I’ve lived for almost half a century.
And made some mistakes in it.
Especially in the area of marriage. After almost 27 years I’ve learned a few things.
The Bible says that the aged women (me – although I can’t say I feel aged) should teach young women how to love their husbands. (Titus 2:3,4)
Here is what I have learned:
- Appreciate your husband. Thank him for what he does for you – providing for you, protecting you, caring for cars, doing home repairs, helping with your children. Cultivate thankfulness toward him.
- Make home a pleasant place for him when he gets home. Martin Luther said, “Let the wife make her husband glad to come home.” Tidy the house, brush your hair, change your clothes, have supper ready, bath your kids. Make your home a place your husband looks forward to coming home to.
- Listen when your husband speaks, look him in the eye. Don’t interrupt him or finish his sentences for him. Instead of telling him to do things for you, ask him. Treat him like the man that he is.
- Put your husband above all other human relationships, including your children. The relationship between husband and wife is the primary relationship and should not be neglected – even for children. Make time for him and his needs. Put your children to bed early enough so that you can have time with your husband. You begin and end as wife. Make this relationship a priority.
- Be his helpmeet. You are on assignment from God to help your husband. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Genesis 2:18). God has not called women to serve themselves. He created you to be your husband’s helpmeet, and to find joy and fulfillment in that role.
- Think well of your husband. Keep his good points in the forefront of your mind. Make a list of his good points and thank God for them every day. As you do this his faults will lose significance and your response to your husband will be one of joy and appreciation. Be careful what you harbour in your heart. It will come out of your mouth sometime – “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).
- Meet your husband’s need for sex. But not only that, meet his need to see you. Yours is the only body he should be looking at, so let him see it! Work on overcoming your shyness or embarrassment about your body. “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:25. Give yourself permission to delight in giving and receiving sexual pleasure. This is God’s will – He created it, not just for procreation, but for pleasure and bonding. With all other men you are to be cool and reserved physically, but not with your husband. Plan for sex. Schedule it. Prepare for it. Delight in it.
- Submit to your husband. It is fear that holds women back from following their husband’s leadership. What if he leads you in a wrong way, or doesn’t take care of your needs, or doesn’t consider what is best for you? Trust that with God. You are called to submission by God. Obey Him. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Eph 5:22 Submit – as unto the Lord. As long as your husband doesn’t ask you to do anything morally wrong, let him lead. (And yes, a man should be considering his wife’s opinions and needs. True leadership is not dictatorship.)
What if your husband is not worthy of love and respect? Ephesians 5:33 tells wives to reverence their husbands. “…and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” It doesn’t add, “if he deserves it”.
Yes, men should love their wives. They do have a command from God. I’m not negating that.
But the focus of this post is the woman’s responsibility. You can begin and obey God’s command to love and reverence your husband.
If you wait for your husband to be the first to fulfill his duty you may wait forever. But if you fulfill yours your marriage stands a chance of changing, growing, and becoming what God intended it to be – a taste of heaven.
Look for ways to show love and respect for your man.
And if you give and give and he keeps taking without giving in return?
If you are doing your part you have grounds for appeal with your husband. Let him know that you have needs that should be met.
And when human love fails, continue in Christ’s love (John 15:9)