Words of encouragement to a wife are like water to a plant.
When I read that quote recently, I thought about how true that statement is, how every wife needs and craves encouragement from her husband.
My husband is masterful at showing me love: he plans date nights, he gives me a box of Junior Mints just when I'm withdrawing, he is an engaged parent, and he leads our home well. But there is nothing like a well-timed word of encouragement from him! Hearing Kyle say that I'm a good mom, that he sees the value of my work with our children, that he appreciates my cooking, that he thinks I'm beautiful, or that he sees God using me -- those words re-energize me for days.
Husbands, especially if your wife is a stay-at-home mom or socially isolated in some way, you may be the only source of encouragement your wife receives on a continual basis.
This need that wives have isn’t irrational or the result of a wrong focus. Proverbs 31 describes a husband who is well known in the community, sitting among the elders of the land. At the gates of the city, he receives respect and affirmation. His wife also offers him her admiration and honors him by how she lives. But where does the godly wife receive encouragement? She is esteemed within her home. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all" (Proverbs 31:28–29).
What a ministry husbands have in encouraging their wives! It is nurturing to the heart of a woman, compelling her forward in service to her family and community. For mothers of young children who are not yet capable of expressing appreciation, the husband's opportunity is not only to encourage his wife, but also to teach his children thankfulness and respect toward their mother. Through your words of blessing, you have an opportunity to minister to your wife in a way that no one else can.
Specific words of encouragement are also an avenue for husbands to fulfill Paul’s commandment in Ephesians 5:25–26: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word."
With your loving words, like a well-watered plant, she will thrive, blossom, and produce beautiful fruit.