Last night I had the privilege of giving the devotional at my daughter’s best friend’s bridal shower. I have watched this young lady grow up alongside my daughter and it is a joy to participate in her wedding journey. In a few weeks I will be coordinating her wedding. For now, these are the words I shared with her at the party…I am SO pleased to be asked to give this talk. When your daughter’s best friend wants your input and advice, you feel like, “Okay, they don’t think everything I’ve said or taught them for the past 10 years is dumb and outdated!” 🙂
I’m NOT going to tell you all the common failings of the new bride.
I’m NOT going to give you my best tips on running a happy household.
I’m NOT going to repeat Proverbs, Titus, or Ephesians on godly womanhood.
You have a lifetime of wifehood ahead of you and many good men and women have already filled the church library, Sunday school classroom and pulpit with wise words on how to fulfill your goal as a godly woman, wife and mother.
I have just one thing to say to you tonight and that is…
Be C’s biggest fan
We all know one true thing about who C is.
C is a sportsman. He thrives on success and takes every loss personally. His whole body tells us all in the stands how the game is going – is C strutting, slumping, or stomping out?
What does the true athlete need? A cheerleader.
Now, I’m not suggesting you don a short skirt and start talking like you left half your brain at the mall. Not that kind of cheerleader!
However, what every husband really wants deep-down is someone to be his biggest fan. Someone to think he’s the best thing since Babe Ruth or Beethoven, depending on your man. C needs many things from you – advice, strength, help, tenderness, service, all those things you find as you read your Bible with an eye towards wifehood. But one of his most basic needs is for you to be on his side, in his court, cheering your heart out. Even if he never wins a game.
My sport is baseball, and you know which teams have had the most beloved fans of all time? The Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and NY Mets. Some of the losingest teams in the game have some of the greatest fans of all time. They are there through every agony, defeat and are the ones who party the craziest when success does come. Whether he’s hitting a home run as a husband or is on a losing streak, the true fan will still be in the stands, cheering.
So, my encouragement to you is to be C’s biggest fan for life both publicly and privately. I’ll give you a few ideas of what this looks like at home and with others and then conclude with a couple of thoughts on what being a good cheerleader accomplishes.
- Bore your friends by how much you tell them how wonderful your man is – I’ve heard you do this, “Well the nice thing is, C helps me.” Continue in this, self-consciously throughout your marriage.
- Let your words and actions demonstrate that you think your man is a pretty hot number, the best thing that’s ever happened to you and all you’ve ever wanted.
- Never deride him publicly – speak wisdom to your husband wisely. This means at the right time, in a kind way and with the goal of blessing, not chastising, him.
- Don’t share his faults – some of the women I admire the most are those who’ve been in my husband’s office, seeking his help for their marriage and I’m totally shocked to see them there. Their conduct and speech about their husbands never revealed the real struggles they’ve lived with. When such a woman could no longer think of solutions for her struggle alone, she went directly for help, rather than subtly running her husband down for years, building up a group of friends who see her as the godly martyr.
- Get help from those who can help
- Praise him – if you feel like there’s nothing to praise, think smaller! Give 15 encouragements or praises for every one corrective counsel.
- Encourage him positively – notice the good, cover the bad in love.
- Verbally acknowledge his good ideas and silently forgive his bad ones.
- Don’t repeat his failures to him.
- Be disposed to think of his way as a good way
- One of the best ways to build up your husband is to defer to his way of doing things. Don’t be silent. Don’t be stupid. Be a helpmeet. But in all the little ways you can, do it his way. Make him feel like his ideas are the best ones. Don’t make him feel like he needs to keep his mouth shut because you’re going to think what he has to say, his plans, dreams or thoughts are ridiculous. Watch out when you hear yourself tell him things like: “That’s such a guy thing to say/do,” “No, that’s not the right way.” “Why don’t we do this instead?”etc. Not necessarily wrong to say any of these things, but use wisdom. Make sure you are an easy wife to lead and your words and actions make him feel confident and important in your eyes.
What this accomplishes
When C is assured into the depths of his being that you are on his side and will be cheering for him, no matter what, he is able to take risks and conquer kingdoms for Christ and for you.
When C has felt your support and affection for years and years and you do make a mistake, treat him poorly, or criticize him it will be hard to believe and easy to forgive. If he spends a lifetime wondering if his every step will earn your disapproval, he will be easily wounded, believe the worst of himself and you, and harbor bitterness rather than forgiveness when you do sin against him.
So, bless your husband. Bestow your good favor upon him liberally.
Be his biggest fan.