Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!
Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose –
Don’t ever quit taking delight in her body.
Never take her love for granted (may you be always captivated by her love)
This proverb is poignant on Valentine’s day. It talks about that exhilarating moment you become husband and wife, how beautiful she looks in her youth and how her graceful her body moves and gives you that tingle. Most importantly it imparts wisdom for all husbands “Never take her love for granted”.
What does it mean to “never take her love for granted?” How can we remain “captivated by her love?” Well it starts with husbands knowing how to love their wives and to bring out the best in them.
In the hectic period of life consisting of our work and raising small children who need our constant care, we can start to slowly drift away form the one person whose touch we couldn’t once live without.
Valentine’s day, birthdays or anniversaries shouldn’t be the days we choose to slow down to make special and whisper those tender but life-giving words “I love you”.
Husbands, your wife needs you. She longs for your touch, your words of encouragement, your acts of help and patience and most of all your lifetime promise of helping each other reach their potential and dreams together.
Here are some insights into how husbands can better love their wives.
Prioritise time alone with each other
There was a season in our life, where Friday nights meant heading Newtown in Sydney for dinner, drinks and a slow walk home. Nowadays, Kylie and I collapse into the couch and wonder why the young guys next door keep on shouting “Yew!!” and high fiving each other.
We aren’t old, it’s just the next season and in this season date night or time alone with each other looks different.
Being able to connect with your spouse and continuing your friendship journey involves allocating time every week to spend hanging out and replenishing each other.
Make this time special if you can, hire a baby sitter and go out for a coffee or dinner or even go-kart racing. If you need to stay at home, pour a glass of wine and talk with all the technology off or cook a special dinner and enjoy it together.
Now for children, this is a demonstration of a loving marriage. It firstly signals that their parents marriage is important and that they love spending time with each other. Secondly it allows them to know that although you love them, you are in love their mother.
Apologise and learn from the past
As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I’d gone to far. I’d hurt her. I couldn’t let it go and the nagging sense of always wanting the last word had crossed the line.
When you’ve hurt your wife, there is a peace inside of you which has been interrupted. You can’t bring yourself to look her in the eye and there is a pit in your stomach of uneasiness that grows until you apologise.
Hurt and offence are the great stumbling blocks in communication between a husband and wife. One of the mot essential elements in clearing these pipes of communication is apology.
The husband who apologises and makes changes in his life is a man of strength and character.
Most importantly there is honour in apology. Not only do you honour your wife but you gain honour as a man who is humble enough to admit his mistakes. Honourable men become wise men, who become statesman for their generation, leaving a lasting legacy.
Romance to keep her guessing
Romance often seems to percolate in the early dating relationship as a man pursues his wife to be. The most unromantic men can find usually conjure some type of gesture when the dating relationship starts, usually driven by desire and the complicated biochemistry of love.
However romance in the hectic years can often take a back seat to children, career and other commitments. But the key elements for husbands to remember in pursuing their wives are that of service, initiative and surprise.
Gestures can be simple such as putting the kids to bed early so that they can enjoy a movie or doing the dishes and then giving her a foot and neck massage are romantic. Buying flowers midweek for no reason or coming home at midday for a surprise lunch and good times is always fun! Recently a good friend of ours surprised his wife with a trip overseas with her friends, no children and no husband!
Romance in the hectic years is about continuing the pursuit. Simple works.
Humble yourself and seek help
Wisdom in marriage is recognising the warning lights early and taking action whilst there are many avenues and a desire to address the issues. Leaving problems to simmer not only leads to more hurt but to fewer and more serious options.
It is unfortunately natural NOT to seek help. Attending marriage counseling may involve the exposure of embarrassing events, the perceived loss of standing and the admission of failure in the relationship.
I certainly didn’t want to “air our dirty laundry” to a counselor but it was an incredibly humbling but life changing decision that we took 6 years into our marriage.
The channels of communication that this opened within our relationship were incredible. I was struck by the ease and expert subtlety at how our counselor identified the real problems and respectfully provided us options to move forward. It has taken our marriage from good to great.
Are you stuck at an impasse? Are you fighting all the time? Is it difficult to talk? This day, make the decision to seek help.
Serve her by helping and being present
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that there is something sexy and appealing about a husband who helps his wife with the children and the housework. A husband who is a present help during the hectic years, is laying down a solid foundation in the relationship with his children.
Most of all his decision to prioritise his home life over work sends a very clear message to his wife that she matters.
One of secrets to all successful marriages is that of service. Young husbands and wives need to work out the rhythm of serving and being served in their marriage as this will look different for every couple.
Husbands, this usually starts with the phrase “What can I do for your today? Or How can I help?”.
After our first child was born, these phrases changed the atmosphere in our home. It allowed my wife to know that I was present and ready to help her and most importantly it created an environment of us both working together as a team.
What does her face show?
I love this saying made known by Bill McCartney.
If you want to know about a man and what character he has, you need to only look at the countenance of his wife. Everything he has invested, or withheld, will be there
This saying slayed me. It hit home that I was prioritizing work and my personal projects over Kylie. Her face showed the strain of caring for two boys, running a household and not having the support of her husband. Most importantly she was struggling to achieve the life she and I had dreamed of together.
What does your wife’s face show? Does it show the strain of your bad habits? Does it show your lack of help and encouragement?
Is there anything that your are withholding from her? Is it time? Is it resource? Is it your help? Is it your affection?
This certainly is a difficult conversation to start but one that could save your marriage. The couples that stay together choose to ask these questions, confront the answers and make lasting changes.
As the front door closes in your house, make it your priority to give your wife every opportunity to be successful. Allow her face to glow with your encouragement, your help and dedication to grow together.
How is it possible for two imperfect people to make their love last a lifetime? For husbands, it is learning how to love your wife and bring out the best in her. It is about being present and having difficult conversations early.
Please feel free to start the conversation, how can husbands love their wives? #marriagewisdom
Jonathan Ramachenderan @thehealthyGP