I have a very dear friend that lives too far away. We don’t talk as often as I would like, and we don’t see each other much. But she is a treasure in my life. She has never been afraid to tell me when I am wrong and to point me in the right direction. She is a patient listener, but won’t put up with complaining for a second. She always says “confront or forget and then move on”, and it is always the advice I need to hear. But one of my favorite things about her is that she consistently reminds me what a great man I married. Just in a normal conversation she will say something like “what a blessing that you married someone handy, who can fix things around the house” or “it is so fun to be married to someone with a great sense of humor, you know what I mean, Jon is hilarious” or “Jon is such a hard worker – he will always take good care of you.” She is a constant reminder that I was given a man who is kind and generous and funny and hard working and handsome and loves kids. And her praise of her own husband exceeds this.
I think this is an aspect of what Paul is talking about when he says for the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and children (Titus 2:4). Not only are older women to be a good example of how to love and respect, but they can also be helpful in pointing out the good. Remind the younger women, often and specifically, of what a great gift they have been given. Help them to keep their focus on the great qualities of their husbands and children. Point out how God has blessed them. Show them the respectable things their husbands do and the adorable things their kids do. If you notice a teenager being helpful, tell their mother. Help her love her teenager even more.
One of the most discouraging things we can do to a young wife is say something critical of her husband. Of course all wives know what their husbands’ faults are; women are experts at finding faults. Criticizing her husband will only make it hard for her to respect him. Make a point of being a fan of your friends’ husbands. Make a point of loving your friends’ kids. This is a huge encouragement to each other, and our words have so much power to give each other courage to be women who forgive quickly and who forget faults and who remember good.