Recently, I was sitting in a salon chair and chatting with a stylist I had never met before. We shared small talk I quickly found out she was a newlywed and we dove into a conversation about the first year of marriage. I was a little caught off-guard when this young woman asked me what advice on marriage I could give her. We live in a society where we do not often seek others opinions—much less from a woman you don’t know—so I was pleasantly surprised. But I had to think about it for a few seconds.
What advice would you give to newlyweds?
Frequently we hear that first year of marriage is the hardest, though some couples continue in the honeymoon stage the first year and beyond and live in complete bliss. When I think back to my first year, I think back to all of the deep wounds my husband and I created—wounds which remain and are still painful to think about. But I was thinking back to the essential things other married couples took precious time to teach us and that we had to learn in order to survive.
As a wife, I am embarrassed about the petty mistakes I made those first few years. Mistakes which lead to lasting painful memories and caused great damage. I am so thankful for key couples God placed in our lives who took the time to invest in Corey and me and helped carry us through some dark learning trials.
There were many vital lessons I learned those first few years from couples who had “been there, done that.” I didn’t want to give the typical advice to this girl, “you have to learn to compromise,” or “be the first to forgive.” Although good and true advice, newlyweds are often given the basic advice, but unfortunately we each have to learn those the hard way.
So, my advice to the newly married stylist, “Be your husband’s biggest cheerleader.” It seems simple, but I remember it clicked in my mind immediately when I heard it from Dave and Ann Wilson at a NFL marriage conference: on a daily basis I need to be cheering Corey on.
Be your husband’s biggest cheerleader.
We want our husbands to want to come home to us at night. For our home to be a safe haven for our men. Many husbands don’t want to go home at night, because once they enter the doors they are constantly nagged and attacked. So create a place where he will be valued and appreciated.
Ladies—you need to learn to be your husband’s biggest cheerleader. Encourage. Admire. Praise. Cheer.
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned in nearly 10 years of marriage of ways give praise:
1) It is not hard and does not take long to cheer your man on! It can be as simple as telling him how handsome he looks; tell him he did a great job with the kids today; brag about him in front of his friends; tell him how much you appreciate his hard work at his job; and yes, and even tell him he’s the man in the bedroom!
2) It takes intentional thought, because many times we can get caught up in the busyness of life and realize it has been days or weeks and maybe for some months since we have said something positive of encouraging to our husbands. So, before he gets home today, think about how you will cheer him on tonight. Or, before you forget, send him a text while he is at work and let him know what a great job he does providing for your family.
Encourage. Admire. Praise. Cheer.
3) Do not always praise him in the privacy of your own home. Make sure you praise him in the presence of others. All too often we complain in front of our friends about our spouse—I am the guilty party. Sometimes we think teasing is funny, but even if it is in gest, it can lead to negativity. I can tell you right now, ALL men would rather be praised than put down in front of others. It is that simple.
4) Be sincere. Be sweet. But, you can also be funny, sassy and cute. Take time to doll yourself up for a regular day at home just for him and make sure to announce, “Honey, you are the man!” This phrase was a game changer in our house!
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:11–12
When you become his cheerleader, I promise you will see him walk a little taller and have a little pep in his step. Your husband desires for you to be proud of him. Create an atmosphere he can make you proud and let him know he is.
Try it tonight ladies, and let me know how it goes!
The book of Song of Songs/Song of Solomon in the Bible is a book of passionate love. Read these verses the include praise from a wife to a husband (especially 5:10-16 which is a brides praises to her husband).
His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend. Song of Solomon 5:16