By: Topher Wiles
The strongest thing in that moment wasn’t my bulging muscles swinging a sledgehammer; it was her kiss, her look, and her words. It’s hard for her to understand the power that she wields over me. I’m convinced most women never understand the superpowers they possess over their husbands, nor do they know how and when to use those powers. For all the ladies out there who want to get the best out of their husbands, to see that sparkle in his eye, to hear him profess his undying love for you, here’s a story from this past weekend to help you understand the power of affirmation.
The moment began with a simple Sunday text message that read, “A woman just slashed her tire pulling into the park.” Mind you, Sundays are my busiest days. There’s no need to drone on about the amount of classes & sermons, meetings & counselings that go on any given Sunday. Since I am a preacher, that day is always busy from sunrise to well past sunset, so squeezing in a little vehicle repair was a tall order. Nevertheless, I arrived at the beautiful little Carter St. Park within minutes to see a young lady outside her car, with a rim sitting on the ground. She was not the first person to fall prey to the sharp rocks bordering the park entrance waiting to ravage the tires of anyone making the mistake of turning too sharp. Using the 12v air pump we keep in every vehicle (seriously men, go invest $15 at Walmart for one), I searched for a leak in the tire to no avail. Having no jack or spare tire in her car, she was at a loss for resources, so we began grabbing ours. Once we had her lugnuts off and tire in hand, we found the source of deflation, a bent rim. Mind you, this one wasn’t just a small dent from when you scuff a curb, this was the type of gap on the inside of the rim through which you could stick your finger. No tire was going to reseat itself on that rim.
To make matters worse, neither of our vehicles’ spare tires would fit this young lady’s car. Remember, it was a Sunday afternoon, when tire repair businesses are generally closed in small towns. Her car was sitting at the park with one side jacked up, with no spares available, and she was running out of options. Well, this son-of-a-mechanic with a never-quit mentality wondered, “Can bend that rim back into shape?” A ball peen hammer, two sledgehammers, and a lot of sweat later the rim was round and the tire was holding air. That’s when my wife used her power of affirmation in just a few short words.
“Is it fixed?”
I responded, “It sure is.”
“You’re a beast,” she said. Then she gave me a big smile and a lingering kiss on the cheek (not lingering too long, we were in a public park on a sunny Sunday afternoon!) My chest puffed out, my posture straightened up, and I was walking on clouds for the rest of the day when my wife powerfully and sincerely boosted my ego with words of affirmation. My wife admired me and I knew it.
Willard Harley, author of His Needs, Her Needs shares this nugget of wisdom. “Men NEED to feel admired by their spouses, so let him know that you love him for his many admirable qualities. Say, ‘I love you for all the ways you care for me and our family’ or ‘I never doubt you give your very best because you love me as much as I love you.’ Compliment him for being a good provider, loving husband and father, thoughtful man and one who tries his best to understand you. Ensure that you add an affectionate hug, kiss or a gentle touch on his face or arm. Your love will come through.’” Gary Chapman, famous marriage counselor and author of The Five Love Languages, agrees with Harley and offers a little more when he shares the following, “Snuggle up next to him and let him know he’s tops with you for taking out the trash or bathing the kids while you clean the kitchen. Whisper how loved you feel when he changes the oil in your car or calls to see if he needs to pick up anything on his way home.”
There you have it: expert tested and husband approved. Women, your words and accompanying actions have the ability to instantly change a moment in a man’s life. He can go from cursing the fates for a string of bad luck to a beaming smile as he’s riding an emotional high from sincere compliment you gave him. Your husband wants your admiration, and the expert research shows that he needs your words of affirmation.
Ashley’s Add-On Note: Ladies, you have power, but understand that this is not about manipulation or getting what you want. Words of affirmation are a great tool for encouraging your husband and building up your marriage. I am naturally reticent and reserved, so I have to work on being more intentional with my words to my husband. Some of you may be the same, or some of you may be struggling in your marriage and find it difficult to think of finding anything positive about your spouse. Pray about it. It can be as simple as, “You’re good at mowing the lawn,” or, “I admire how you’re on time to work everyday.” Set a goal to say one intentional, kind thing to your husband everyday. Set a calendar reminder if you need to! You and your husband will be glad you did.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” - Proverbs 16:24
The word “forte” comes from the latin word “fortis” meaning strength. Our weekly Family Forte article in The Expositor is the effort of family at Central Church of Christ to give your family the love, care, and attention it needs to become a stronger version of itself. If we can help you in any way, please contact us at Central Church of Christ through email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our website, www.spartacoc.com.