Okay – I’ll come clean. This might not be exactly what you expected. I’m not going to attempt to teach anybody how to kiss well…in the literal sense! However, God reveals something interesting in the Bible about kisses. He says in Proverbs 24:26, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips“. Wow!
What if you were to bless your husband (almost as good as a passionate kiss!) and be honest with him? According to God, being honest with your guy would be very well received and appreciated! Here are 3 ideas on how you can start being more honest with your husband:
1) Stop hinting and decide to directly and clearly state your needs, desires, and ideas.
2) Be transparent about your past failures and even your current struggles instead of pretending you’re perfect.
3) Be respectful but honest if something is really bothering you, as opposed to stuffing your true feelings and allowing bitterness to close down your heart toward your husband. In other words, when he asks you if something is wrong, don’t say “everything’s fine”, if it’s not!!
I have had some deep conversations with several women recently, and I walked away from those talks with spirits lifted. In fact, my heart seemed lighter and my path ahead seemed clearer. Even though I used to have some pretty good talks with my husband, it was so delightful to have an extended chat with some females. Talking with women filled a definite need for empathy. It also really helped me to more clearly process some things going on in my life as I verbalized what was happening and how I felt about those events in my life. These women were good listeners. They were able to handle my long and detailed account. They were able to empathize with my feelings. I’m so glad I have friendships with women, and not just with a man.
How about you? Do you have at least 2 deep friendships with other God-believing women? Do you have at least 2 women in your life who encourage you, empathize with you, or make you laugh? We NEED each other! A husband cannot possibly meet all your relational needs. Men aren’t wired the same as women. In case you haven’t noticed, most women need to talk about all the things happening in their lives, and we need listeners who will empathize with us! Most men are not wired to listen to a lengthy discussion, and they generally aren’t wired to express a lot of empathy either. But a good female friend can fill that void for you, and you can do the same for her. We need another woman to speak sweet words of empathy and encouragement in a way that most men just don’t understand. Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
So, be intentional about making some solid female friendships. Invite a woman from church or work to coffee. Be a good listener yourself. Ask her to tell you about herself, her children, her challenges, her successes, her spiritual giftings, her hobbies. Be a good listener. You’ll be on your way to developing a good friendship.
How many times have you muttered to yourself “He should just KNOW!”. Most wives have muttered this time and time again. I know I have, and just the other day, my husband and I were counseling a couple where this communication pitfall rose to the surface so clearly. She needed her husband to romance her a little before physical intimacy and he had no clue! She started getting resentful. He most definitely felt her cold shoulder, but was oblivious to the problem!!
Expecting your husband to know what you want and need without clearly telling him…is a common communication pitfall. Unfortunately, your husband doesn’t just “know” because he doesn’t think like a woman and most men have no idea what a woman wants or needs from her husband. We can’t assume our husbands know what we want!
Avoiding this communication pitfall is so easy. As a wife, clearly, concisely, and directly tell your husband what you want. Clearly tell him what you need. Let him know the specifics as well! Let me give a simple example. Let’s say you have company coming over and the house is a mess. Plus, you’re trying to make a dessert to serve. So, you’re feeling stressed. Meanwhile, your husband is oblivious to your inner turmoil. He’s contentedly watching ESPN. In most cases, the wife would finally say “Hey, can you vacuum the house please?”. To which the husband says, “sure” and continues watching ESPN. At this point, the wife blows a gasket in frustration. Here’s the thing. She didn’t give him the details of what she was asking for. Instead of simply asking, “Can you vacuum?”, she needed to say “Can you vacuum right now?” She needed to clearly spell out what she was asking for and when.
Clear, honest communication is a gift to your husband! It reminds me of Proverbs 24:26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
We’ve all seen that couple at a restaurant…that couple that hardly speaks a word to each other throughout the whole meal. Don’t be that couple! You and your husband may not be used to revealing your hearts to each other, but give it a try, and don’t just talk about the kids. Here are two helpful hints in terms of making your husband comfortable in opening up his heart to you in conversation: 1) Show an actual interest in what your husband shares 2) Do not criticize, point out flaws, or roll your eyes at the things he shares! Philippians 2:4 instructs…”Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others.” So, really listen to the hopes, dreams, fears, concerns, and feelings of your husband.
Here are 4 questions you could use as date night conversation starters:
1) What makes you feel most fully alive…as in what do you so enjoy doing that you feel great satisfaction or delight and you easily lose track of time?
2) If you had 100 million dollars and didn’t have to work for a living, what would you love to do with your time and money?
3) What are the 2 or 3 most impactful moments of your life?
4) What was the best part of your day and what was the most discouraging part of your day?
In an ideal world, a wife would never have to confront her husband about some kind of disrespectful, destructive, or just plain immoral behavior. However, we live in a fallen world, and both men and women can easily stray into sinful choices that hurt the people they love.
If you are a wife who is ready to confront your husband over some kind of wrong behavior, here’s what not to do! Don’t treat him like he’s the enemy. Don’t give him that look says “you disgust me”. Don’t scold him like he’s a 3 year-old child. Don’t roll your eyes.
Instead, as you’re bringing up the issue that is causing you distress, let your husband know that you are for him and your marriage. A man will shut down if he feels his wife is against him. A man will tune his wife out if she is disrespectful. The Bible says “the wife must respect her husband” in Ephesians 5:33, and this is critical when a wife addresses issues of concern with her husband. Let your man know that you love him and want to work with him as his partner to overcome the challenge. Speak gently and encourage him by reminding him of his good qualities. If he knows you are truly for him, he will be much more apt to listen to what you’re saying instead of shutting you out or flying into a rage.
Here are two more tips. 1) To help make sure he doesn’t get super defensive, start out by asking this gentle question: “Help me understand why….” When you ask him that instead of starting out with strong accusations, he will be much more likely to talk calmly with you! 2) Start out the conversation by affirming the good in him. You might begin this way: “I know you love me and I know you would never intentionally hurt me, but….”
Have you and your husband been butting heads lately? Can you sense resentment against him growing in your heart? Does he seem frustrated with you? Well, the good news is that you’re not alone. This is pretty common in marriage. The bad news is that if you don’t do something about this, it will likely ruin your marriage!
As my husband and I mentored couples over man years, we found a little tool to be really helpful. We asked the husband and wife to sit down over a series of “dates” and discuss each other’s expectations in all sorts of areas; everything from the balance of responsibilities for chores to what Christmas celebrations should be like. We all hold subconscious expectations in these areas, but we rarely intentionally reveal those expectations to our spouse. Then we get frustrated and annoyed that they don’t meet our undisclosed expectations!
How about if you bless your spouse by initiating a series of dates to honestly discuss expectations. Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips”. By each of you being honest and open about your desires and hopes, you will grow more intimate and truly begin to understand each other. Visit the “free resources” tab on our website (www.squadronofsisters.com) to print out a list of topics for your husband and you to discuss.
Many powerful and influential male leaders have attributed much of the reason for their success to their wives. Billy Graham is one of those leaders. When his wife died in 2007, he told reporters “My work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.”
Your husband needs your encouragement and esteem in order to have the boldness and confidence to accomplish great things. In Genesis 2:18, God makes it clear that women were created because men need help. God said “It is not good for man to be alone. I will create a helper suitable for him.” That helper is you, and one of the biggest ways you can help your husband is by encouraging him with your words.
With that in mind, here are 10 words/phrases that your man longs to hear from you:
Husbands battle the world every day at their jobs. Co-workers stab them in the back. Other men put them down in order to look more important. The culture tells your man he is a failure if he doesn’t own a Mercedes and he can’t dunk like LeBron James.
So when your man comes home to you, the last thing he needs is to feel like a failure in your eyes too. However, our words often unintentionally communicate just that! Perhaps this is why God felt it necessary to actually instruct wives in Ephesians 5:33 that “the wife must respect her husband”.
Even if your husband has disappointed you, you can still be respectful as you address his behavior, request changes, and establish boundaries. However, if you condemn him and belittle him in that moment of disappointment, you shred his heart. As a result, he will likely turn his heart away from you, self-medicate his pain in destructive ways, or simply stop trying to be a good man since you don’t see anything good in him anyway!
With the need to respect your husband in mind, here are 12 words you should never say to your man:
I realized the most interesting thing one day several years ago in my marriage! I was having one of those super frustrating days, where everything seems to be going wrong. It was the kind of frustrating day where you desperately want the cathartic release of smashing china dishes against the wall! Am I the only one who has ever felt that way? 🙂
Anyway, my husband walked into the house to discover a wife who was steaming from everything that had gone wrong that day. Then something strange happened. He got visibly agitated over my state of frustration. It really bothered him that I was upset. My bad mood became contagious!! He could not be at peace because I was not at peace. It reminded me that our husbands really do want their wives to be content and at peace. In fact, 1 Peter 3 tells wives to strive for the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”. Hmmm. Interesting. So, how do we get this peacefulness, even in frustrating circumstances? The Bible tells us contentment comes when we trust in God, lean into God, and ask for His power to carry us! Philippians 4:13 says ” I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
So, I began refusing to allow the frustrating moments of life to sour my mood. I began laughing off Satan’s attempts to goad me into being irritable and sharp with everyone around me. I pivoted to God in those challenging moments and asked Him to strengthen me, equip me, and give me His peace. Interestingly, when I started choosing to trust God to carry me during those frustrating moments in life, not only did I become peaceful and content, but I enjoyed the unexpected benefit of my husband and kids becoming more peaceful too!
Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death”. Oh my. Consider how many words a woman usually speaks in just one day, and you can see the potential for disaster!
It took me a couple decades to really understand this fact. The words spoken by a wife to her husband can either build him up and give him confidence to step up and be an even better man…or her words can tear him down to the point that he emotionally withdraws from her and doesn’t try to accomplish much of anything because he believes he’s a failure.
What kind of words are you speaking to your husband? Are you his biggest cheerleader? Do you intentionally encourage him every single day, or do you give in to the temptation to point out his many flaws on a regular basis? He NEEDS you to believe in him and encourage him. By the way, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hold him accountable or put boundaries in place if he is actively sinning against you. However, even then, you can address sinful behavior with an attitude that is loving and hopeful. You can still let your husband know that you see something good in him.