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. J
My late husband Raul led a large men’s ministry called Band of Brothers For Christ for many years and as a result, he got to talk to hundreds of husbands about their marriages. One day, I asked my husband what 2 things he believes most husbands wish their wives understood about men. Here’s what he said:
1) That he needs to be valued by you. In other words, he wants to hear you appreciate the things he does for you and the family. He needs to be needed.
2) That you would appreciate his efforts….efforts to grow spiritually and in character, and that you would be patient and encouraging during that process. My husband said it takes time for a man to break free from all the temptations of the world and the lusts of his flesh, and that it’s super helpful if his wife acknowledges any forward progress he’s making, no matter how small.
After my husband explained this to me, it occurred to me that wives will automatically start filling these needs in our men when WE seek to follow God’s instructions on “how to love” in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
I thought the title of this devotional would get your attention!! 🙂 However, I’m not talking about guys lusting after scantily-clad Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. Instead, I’m talking about how men are naturally drawn to women who are cheerleaders in the sense of being their supporters and encouragers. So let me ask you this question. Does your husband sense that you are his cheerleader?
Most men struggle with feeling inadequate. Most men wrestle with feeling like a failure. Many men may never put effort into being a better father, husband, employee, or disciple of Jesus because they fear failure. In other words, they’d rather not try at all if it means they could risk the embarrassment of people noticing them failing in their endeavor. Perhaps this is why God instructed Joshua over and over again to “be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9). Joshua’s natural bent was to fear failure instead of stepping out with courage.
This is where a wife can make a huge difference! By speaking words of encouragement and affirmation and respect, your husband may find the courage to move forward. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 instructs us to “encourage one another and build each other up“. By becoming your husband’s cheerleader, your man may risk failure to step out and seek to be become a stronger, and more godly leader of your family. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!
If you love your children, one of the MOST important things you can do for them is to keep your marriage healthy and intact! Not to scare you, but the research regarding children from divorced families is alarming. Perhaps this is one reason the Bible says in Malachi 2:16, “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce”. God knows the devastating impact of divorce on children’s lives.
Research by Focus on the Family has found that teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse than are those from intact families. Also, kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile. Plus, research from the Heritage Foundation found that children of divorced parents perform more poorly at school and have higher drop-out rates.
Yes, God can heal a child’s heart following a divorce, but the scars will remain. So, work hard to keep your marriage healthy and strong. Pray every day for your husband and pray daily for marriage guidance from the Lord. See a counselor if you guys are fighting a lot or if you are growing increasingly resentful. Don’t let your heart grow hard. Fight for your marriage. Your kids will thank you!
I know the Declaration of Independence says “all men are created equal”, and it is true that all humans are equally important. However, I have learned that not all men are exactly the same!
In my marriage to my late husband Raul, God had me launch a ministry that focused quite a bit on providing Bible guidance for wives. In the process, I began pressing into my role as my husband’s “helper” as referenced in Genesis 2:18. I realized that in order to be a help and blessing to him, I really needed to figure out what actually made him tick and what he needed from me. After studying him and asking him questions along this line, I discovered that he REALLY needed verbal affirmation from me and he desperately desired my respect. When I helped him by doing those things, he began to flourish even more. He became a better version of himself, and he often told me how much my affirmation and respect meant to him.
Fast forward following my husband’s untimely death, the Lord saw fit to bring a widower into my life and we are actually going to be getting married soon! I, of course, thought that I had my role as a wife and helper all figured out for this new husband. Wrong! I’m learning that the things that my late husband needed and wanted from me are not at all the same as what my new husband desires. They are different men. Duh!
This brought to mind Philippians 2:3-4, which says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Are you looking to your husband’s interests? Don’t make the same mistake I did, thinking that all husbands basically want the same things from their wife. Each man is a little different. This means we need to be a student of our husbands. Study what makes your husband tick, what lights him up, what seems to be meaningful to him, what actions or words appear to be a blessing to him. Then do those things! Your husband will so appreciate you. 😊
Did you know most men really like to be needed? I know. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. Sometimes, it seems like it’s hard to get them to follow through on a task you asked them to handle. But you know what? Sometimes we pick inopportune times to ask. Often we don’t have their full attention, or we mention the task along with five other things we discussed. Remember, men don’t think the same way women do! They usually focus on only one thing at a time.
Anyway, back to the “being needed” thing. 🙂 Surveys show most men really do want to be your hero. I believe it’s a way they feel respected, and we know that respect is so important for a man that God actually commands wives to respect their husbands in Ephesians 5:33!
This means our men want to lift a box that is kind of heavy for us. They want to fix the leaky faucet and impress you with their “fix-it” skills. They want to figure out a solution to your overloaded schedule problem. They want to be our heroes. The problem is this. We often try to tackle everything ourselves….or when we do ask them to help with something, we either ask at a bad time, or we throw in the request amid a whole bunch of other “talk”.
Let’s try this week to ask for our husband’s help with something…at a convenient time, very clearly, and simply. Then let’s show appreciation when he follows through. I bet he will love being your hero.
We all know that women are greatly concerned about their body image….maybe even obsessed about it! But did you know that men are also hyper-sensitive about one aspect of their body image? Almost every man really wants to be perceived as strong and muscular. This means your husband yearns for you to notice and appreciate his muscles! He’s not going to tell you that, but he really wants to be perceived as strong!
Perhaps this is why the bride in the Bible’s Song of Songs continues to tell her groom over and over again how she values his strength and muscular body. Here are some examples of what she tells him: Song of Songs 2:8-9 “Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.” Song of Songs 5:14-15 “His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.”
When’s the last time you verbally admired your husband’s strength? When is the last time you noticed his biceps and made a little comment about how impressive they are? Your husband craves those comments! As you vocalize your appreciation for his physical strength, he will be drawn to you!
Normally, pride isn’t a very good thing. In fact, God tells us over and over again throughout His Word that we need to get rid of pride. I think we’ve all heard the Bible verse “Pride goeth before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
But here’s the thing. I believe God is talking about getting rid of pride in ourselves. He doesn’t want us to be puffed up and arrogant. God wants us to attract people to Him through our humility. However, I don’t see any place in Scripture where God tells us to avoid telling our loved ones that we are proud of them. That kind of “pride” isn’t arrogant. It’s extremely encouraging to the recipient!
In fact, telling your husband “I’m proud of you” can move your husband out of paralyzing insecurity into confident, positive action. When you say, “You’re a good man”, or “you have a good heart”, or I’m so proud to be your wife”, you are speaking words of life to your husband. He longs to hear those words. It’s time we stopped focusing only on what’s wrong with our husbands, and looked for some things that we can honestly affirm. Our men need our encouragement!
This hit home for me a couple of years ago in my marriage to Raul. My husband took the time to tell me that he felt tremendously encouraged when I would occasionally pop into his home office and tell him I’m proud to be his wife. That tiny little statement built him up. It helped him press back into the challenges that awaited him. It helped him feel like he could slay dragons. His wife was proud of him. She believed in him. He had the courage and confidence to keep moving forward. Your words are powerful! Have you told your man that you’re proud of him lately? Are you speaking those essential words to your husband?
Consider Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands a foolish woman tears hers down. Are you building up your husband, and thereby, building up your marriage and family? Or are you tearing down your husband and demolishing your home? Something to ponder!
You’ve probably heard of the “Five Love Languages”. It’s something Christian author and psychologist Gary Chapman figured out about how people are wired in terms of receiving love. The love languages are: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts. Well, here’s something I’ve learned after talking with many wives whose husbands have completed the love language assessment. Almost all men have “physical touch” as one of their top 2 love languages.
Ladies, this means your husband craves not just sex, but little signs of physical affection throughout the day. When you do these small things, he feels loved by you. So, why wouldn’t you give him the physical affection that you know would bless him? By purposely withholding what he needs to feel loved, could it be that we’re actually sinning? Listen to what God says in James 4:17: “If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” Oh my.
Here are several ideas on how you can communicate love through physical touch. Reach out to hold his hand as you walk through the store. Give him a 20 second neck and shoulder rub as you’re walking by. Pinch his tush as he walks through the kitchen. Lean over his shoulder while he’s on the computer and give him a kiss. Rest your hand on his leg while you’re sitting together on the couch watching TV. Run your fingers through his hair. These small acts of physical touch are totally easy and yet they mean so much to most husbands. Try it!
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.