Affirming the Modern Superhero: Awakening the “Super” in Your Man, Part One
“What is Adam’s favorite super hero?”
This was a question asked of me at my bridal shower about my husband-to-be. I guessed Iron Man. I was wrong. When I asked Adam later about why he likes Superman the best, his response was, “He’s invincible!”
Isn’t that the cry of every little boy’s heart? They want to be invincible. When my husband was a kid, he used to run around in a red cape and cowboy boots. He didn’t just like Superman and look up to the superhero as a role model, he wanted to be Superman. Just because all little boys grow up someday doesn’t mean that every man doesn’t still want to be big, powerful, and strong.
In a world distorted by sin, a man is forced to live in a “crush-or-be-crushed” society. The dreams of a once-little-boy-now-man are about as realistic as man flying on his own power, and he is told to bury his desires deeply like the little red cape that collects dust in the attic.
While you can’t make your husband “Superman,” you can awaken the “super” in your man. As a wife, God has given you the gifts, attributes, and abilities to meet your husband’s biggest needs and fulfill his deepest desires. What are these?
- He needs to know he is strong.
- He needs to know he matters.
- He needs to be taken seriously.
- He needs to know he’s special.
- He desires to capture the heart of his beauty.
In one of the early scenes of Man of Steel, Clark Kent, a seemingly average boy rescues an entire school bus full of children from the water after the driver accidentally drives off a bridge. In another scene, now adult Kent rescues some men from a collapsing, burning oil rig, keeping the steel beams from crushing any of the workers so that they can escape in a helicopter. Later on in the movie, Kent bangs around Smallville, his hometown, and Metropolis with the enemies, smashing through buildings, trucks, and skyscrapers without so much as a scratch. Why? Because he’s a man of steel. Because he’s Superman.
It’s not every day your husband gets to don a red cape as he heads to work taking care of the “bad guys” and rescuing the innocent, although he might wish he could. But does he really want to be Superman, or does he want all that comes behind the fantasy – super strength? Your husband doesn’t have to be Superman to be your superman.
Affirm his physical presence and strength.
Song of Solomon 2:8 says, “…My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.”
Adam and I started dating in college. We lived on opposite sides of the campus, so when we wanted to see each other, we’d often meet in the middle. I remember “my beloved” running down the hillside to meet me. When he’d reach my side, he’d wrap me in his arms and spin me around. I always appreciated his enthusiasm and the strength of his embrace.
While he doesn’t do so much leaping and bounding now, Adam still lends me his physical strength. Sometimes his strength is loud – he gives a manly grunt as he helps me up off the floor and draws me to himself. Sometimes his strength is quiet – he lets me lean my head against his shoulder while we are praying together in church. His masculine strength is sexy to me.
Let your husband know how much you appreciate his strength and presence. Playfully squeeze his arm muscles. Ask him for bear hugs. Encourage him to let out his manly passion for you when you make love. If he offers to carry something heavy, let him. Give him opportunities to use his physical strength to bless you, thank him readily when he does, and tell him why you appreciate it.
Affirm his spiritual strength.
Man can’t “fly” on his own power. This is why man desperately needs God. God answers the deep longings of a man’s heart in a way he cannot himself, nor can anyone else, fulfill. However, God didn’t just create Adam. He also created Eve.
As a wife, you are in a unique position to be a part of God’s grand plan for your husband. You get to walk beside him, satisfy him, uplift him, enjoy him and be enjoyed by him, cherish him, love and respect him, and help him “fly.”
Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.”
A man who trusts in God for his strength is attractive. I admire and appreciate how my husband teaches me to trust the Lord for everything by simply living his life trusting in God. The Lord has proven Himself faithful time and time again in our life together. Through my husband’s everyday devotion and strength in the Lord, I, too, have grown.
Where is your husband strong spiritually? Before you say many men are lacking in this area these days, stop! There is probably something your husband does that is spiritually strong. Does he read his Bible regularly? Does he pray with you daily? Is he eager to go to church? Find something your husband does well instead of focusing on what he doesn’t do well.
[For those of you who may be married to a nonbeliever, don’t be discouraged – Does your husband support you going to church? Is he open to talking about things of God? Does he let you pray before meals together?]
If you are struggling to see anything good, ask God to remove the blinders from your eyes to see where you husband is strong spiritually.
Affirm his emotional strength.
In the third episode of Smallville, the young Clark Kent TV series, Clark asks his adopted dad if “this feeling” of responsibility toward everyone affected by the meteor that brought him to earth will ever go away. His dad responds, “Your feelings are what make you human.”
I would not want the responsibility of protecting and providing for my spouse, plus his spiritual wellbeing. I am appreciative that Adam does this for me, and that God designed a husband to fill this role, not a wife. But this can put an incredible amount of pressure on a man.
Recently, Adam had come home from a long, stressful day at work and was struggling to focus on our conversation. He was frustrated and upset by a work problem. I didn’t know about this, so I continued jabbering on about how “great” my day had been. After a few minutes, I realized my husband wasn’t really engaging in the conversation, and looked extremely tired. Without saying a word, I went over and put my arms around him and whispered, “I love you.”
Recognize and value your husband’s emotions. My husband just needed to know and feel he was loved. He needed to let out his stress, and be reassured that his feelings were valid. Men like to take on the world, and feel like they’re on top of everything. When things don’t go his way, your husband will feel frustrated, upset, and maybe even angry. These feelings can have him feeling helpless and fearful like Superman is when he’s near Kryptonite.
These feelings aren’t in that of themselves sinful or wrong. How he handles his emotions can be. While you aren’t responsible for your husband’s sin, you can help encourage him to deal with emotions in a safe and healthy way.
Strengthen your husband by making your home a place where he can relax, unwind, and de-stress. Listen to him. If he doesn’t want to talk about “his feelings” as men often do, listen to him intuitively. If he looks tired, save talk of chores for later and offer to give him a back rub. If he acts disinterested, don’t act hurt. Wait until later to discuss “your” day, and ask him what he’d like to do this evening. If his tone is irritated, take his hand or place yours on his shoulder to tell him you love him. Sometimes all Adam needs is for me to touch him and let him know I love him before I gently tell him I need him to treat me more respectfully.
Don’t belittle or discount your husband’s emotions. Beneath all Superman’s powers, he is still a man who feels deeply. Encourage your husband to open up to you by being supportive, attentive, and sympathetic with your thoughts, words, and actions.
Uplift him using Scripture. One of my favorite “encouragement” verses for Adam is 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
You Can Empower Him!
It wasn’t enough for God to simply create a beautiful world for Adam to live in. Adam needed his Eve.
While my husband has long since left his cape-wearing days behind, Adam still needs to know he is strong. As his wife, I’ve been put in a unique place to affirm his strength –physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Your husband needs to know he is physically, spiritually, and emotionally strong. While God is the One who gives your man strength, God created you, the wife, to help empower, affirm, and strengthen your man. Adam needs his Eve – that’s you!
How do you affirm your man’s strength?
See Part 2 of Awaken the Super in Your Man: He Makes a Difference!
Please jump over to Becoming His Eve and check out more ideas from Hannah.
My name is Hannah Williams (a.k.a. Adam’s Eve) and I write a blog called Becoming His Eve. I am a spunky housewife married to a wonderful man of God and an amazing, loving sexy husband who gives big bear hugs and wonderful words of encouragement. And in ase you’re wondering, my husband’s name really is Adam. ;o) I have a passion for young women, writing, books, baking, nature, and music! I want to use my gifts, talents, and abilities to help transform relationships and communities for the Kingdom of Christ.