1) Welcome Him Home: After a stressful day at work it can be so encouraging to come home to a warm welcome. After all, one of the main reason your husband goes to work is to provide for his family. As summer approaches and the kids are home from school it can be a good time to find a fun way to welcome Daddy when he comes home. Some ideas are to write messages on the driveway in sidewalk chalk like; "Welcome Home", "We Love You", "We Missed You",or "Our Dad is Great! You can also just draw some pictures of him or your family. You can hide out in the bushes with water guns and yell, "Welcome Home" and then squirt him with water guns. You can hide in an unusual place in the house (we like to go to the balcony of our two story foyer) and yell "Welcome Home..We Love You" from the balcony. You can make some signs and decorate the front door or foyer a little. You should always greet your husband when he gets home and encourage your children to do the same. I think my husbands favorite time of the day is when he comes home and our 3 kids stop what they are doing and come running and yelling, "Daddy is home!" and jump into his arms for hugs. Whatever you do, your husband will know that he is loved, missed, and that you appreciate what he does for you.
2) Plan a Special Meal:This is a good idea anytime but especially if you know he has a stressful meeting or day coming up. Call him at work and let him know you have something special planned for dinner. You can have the meal as a family or feed the kids and put them to bed and then eat your special meal by candlelight kid-free. You can make his favorite meal or get some steak and lobsters at the grocery store. This will let him know that you planned ahead and were thinking of him. I have also made a special dessert with the kids for my husband. I got a mold for heart shaped cupcakes and made them with the kids for him. They were so excited to show him what they made for him and it made my husband feel special. They say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach, right?
3) Brag About Your Husband: Too often we speak only of our husbands in the negative. Whether they can hear us or not it just brings about a negative feeling. Take some time to brag about your husband, especially if he can hear you. Don't be insincere but share the great things he has done. Instead of harping on the negative you need to harp on the positive. Not only will this encourage your husband but it will change your attitude toward him.
4) Take the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has created this great program that can change your relationship with your husband for the better. This challenge published by Revive Our Hearts will challenge you to encourage your husband in so many different ways. You can go here to print out the challenge. It will give you something different to think about every day for 30 days and show you how to encourage your husband in that area.
5)Guys Night Out:It is important that your husband has time with the guys to refresh and do man stuff. With the demands of work and family he may feel guilty for trying to get this time away. By setting up something or encouraging him to do so he will not feel guilty about it and find the time to build his personal relationships. We had a manfest at our house. We invited a bunch of guys over, I made some "man food" like wings and ribs, and then I got out of the way. The guys made a fire, talked and bonded. My husband was so encouraged as they shared their struggles with work and family. I think they are planning on going to a shooting range next. My brother tries to do a weekend away with the guys once a year. They call it a "man"cation. Whether its an afternoon or a weekend encourage your husband to take some time with the guys.
6)Encouraging Words: I know this is probably the most obvious but I know I don't really do it. Shoot him an email, post on his facebook wall, or write him a note in his lunch. Let him know that you think he is a great husband and dad and what you appreciate about him. Make a list of the top 5 things you love about him. You can just tell him when he gets home from work or in the morning before he leave, "Thanks for working so hard for us", "Thanks for being a great husband", "Thanks for being so patient with the kids". Make sure you tell HIM why you love him. Sometimes we brag to everyone else but the person we are bragging about.
7)Try His Hobby: Take the time to try out one of your husbands hobbies. That doesn't mean tag along on his guy time but to take an interest in the things he likes to do. Does he like to camp, hike, shoot, fish, boat, go to sporting events, etc? Try it out and make a point of doing it with him sometimes (without complaining). You could even get him tickets to a sporting event or concert as a surprise. You might pick up a hobby yourself and it will build the bond between you.
8)Read Wild at Heart Together: For guys that enjoy reading this can be a great book to read together. My husband and I got the CDs and listened to it on a road trip. Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge is an amazing book every man and couple should read. This book explains the "secret longings" of a man's soul and their masculinity. By better understanding how men work you will be able to better understand his needs and how to encourage him.
9)Give Him a Massage: Women are not the only ones who like some pampering, although men may not admit it so easily. The stress of the day can really wear on men and a massage can help them relax. You can even get some unscented massage oil . (You can do it without but I find it easier to use the oil) Sometimes a neck massage or a head massage is all they need and it can be so relaxing and help them to get rid of the stress of the day. Its a nice way to let them know that you love them.
10)Learn His Love Language: Did you know that we all communicate love in different ways? You may be showing love in a language he doesn't speak. You can find out your love language and his with this great book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. Chapman has lots of books on the subject including The Five Love Languages of Children . Try the book out together and get to know the ways you give and receive love. Make sure you are speaking his language.
Take some time this coming Father's Day to encourage and appreciate your husband for all he does for you and your family.