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How to Encourage Your Husband

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Wives harm their marriage when they praise their husbands only when they think they deserve it.

Family Counseling Ministries -

Wives harm their marriage a fourth way by expressing praise and admiration to their husbands only when they think their husbands deserve it. Every man wants his wife to accept him for who he is and not for what she wants him to be. He also wants his mate to value and appreciate him.

A man needs 3 “a’s” from his wife in order to feel loved and successful as a husband: acceptance, appreciation and admiration.

There are several barriers that prevent a wife from accepting, appreciating, and admiring her husband. She may feel awkward when she expresses a compliment to her husband. Or she may not accept him as he is, unconditionally. She could, perhaps, believe that since her spouse is already too proud and self-centered, her compliments would only inflate his ego. Possibly, she doesn’t observe any qualities in her husband that she deems praiseworthy.


Some husbands are embarrassed to receive compliments and they stop their wives when they try to praise them. In such a situation, a wife should not become discouraged, but should continue to regularly express her love and appreciation to her husband.


Someone has said that we must make four positive statements to offset a negative one. When a wife makes a negative comment about her husband in front of other people she multiplies the impact of the hurt. Whether or not a wife speaks negatively of her husband, she can undermine his manliness in many other ways.

A wife must help her husband learn to protect her by telling him what her needs are.

A woman, who expects her husband to naturally know how to protect her physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally, will most likely be disappointed. A wife must tell her husband how he can protect her. She should realize that a spirit of self-sufficiency kills love. God does not intend, for example, for wives to be financially independent of their husbands.

This, of course, does not mean that a woman should not earn more money than her husband. The important consideration is the attitude that she demonstrates regarding the amount of money that she makes. Does she communicate an arrogant, independent spirit or a willingness to humbly support and encourage her husband’s efforts to provide for the family?

Even if her husband is not spiritually minded, the Lord may use a wife’s questions to cause him to grow spiritually.

Wives wound their husbands when they show greater loyalty to other leaders, such as relatives, friends, pastors and church leaders. A wife should go to her husband with spiritual questions, acknowledging the fact that God may use her questions to draw her husband closer to Himself.


A woman who reviews her husband’s past failures and resists his decisions destroys his sense of self-worth. When she resists his physical affection she crushes his spirit. If she takes matters into her own hands and intrudes into her husband’s arena of responsibility, she may temporarily avert negative consequences, but she may cause ultimate destruction in their marriage relationship.


The writer of James 5:16 tells us,

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

A wife should learn the power of crying out to God in prayer for her husband. She should not become her husband’s conscience, but should wisely appeal to him when he makes wrong decisions. Then she should lovingly give him room to fail. Above all, she should continue to express her love and support for her husband as God teaches him valuable lessons in the midst of failure.



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