Have you found yourself really frustrated with your husband because you put a bunch of effort into making a great dinner and he didn’t voice appreciation? Have you found yourself really bummed out because you took great pains to dress up for date night and your husband didn’t seem to really notice? What gives?
First, it’s important for you to realize that just because he didn’t voice appreciation, doesn’t mean he could care less about what you’ve done! I bet he loved your dinner and I’m sure he liked the way you looked for date night. Here is the possible reason for the disconnect. Men are wired to be providers. God created men to work and take care of creation (Genesis 2:15 says “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”) It’s only natural that men are focused on their work. So, when they step through the front door at the end of their work day, their brain is still engaged in work. They are still thinking about their job and what’s coming up tomorrow at work. They may be physically present at home, but their minds are often still back on the job.
So, instead of getting frustrated, tell your husband how much you appreciate his hard work for your family. Be his chief encourager. Then, after he’s had awhile to unwind from his day of work, ask him how he liked the dinner. Tell him you put some extra effort into your hair and makeup and ask him if he likes it. I know you feel like you shouldn’t have to prompt him with these questions. You would like your man to notice and voice appreciation without your prompting, but most men simply aren’t wired that way. So simply ask him, and then listen to his response. More than likely, he will say the dinner was good. More than likely, he will say you look great. Accept the compliment! Embrace the compliment, even though it may come with little emotion and yes, even though he had to be asked. 😊
We are all so prone to dwell on what we don’t have. For instance, you might spend lots of mental time and energy longing for a more romantic husband. Or maybe you rehearse over and over again the many qualities your husband lacks! You may be a single woman reading this devotion, and you may be spending lots of energy and time trying to capture a man who can become your husband!
Here’s the thing. We can easily spend so much time focusing on what we don’t have…and trying to manipulate people and circumstances to get what we want…that we don’t even enjoy the many blessings God has actually given us. We can miss out on the life we have!
Colossians 2:6-7 reminds us, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” You and I need to focus on the many things for which we can be thankful. What good people has God placed in your life? How has God provided for you? Dwell on those things and be thankful. When you stop focusing on what you don’t have, you’ll finally be able to truly enjoy all the blessings that you do have!
Today I asked my husband what one thing most husbands really wish their wife would understand. Here is what he said. Most men long for their wife to notice something good about them and to tell them what they see! It could be a positive character quality he displays. It could be the fact that he works hard to provide for the family. It could be a talent he has. It could be the way you notice him submitting himself to God.
According to my husband, men desperately need this validation because they feel like a failure much of the time. In fact, my husband described men as being a bit like dry bones in a desert, in desperate need of water. Your words can provide water for those dry bones and breathe life back into your man! Proverbs 16:24 puts it this way, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Will you commit to finding something to affirm about your husband every day for the next 7 days? Will you commit to actually telling him about the good you see? He will soak up those words like a sponge, and it will bring life back into the dry bones of his spirit.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get in a poopy mood (yes, I just used the highly technical term “poopy”!) when I do something sacrificial for my husband and he doesn’t even seem to notice. For me, even though both my husband and I work full-time in ministry, I decided that, for a while, I would do all the household cleaning chores so that my husband would be freed up to serve God even more. I did this for a several month stretch last year.
Did I enjoy vacuuming, dusting, cleaning toilets? No, I did not. Did I sometimes feel grumpy when I cleaned the house after already working a full day? Yes, I did. But then I thought, “well, at least my husband will sing my praises when he gets home and notices all I’ve done”. However, even though I subtly pointed out to him what I had done, much to my shock, sometimes he didn’t say anything at all. What!?!
It’s at that time that God graciously reminded me that He noticed all I had done and he was pleased. I know that God is pleased whenever I serve my husband because God instructs us in Matthew 9:35 that “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
God always notices what we’re doing even when no one else sees it! In Matthew 6:4, the Bible reminds us that “your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Let’s take heart that we are pleasing the “right” man when we serve our husbands sacrificially. That right man is Jesus.
The perfect gift for your husband…whether it’s Christmas, father’s day, his birthday or your anniversary….is super inexpensive. Give him the gift of respect! The Bible makes it clear that a wife is to respect her husband. This instruction is found in Ephesians 5:33 which simply says “the wife must respect her husband”, and most wives know that a man craves his wife’s respect. However, sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to communicate that respect. It’s especially difficult if your husband isn’t perfect! We naturally gravitate to focusing on what’s wrong with our men as opposed to what’s right.
I’m not saying we should ignore a husband’s blatant sin or destructive patterns. We definitely need to pray about confronting disrespectful, destructive, or immoral patterns of behavior. However, we can’t ONLY focus on his areas of weakness. Our men need to know that we believe in them. They need to know that we notice their strengths too!
A simple way to communicate respect is to voice appreciation for the big and small things your husband does for you and your family. Does he go to work each day? Tell him how much you appreciate his hard work. Does he set aside some time each day to play with the kids? Let him know how much you appreciate that. Does he refrain from stopping at the bar on the way home from work? Tell him how much you appreciate that he comes straight home to his family. A great gift you can give to your husband is your daily appreciation for all he does. It’s a sign of respect.