“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” Sophia Loren – Women and Beauty
1. Use details – women communicate in subtle ways, so the more specific the compliment, the better. In other words, the greatest compliment to you might be “Hey, you look great!” It wouldn’t be the best for her. Instead, comment on her scent, her earrings, or her eye shadow.
I used to keep a sticky note above my visor when I was dating Ginger (my wife) that had written on it “earrings, lipstick, shoes, toenails.” Then when I saw her I would sometimes remember to do a quick scan of those kinds of details and then compliment one of them. Do this with non-physical compliments too. “Wow, I was so impressed when you knew that answer – I had no idea!” Watch, listen, notice, compliment. Be frequent – women are often not very “constant” in their assumption of your love, belief in them, and attraction to them.
As Shaunti Feldhahn (whose marriage books are just about the best out today, in my opinion) notes in chapter 1 of For Men Only, when you say “I do” your wife quickly begins to wonder “Do you?” (I am not kidding, men, get this book and read it if you haven’t.) “But,” you ask, “if I compliment her too often, won’t she get used to them and stop really hearing them?” I answer: “Yes, and you should be proud when that happens. God forbid that our wives not think of compliments about her beauty, poise, elegance (use these, for example), mystery, intelligence, and attractiveness as a given from us!”
2. Read to understand -- Women often write books. Even more often, experts of all kinds write books and then our wives read them. Often, they read them, highlight sections, underline passages, dog-ear pages, and then give them to us as a gift. I know we aren’t always the most insightful gender in the world, but you would think that even we would catch this hint. If you haven’t, begin to read all those marriage books that she bought hoping that you would read. Comment and ask questions on what she has marked, or better yet, just apply them. She will take this as a compliment. Often, the greatest compliment she can get from you is to be given by you the power to influence your thinking. This is why “listening” falls into this category too. “But Chris, I am really not a reader,” you say. I don’t really hate to be blunt about this, but I will pretend like I do. I hate to be blunt about this, but put on your big girl panties and start reading. If you just cannot read at all, buy the books in audio.
Do you need a list? Ok, I will post that too, if I haven’t already. Remind me if I forgot. By the way, these apply to more than just your wife. Your daughters, and to the degree it is appropriate, other women in your life need compliments from Godly men too. This next one, however, if for your wife only:
3. Don’t just compliment her sexual parts (NEVER compliment another woman’s sexual parts at all) -- I agree that my wife’s breasts are one of the best examples of God’s unlimited artistry, and the female form is stunning in its beauty … and notice that I didn’t say NOT to compliment her sexual parts – she usually really appreciates that too, if in the right setting and company – but don’t get in the habit of only paying attention to only those parts (yes, this means touching too, but I will explain that more in another blog).
I know that you see her as one whole package, but she probably doesn’t. She probably divides out her sexuality from the rest of her identity. When you compliment her sexually, you think you are targeting what matters most, but she may think you aren’t mentioning her at all! Ok, there are some simple and quick guidelines – so let’s get out there are start complimenting our women! Maybe someday they can learn to see themselves as the wondrous treasure that they are eternally in God’s eyes … or at least they will believe that we see them that way!
How about something about praying for your wife? http://phalanxmen.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/pray-for-your-wife/
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About Chris Legg
Chris Legg is a licensed minister and professional counselor; he is the Campus Pastor for FBC Tyler’s South Campus; he also runs a thriving therapy practice in Tyler, Texas… counseling, speaking and consulting. He is a graduate of Texas A&M and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, with Master’s degrees in Religious Ed. and Marriage and Family Therapy, and has developed the Phalanx discipleship ministry for men. Chris and his lovely wife Ginger have been honeymooning since 1993, and have been blessed with three great kids: Mark, Ellie, and Holland. Chris can be contacted at 903 561 8663 or email@example.com Check out Phalanx, articles, and other resources at his website at www.chrismlegg.com.
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