. Women relish soaking in loving and encouraging words from their partners. Little wonder that during dating /courtship, men pursue their lovers primarily through loving words and affectionate gestures. This is a tried and tested "formula" that has stood the test of time.
Think of it this way - what's the fate of a flower planted on fertile soil, exposed to sunlight but lacking water? It will wilt and die in no time! Your wife, too, needs to be nourished with loving and encouraging words. It helps her feel loved, comforts her, and gives her a sense of security. Husbands could borrow a leaf from the husband depicted in the book of Song of Solomon. He goes the whole nine yards in lavishing enchanting words to his lover.
"O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, Lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners! Turn your eyes away from me, for they have overcome me. Your hair is like a flock of goats, going down from Gilead." (Song of Solomon 6: 4-5).
Are you wondering where to start as you seek to perk up your wife with delightful words? Here are eight words of encouragement your wife needs.
1. I Love You
There's a story that goes around of a husband who never professed his love for his wife. When she pressed him, seeking to know whether he still loved her, here was his appalling reply. "I professed my love for you on our wedding day; if anything changes, I will alert you." What a bombshell! I can only imagine the pain his reply caused his wife. Husbands, please note that your wives crave to hear you declare your love for them. In fact, most women are constantly scrutinizing their husband's actions, looking for signs of whether they are loved or not.
Wives have a deep-seated need for affection from their husbands because it makes them feel secure, comforted, protected, and validated. One of the affectionate gestures that wives appreciate is to hear their husbands say, "I love you." Besides, while you were dating your wife, we are willing to bet that you dutifully declared your undying love for her. You kept sending her love notes and messages, dispelling any doubts that gnawed on her. Little wonder that she eventually agreed to marry you. It's outrightly unfair to extinguish this gesture in marriage. Don't keep your wife guessing; keep assuring her of your love. That assurance is the wind beneath her sails.
2. I Am Proud of You
Let's be honest – we all relish a pat on the back when we achieve a feat or excel at a task. But here's the thing, it doesn't help to have the whole world singing your praise if your partner is not bothered by your achievement. While your achievement was meant to bring you joy, it becomes a source of agony. Your wife needs to know that you are proud of her. You are the most important person in her life, and your validation means the world to her. Don't withhold it.
3. You Are Beautiful
In every woman lives a little girl who yearns to hear the magical words "you are beautiful." As a husband, it's your duty to fill that need. Many married men groan about their wives spending hours on end getting ready in the morning while they finish their grooming in mere minutes. Their wives may linger as they splurge on some make-up and shuffle outfits. That's because they have a deep-seated need to look and feel stunning. But that's not all; they wish their husbands could tell them that they do indeed look great.
Remember that your wife is assailed by unrealistic images of flawless bodies and fallacious expectations of beauty. She constantly feels the pressure to lose/gain weight, dress better, look younger, etc. She really could use your encouragement where her looks are concerned. Constantly let her know that she is beautiful and compliment her outfits from time to time.
4. You Are The Only One For Me
A wife needs to know beyond any iota of doubt that she is the only one in her husband's life. When she has doubts about that, everything else comes crumbling down. A wife who knows that "she is the only one" will walk with her head high and exude confidence. She will feel secure in the marriage and invest herself in it unreservedly. Husbands could increase the sense of security in their wives by assuring them that they are the only ones for them. Of course, your actions should be in tandem with your words. Guys, don't keep your wives guessing; go ahead and assure her of your unwavering loyalty to them.
5. I Trust You
"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain." (Proverbs 31:11).
Your wife needs to know that you trust her. Remember that she juggles a lot at once. She is doing her best as she seeks to be a virtuous wife, a great mother, and a successful career woman. She is faced with a gazillion of decisions to make every day. She needs to sense your trust through both your actions and words. You communicate distrust if you are constantly poking holes and belittling her ideas. A wife aware of her husband's trust in her will exude confidence and have the fortitude to take on the world.
6. I Will Take Care of That
When I am smack dab in trouble, my first instinct (besides calling on Jesus) is to call my husband. Thankfully, he almost always knows what to do to yank me out of the mess. Husbands are called to love their wives fiercely and sacrificially.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." (Ephesians 5:25). Christ went all out for his bride by giving up His life for her. That was the ultimate sacrifice. As a husband, you have an obligation to protect and care for your wife without reservation. Do everything within your power to defend and fight for her. Climb a mountain or bring down a wall if that's what it will take to see her safe and comfy.
One of the best things you can tell your wife is, "I will take care of that." Stepping up to solve any problem that she is contending with is priceless. As much as possible, seek opportunities to be your wife's hero.
7. You Are a Wonderful Mom
Most moms double up as their children's primary caregivers, and that's no mean feat. Nurturing children is a hefty responsibility that often wears their strength thin. When kids are young, moms battle with a barrage of challenges such as lack of sleep, fatigue, loneliness, guilt, lack of "alone time," and poor work-life balance. As the kids grow older, moms fret about whether their kids will be able to make the right decisions. It's also grueling for most moms as the kids leave their nests and hurry off to college. Besides, oftentimes moms are not certain whether they are raising their kids the right way.
All moms could use a little encouragement as they muddle through motherhood. And who better to offer that encouragement than their significant other? Remind your wife that she is doing a great job raising the kids and that she is a wonderful mother. Then watch as her doubts and apprehension dissipate like smoke in the wind.
8. I Would Still Choose You All Over Again
Letting your wife know that if you had to choose all over again, you would still pick her is the icing on the cake. It assures her that your love for her is solid and has stood the test of time.
Keren Kanyago is a freelance writer and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at [email protected]