“Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” (Prov. 31:28)
You may have heard the term, “A Proverbs 31 Woman,” which is taken from the description of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. This passage certainly focuses on the character and the qualities of a godly woman, and yet, in verse 28 we find a thought that we as husbands must consider. It is a concept that will go a long way in enabling our wives to reach their fullest potential for the Lord and for their families.
For many women, criticism and condemnation have become a way of life, and sadly the source is often their husband. Pity the wife who can check off ten things from her “to-do-list” but is reminded by her husband that one thing was done wrong even if the other nine were done right. A wife will eventually conclude that she cannot do anything right if her husband is constantly giving her reason to believe that is true.
Take for example the typical wife/mother who has labored all day caring for her home and children. Having done her best to lovingly prepare the evening meal, she must then deal with a series of complaints leveled by her husband at the other end of the table. “We are eating later than usual…the meat is overcooked…the gravy is too runny…we are out of iced tea…the mashed potatoes are lumpy…we don’t have dessert.” No wonder she wants to give up and quit, and she hasn’t even cleared the table or washed the dishes. Then from another room she hears him yell, “Didn’t you get my softball uniform washed? We have a game tonight!” A wife can only live so long this way before she begins to feel useless and worthless.
Men, it’s time to replace our criticism and condemnation of our wives with compliments and commendation. Life is not perfect, but many times life is good. So it is with our wives. When we are blessed with a good wife who does a good job with a good heart, we need to let her know it. When you as a husband develop an attitude of gratitude toward your wife, you will greatly enhance her sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Ultimately that must come from the Lord, but you need to encourage it.
We live in a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” society that has become extremely self-centered. If you don’t like something, all you need to do is complain to the manager or go online and take a survey where you can freely gripe, grumble, and grouse about your displeasure. Sadly, that same way of thinking can infiltrate a marriage and become very harmful, especially to your wife. Statements like “I loved it” or “Thanks so much” or “That was great” make an incredible statement to your wife. They let her know that in your mind, she is not useless and worthless. As a result, she develops a desire to do even better. Don’t underestimate “the positive power of praise” in your marriage. It will not only change your wife, it will also change you.
- Take a piece of paper and number it 1-10. After thinking it through, write down 10 things you are thankful for about your wife.
- Talk to the Lord and thank Him for the way that your wife has been a blessing to you. Praise Him for the blessing of a good wife.
- Sit down with your wife, hold her hand, and read your list to her with a sincere “Thank-you” after each of the 10 points.
This chapter was written by Evangelist Tom Palmer.
This chapter was taken from The Extraordinary Husband. CLICK HERE to learn more about the book and to place your order.