A few people have asked me, or emailed about the 'practical list' of things a husband can do to love his wife and a wife can do to respect her husband from last week's message "Designer Genes". So, it is listed below. Be sure to be around for the next four weeks as we set marriages on fire!
Guys, Here's your part:
Here is the deal: your wife needs not merely to be loved, but to feel loved. One woman complained to her husband "You never say you love me!" He responded "The day we got married I told you I love you and if I ever change my mind I'll let you know."
Truth about women is that they need to 'hear' I LOVE YOU all the time in repeated and varied ways. They yearn for it and never get tired. I am going to give you some ideas of what you can do this week to accelerate her love quotient to maximum levels. Experiment with some of these and you'll see a different lady by the end of your experiment.
First, you need to know that your wife wants to feel close to you. For women, it is not good enough to just physically share the same space. They need a sense of connection. Here are some ways that that happens.
- Hold her hand*
- Show some affection... without expecting a roll in the hay
- Get a few minutes alone with her every day and just talk - no TV, no kids, no guests
- Plan a date...do something unexpected when you are with her
- Tell her about your day and the challenges you're are facing
- Take her for a walk and reminisce about some good memories from dating or early marriage
- When she talks about problems she is facing, just listen and repeat back what you heard her say... try not to give advice to 'fix' her, but ask another question to 'understand her'
- Try to put a name to her feelings when she tells you stories "That sounds distressing" "That must have hurt"
- Cut her some slack during her least favorite time of the month* Pray with her - let your deepest desires before God show in front of her
In addition to her need for closeness, she needs to know of your loyalty...that 'she's the only one for you.' She will fly high under the security of your undying love for her and esteem of her. Here's a few more practical ideas...
- Always speak highly of her in front of others
- Be involved in things that are important to her - especially if it is in regards to your children* Don't be scoping out other women
- Tell the kids "don't speak to your mother that way!"
- Let her know about your plans...especially if there are changes
- Notice things that change about her physical appearance - new haircuts and clothes are key moments to pay attention.
- Praise her accomplishments with sincerity and enthusiasm
- Tell her she is the most important person in your life...and back it up with your priorities
Ladies, here's your stuff:
Here is a secret you can take to the bank. Showing respect for your husband is like rocket fuel in his emotional tanker...just like love fills your soul to the top, respect fans his flame. A man's natural response to receiving respect is to ...get this... to serve! Really...when he is in an environment where he is valued and his contribution is valued, his natural instinct is to contribute MORE!
Try this as a test someday. Write down a list of the things you really respect about your husband. For some of you this will be easy, but for others it might take some time. But do it. It may be "I respect the fact that you get up every day and work hard to provide for our family." It may be "I respect the way you make decisions about repairing our cars." Or, I respect the skills you have in fixing the plumbing." There are a ton of possibilities.
Then, one day, just drop it on him. Not the list...just say "you know, I was thinking about some things that I really respect about you today." Then casually excuse yourself because you have something to do. He'll likely jump out of his chair to find what those things are! Let him know a few things and watch how he responds.
You might think of other ways to do it...a voicemail, a note, a face-to-face conversation, an email...but whatever you do be sure to regularly and enthusiastically show respect.
Here are some other great ways to demonstrate that you respect him:
- Learn from him
- Support him in things he is leading
- Praise his good decisions
- Thank him for his advice
- Give him kudos for accomplishing athletic, or exercise goals
- Initiate some bedtime activity, telling him how irresistible he is to you
- Act with gratitude for his income