How You Can Encourage Your Husband When He’s Struggling With His Faith

by Lisa Jacobson September 28, 2022
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)

I don’t know why I hadn’t picked up on it earlier.

One Friday evening, I looked up to see my husband walking by with his shoulders slumped and his stride too slow. He moved as if burdened by some great weight, and it was all he could do to carry it across the floor.

My heart ached to watch his heavy steps as he made his way to the other side of the room.

How did I not notice this before? My excuse is that we were caught up in such a swirl of troubles — challenges at church, a struggling child and a work deal fallen through — that I’d not stopped to realize the full effect it was having on him.

But if pressed, I’d probably have to admit I was too caught up in my own concerns of that difficult season to consider what might have been his own concerns.

I couldn’t ignore the signs any longer. Yes, we still said grace before our meals and rarely missed church on Sundays, but there was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm on my husband’s part.

Clearly, my man was not in a good place, and my heart went out to him. What can I do to bolster his spirits? To help strengthen his faith in this trying season?

Maybe you’ve asked some of these same questions and more.

So what does a wife do when her man is downcast? When he seems rather lost or wavering? Maybe he’s stopped reading his Bible or attending church. Perhaps he never did those things in the first place. And for this reason or possibly others, you’re worried about where your husband might be in his spiritual journey.

Oh, friend, few things make a married Christian woman feel more helpless than watching her husband struggle with his faith.

I’m sure you’ve tried everything — subtly placed his Bible on the bedside table, asked if he’ll go to church with you this coming Sunday or urged him to try the new men’s Bible study. But despite your best efforts, he’s shown little interest in these spiritual pursuits. Naturally, you’re anxious for him — and yet you are not as powerless as you might feel.

Although it’s true we cannot walk in faith for another person, we can still minister to our husbands in their wrestling places. We can do as 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

You can begin by calling out to God on your husband's behalf. More than a basic “pray for him,” this means true supplication — crying out to the Lord to bless, heal, convict and move him. Your husband might be encouraged by knowing his wife is lifting him up, even if he is not in a place where he feels like praying for himself.

When a man is discouraged, he is often down on himself most of all. So this would be the perfect time to affirm the good you can see in your husband that he might not be able to see for himself. Express your appreciation for the everyday tasks he does for you, and remind him of those unique qualities you love about him. Instead of pointing out what he isn’t doing well, point out any positives, no matter how small.

And never underestimate the power of your faithful example in your husband’s life. An understanding smile, an encouraging word and a joyful song on your lips — even while going through trials — can have a stronger influence on him than might be immediately apparent.

You can have a tremendous impact on your husband by shining the love of Christ — sometimes quietly and other times exuberantly — in your home.

Dear heavenly Father, I want to encourage my husband in his faith. Please give me discernment and insight on what he needs from me right now — what I should say or not say, what I can do or not do. Please, oh Lord, bless, heal, convict and move him! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


In her new devotional, Loving Your Husband Well: A 52-Week Devotional for the Deeper, Richer Marriage You Desire, Lisa Jacobson will help you deepen your love and relationship with the man with whom you share life’s journey. You can also pick up the companion volume, Loving Your Wife Well, for reading and discussing as a couple, or enjoy the devotionals individually. Pick up your copy of Lisa’s new devotional here!


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Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” (ESV)

What would encourage your husband in the heavy season he’s in right now? What does he need to hear (or maybe not hear) from you?

© 2022 by Lisa Jacobson. All rights reserved.

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