If you have read any of my past blog posts about marriage, you would know that 99.5% of them are aimed at and written for husbands. And that is because, in my own experience, if there are problems in a marriage, there is a very high probability that the husband is leading counter to the vision of Jesus pursuing His church.
But to you ladies out there reading this, if you will stick with me, I might be able to offer you some helpful suggestions in providing for your man what he will immensely value.
No thanks to Rambo or Rocky
In a western culture of pick yourself up by your bootstraps/strong man/don’t show your weakness, your man absolutely and essentially needs you for his own growth and success. Granted, we (I) may not always see it or acknowledge it, but it is nonetheless true. And over the 28+ years of marriage, I value my wife more than ever.
Wives, allow me to encourage you. As a husband, I can have many words of affirmation or confrontation directed at me by others, but none, and I mean none, compare in importance or effect to that of the words my wife gives me. Her words to me are monumental in how they impact me. No one else, no matter how close they are to me, can trump the impact of what my wife says to me and the spirit in which she says it.
If that is true (and it is), then could I offer you three insights that might be of benefit? I guarantee results (but sorry, I don’t have any money to send to you should it not). And know this ladies – you have influence. Proverbs 14:1 speaks this:
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
A wife can make a choice: build or destroy. And if a woman is determined to destroy her home, apart from God, there is no stopping her. But the other side is true as well. A woman who is determined to build her home will have great leverage for change.
So here are three thoughts for you to ponder.
Nagging = white noise
Please, don’t stop reading just yet. Hear me out. Wives, I know you probably think when it comes to reminding your husband that if some is good, then more is better.
But it is not. In fact, the more often you feel the need to “awaken his memory” about what he should be or should not be, the more chance there is of him disengaging. Does the husband have a responsibility to respond rightly? Big yes. But your repetitive words will slowly morph into white noise.
Better idea? Speak with him, p-r-a-y for him and allow God to “get after him.” Trust me. It works. God is my wife’s ally.
Praise him with specifics
When I am tempted to be frustrated with me wife, I also choose what I will focus on – her change. Dreams, wishes, and desires turn into expectations. So what are you choosing to focus on?
What is your husband doing well in or giving great effort with as it relates to your marriage or family? Praise him for that. And communicate it with specificity.
“Love, I really appreciated it when you picked up the kids from practice today. You did it willingly and I want you to know that I noticed it. That was an act of serving me that really meant a lot. Thank you.”
As a guy, when my wife points out something I did (even if small) and takes the time to value that with me in her communication…wow, does that go the distance for me. It is like a fresh recharge on my batteries. No one’s words mean more to me. And trust me ladies, it will be true for you with your hubby.
But be patient.
And let me add one more thought to this. We guys can appear all “I got this!” but the truth is that my wife believing in me and empowering me is absolutely essential. There have been many times where I have presented an idea in an unsure way and my wife is like “Babe, this is totally you and I think you would rock it! Trust God!” Obviously, being authentic and genuine in your words is key, but you get the idea. My wife’s words of affirmation and confidence in me is so needed in my life.
Confront him with grace…and then move aside
In my fleshly state, I really do not like my wife to point out my…shall we say, growth points? I like to be right. I like to be seen as strong. But the truth is that my wife knows me better than anyone on the planet. In some cases, better than I know myself. And how she approaches me in those times of confrontation make all the difference.
My wife has “gotten in my grill” multiple times in my marriage. And she does it with two key components: grace and respect. There have been multiple times where I needed some course correction and my wife has spoken to me. I think of one specific instance where I was way out of line in how I handled a situation. My wife said a few words, but they were laced with authentic love and grace. The words embedded in me like an arrow between my eyes…and I had nothing to say. I mean nothing. And it was like after the arrow landed that God then twisted it to make sure it stuck.
Her spirit in which she communicated made her words have great power. She has realized that no amount of nagging can accomplish what a few grace-filled words can do. She speaks them and then “gets out of the way” for God to do the heavy lifting. And God used that to bring me to repentance. And did it ever grow our marriage.
Wives who are reading this, my heart’s motive is to help you have more impact with your man. If you are new to this blog and think I am overly focused on the lady-folk, just scan my previous posts and see my emphasis. M-E-N.
I hope this gives you hope in your marriage if things are a bit rocky. The gospel is greater…greater than your troublesome marriage. And it goes beyond “fixing things” to changing actual heart desires.
I would challenge you to do the “30-day challenge” and see what God can do in you and through you as you love your husband well.