He needs to be your hero

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.

Body image matters

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!

The perfect gift for a man

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.

Little things that draw his heart

You want a quick and easy way to show respect to your husband and improve your marriage?  Just notice a few small things your husband seems to appreciate and then…..do them!  What a concept!  I mean, why wouldn’t a wife want to please her husband?  Why wouldn’t a wife want to be kind and thoughtful?  Colossians 3:12 tells us “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  So, if you could do just a couple things differently, in a way that your husband prefers, why wouldn’t you extend that kindness to him?

Let me give you some examples.  My husband always insisted that if we loaded the dishwasher in a certain way, it cleaned the silverware better.  (I didn’t think it made any difference!).  But, I did it the way he liked…because it pleased him.  I knew my husband loved it when I left a little note of encouragement for him on the kitchen counter at least once a week.  So I intentionally did that every week.  I knew my husband really appreciated a clean kitchen counter, so I tried to keep the counters tidy. Why wouldn’t I want to please him in such a small way?  I’m not saying a wife should have no opinion and should simply be a doormat for her husband.  But I think God would be pleased if we stopped only thinking of ourselves and started thinking a little more about blessing others…in this case, your husband!

How about you?  Could you intentionally take note of a few things your husband really appreciates, and then actually do some of those things?  It would make him feel respected.  It would draw his heart to you. It would likely improve your marriage.  Sometimes, it’s the little things…

One of the top needs of husbands

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.

3rd core need of husbands

Men are wired differently than women.  Duh!  Most wives know that husbands have a deep need for respect.  You probably also know that most husbands desire a vibrant sex life!  But most husbands also have a third core need.  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. Their 3rd core need is your companionship.

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.  🙂

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. J

2 things husbands want you to know

My husband 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.”

Try this experiment with husband!

I have taught women for a decade about the Bible instruction for wives to display a respectful attitude toward their husbands (Ephesians 5:33), but apparently, I have had problems over the years perfecting this myself!  I still vividly remember an occasion about 5 years ago that underscored the problem.  I was in the process of texting back and forth with two different women about a need within the Squadron of Sisters wives’ ministry…when my husband came into the room and stood in front of me for at least a minute.  I didn’t look up right away because I just wanted to finish my text and be done with that task.  My husband turned around and left the room, obviously a bit irritated.  My thought was…”huh? What just happened?”

Later, I asked my husband why he was upset.  In a nutshell, it turns out that he felt as if he didn’t matter to me.  He felt that other things came before him.  He had wanted to talk with me about something important and I didn’t even look up when he stood in front of me.  He felt disrespected.  Oops. 

I spent some quiet, reflective time with God afterward, and I believe he showed me that respecting your husband means treating him with great honor.  In fact, the original Greek translation of that word “respect” in Ephesians 5:33 means “to have reverence for” or “to be in awe of”.   Wow!  Those words seem applicable to how a servant would treat a king!  Hmmm.  Maybe God wants a wife to treat her husband as if he is as important as a king or prince.  What if you tried an experiment this week?  Would you be willing to attempt to honor your husband, and pay attention to your husband, as if he were a top official or a prince (without making it too goofy or weird!!).  Are you willing to try this “respect experiment”?  I can’t wait to hear how husbands will be impacted and how marriages may be changed for the better!

Husbands are drawn to cheerleaders

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?!