Despite the heat on full blast, the near zero temperature of the evening drifted its way into the gym. I was at a youth retreat and the last night consisted of an all-night dance party. The music was loud, the friends were great, the games were fun, but I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness until I heard someone call my name.
I turned around and there stood Chris with ice in his hair, wearing brown coveralls and flanked by two of his friends. I was stunned. Not because of his appearance but because of what he did.
He drove three hours through on closed roads from Newcastle Wyoming to Casper, Wyoming in a tiny Toyota pickup without a heater just to dance with me. One dance was all he was allowed since he wasn’t registered for the retreat. Three hours, no heat, for once dance. One.
Needless to say, this was the man I married. 20 years later, he is still my hero and sweeps me off my feet when I least expect it.
He may not rule the world with a hammer, nor is he an heir to an ocean kingdom, but he is the hero to me and our family.
Cinematically, it is the age of the superhero. It seems like every week there is a new superhero to watch on the big screen. Avengers: Endgame even broke 11 different theater records this year including highest grossing movie, at $2.8 billion.
Why does our world crave superheroes? We live in a fragile world gripped by fear, bleeding headlines, and so many frightening things happening right outside our front door.
It’s any wonder why we’re flocking to the movie screen in droves to root on our favorite hero. But what about the man in relaxed jeans and worn baseball hat sitting next to you? What about that man? Let’s think about all the ways he shows up when you need him:
- This ordinary guy who happens to be honest and hardworking.
- He’s the one who walks through your front door as soon as he can get home from work.
- He’s the one who does the 10 p.m. run to Walmart for milk.
- He’s the one who picks up extra work projects to put more cash into savings.
- He also happens to be the one who does without so he can send his kids to summer camp.
- He takes care of his wife and looks after his kids.
- He stands up for what’s right and watches out for those in need.
- He follows God with all of his heart, soul and strength.
- He comes into a seemingly impossible situations and revives hope to it by bringing the solution or being the solution.
Yes, this man—how do you make him feel like a hero?
1. Let Him Know All the Ways You See a Hero in Him
Men need to know they are appreciated, needed, and wanted. Our husbands have the world on their shoulders. Being the spiritual leader of the home is an enormous responsibility, so is being a father, and a husband.
Within those titles lay the burden of being the protector and problem solver. Sadly not every man steps up this challenge. Your man needs to know because he makes an effort 24-7 to step up to these seemingly impossible tasks makes him a hero.
Your husband needs to hear this from you. Mark Twain once said, “I can live two months off a compliment.”
I love being your wife.
I appreciate how hard you work and sacrifice for us.
You’re an outstanding father to our kids.
I admire how you lead our family.
2. Ask Him for His Heroic Help
In a world of breaking glass ceilings and pulling ourselves up by the ponytail, it’s easy to think we women can do it all ourselves. Women are now running CEO empires, and single women are raising kids on their own.
Before this era, men knew they had expectations they needed to meet in order to support a family, make his wife happy, and so on. God created men to lead, but this need or expectation has grown exceedingly rare in today’s culture.
But in this age of women empowerment, our men need to know more than ever how much they are needed.
Of course I can mom hard, I can climb the corporate ladder, but I know I can’t do it without his help. This includes opening the pickle jar or helping me develop content for my writing, remembering to take my medication or putting together outfits. They may seem silly, but they are powerful displays of his love and care.
Men as a rule want to be respected for their achievements; they want to feel their contributions are valuable, that they truly are valued.
Your husband feels like a hero when he is needed, when he can help, when he can solve the problem; whether it’s a leaky faucet, being the parental unit referee, fixing dinner, or creating a better budget, ask him for help.
In a world of I can do it female empowerment, your husband needs to know he is still your hero—he is still THE MAN.
Some More Practical Ideas:
I know how I make efforts to make my husband feel like an everyday hero, but I wanted to know what specific actions other wives to take in this endeavor. So, I reached out to a few friends on Facebook. The comments showed how both big and small actions matter.
Elaine wrote: Respect. Praise. Recognition. Letting him know he is needed and wanted above all else. Letting him be who God created him to be. A leader. A warrior. A man.
Tracy: My husband felt like a hero when I actually asked for his help and opinion instead of being stubborn and overly independent. He also felt like a hero when I affirmed him verbally, especially in public.
Cathy: Let him open a hard to open jar and applaud how strong he is! He struts about like a peacock!
Erin: I make sure he has time for just him. A fishing trip, a football game or whatever he enjoys. Letting him know that we appreciate him and all he does for us. He deserves to make time for himself.
Rob: The biggest thing that makes me feel like a hero is when she says she is glad the kids have me for a father. The biggest thing that makes me feel like a hero is when she says she is glad the kids have me for a father. Sorry, not a lady but this makes me feel like a hero.
Heather Riggleman calls Nebraska home (Hey, it’s not for everyone) with her three kids and husband of 20 years. She writes to bring bold truths to marriage, career, mental health, faith, relationships, celebration and heartache. Heather is an author and a former national award-winning journalist. Her work has also been featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries, MOPS, Today's Christian Woman and Focus On the Family. You can find her at heatherriggleman.com or connect with her on Instagram.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Ivanko_Brnjakovic