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.
I was convicted the other day when I heard my husband tell some other men that he sometimes does things for me that he doesn’t feel like doing…just because he knows I will appreciate it. This was news to me! I hadn’t thought about it that way. I thought he WANTED to do those things! For instance, my husband gives my feet a little massage every night before I go to sleep. I thought he enjoyed doing that! He also runs a lot of the errands that need to be done for us. I thought he liked to run errands! He also makes sure there’s always a fresh toilet paper roll waiting for me in the bathroom just in case the current one runs out. Nice!
Here’s the thing. We often take for granted our husbands. Could it be that your husband is doing things he doesn’t really want to do just to please you? Could he be acting selflessly and you just didn’t realize it? Is he more noble than you thought? Hmmm. Could your husband be doing kind things for you that you didn’t even realize were a sacrifice for him? For instance….if he comes home from work exhausted and yet takes time to play with the kids or help you with some chores, that’s something to truly appreciate! Think about it and ask God to show you ways that your husband may be more noble than you thought.
Bottom line: Maybe your husband is really doing a pretty good job fulfilling God’s command to husbands in Ephesians 5:25 where he tells men to “love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. The question is: How are YOU doing in fulfilling God’s command to wives in Ephesians 5:33 where he tells women “the wife must respect her husband”?
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. 😊
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE
Sometimes, it’s so hard to stay in the battle for your marriage. Sometimes, we get weary. Often, we wonder why we should put in the hard work when no one even notices. Well, let me remind you that there is someone who notices all your hard work, and you have a reward coming. In fact, Jesus talks about “treasures” we can receive in heaven.
In the book of Isaiah, God reveals what lies in store for us when we get to heaven…jewels!!! 🙂 He says in Isaiah 54:11-12, “I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.” And, in Matthew 16:27 Jesus says “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”
How do we make sure we have rewards waiting for us in heaven? During his time on earth, Jesus spoke a lot about receiving a reward in heaven by doing good and righteous things, especially when no one on earth notices! Interesting. This means God sees and cares about the hard work you are putting into your marriage. He will reward you for your acts of kindness, patience, and love toward your husband, even if nobody else notices. He will reward you some day for the way you persevere during rough patches in your marriage instead of giving up. There is a reward coming someday, and it will be beautiful.
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT