The gift husbands really want

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, and to affirm things that he actually does right!  It’s a sign of respect.

Receiving comfort from God

We all inevitably go through stretches in our marriages (or with kids, finances, health, etc!) that are pretty rough on our hearts.  Yes, we can persevere, pray, and trust in God during those times, and all those things are super important.  But sometimes, we just plain need comfort.  We need to sit in the lap of our heavenly father and have Him hold us tight.

Here is what I have discovered.  Reading the Psalms slowly and out loud is like a warm embrace from my heavenly Father.  As those words roll off my lips, I can almost feel His love and compassion flow over me.  I sense the tenderness of His heart toward me.  I gain hope once again.

Try it for yourself.  I would suggest some of these Psalms:  Psalm 103, Psalm 91, Psalm 34, and Psalm 37.   God longs to comfort you.  He loves you.  As Psalm 103 says, “Our Father is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love.

If you’re not sure what to do…

In any relationship, especially a marriage, there are going to be times when the two of you are in conflict.  Perhaps your husband is breaking your heart through wrong behavior.  At each of those times, we have to make really big decisions.  Should I confront my husband on an issue where he appears to be out of line?  Should I keep quiet and press into prayer, relying on the Holy Spirit to work in my husband’s heart?  Should I compromise on an issue where we’ve been in conflict?

At these times, counsel from other godly women is very helpful, but honestly, my very best guidance comes from God himself.  I just need to take a few moments to be quiet with Him and ask Him to speak direction into my mind and heart.  Psalm 142:3 says “When my spirit faints within me, you know my way.”   When I pause, close my eyes, and ask God in prayer to give me direction, I often sense a gentle nudge, or a prompting, or I feel like He’s speaking a word of direction into my mind in that moment.  Unless the “prompting” goes against what the Bible would say, I trust that God has just spoken to me.

I did this recently on an issue between me and a close relative.  I thought for sure I should make a certain decision, but once I spent just a few moments quieting myself and asking God to speak His counsel into my mind, I received guidance to go the exact opposite direction!  He even allowed me to see why my original idea was flawed. Try this yourself.  God is waiting at the door of your mind and heart.  Open the door and let Him in.

He wants you to notice this!

We all know women are pretty obsessed with their appearance, but men care about how they appear as well.  Specifically, they want to appear strong.  Your guy probably isn’t going to tell you this, but most husbands want you to appreciate their strength.  They want you to notice and be in awe of their muscles!

It’s in a man’s DNA to want to exude physical strength.  When God first created man, the Bible says in Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”   Those instructions to cultivate the garden involve strength and power.  So, affirm your husband’s strength.  The next time he lifts something heavy, notice his strength and let him know it!  If you actually see a bulging bicep, treat it like eye-candy and tell him his biceps are sexy.  I bet you’ll see your husband’s eyes light up a little bit, and more importantly, I believe you’ll also see him grow in confidence.  He wants to be your hero.  He needs to be your hero.

One of the top needs of a man

Did you know you can enhance the relationship with your husband by allowing a gap for him to fill?   It’s true.  So often, women zoom in to fill all voids in leadership, responsibility, or tasks.  There’s something that needs to be handled, and you might even ask your husband to do it, but if he doesn’t jump off his chair and do it in the next 2 seconds, you do it yourself!  In a nutshell, you subtly communicate that you don’t really need him.  But your man wants to be needed by you. That’s one of the top needs of your husband! He wants to be your hero.  He wants to be your knight in shining armor. 

Your man is wired to crave your admiration and respect.  That’s likely why God tells wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“.  One of the ways your husband will feel respected is when you demonstrate that you value and need his abilities, strength, and character.

Start thinking of ways you can let your man know that you need him.  Do you have a bad headache?  Ask him to pray for you.  Do you have a heavy box that needs to be moved?  Ask him if he can lift it for you.  Let him know he is needed.  He will feel better about himself as he senses that you truly value him and need his strength, abilities, and character.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

Are you giving room for the Holy Spirit?

The other day, a relative said some things about a person I love that I really found hurtful.  My first instinct was to emotionally withdraw from that person…but that’s a dysfunctional behavior I’m trying to end.  So, I started to tell that person what I really thought about their comments!  Thank God, the Holy Spirit gently stopped me.

You see, sometimes God wants us to confront someone who is sinning against us or doing something wrong.  But other times, God wants us to step back and allow His Holy Spirit to do the convicting in that other person’s heart, especially if that person is a believer.  In John 16:7-8, Jesus tells his disciples, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”   Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, and he explained that one of the Spirit’s jobs is to convict people of sin.

What I’m learning is that I need to pause and consult God when someone is doing something that wounds me or bothers me.  I need to ask God for direction.  Does God want me to respectfully and lovingly confront that person, or does God want me to step back and allow His Holy Spirit to do the confronting. 

Back to my story. When God stopped me from laying into my relative the other day and I decided to leave the “confrontation” up to the Holy Spirit…that relative actually came to me and apologized within a few hours. Today’s question for you:  Do you pause long enough to get guidance from God before reacting?

A core need of most husbands

Men are wired differently than women.  Duh!  One of the ways most men differ from us is that, instead of sitting and talking about their feelings and deepest longings, they like to do stuff.  You may not realize it, but most husbands really want their wives to do stuff with them!  They want to spend time with you.

This is really made apparent way back at the creation of the world.  Right after God created man, He said in Genesis 2:18, “It’s not good for man to be alone.  I will create a helper suitable for him.”  God knew Adam needed companionship!

Make it a point this week to show some interest in joining your husband in one of his hobbies or activities or even one of his errands.  Does he like to golf?  I bet he would love for you to go with him and watch him, or have him give you a lesson on how to play golf if you don’t already know.  Does he like to ride a bicycle?  Get a bike and take a ride with him.  Does he like to tinker with fixing up old cars?  Sit and watch him and ask if he can explain what he’s doing.  Maybe you can hand him a tool as he works.  Does he need to pick up some paint at a home improvement store?  Ask if you can tag along.

Bonus:  You’ll likely find that as you’re doing something together, men find it easier to talk to you!  Look forward to some actual conversations.  🙂

A husband’s need for physical intimacy

I have interviewed quite a few men who are marriage conference speakers and they all say the same thing…a man deeply needs his wife to be interested in a robust sex life with him.  They agree that a husband feels more like a man, has a more positive attitude, and accomplishes more in life when his wife fosters an active sex life.

Conversely, when a wife neglects her husband sexually or makes it clear she’s barely tolerating sex…then Satan has a huge opening to begin tempting your husband to satisfy his desires with porn or another woman.  1 Corinthians 7:5 makes this clear when it says “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Most women don’t need frequent sex with their spouse the same way that a man does.  It’s one of the many ways we’re wired differently.  But if you want your husband to feel like a man, to be bonded to you, and to be so pumped up that he can go out and slay dragons, then you need to think about building a healthy, robust sex life with him.  I know you have 101 other things you need to do, but can you leave some dirty dishes in the sink or wait to tidy up the house until the morning?  Your husband needs you tonight!

How to receive God’s guidance

We all want to receive guidance from the Lord. You may need to make a decision in your marriage or with your children or regarding your work situation, and you wonder which way to go.  Well, the good news is that God promises to guide us!  Psalm 32:8 says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”  The tricky thing is figuring out exactly how to access his counsel!

Here are two primary ways to access his wisdom and his counsel.  The first is….spending time reading His Word.  Duh.  But how many times do we come up with excuses as to why we don’t have the time or energy to spend much time reading the Bible?  Maybe it’s time to stop making excuses and DECIDE to make Bible reading a priority in your life.  I bet you make time to brush your teeth and take a shower, so why can’t you carve out 15 minutes for reading the Bible every morning?  😊  Reading the Bible will give you direct guidance on so many decisions you’ll need to make throughout any given day.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Next, spend time worshipping God and in “listening prayer”.  When we worship God, he draws near, and he longs to whisper to us through His Holy Spirit if we will strain to listen for that whisper to our souls.  1 Kings 19:12 “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”  So try this.  Put on some worship music, or start singing a worship song. As you praise Him, close your eyes and envision God with you.  Now ask Him to whisper guidance to your heart.  Strain to listen. Did he give you a vision or nudge your heart in some way?  I believe He will guide you.  Just make sure that anything you believe you hear from God does not contradict what He says in the Bible.

His idea of spending time together

Many wives are familiar with the Bible’s account of creation and know that after creating Adam, God said “It is not good for man to be alone.  I will create a helper suitable for him.”  (Genesis 2:18)   If you really think about this verse, it becomes clear that one of a husband’s core needs is to spend time with his wife so that he is not alone!

That sounds easy to accomplish. Right?  I mean most wives are totally willing, and even eager, to spend time with their husband….sitting on the couch, staring into each other’s eyes, and deeply sharing their feelings, thoughts, and hopes.  Ummm.  That’s not exactly how most men think about “spending time” with their wife!

A man’s version of spending time together typically involves physically doing stuff together, such as attending a sporting event, going hiking, playing golf, going fishing, walking through the home improvement store together, and yes, having sex.  That’s a man’s version of companionship.   This doesn’t mean you can’t ask your husband to spend some time with you in meaningful conversation from time to time, but it does mean you should consider engaging in his version of quality time periodically as well.  Try it, and see if he doesn’t fall just a little more in love with you. 🙂