I recently read a blog about 25 ways a wife could better respect her husband. It was an interesting read. Definitely 50’s house-wife-ish, but many of the tips were concrete ways that (as Robyn and I talked about) would make a husband feel more respected in the marriage covenant relationship.
Ephesians 5 directs husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Quoting verses is one thing, but putting them into practice is another beast. I know that I could write a list of a thousand, or more, ways to love your wife better, but I think a small number is easier to remember and put into practice right away. That’s how I work, and I believe many other men do too. A few, practical, simple methods to improve. Some wise guy said, “Keep it simple, stupid.” So that’s what we’ll do. Here are three ways to love your wife better.
1. Listen Intently
James 1:19 ESV
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak…”
Nothing annoys my wife more than when she’s talking to me and I’m on a phone, tablet, or staring at the t.v. What makes matters worse is that I’ll try to start a conversation with all three of those devices operating at the same time. It’s not wise, guys, to do this. Put down the electronics until the conversation is over. She will not only feel loved by you, but it will promote quality time for you two to engage into deeper or intimate topics that cannot be addressed while ESPN’s “Nee new new, Nee new new” blares in the back ground.
2. Serve Preemptively
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
In the six years I’ve been married I’m still figuring this one out. Having a toddler, however, has helped ingrain this principle. While she bathes the baby the last thing I should be doing is focusing on my wants. It’s a perfect opportunity for me to serve preemptively. Picking up all the toys, washing dishes, and flipping the laundry are ways I can serve, while she is busy, and allows for the rest of our evening to be spent together or on personal hobbies. No wife wants to make dinner, wash the kids, and then clean up after her husband. Be a man, take initiative, serve her before she asks.
3. Lead Gently
Colossians 3:19 ESV
“Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”
I come from a long line of loud men. My grandpa George can be heard through a phone across the street. My dad has the same skillset, and I inherited the genes as well. We’re just loud men, but that doesn’t mean we can’t adapt. One thing that can bless your wife is to be a more gentle, softer man. In word and deed. Being a leader in the home means that when things need to be said or done we are responsible. However, that does not give us the right to be aggressive, rude, mean, obnoxious, or belligerent about it. Our words can be firm yet loving. Our hands can be strong but meek. Your authority is not intrinsic, it is earned through loving your family. So love them gently and humbly.
Call to Act:
Being a man today is different than any other point in history, especially for Christian men. We must learn to walk the fine line of biblical steadfastness and political correctness. What culture tells you about being a man or husband is a lie. You don’t have to be harsh or soft. You don’t have to sway too far left or right. You don’t have to be tolerant to be loving. Being the god-honoring husband you were called to be requires listening, serving, and leading by biblical directives first. Your wife will be honored and will honor you in return with the respect you desire.