I had a talk with a friend recently. He and his wife had just had a fight. It was not huge, it was not mean, but he knows his wife and knows that there will be hurt that he has to deal with. He is fearful that this will put a wedge between he and his wife, he felt (and still feels) that he needed to talk about those issues. Now he fears she will fall into a pattern that she has fallen into in the past which something like this: “I can’t trust you with my heart (or my body) because you hurt me. I have to pull away until I can trust you again.” I really feel for my friend, it is a hard place to be and yes, I have been there also.
There are some things that you need to know about that attitude, in case you or some of your friends ever exhibit it:
Withdrawing may make you feel better, but it will harm your relationship with your husband. It will cause him to withdraw from you. It will cause him to become even more critical and less patient. In short it will make the problems a whole lot worse than they currently are. (No, it is not right, it is not the way it should be, but it is the way it will all most certainly be.)
Remember that some problems do have to brought up. Chances are you have done this to, you have had to bring up some problems that made your husband uncomfortable. You did not do it to make him mad or to be mean, but you did because it was something that needed to be dealt with. The same thing is true for him. He sees something that he thinks needs to be fixed. Instead of getting mad at him, be grateful he cares enough to bring it up.
Acknowledge the hurt you have, but seek to forgive. Your hurt is real, your pain is real. However, no matter how much you are hurting, you still need to forgive your husband for what he did. You need to do this whether he asks for it or not. (Yes, it would best for him to ask for it and I truly hope he will.) It has always amazed me that Jesus spent so much time talking about the importance of forgiving others, He basically said, if we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven.
Your husband will never be perfect. That is okay, neither will you. Seems like I heard a great teacher say something like, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” You need to treat him the way you want to be treated. (Matt 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”) Do you want to be held to a standard of perfection? No, I don’t blame you. Don’t hold him to that standard. Do you want to be forgiven when you behave wrongly, whether you ask for it or not? If your answer is, “No,” then forgive when you are wronged.
If we all think about it, we know that we should not expect perfection from our spouse, but I think sometimes, we conscientiously expect it. Let us do what we can to change this habit and to understand that we are all going to have bad days.
Unless you live under a rock (or are one of the ones fighting the cold) you know that the Super Big Football Game is Sunday. (I would use it’s real name, but don’t want the NFL after me – They get weird sometimes.) The game is one of the highlights of the sports year for most guys and it is something we look forward to, even if our favorite team is not in the game. (I am lucky this year; I am a life-long Bronco fan.)
Don’t take his joy in the events of day away by pouting or being grumpy because he wants to watch the game. (BTW – This is true of all big events that he wants to see.) I know wives who get so upset that he wants to watch the game that they will do anything to keep him from doing it. Ladies I know most of you are much more understanding of this than men are and for that I applaud you. (My next post to husbands will be about not being sports junkies and the need to be more tolerant of what their wife likes.)
Don’t hate what he likes: I think most guys like sharing what they like with their wives and would like them to participate in their activities at least some times, if not all the time. Mrs. Rock is not much of a football fan, except when it comes to the Broncos. If I am watching a football game that does not include the Broncos, it is rare for her to sit and watch with me, in fact about the only time is when she really wants lay her head in my lap while she goes to sleep. But if the Broncos are on, she normally tries to watch at least some of the game with me, if not from beginning to end. I LOVE WATCHING THE BRONCOS WITH HER. I love it more than I like watching it with my friends, even more than watching it with my sons. There is something bonding about sharing that time together.
I bet your hubby would feel the same way, whether it is a movie he likes, a sporting event, going for a run, or even going fishing. He may like to do it with his buddies part of the time, but he will love you being there at least some of the time.
How To Watch Football: I it sounds silly, but there are things that help to make the experience better for everyone. My kids learned these at an early age.
- No walking in front of the TV during a play or during an instant replay.
- No talking when the referees are talking. (The Referees are also known as Zebras &/or Refs.)
- No talking while the announcers are discussing an import play or call – I know that is harder to know, but if he is glued to the screen, you might want to ask softly before you start talking.
Beyond those rules, it is just the basics, make sure you have some good munchies and lots of Dr. Pepper to enjoy the game with. BTW – if you don’t really like the game, remember that some people are spending millions of dollars to put commercials on during the game. Some years they are more entertaining than the game itself. (Normally, I say commercials are the perfect time to do some kissing, but not during this game, although halftime me be good for that that, it is twice as long during the championship game.)
I Can’t Promise it will Work, but if start to show an interest in his likes, such as football, it may be that he will be more willing to take an interest in some of your likes such as chick flicks and Downton Abby. You might find other ways to sweeten that deal, but that would be for another post!
When I started Rock His World, I did so intentionally targeting wives. My reasoning went something like this, “I read a lot of blogs written by women, trying to get a better handle on a woman’s point of view about marriage and life. I know I read some of those blogs to help me understand women better, hoping that I can understand my wife better and to help me minister more effectively with the ladies at church. Since I have benefited much from their work, I thought I would write to ladies, helping them get a male point of view.”
I have noticed something in the last couple of months. It seems that about 35% of the people who are following Rock His World are men. To be honest, I am a little surprised by this, I figured they would rather read either what some women are writing or read some men who are writing to guys. (Check the “Blogs I Read” side bar for some recommendations for both.) Anyway, I decided that, although my main focus will remain the same, I will from time to time address the men out there and say some things I do think men, particularly husbands need to hear.
So here goes my first installment:
Remember, Your Wife Is Unique: If you are reading this, I am guessing that you have read other articles about women, hoping to find ideas about how to better get along with your wife. There is some good information out there, but there is nothing out there that is true of every single women out there. Even if it is true of most women, it may not be true of your wife. Don’t stop reading those articles and books, but remember that more than anything you have to study her, that you have to talk to her to find out what she really likes and wants. Don’t tell her, “You have to like this, one study said that 85% of ladies like this.” I made that mistake and let me tell you, you don’t want to repeat it.
Learn Your Wife’s Love Language: Gary Chapman, wrote a wonderful book called, The Five Love Languages it is a great book that talks about how each of us have actions, which when they are done to us make us feel loved. They are, gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Many guys’ primary language is touch, if our wife really wants to show us love, the best way is to touch us a lot and yes, I am especially talking about sex here. Because we feel love through touch, we expect our wife to feel love through touch and think that is her love language. However the percentage of women whose primary love language is touch is much lower than in men. Learn what your wife’s love language is and speak to her in it as often as you can. I have a few resources on my Resources & Recommendations; you can find a link to the book, a 5 Love Languages quiz and a Apology Language quiz. (I’m still learning about that on.)
Chase Pornography Out of you Life: Let’s face it most guys have to deal with pornography at some level. Whether it is something in our past or something that plagues us now. Those images, those thoughts often haunt us. Here is what we need to understand about pornography, especially when it comes to dealing with our wives – it is a lie, it is fake, it is trying to take you from a healthy sexual relationship with your wife and turn it into an unhealthy relationship. Don’t think you can learn from it, don’t think you are not “doing it right” if your sex life does not resemble a scene from a porno, and whatever you do, don’t think less of your wife because she does not act like the ladies in the porno’s. (Remember, you are not like the guys in those either.) Pornography sells lies, it sells falsehoods. If you need help over-coming porno’s hold over you, check the net. There are several ministries that want help guys get away from it. Also I wrote an article about the dangers of pornography with links to a couple of articles I read recently – get my summary here.
Guys, if you made it this far, thank you, I am glad. I will write to the guys from time to time, when there is something on my heart that I need to share with you. Best over-all advice I can ever give to help your wife happy and your family, “Love God with Everything you have Got and Love your Wife more than you Love Yourself!”
Having said that there is no excuse for cheating, I believe that there are things that wives can do to help their husband keep from cheating. The following things are all common sense, but I am afraid sometimes that when we get busy doing all that we have to do in our lives we often forget our common sense. I think often times it is important to remind each other about common sense things and help each other to follow our common sense.
Make Sure He Knows that You Love Him: Remember that each of us have one or two love languages that are really important to us. For most men, physical – err – sexual touch is one of those. Make sure that you are showing him sexually that you love him. (I know some ladies get tired of hearing that, but it really is a big thing for most guys and if it is for your guy, make sure you don’t neglect it.) You don’t want some other woman’s advance to have a greater chance of success simply, because he has not been sexually satisfied at home lately, do you?
Show Him You are Grateful He is Your Husband: Men like to know that their families appreciate all that they do to support them. Many men work long hours, sometimes doing jobs that they really hate; because that is the only way they can support their family. It gets real lonely doing that if all they get at home is an attitude that says either, “Why should I thank you, that is what you are supposed to do,” or “You need to do more, you are not taking good enough care of me/us.” Yes, that is what men should do, we should sacrifice to take care of our family and sometimes we need to do more, but that does not mean that we don’t deserve to be thanked for what we are doing. A little gratitude goes a long way.
Do Not Make Him Feel Inferior: No guy wants to be constantly compared to your friend’s husbands, especially if his wife is always talking about how great so-and-so is. Instead, find things to brag on your husband about. Let them know that you think some of the things that he does are great. Brag on him, especially in front of him sometimes. It could be anything from what a great job he did cooking on the grill the other night to how he did a great job getting you that special something you wanted. It will make him feel like a million bucks.
Pray for Him to Be Faithful: Let him know that you are praying for him, not that you don’t trust him, but because you know that there are women out there who would swoop in to grab a great guy like him. He knows that sometimes he is more vulnerable than others and he will appreciate that you are praying for him. Most guys want to stay true and will take all the help they can get to do just that.
Some Special Treatment: There are a few other things that you could do from time to time that would also let your husband know that he is special. Try giving him an Ultimate Massage a few times a year. If you want some tips on doing that, check my post about the Ultimate Massage. Another thing, is to make sure when you kiss him, you communicate your love to him. Kissing can become routine, instead make sure you are giving him several loving kisses during the day. Check my post about Loving Kisses for some ideas. Some other things, do something different every now and then, do something he would enjoy, it does not matter what it is, but it shows him you love him. Some ideas could be, watch some guy thing with him, like football, by his favorite ice cream, join him in the shower sometime, send the kids away from the night and tell him you are all his for the night, most importantly, you know your husband better than anyone, use your knowledge, imagination, and love for him, with that for your guide, you can’t go wrong.
There Are Certain Times That Make These Actions Even More Critical: I know in my own life that there are times that I worry much more about straying than other times. (No, I never have strayed and I promise and pray that I never will!) The time that scares me the most is when I travel. Being in a strange place, where few, if anyone knows me can cause me to think, “If I did stray, who would know?” I know, God would know, and who knows what type of problems would result from that infidelity, but being honest, it is a temptation.
Another place that was a little uncomfortable for me is when I take my kids to places where there are more moms than dads. For example, I took my daughter to the Children’s Museum, the adult male to female count was about 4 moms for every guy there and if you took away the men who were there with their wife, it was much, much higher, like I was the only guy there with my kid without a wife along. It seemed to me that some of these ladies were a little more friendly than I thought they would be. I don’t know if they were just impressed because I was there by myself with my daughter and were being encouraging or they were lonely, bored, jealous, or just enjoyed being a little flirtatious. I was a little nervous.
In each of these situations; I am glad to know my wife loves me. She is especially helpful when I am going out of town, she finds some extra time and energy to demonstrate to me that I never want anyone else. I am grateful for that. I don’t want to face any of those temptations when I am weak. (Hey, I don’t want to face them at all, but I know I can’t avoid them all.) I know it is easier to deal with temptation knowing that I have a loving wife waiting for me. If I thought she hated me, was mad at me, or even just indifferent, it would be harder to fight the temptation. (Again, it would not be an excuse. I would be wrong. For me In the end, it is the thought of how much it would hurt my wife, my kids, and how it would hurt my witness, that keeps me from ever cheating. I have seen families and churches hurt by cheating. I pray I never add to it.)
Ladies, please do what you can to make sure your husband knows that you are there for him and that you want him, all of him, and that you are going to do what you can to make sure he knows all of this. Sometimes men get doubts, they start to wonder if their wife still really loves them, if their wife still cares about them as she once did. If you love him, you want him to know that, for him to know, you have to express that to him and probably express that in many ways, and do it often. Chances are you want him to do the same thing to you, so show him how it is done! (Any guys reading this, Take Note: Let your wife know you love her as often as you can, in as many ways as you can, and in a way that speaks to her!)
I know that post is longer than I wish it was, but I know it is very important. It really can make all the difference in the world. Call these actions insurance, extra protection, whatever you want, but in the end they will help your you and help your husband to be happier and to have a stronger marriage. Sounds like winning situation for both of you! Hopefully you both will have fun doing all of these suggestions!
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.