8 Affirmations Your Kids Need to Hear You Say about Your Spouse
- Jennifer Waddle Prayer Warrior: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer
- 2019 Jul 24
My number one love language has always been words of affirmation. Simply knowing I am seen and appreciated brings me a sense of satisfaction and peace. My husband, on the other hand, finds the most assurance through physical touch. These differences in the way we give and receive affirmation has been a challenge at times.
However, both of us agree that there are certain things our children must hear us say to one another. Not only do these affirmations show our kids how a strong marriage works, but they also foster a sense of security and stability.
Our children need to hear us say affirming things about our spouses. Here are 8 affirmations they need to hear.
1. “I thank God for him.”
If you’re like me, your spouse doesn’t always make it to the top of your prayer list. Urgent, more pressing things usually take front and center. However, we need to thank God daily for our spouses. With a deep heart of gratitude, we need to make it known that we are blessed to be married to them.
Here are a couple of ways to affirm thankfulness for your spouse in front of your kids.
- Be specific about the things you are most thankful for, such as their hard work, their sense of humor, or their gentleness. Point things out to your children often, and ask them what they are most thankful for.
- Be open with your kids and say things like, “I am so thankful for your daddy,” or “I can’t thank the Lord enough for your wonderful dad.” These expressions will hopefully become a regular part of their vocabulary as well.
- Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
2. “I appreciate him.”
Do you truly appreciate your spouse? Or, are you too critical to express appreciation? Our spouses need us to notice their invaluable contributions to the family—and to verbalize them. This not only communicates to our kids the importance of appreciation, but it also tells them that hard work should not go unnoticed.
Think about all the things—big and small—that you can point out to your children. Perhaps, they always get them ready for bed and make storytime fun. Or, maybe they are always the first one up on Saturday mornings making pancakes for the family. Find ways to appreciate your spouse and make your appreciation known. Here are some things you can say to your children that emphasize how appreciative you are.
- “Your dad works so hard to support this family. Let’s make sure the house is clean when he gets home, so he can relax.”
- “To show Dad how much we appreciate him, let’s surprise him with a morning away at the golf course.”
- “I think we should go outside and help Daddy with the yard work today. After all, I am so grateful he takes care of the yard work every week.”
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
3. “I am on his side.”
Our spouses can sometimes feel like the pressures of the world are closing in around them. Problems at work can leave them feeling frustrated and alone. Financial strain can hinder their peace. Our spouses must know we are on their side. They need to know they can count on us to be there at the end of the day.
Our children will benefit greatly by seeing us stand in solidarity with our spouses. Let’s remind them often that we are on their side.
Here are a few ways we can communicate to our kids that we on our spouse’s side:
- Be a listening ear. Let your spouse vent about his daily struggles without judgment.
- Stand with your spouse in his decisions. Be careful not to undermine him in front of the children.
- Defend him. Be his helpmate by offering love and support through tough times.
4. “I support his decisions.”
There will be times when our spouses make decisions of which we are not fully in agreement. That’s part of the give-and-take of marriage. As helpmates, we must try to support those decisions whenever possible. As long as it isn’t harmful, or contrary to the Bible, it would be wise to outwardly support our spouses. This shows our kids unification in the marriage and gives them an extra sense of security.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you support your spouse’s decisions.
- You don’t have to hide the fact that you disagree. Instead, you can lovingly state your opinion, yet show your kids that you know when to yield.
- Even when your spouse decides to move forward with something you aren’t sure about, you can pray as a family and commit it to the Lord. This shows your children that you trust God and you support your spouse.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
5. “I need him.”
In our culture of independence, it’s easy for husbands and wives to live as though they aren’t dependent on one other at all. However, this is terribly counterintuitive to the beautiful design of marriage.
It was in the Garden of Eden that “no suitable helper was found” for Adam. Thus, God fashioned Eve from his rib. What a precious example of our desperate need for one another in the marriage relationship!
We shouldn’t be afraid of vulnerability. It’s OK to let our spouses know how much we need them, and verbalize it to our kids. If you struggle with this concept, try saying a few of these phrases aloud. Before long, they may start to come naturally.
- “I can’t imagine life without your dad.”
- "I love that I can depend on your dad.”
- “Your dad is much-needed in this family.”
- “Your dad and I are much better together.”
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
6. “I forgive him.”
It may be, that apart from our relationship with God, forgiveness is the number one component of a thriving marriage. From small, everyday conflicts, to major grievances, forgiveness plays a big role in our marital happiness. It’s important for our kids to witness back-and-forth forgiveness, as a strong example of how the Christian life works.
We don’t need our kids to believe we are perfect. We don’t have to hide every mistake from them. They need to see that we mess up sometimes, but we also offer grace and forgiveness. Here are some things to keep in mind when displaying forgiveness in front of your kids.
- Don’t be afraid to say the words, “I forgive you.” This is a wonderful example for your children and will help them verbalize forgiveness as well.
- Be specific about how you’ve offended your spouse. This shows your kids that it’s OK to admit their faults instead of hiding them.
- In your family prayer time, include phrases to God such as, “Help me, Lord, to forgive my spouse and not hold on to hurt or anger.”
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
7. “I enjoy spending time with him.”
“There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.” ~Ronald Reagan
Our kids need to see that we enjoy being with our spouses. They need to see us shut off our phones and turn our undivided attention to them. This is such an important example of how to be fully present and engaged with people instead of our screens.
Here are a few ideas for expressing joy in spending time with your spouse.
- Keep your sense of humor. Laugh at his jokes and tell your own funny stories. Kids will love dinner time when humor is involved!
- Have fun together. Find something to enjoy together, whether it be playing tennis or working on home improvement projects. Show your kids just how much fun your marriage is.
- Let your kids know you miss your spouse when he is away. Tell them you can’t wait for his days off so you can spend time with him.
8. “I love him.”
It can be easy to get complacent in verbalizing our love for one another. Or, we may fall into the rut of flippantly expressing our love with phrases like, “Love ya,” or “Love you too.”
Let’s be intentional about expressing our love for our spouses by going deeper than the day-to-day routine. Here are some meaningful ways to let your kids know just how much you love your spouse.
- Explain to your kids the difference between the types of love mentioned in the Bible. Here is a resource that may help.
- Say, “I love you,” to your spouse in front of your children. Make it intentional and look him straight in the eyes when you say it.
- List all the reasons why you love your spouse. Involve the kids by posting your list on the fridge and getting them to add to it. What a wonderful way of showing love and enforcing love in your kids’ lives!
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
Image Credit: ©Thinkstock/monkeybusinessimages
Jennifer Waddle considers herself a Kansas girl, married to a Colorado hunk, with a heart to encourage women everywhere. She is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.