It really saddens me the way I see some Christians dress. Some ladies seem like they want to dress in such away that they want guys to stare at them and let’s face it, chances are, starring is the first step towards lusting. Ladies, please, don’t do this to us. Tease your husband around the house all you want, but dress classy in public.
We all know, but we forget it sometimes; Men and women think differently, we do things differently. Most of the time neither gender is really right or really wrong, we are just different. In the end that difference, although frustrating, is over all a good thing.
To complicate matters, we (men and women) can be pretty inconsistent in certain areas of our lives. What we do today in a situation is not what we did last time we were in a similar situation. Part of the change is because of experience that is that we make a change because of what happened last time. However, in other cases, the difference has to do more to do with our mood. For example, yesterday I had this delicious melon drink at the Mexican restaurant we ate at for lunch, it was wonderful, however today the thought of it is making my stomach hurt because it was so sweet and I am not in the mood for sweet.
You are probably wondering, “What has this got to do with my marriage?” The answer is simple, it is hard for us husbands to know what pleases you some days and we are asking that you be patient with us.
What often times is confusing for husbands is that what a wife wants one day is not what she wants other days. In talking to other husbands, they also say that they to have a hard time dealing with their wives inconsistencies and that there are only a couple of things that they are really consistent on. I am willing to bet that it is the same way for most couples.
Does it ever go like this for you? One day you are cuddly and huggy and want be to given a hug and a kiss every time your husband gets anywhere close to. But other days you want to be totally left alone and don’t even want to be touched. From experience, this is frustrating and doubly so because there are not any telltale signs of which mood she is in until it is too late. By the time most of us figure it out, we like we are in trouble and the damage is already done.
This can relate to many things – from what restaurant eat at to movies to watch, from what to do around the house to help her, to how to take care of the kids, from what I cook for dinner when I cook for us, to what places on her body I can touch in bed. What is okay one day is not okay the next and your husband does not understand always know how to deal with that. (BTW – I know, we can be just as annoyingly inconsistent – I will try to address that with the guys in a future post to the hubbies.)
The truth is, this drives husbands crazy. It makes them unsure of their actions, unsure of what to do much of the time. To make matters even worse, it seems like most guys feel like they make the wrong decision most of the time and that makes them uncertain about their actions and that uncertainty makes them want to pull away and not even try. The net effect is that this causes us to not be as close to one another as we should be.
What You Can Do:
Be honest with yourself. Are you ever like this? If you are, then I ask you, please give your husband a break. Understand that it is difficult for your husband to read you. Understand that it is often confusing for him. If he gets the mood wrong, don’t get mad at him, give him the same understanding that you want when you do something wrong. Most likely, your husband is trying hard to do the right thing, help him know what you want, what you are in the mood for, he will be grateful not having to guess, and you will be happy because you will get what you are looking for also.
I attended a Promise Keeper Conference over the Weekend. I have been to several PK events over the years and as usual, I came away, strengthen, renewed, and wiped out. (They can be emotionally draining and a 5 hour drive each way also takes some toll on a guy.)
Promise Keepers’ central message is simple, Love God, Love your Wife, Love your Kids. Then they remind guys that Love Demands Action. In simple terms, they told guys, “Man up! Do the right thing! Protect your wife and kids. Do not do things that will harm your family.” The central message was, “Draw close to God, you need Him and your Family needs you!”
Here are a few Quotations from the Weekend that I found interesting:
- “You gotta have a blood test to prove that you are God’s.” – Miles McPherson
- “We all worship something – What do you worship?” – Derwin Grey
- “We should wallpaper our minds with the Word of God.” – Derwin Grey
- “Marinate yourself in God’s Word.” – Derwin Grey
- “All sin means we are living in a state of temporary insanity.” Crawford Loritz
- “There is no long term victory in the Christian life without Christian community.” – Crawford Loritz
- “If the truth offends you, that is your problem” – (Unknown)
Trying to summarize a 10 hour event is kind of hard to do, but I think the following is a pretty accurate representation: Men need to love God and make sure that He is at the center of our lives. Christianity is more than going to church, it is about having a relationship with God, it is about loving Him with everything we have. Our love for God will manifest itself in many ways, and demand certain actions from us, such as, loving our wives and children, being active in our church, and protecting our family, church, and community from evil. They hit us hard on the issue of pornography, they blamed (and rightfully so – in my opinion) the problem of human trafficking on men and challenged us to start fighting against it. They called us to love and honor our wives, both when we are with them and when we are apart. They also called us to racial reconciliation, something that PK has been emphasizing since the early 90’s.
In years past feminist groups have attack Promise Keepers for trying to get men to dominate their wives. All I heard was that we are to love, respect, and be there for our wives and families. (One session’s message revolved around husbands washing their wife’s feet as a symbol of being a servant to them, like Jesus did at the last supper.) If your husband is thinking about going to a PK event, encourage him to do it. (If you are on of the men who reads this blog, find a conference and go.) There is only one conference left this year and it is in Florida, but make plans now, to go next year. You can find more info on PK here – Promise Keepers.*
*If you have Questions about PK, check out their About pull-down menu, I would recommend their 7 Promises & Core Value sections as good places to start.
I see a lot of Marriage Sites on the net that talk about biblical submission. I want you to know that I believe in the concept and the practice of biblical submission, I think it is the best way for a family to function. However, in most of what I see about biblical submission, I do not see what I believe the Bible really teaches about biblical submission. I would like to look at this passage and explain what I think most people miss when it comes to the concept of biblical submission.
Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands – Eph. 5:21-24 (Verses 25-33 will follow) [New Living Translation]
21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
Some Observations about this Passage:
- Note: This command is for the wives, it is calling for wives to do this. It does not say, Husbands, make your wife submit.
- If a wife will not submit, it is ultimately between her and the Lord.
- Husbands may suggest this is what his wife should do, but he should never try to force her.
- Ladies, when you submit to your husband, it should be out of your love for the Lord, out of your desire to please God. Yes, it will probably please your husband, but is ultimately part of your relationship and trust in the Lord that causes you to do this.
- Notice that there is a certain amount of mutual submission involved here. However, V. 21 is a general statement and V. 22 is a specific statement and in good interpretation, general statements are modified and refined by specific statements. In other words, although there is a certain amount of mutual submission, there is greater degree put on the wives than the husbands. (Ladies, please stay with me on this one, read to the end before you get annoyed with me.)
Now for the Part that Seems to Get Skipped:
Eph. 5:25-33 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Some Observations about this Passage:
- This passage is written to husband, it tells then what they should do. Notice through out the passage, it tells the husband to love his wife in a sacrificial way.
- V. 25 – Love your wife as Christ loved the church – How did Jesus ultimately show His love the church? He died to establish it. – Wow, are most husbands doing that?
- V. 28 – Husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. – Again, are husbands really loving their wife as much as they love them self?
- In reality, what God is commanding the husband to do is to love their wife more than he loves himself.
- Anytime a husband uses the concept of submission to treat his wife in an unloving way, he is wrong.
- A husband must put his wife’s needs above his own needs.
- Anytime that a wife is not submitting to her husband, the husband needs to first ask himself, “Am I loving my wife as Christ loved the church?” If husband answers, “No.” then he needs to work on his part and not worry about her part.
- Look how this all works together: When a man loves his wife so much that he is truly putting her needs above his own needs, then she would have not have to worry about submitting to him because the husband would never do anything to harm his wife.
- A husband cannot really love his wife if he does not do the following:
- Talk to his wife, see what she thinks of each and every situation going on which effects the family.
- He must put her needs above his own needs and do, not what he wants, but what is best for his wife and family.
- Husbands also need to be reminded, that the position that they are placed in is not really that of a privilege, but more of a responsibility.
- This passage is one of the most miss-used, abused, and misunderstood passages in the Bible:
- It has been miss-used by men (in the church) to put women in a second class status.
- It has been used by feminists and others to show that Christianity is unjust and even invalid.
- If the church will teach the truth of this passage and the totality of this passage instead of just part of it, it will become a passage that does create conflict (or at least as much conflict) and instead creates harmony and closeness. While it might not solve all problems people have with this passage, it will go along way towards understanding what God really desires in marriage.
Most of us have thought about different ways to express love to the ones that we love. I want to share a few ideas about ways to make your husband feel loved.
Show him respect to your husband and teach your children to respect him also. I think this is a huge one today. We live in a world where there is so much disrespect. Respect is something we crave, we don’t like it when people dismiss us, our opinions, or our actions as being worthless. We all want people in general and our families specifically to give honest, careful consideration to our actions. We don’t often get it in the world, but we crave it from our family. (PeacefulWife.com has a couple of posts that you may want to check out on this topic.5 Ways Wives Unwittingly Disrespect Their Husbands & Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them)
Tell him that he is special to you. Most guys are used to hearing “I love you,” from their wife. It is common, expected, and sometimes said out of habit more than out of genuine feeling. (At the very least guys worry it is said out of habit whether it really is or not.) However, when a wife says, “You are really special to me,” it makes him feel awesome. It makes him think, “Wow, she really does care, she really does like me and love me.” Want to take it up a notch? Tell him you crave him! That will Rock His World!
Presents are always nice: It does not have to be big expensive ones, just something that shows you are thinking about him and want to do something nice for him. When my wife buys me a couple of my favorite energy/protein bars (Cliff: Builder Bars) or drops a Slushi by my office, I love it. It shows that she is thinking of me and who does not like to be thought of?
Time with him, doing something he likes: I don’t watch a lot of sports on TV, on an average weekend, I may see a half of a football game and that is normally comprised of watching a few minutes of games on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The one exception is if we are getting the Denver Bronco game. Then I will probably sit and watch the whole game, only moving to get another diet Dr. Pepper or some snacks. The Broncos are a family event, the boys are even more into them than me. My wife likes them, but normally has something else she would rather do than watch them with me. I love it however, when she says, “Forget the other stuff.” and pulls out the blanket and cuddles up with me on the couch to watch the game. It is a treat, even if she does fall asleep and I can’t cheer as loud for the touchdowns as I would if she was not there. The same thing is true when she watches a movie that I like and she really does not care about or even a bigger sacrifice, she watches a Marathon with me. It is one of the things that she does to show me that she cares about me and that she loves me.
Something written down that he can keep. My wife bought a blank book a couple of years ago and about every month or so, she writes in it and then leaves it on my pillow. It is so nice to see something written that I know I can read later on when I am feeling down. She normally tells me two things, that she loves me and what she appreciates about me. It is nice to feel appreciate!
If you are still not sure what to do – ASK HIM! He would be thrilled to know that you are thinking of him enough that you want to do something to reward him. If you ask him, don’t let him say, “You don’t need to do anything.” Tell him, that you want to do something nice for him. You plan to do it periodically and you want to know what he would like. Just make sure if you ask him, you do something soon for him. You don’t want to get his hopes up and then not do anything.
Some other things that are nice:
- A Massage (You may want to read my post about The Ultimate Message)
- His Favorite Dinner.
- A date – just the two of you, ask him out, take care of everything.
- Doing some of his chores.
- Dinner or lunch at a place he likes.
- Letting sleep in.
- Taking him out for a treat: An ice cream date, a coffee date…
You are only limited by your imagination. Many of the things you can do are low cost or no cost.
I know, you probably don’t think you are that attractive. You wonder what he sees in
you. Why would he want to look at you? Let’s face it, most of us (men and women) don’t think we are all that attractive. If you are over 30, you probably don’t think you look as good as you used to. Want to know a secret, I am willing to be a Starbucks Venti, (sorry, I am not a big gambler) that he loves the way you look and finds you as desirable now as the day he married you. There are a couple of reasons for that, which I would like to share with you:
The first reason is quite simple – He loves you. He married you and part of the reason that he married you is that he found you attractive. As you have aged, you have most likely grown even more attractive. You see, as we men get older our tastes in women mature. We may still notice 20 year old women, but they do not hold the same thrill that they once did.
The second reason is profound – There is no substitute for those years that you have spent together. That time of growing closer, that richness and maturity of love. The knowledge that you have given yourself to one other during the years of marriage also increases attraction. When I look at my wife I see a woman who not only has spent the last 25+ years with me, but also the woman who carried our children in her body, who nursed them at her breasts, who stayed up or got up many nights to take care of sick kids so I could sleep and go to work the next day. The age that I see on my wife’s face are signs of love and they are marks of beauty. They make her more attractive to me than any other woman in the world.
Another thing that is important to remember is men all have different tastes when it comes to what attracts us in women. To be perfectly honest, many of the actresses and models out there that I see on TV and the net that are very popular mystify me. I don’t understand why they are so popular, why people go gaga over them. In many of those cases, I personally know dozens of women who are much prettier than than these supposed beauties. (Yes, I rank my wife at the top of all of those lists. First of all she is beautiful, second I love her and that would put her to the top no matter what.) Chances are if you got a dozen men together and asked them to rank 10 women prettiest to least pretty, you would find those lists quite a bit different. Some guys like super fit, in shape women, some find that type disgusting and they want a curry woman. For the record, I love gray hair and I can’t wait for my wife to get more gray hair. She is in her forties only has a handful. I hope I can keep her from ever dying her hair.
Never, ever underestimate the power of a smile – one that starts in the eyes and lightsup the whole face or the power of a twinkle in your eyes. In reality, personality will almost always trump everything, except love.
Remember this, when you truly love each other, when you are actively showing that love to one another, your husband will look at you through the eyes of love and you will be the most beautiful woman in the world to him.
Ladies one last piece of advice: When your husband tells you, you are beautiful. Don’t argue with him, accept it as a gift from him. Don’t worry if he is saying it because it is true, or because it is out of love, or because he wants to flatter you, just accept the compliment. If he thinks enough of you to say, don’t argue with him. If you argue with him too much about it, he may stop saying it.
Author’s Note: I just read a wonderful post by Catherine of Passion8Freedom about ladies and body image. I would recommend that you click on the link and go give it a read also. Thank you Catherine for writing a wonderful article! Power of Our Thoughts