Recently my husband has started helping me pack lunches for the kiddos for school and I have felt adored by him through this one activity. He probably doesn’t even realize the significance of it for me, and to be honest with you, it has taken me awhile to totally understand why it has been so meaningful to me…
It is so moving because he saw a need in my world and chose to meet it – no asking, no nagging, no guilt, no coercing. Isn’t that what we are really longing for – to be known and understood, and for someone to choose to love us in spite of that?
But how on earth – if we are from different planets – can we possibly begin to understand our spouse and what they need and how to love them that way? Well, I am not offering a complete answer to that, because God only knows the long journey ahead of me in working toward that at my own house. But maybe we can just start the discussion of some suggestions – a few things I’ve picked up in my own life, and in talking to others…
For both of you:
- Pray for your spouse. It has the power to change them, but also changes your perspective on them.
- Tell your spouse you appreciate them by finding at least one thing to appreciate everyday.
- Encourage each other. The world is full of negative messages for us – make your home a place where people are built up.
- Forgive like Jesus did. We didn’t deserve it from Him, but He did it anyway.
- Notice something your wife does at home and do it for her. Repeat. This is especially important if your wife stays home with your kids.
- Find something she loves to do and do it together. When you plan things, it helps her feel pursued.
- Take out the trash. I have yet to meet a woman who really loves doing this.
- Offer her some time to herself. Chances are there are so many things on her plate, trying to plan that for herself might feel like too much work.
- Listen to her. Sometimes she’s not looking for a solution, but just an ear.
- When there is a holiday that honors her (e.g. birthdays, mother’s day, etc.), do that – honor her.
- Offer physical affection often. You know what I’m talking about here…
- Be your husband’s biggest cheerleader. He needs to know you support him.
- Instead of trying to have a serious conversation during a football game, offer to bring him a beverage and a snack instead.
- Give him time with his guys.
- Let him know you notice how hard he works.
- Try expressing what you need rather than assuming he “should know.”
I don’t claim to have the exhaustive list of ideas, but maybe this can be the start of a discussion at home of ways that we can engage in the journey of knowing and loving our spouses well. Maybe you want to comment and add your positive ideas for the world to see.
I also understand that not all marriages are in a place where you have any desire to love your spouse that way. You have been hurt, you are angry – I have been there. If we are honest, we have all been there in our marriages. If that is where you find yourself, call – that’s what we are here for.