I remember moments as a child when my father would leave, and momma would take the opportunity to make sure we understood where he fell in the hierarchy of men on the earth. “Your daddy is a fine man,” she’d say in her southern drawl, with a grave level of sincerity. “You’re fortunate to have a daddy like him, because not all children do.” We believed her, and respected him as such.
We all want our husbands to be the kind of men we can admire and love for a lifetime. But did you realize that there are things you can do to help him fully become that man? Try these five ways to propel him toward greatness in areas of life that matter.
1. Praise him at home. Your children are an audience over which you have great influence, especially when they’re young. By reinforcing with them that dad is a great guy, and that they’re lucky to have a father who loves and protects them, he’ll be able to lead them even more effectively and with greater authority. The win for you? You have a parenting partner who carries a great deal of weight with those little hearts and minds you’re trying to shape.
2. Represent him well in the community. As much as we all want to be judged based upon our own merits, the truth is that how people view you affects their opinion of your spouse, and vice versa. When you carry yourself with integrity, kindness, and class in the community (whether that’s in your job, at church, or the kids’ school), it shapes what people think of him, too. When it’s time to name a partner in the firm or approach someone about a business opportunity, your stellar reputation may just put your hubby over the top!
3. Support his vision for your family. Husbands carry a great deal of responsibility for their families, even in these modern times in which many wives have careers and help provide financially. Perhaps it’s that they’re hard-wired to protect and provide, so they feel pressure in this way. Whatever the reason, you can make his role easier and make him better at it by being a team player in the financial and long-range-planning departments. Of course, you both need to have a say in what the overall goals and priorities are, but once the course is charted, do your part to make sure your family reaches them, even when it’s hard.
4. Encourage his spiritual growth. It seems that it’s easier for women to find outlets for spiritual encouragement and growth, which is vital to both individual and family stability. But men need this kind of guidance and support as well! Support his involvement in a men’s small group or join a couples’ group together so that he has access to this important piece of the puzzle.
5. Be a soft place to fall. It’s a tough world out there—tough bosses, difficult economic times, political and other types of unrest—it can wear down even an optimistic man at times. Just like we occasionally need someone just to listen and let us vent (or cry) when we’re beaten down, husbands need to know that they have a place where they can do the same. Maybe for him it’s not about talking (or crying), but just a need to come home to a peaceful place where he’s fully loved, fully accepted.
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.