Chrystal Evans Hurst
"Practical Encouragement for Loving Your Man"
"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain."
Proverbs 31:11 (ESV)
I love the way real people from history can teach us some pretty valuable lessons.
Recently, I read the story of Emperor Justinian the Great to my children.
We were studying history when the Roman Empire fell and gave rise to the Byzantine Empire. We read how Emperor Justinian was fair and just, and we also read a bit about his wife, Theodora.
She seems to have been a wise and encouraging woman who helped him as he ruled the empire and challenged him to be the best man he could be. It is said that Justinian didn’t make major decisions without consulting his wife.
At the height of Justinian’s rule, the Byzantine Empire came under attack and he wanted to flee. He didn’t think he could fight off the invaders and wanted to at least escape with his life. But his wife challenged him, telling him it would be better to die an emperor than to spend the rest of his life wandering as a fugitive.
Justinian followed his wife’s advice and stayed put.
The result? He won the battle.
And he remained the emperor.
His wife’s counsel and encouragement made all the difference.
I proceeded to use this "teachable moment" to share with my boys how important it was to find a good wife. She should be wise, kind and encouraging, both for him personally and for God’s purpose in their lives.
I like to hear myself talk. Especially when I’m talking to my children and think I have something worth saying that can alter the course of their lives.
Yet I could see my 12-year-old starting to glaze over and give me that "get-to-the-bottom-line-Mom" look. He was probably thinking I could have said in three seconds flat what it took me more than a few minutes to explain.
And then my 6-year-old looked like he was about to burst from excitement … because all he heard was he should find a great wife and he’d already determined he knew the perfect candidate.
It was his camp counselor from two years ago, when he was only 4 years old.
Her camp nickname was "Hotcakes," and apparently, he was smitten.
While my 12-year-old wished I’d hurry up and my 6-year-old apparently had already found his beloved, the longer I talked to my boys about the concept of finding a good wife, the more convicted I became about the kind of wife I actually am.
Because I’m guilty at times of not being a Theodora.
I have to be honest and say I’ve missed opportunities to build up my husband. At times when I could have been more encouraging, more supportive and more of a cheerleader, I’ve been critical, distant or even disengaged.
I could have prayed for him more and spent less time focusing on how the events of his life would affect me.
I could have believed the best instead of expecting the worst.
I could have chosen words that build him up, instead of words that tear down.
If you are like me and desire to please God and also love your husband well, here are a few tips for doing just that:
- Pray for your husband often.
- Encourage him with your words and actions.
- Build him up by praising him in front of other people.
- Smile at him. Force yourself if you have to.
- Believe the best. Give him credit for being capable.
You play an important role in the life of others. You play an indispensable role in the life of your man. And based on the story of Theodora, the way that you encourage, support and love your man can change the world.
Hotcakes and Theodora. My 6-year-old can’t forget the former. The world will forever remember the latter.
Let’s remember the impact a woman can make on the heart and life of her man. Love, encourage and support him. It pleases God. And it makes all the difference.
Dear God, I want to be a good wife. Help me encourage, support and love my husband. You know where and why we struggle. So Lord, help me not to focus on what my husband is or isn’t getting right. Help me to focus on how I can "do good" to my husband, and, more importantly, how I can ultimately please You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 31:12, "She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life." (ESV)