In conversations with other wives the conversation often turns into "husband bashing" sessions. As Christians, I think this is extremely contrary to what God wishes us to do.
Now don't get me wrong. My husband and I are so very far from perfect! And we have a history. About a decade into our now nearing 22 year marriage, we hit some really tough patches and were seperated for almost an entire year. Next to our daughter's death, that 11 months apart was the hardest thing I have ever lived through.
Because of the miracle God worked in us in complete restoration of our marriage, we have had the privilage to walk along side other couples in tough situations.
When asked how we survived, we always respond with "ONLY by God's grace and much effort!" It's not easy. After almost a decade back together it is still not easy.
Here are a few things however, that I have learned along the way, that not only apply to my husband but seemingly to husbands the world over, and can hopefully help curb the husband bashing cycle.
#5. He Needs A Cheerleader
The workforce is a tough place to navigate. No matter what our man's occupation, he needs encouragement. Even though we may not physically work with our man, he needs to know he's doing a good job. He needs to feel like he has a supporter who cheers him on regardless. I once heard a stat that went something like this. As humans, we need to hear 7 good things for every 1 negative thing thrown our way. The workplace can be brutal. He probably hears more then his share of negative feedback.
Home should be different and a haven, the place where encouragment is a natural, daily part of life.
One of our favorite things...camping!
Now I must note, each personality will respond differently and have different styles of needs in the encouragment department. So find the most meaningful way to be an encourager to your man.
#4. He Needs a Friend
Remember how much time you spent in the dating/newly wed stage doing everything with your husband?
I can remember how as a new wife, I desperately wanted to spend as much time as possible with my constantly hunting husband.
That meant I took hunter's safety courses, got my hunting license and proudly showed off the Browning A 500 rifle he got me.
It meant stiffling the urge to yell "run Bambi!" to every deer with in a mile and trampse through piles of snow and mud to track the ones shot by the group.
I did not grow up in a hunting family and was always the one to rescue the small chipmunks being tormented by the large hawks overhead. I also gave every pet rabbit and kitten that died the proper burial.
So hunting was a real stretch for me but I did it because he was my best bud and I wanted those moments with him.
As we've been married longer, I no longer hunt, though my gun is still somewhere in the basement.
I have had to find other ways to connect with him.
Sometimes it is simply sitting on a dirty, over turned 5 gallon bucket and chatting while he works on his truck.
Other times I make an effort to run errands with him, making the attempt to not chatter his ear off but simply be a comforting and quiet companion.
How is your friendship with your man?
Epic day exploring caves
#3. He Needs You To Laugh With Him
This one kind of goes hand in hand with number 4.
As my husband and I have worked through our differences, we have found how important it is to have fun together. Laughter is an essential ingredient in a healthy marriage.
A few years back, he came home from work and wanted me to look at some You Tube videos his friend had shown him. Inwardly I groaned and wondered what silly shananigans he wanted to waste my time with.
Boy, was I ever wrong. What he had was Mark Gungor's "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage".
Not all folks love that series as much as we do, but the way that Mark explains the God given differences in men and women had us in stitches for the whole set of several hours it took us to piece together the series on You Tube.
We could not stop watching and laughing.
My shy, introverted husband bought the DVD series and ended up hosting a marriage retreat at our church with them! We liked them so much we shared them again just a few weeks back with a few couple friends.
How ever you do fun best, make an effort to have fun and laugh on a regular basis!
All dressed up for a friend's 40th birthday
#2. He Needs You to Trust Him
Trust. That's always been on the tough list for me. It may be hard to admit, but I like to be in control.
I am learning however that trusting him is imperative. He needs to be able to provide for us. He needs to be able to care for us.
To me, this has been challenging even more since our daughter died as a result of drowning, which took place in our back yard. I tend to want to never let my 3 living children out of my sight. Even with him. But in so doing I ruin a lot of what could be happy memories for them.
God created men with spirits of daring and adventure that are so different from our mother hen spirits.
In trusting that he is capable of caring for the children he fathered, I embrace God's creativity in creating him.
When I first posted this photo, I titled it "my favorite place"
#1. He NEEDS Your Respect
According to Emmerson Eggrich in his best selling Love and Respect, Men need respect like we as women need to feel loved.
That one thought, though it made sense right off, has been a doozy for me to learn and apply.
I could spend all day saying "I love you" to Lowell and it really wouldn't trip his trigger. He needs my respect AND the actions to back up that fact.
This past year, I was very sick for many months. As a result, I had the time to listen to several of the Love and Respect Seminars and I had the time to think about how to personally apply the stuff I learned to our relationship.
For me that has "fleshed out" in my stepping back from my take charge style personality in order to allow him to flourish in the decision making process in our home.
I often wrongly thought that he did not need to or wish to be involved in a lot of the day to day life process.
Since I have taken the time to get his opinions on things he is so much more confident and creative in what he brings to our relationship and we are working so much better as a team, together, instead of him in his corner and me in mine.
There are many ways to show respect.
Find what works to best respect the husband God has gifted you with!
sunset by the ocean, frizzy hair and all
So there you have my list.
It is not comprehensive and is not a magic cure all.
God created us unique and individual.
Each of us is responsible to find the best ways to make our marriages work in ways that will best shine God's healing, love and light to the world around us!
I'd love to hear from you and what you have found helpful in your marriage! So to urge you along in the sharing process, I am hosting a giveaway. Winner will receive a chosen by you favorite **book of mine on marriage
(**may be in used format since I am the queen of recycle).
Winner will be drawn on Valentine's Day
1.Post a pic of you and your valentine in the comments.
2.Tell us how long you've been married.
3. Share 1 thing that you have found helpful in your marriage.
4. Share this blog (then comment telling me you did. Facebook and Instagram entries will be counted as well)