It’s been said that behind every successful man is a great woman. The wife of one of the most famous names in literature, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was probably one such woman. Sophia Hawthorne secretly set aside a few dollars each week, a savings that eventually grew large enough to support them both for a year. You see, Sophia believed that her husband would one day be a great writer. When Hawthorne came home and announced in disgrace that he’d been fired from his job in a customhouse, Sophia presented him with the money, saying, “Now you can write your book!” Her confidence and encouragement led to one of America’s classic novels, The Scarlet Letter.
Then there was the corporate chief who, while traveling with his wife, pulled their car into a rundown gas station. They discovered that his wife had dated the gas station attendant in high school. “Boy, are you lucky I came along,” bragged the husband after they left. “If you had married him, you would be the wife of a gas station attendant.”
“My dear,” replied the wife, “if I had married him, he would be the chief executive officer, and you would be the gas station attendant.”
It’s certainly true that one spouse has tremendous influence on the success of the other. Jim has supported me in my spiritual life, in the raising of our children, and in so many other areas. Likewise, I have attempted to bolster him however I could and have seen God’s blessing on his work and ministry. And Jim lets me know he appreciates my encouragement. He has said more than once that I believed in him before he believed in himself. Of course, we’ve fallen short of this supportive ideal on more than one occasion—and you probably will, too. But if you consistently strive to bring strong and steady encouragement to your mate, you’ll both reap lasting rewards.