The morning after I posted “Love Your Husbands” I received an email from one of my close writer friends. He commented that he was interested to see what I’d come up with for the men. I responded saying that the men’s list would be much shorter and simpler.
His actual reply…. “So women’s needs are less complex (looking outside to see if it’s snowing )?”
At the risk of folk laughing me off Twitter, Facebook, and my own website I’m going to say YES… and NO! Shoot… I don’t really know. I just had to sucker you in to reading this post.
What I can say with CERTAINTY is that most menfolk are not about to read and implement 21 different things to do for their women… It’s just not part of a man’s make up. And to be perfectly honest, if you can do a few simple things in addition to being a provider, protector, and priest of the home, we’re good to go.
If your heart is right towards your wife, then the actions will follow. Keep in mind that the Bible warns against menfolk mistreating their beloveds. God explicitly says He will not hear your prayers.
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.
She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life.
Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
Having said that , here are five things you can do to show your wife (or maybe wife-to-be) that you do really love her. Many women know they’re loved in word, but not so much in deed.
- Train your eyes to be only for her. I made the heavy-hitter number one on this list. Men, you’ve got to understand that no matter how strong and secure your woman is she will never be ok with you looking (and lusting) after another. That goes for real life, social media, television, websites, porn, MMS’s, Instagram, imaginative SMS’s. Some of the things that I see posted by married/engaged men are downright disrespectful. (But if your woman is cool with it, who am I to pretend like it’s not acceptable?) While you may go home to her, another woman’s image is in your head. And scripturally-speaking, that’s adultery (Matthew 5:28). Love your queen enough to divert your eyes when you see “trouble” from afar. And when she says to you “Did you see what that woman had on?” you can honestly reply “What woman?” There is a great reward for the man who can grasp and practice this concept.
- Respect her feelings. We know that you’re logical by nature, and we tend to be a little more feel-y. Despite what you may think, our feelings are just as relevant as your reasonings. Have you ever come home late after promising to be on time? You had the best, most logical response planned, but it just wasn’t enough to calm her. No? Man, please… you don’t have to lie to me! Let’s really be logical. If you know something you want to do will bother her, don’t do it. One thousand reasons isn’t enough to explain why you caused hurt when the situation could have been easily avoided. Honesty means next to nothing, and you’ll have to endure more than just a argument if you continue. The flip side to that is that you may feel you’re losing out and it’s unfair to you. But you promised to lay down your life, and again, there’s a reward for being considerate and kind to your bride.
- Try something new. I say this jokingly, but on a serious note, stop doing the same wrong thing over and over and over and over. Sorry doesn’t mean anything after the umpteenth time. If you’re going to slip up, please do so in a different and very minimal way, i.e. not replace the toilet paper roll.
- Unlock your phone. This right here could rival number 1. Trust is a major issue in relationships. If you are, in fact, living a life according to God’s statutes there is no reason for your phone and email to be kept private from your spouse. You’re trusting that person with your body and soul, and so it is their obligation and responsibility to cover you in those areas. If you can’t submit to that, then perhaps some fasting and separation is in order. I realize this requires a serious heart change for some, but truly, what do you have to hide? It’s going to come to light anyway.
- Clean her car, and make love to her. This is a two-fer. Something about a man taking care of domestic things that we ourselves are too busy to do ignites the passion in a woman. I have a friend who often comments on the reward her husband gets after taking care of the family’s dishes. Don’t complain about not getting enough if you aren’t willing to help out around the house or with the children. It really can be that simple.
So gentleman, might I suggest you choose any one item from this list and test it out. See what happens when your queen notices a change in you, and trust me, SHE WILL NOTICE!
Ladies, let me stress this to you!! Do NOT send this to your man in hopes of proving anything without first sending the “Love Your Husbands” article. Let him see that you are wiling to make some changes for his benefit before requesting he do the same for you. I might even suggest allowing him to pick a few items with which you can start. It’s alright to be transparent because none of these techniques work by magic. If he knows you’re overlooking a snide remark because you want better and not because you neeeeeed him… you can figure out the rest.
What does your wife need most?
Your time? Affection? A greater demonstration of your commitment to her?
Which of these items could you implement first?
If this blog has helped you in any way, please subscribe via the form on the right hand column, SHARE this with a friend, and leave a comment. I LOVE to hear from my readers, even when you all disagree.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your marriage,
Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Before I was married, I remember sitting in church and hearing that scripture that tells the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands. I thought “I just don’t understand why God would say that. Wouldn’t we love them already if we married them?”
Then I got married.
And with marriage I began to understand that this fried-chicken brown man with 9.5 of my 10 listed qualities was often unkind, insensitive, and downright unlovable. In those moments I learned it was especially important for me to demonstrate my devotion to him. I knew I’d end up divorced eventually, but God told me that he wouldn’t allow me to leave that marriage until I’d learned to treat him right when he did me wrong.
God is just so unfair at times… Just, but unfair.
Many of you have a great partner but with daily stressors, it’s easy to overlook and under-appreciate his efforts, as meager they may be. After all, he is a man. He doesn’t do things the way you’d want him to. He’s sometimes emotionally disconnected and downright rude. Why would you want to put in extra work?
I know these sentiments well. (And to be perfectly honest, things are sooo much easier on this side. You mad? Not today? Well maybe tomorrow then…) But still, when I do marry again, I’ll have to come back to this list, swallow my pride and take care of my commitment.
Take what you can, and leave the rest…
- Wear something attractive when you leave the house. This includes make-up and jewelry to his tastes. Sometimes they say they like one thing when they really like another. Takes time to learn this skill, but start off small.
- Wear very little when you’re at home. It won’t kill your kids to see you in a halter top, sundress and leggings. No mu-mu’s, bulky bathrobes, or flannel pajamas. You don’t want him looking elsewhere, do you?
- Wear nothing (or next to nothing) in your bedroom. Make this a rule… please. As your children grow older, they should spend less time in your bedroom.
- Dismiss his jerky responses five times out of ten. After you get good at five times, work your way up to eight. Eventually he’ll get the point that he can’t touch a naked woman if he’s been a jerk.
- Have sex the night before or the morning of church. Ya’ll come in looking like ravenous wolves and the poor single folk can’t take any more of your abuse. If your husband is a minister, you really need to take care of him because the devil will walk in and try to catch his eye.
- Get in and/or stay in shape. Of course men are visual, but really, you’ll feel better about yourself and everything around you by doing this.
- Feed him his favorite meal… lightened up. Men like lasagna, meatloaf and stuff covered with barbecue sauce. Let him eat it, but lighten it up a little without telling him what you’ve done. And if you don’t know how to cook, then by all means, learn. Email me, and we’ll work something out.
- Romance him. If you don’t already know his love language, learn it and communicate it to him. If he likes to be touched, then touch him. If he needs to hear how handsome you think he is, tell him. If he likes to have his shirts ironed, then take them to the cleaners because most of us don’t do that anymore… lol.
- Celebrate him when he comes home from work. Brush your hair. Fix your make-up. Get the kids at the door and cheer for him as he comes in. Tell him “thank you.”
- Re-stock his favorite foods and drinks before they’re empty.
- Keep your car clean. Who am I kidding? This will never happen.
- Say “Ok, baby…. whatever you want” at least once a day. Get it over with early before the stresses of the day make it too difficult.
- Conform to his mood. If he’s being goofy, then join in. If he’s a little somber, then downplay your emotional highs. Don’t do this all the time, but it helps.
- Make dessert at least twice a month. You don’t want to be gluttonous, but figure out what he likes and have some every so often. If you’re doing #3 and #6, then #21 should take care of the extra calories.
- Send him loving texts during the day. If you could just modernize and personalize a scripture or two from Song of Solomon, that’ll do.
- Argue with him… logically. Now women tend to be emotional, and there’s nothing wrong with it when our emotions are balanced. But if you could just give him one good logical argument, you’ll watch his jaw drop. This really is more for you than him, but do it anyway.
- Play dumb sometimes. A man’s self-esteem is important. Sometimes, when you know he’s wrong, play dumb instead of demanding the truth. Getting him to admit something shameful (or pressuring him and causing him to lie) may be more damaging than just overlooking it and playing dumb. A “Hmmm… I wonder how that happened” should suffice.
- Don’t argue with him in front of the kids or talk about him in a negative way. You probably have a friend or two with whom you can vent, but be sure these people won’t carry your tales or treat him differently when they see him.
- Be faithful to him. In word, emotion, deed, sexually… all that.
- Have a quiet spirit. Being overly emotional and excitable will cause him to shut allll the way down when you need him to communicate.
- Have sex. You don’t have to make love allllll the time. I think men get tired when we make an event of everything, and so they resort to simpler measures. You don’t want to discourage your mate with your “romance novel” fantasies just like you don’t want him bringing porn star images to bed.
Fret not, ladies. A list is coming for your dear hubbies, but if you want him to read it, you should get a head start on a few of these items.
Which items are easy for you? Which are challenges?
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Please please please comment and share your thoughts and forward to your friends even if it’s just for giggles.
With love, sincerity, and hope for lasting marriages,
P.S. I will not be accepting any marriage proposals via text, email, Twitter, Facebook, or GChat. I will, however, accept “thank you” cards and gifts from men whose lives have benefited from the list, even if the benefit is nominal.
Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This is quite possibly the biggest trap for folk who are trying to live right.
We know premarital sex is wrong.
We know extramarital sex is wrong.
We know it in our hearts and our heads… but our flesh has difficulty complying with the ordinances from upper management. So we compromise and satisfy the desire of the flesh…. alone.
You figure out the m-word yet? No? Well, I’ll keep writing. It will come to you… when you’re by yourself… Friday night after a long week at work… feeling a little tingly down under… thinking about sending that late night text… it will come to you.
(I can hear the menfolk screaming inside… It’s ok. Just don’t let the person in the cube next to you hear you.)
For years, I was bound. I won’t be graphic, but I will say that every time I became stressed about money, angry with someone close to me, bored… it was my vice. I’ve never been one for drinking, never done any type of drug… but this thing here had me defeated. More than anything, I wanted God to make me pure again, and everyday I’ve come closer to that goal.
Now many of you may not feel m-ing is wrong or bad, but if you feel that way you probably haven’t agreed with much of anything I’ve written thus far. I don’t mind your disagreeing. Thanks for reading anyway…
For those of us who feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction let me express to you why the the “m”-word is a problem in your daily walk.
- You are polluting your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The original word in Latin literally means “to pollute oneself.” One day somebody’s going to want to drink from your cistern (if you’re not already married). And no matter how deep or shallow the well, no one wants to drink dirty water.
- It doesn’t satisfy the need for a connection. This “quick fix” is like putting a bandage over a huge gaping wound. Your need for the s-word is more than just physical whether you choose to believe that or not.
- It creates soul ties with a person who ain’t even present. You’re thinking about Mademoiselle X or Monsieur Y and releasing all those love-inducing hormones for a person who isn’t even in your space. What happens when you see them again and you’re feeling all amorous, and they’re just dapping you up like a homey? Hop on down that bunny trail… you can find the ending yourself.
- If you’re married, you may be defrauding your partner and you definitely are if the p-word is involved. You know those sites that are so easily accessible? They have NO PLACE in the life of a Christ-follower. The two together have destroyed many marriages. I’ll write more about this another time.
- Long term addictions to this particular problem are usually associated with rejection. David’s father, Jesse, rejected him at a young age and ever since David had issues with women. I’ve also read (no citation for this particular point… sorry) that children who grow up with fighting-arguing-cussing parents use this particular thing as a form of stress relief. What are we doing to our children?!
So how does one break free from this vicious cycle,
assuming one WANTS to break free?
You know me better than that by now. I’ll get over the shame of having posted this within a week or so, then I can share my testimony.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future of PURITY,
Photo credit: Some rights reserved by ninasaurusrex
Notice that in the title I used the word can’t… not won’t…. because one literally lacks the power to break free.
Let me paint a picture for you.
Imagine a beautiful, colorful butterfly floating freely in a meadow. It dances across the tops of lilies and violets fulfilling its purpose in life without any care or concern in the world, but one… the search of love. In its course of duty the butterfly crosses the path of a dark, mysterious spider who weaves a silken web of words and deeds to win the butterfly’s heart. Butterfly, naive as it may be, is still cautious of getting too close to the spider… after all flies get trapped with those things. Not beautiful butterflies! Nonetheless, butterfly is intrigued by spider’s enticing and glistening web. What’s more is that spider has eight arms with which to hold our floating friend…. and many eyes to see the need in butterfly’s longing soul.
Spider entices butterfly to lean in for a kiss, and weakened by the words and gentle caresses of our savvy antagonist, butterfly finds itself trapped in spider’s web. For a while, it seems nice to have another close by… But as spider closes the space between them, butterfly finds itself even more stuck in spider’s web. Butterfly enjoys the feeling of security. I mean, who wants to fly freely when you can be so deeply and passionately loved and appreciated? Relishing the feeling of being wanted, butterfly spreads its wings to embrace spider and finds itself completely and overwhelmingly entangled…
Butterfly croons “This must be love.”
Notice in the tale above there are no “he’s” or “she’s”. I realize that most of us will associate butterfly with a female, but I’m just using it to illustrate the well-meaning, but weak character who longs for love and will settle. Guys, if it makes you feel better, you can be a dragonfly.
Spider, well… you get that! Spider is the charmer that reels you, tells you all the things you want to hear, and gets you trapped! What’s more is that a spider will leave you stuck in the web, build a web elsewhere, trap some other well-meaning insects, then come back to feast on your self-esteem when it’s hungry.
So are you a trapped member of the lepidoptera phylum? (Nerd speak… sorry.) This entry is for those entangled and unable to let go of someone who only creates hurt and shame. Am I speaking of romantic love? Possibly… but I feel that entanglements can happen in ANY relationship. At the moment, I can say that I have female friends with which I’ve become far too entangled in their affairs of life. Instead of being a support system, I’ve become the source of life… They suck me dry!
But romantic relationships are, by far, the trickiest. How can you tell whether there’s real love in place versus an unhealthy attachment of souls? Let’s go back to our characters and study their habits.
- It feels like it’s meant to be even when everything goes wrong. It can feels so good to be attached that we nurture the feeling instead of the relationship. Butterfly and spider have a natural and powerful connection in nature, but theirs is a predator-prey relationship… not a partnership. Discern your purpose in spider’s life. It’s never to get caught in the web.
- You think spider’s trapped in the web too, but you realize he/she is much more adept at handling sticky situations than you are. Remember that spider weaved the web. While you may think he or she is as in deep in love as you are, take note to how easily they side step when you need them. I knew a guy who would tell me a thousand times over the phone and text that he loved me, but would NEVER say it to my face. Talk about a side-stepping somebody…
- Spider won’t leave you alone… for long. I asked this same person to leave me alone SEVERAL times. For months I didn’t contact him or respond to any of his advances. He persisted all the more. I gave in for a short time, then quickly came to my senses. When I told him where he could go with all his crap, he sent me back a polite “No.” LOL… Took some time but I think he’s gotten trapped in his own web. What matters most is that I’m not in it with him!
- You think of them, and they contact you. You can feel the stringy web start to vibrate your wings as spider stealthily approaches the web. ]You can literally feel the person thinking about you. Your soul knows it, and your body knows it. Usually these kinds of connections come from sexual contact, but if you’ve ever made a promise to “love forever” you’ve opened yourself to that soul tie. Then, at times, that still small voice may warn you to prepare yourself… because that still small voice knows that you’re entangled.
- You start weaving a web of your own. Quite possibly the most convincing evidence anyone may have of entanglement is that you become like your predator. You learn their tricks and start trapping a few empty souls of your own to feast upon. Natural animal response, right? But you’re not an animal. God has equipped you with a conscience and sensibilities. Your broken heart does not permit you to break others’…
- You miss your floating freedom, but you don’t want to let go. A true loving relationship won’t stifle your inner peace and freedom. I remember sitting beside a guy and watching a movie and thinking “I wish we would just end this.” I felt so boxed-in, but not because of anything he did in particular. We had just moved too fast (and this was without sex), and I felt forced to keep up the charade. When we did part ways, it was UGLY! But at least I’m free… at least I think I am. (I really am pondering this…)
I doubt that anyone who’s read this can honestly say they’re free from ANY entanglements. Naturally, some are good, but we must relieve ourselves of relationships that leave us empty and unsatisfied. Some of us are entangled in more than one web which truly explains why we have no inner peace or confidence.
I didn’t write all of this just to leave you dazed in your circumstances… but the first step to freedom is acknowledging that you are, indeed, entangled, and not in love. Love gives, not takes away.
So how do we become free? Well… I need more time to think about that. Until then, let’s all investigate those closest to us and figure out who’s got the wrong kinds of strings attached to our wings.
Love you all… and with that, I bid you goodnight.
P.S. Special thanks to my Jiminy Cricket who gave me an idea of the butterfly and spider relationship…