Let’s just get this straight: little boys get to wear superhero capes and pjs, and grown men want to. Isn’t that why there is a new superhero blockbuster every summer?! My church’s current series is on heroes, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of a hero. Specifically, I’ve been thinking how the men in our lives want to be, can be, and are everyday heroes. How much do we, as women, let them be? How can we encourage them to be? To be men of strength. Men of courage. Men of love. Heroes.
If you consider what it is to be an everyday hero – men to be strong, courageous, and loving – we need them. Perhaps if there were more of them, the world may have less abandoned children and abused women. Or simply men who are confident that God made them to be every day heroes for every day people.
Back to the question: how can we encourage them to be that? As we are sinners saved by grace, there is hope that we can. There are also women who are leading by example. One of them is Joanna Gaines.
Joanna is well-known for the hit show Fixer Upper that she and her husband, Chip, star in. But although the show is about redeeming old houses and transforming them to their glory, I learned a different lesson from her.
Encourage Your Husband – Say Wow
Recently, a guest speaker, Ted Lowe, on the podcast Surviving Sarah offered some wise advice on helping women strengthen their marriages: have serious fun (which is something you see Chip and Joann do!) Within that, Ted also advised this: tell your husband what makes you go wow. We think it all of the time, I’m sure. Are we saying it?
The thing about my husband that makes me go wow is this….
In the podcast, Ted jokes that this is a great way to manipulate our husbands. (Click here to listen to this great podcast.) But really, this is just basic Biblical respect and honoring of our spouse.
Hearing Ted talk about the wow, I immediately thought of Joanna Gaines – who is a hero in her own right. Have you watched the show Fixer Upper? Jojo does a mighty fine job of making Chip feel like a total stud. She does it all the time with the small things and with the big things. She often says “Wow, Chip.” It could have been after he knocked down a wall with a silly move or after he built a fireplace with a beautiful mantle. Either way, Jojo chooses to say “Wow”. And Chip’s chest puffs out just a tad.
Millions of people are attracted to this couple and this show partly because of their interaction. It’s a cycle of wows. It might come in the form of “way to go, Chip” or “you did such a great job with that”, but it’s a cycle of wows.
And you can visually see how much Chip appreciates it. He is transparent that he adores his bride. He is also transparent that he loves to bask in the glow of her praise for his efforts.
Encourage Your Husband – Say Wow, Not Whoa
One day this past year, D drove 5 hours to see his daughter play in a night softball game. Then he turned around and drove 5 hours back, so he could go to work the next day. That is a wow! Right now God is using him greatly at his job, but he wasn’t about to let that keep him from seeing his little love play.
What do I find my self saying in those moments though? That’s dangerous. You don’t need to do that. You should spend the night there. It’s like the script that plays in my head as I watch a big screen hero. Don’t do it!
As I listened to Ted Lowe, I thought: we miss the chance to say wow because we’re too busy saying whoa.
Joanna doesn’t say whoa in those moments that you are thinking, “No, Chip. Don’t do it. Don’t take off your shirt or jump in the water.” For the most part, she is waiting to cheer him on with her wow.
What if I had said, “I know you love your daughter, and you want to be there for her. You are my hero. If you’re going to go, just be careful.” Would he have felt more honored, respected, and appreciated for the heroic effort? I bet he would have strapped on his cape (over a puffed chest) and floated to Kentucky.
Y’all. Encouragement and honor can be so simple, and somehow we miss it!
Encourage Your Husband – Saying Wow, not Whoa
Last week, I came downstairs to find D sitting holding his guitar and smiling ear to ear. He said, and I quote, “I could have been your hero. You missed it.” He proceeded to tell me he how he had his guitar in one hand, and with the other hand, almost supernaturally, zapped the annoying bug that had been flying around our home all day.
I can’t even. It’s as if he was still wearing his batman pajamas. He thought he had missed the chance to be my hero and felt compelled to tell me about it.
I could have pointed out that there were dishes in the sink he could have washed with those deadly hands. (This would be a whoa!) (Anyone else guilty of sarcasm?)
Thankfully, I thought about the wow, and I did NOT point out there were dishes in the sink. That time.
Instead, I gloated about how amazing this feat was and how great his hands and eye-hand coordination are. And how we did not have the annoying bug in our living room anymore. He kept smiling proudly.
Now, killing a bug may not be all that heroic to some. Or most. In fact, there might be some women who would be offended that he thought I needed him to kill a bug. I didn’t. I’ve killed larger living things. The big picture here is that D wants to be my hero and as his wife, I want to let him know when he is. I want to honor him and encourage him to live out strength, courage and love each day. I am choosing to encourage him with a wow and letting go of the whoa.
Encourage Someone Else With a Wow
My dad is another one of my every day heroes. No, he’s not perfect, but he has showed me great strength, courage, and love over and over and over again. I don’t want him to leave this world without knowing it.
As I listen to friends who are dealing with hard parts of marriages or ones that have lost their dads, I think about seizing the opportunity to say wow.
Don’t miss the chance to let yourself be “wowed” by your husband or dad. And don’t miss the chance to tell them.
They want to be your hero. Let them strap on their cape and hear you say, “Wow“!
It seems to work for our favorite home renovation couple.
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5 Ways to Say Wow
- Way to go, (Chip).
- That’s impressive, honey.
- You did such a great job with that.
- I appreciate you remembering to do that for me.
- Awesome, (Chip). Thank you.