In fact, when I stopped to think of what that would actually look like in practice, I felt like a little wire in my brain short-circuited. What did that look like, anyway?

If I was going to be That Girl, I needed to find what made my husband tick. I had to actually ask Jay what he needed from me (besides sex, and we’ll get to that in just a bit) in order to feel loved—no—cherished. I wanted him to feel how much I love him by everyday actions. We all need to feel appreciated. Husbands in­cluded.

Turns out, men are not nearly as complicated as busy homeschool moms. (Can’t you just hear the angels singing?) A busy homeschool dad, on even his worst day, does not come close to having the same estrogen-enriched needs of a busy homeschool mom. We are women; we like to talk it out at the end of a hard day. More often than not, though, by the time we’re done mixing our commentaries with the unique joys and stresses of homeschooling, we’ve forgotten to pursue, or even include, our husbands!

I think on some level, we expect our husbands to be just like us. We assume they want us to show love to them in exactly the way we want them to show love to us. Praise God for His amazing design in making men and women so different!

Simply put, most husbands, at their core, are pretty easy to please. For the past twenty years, I have been a student of my husband. Here are a few things that made it to the top of the list of ways to romance your husband—from the perspective of a busy homeschool mom:

Prefer your husband in all things. Jay is the phone call I take when I think I can’t take an­other call. He is the dinner date I make before I put anything else on the calendar. He is the reason we have white space on our calendar. Our marriage is the priority in our home, and our children know it.

Actively communicate that you respect your husband. (Respect means a high or special regard.) I fear many women do not grasp the importance of this crucial aspect of the mar­riage relationship. We communicate respect to our husbands when we trust them to meet our needs; from asking for directions when lost (or not) to providing for our families.

Men tend to have a great need to be respected and the Scriptures are very clear that wives must respect their husbands. The way we be­have from day to day with our husbands says a lot about our love for them. When was the last time you told your husband how much you re­spected him? Here are a few ways you can show him your respect:

  • Verbally: Try to minimize complaining. Com­pliment him instead.
  • Physically: Find out what his top three needs are. Ask your husband what he needs from you in those three areas, and then make a conscious effort to meet those needs. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions—that’s how you get to the truth of the matter!
  • Spiritually: Encourage your husband when you see him leading your family. If he is not the spiritual leader in your family, pray for him. Talk to him about it in a way that helps him see the importance of his God-given role as the leader in your home.
  • Emotionally: I’ve learned that I can respect Jay by recognizing that we are totally different crea­tures, especially emotionally. Men don’t give a lot of weight to feelings. They are more likely to respond to facts. For example, let’s say your husband wants to buy a new car. Rather than get upset and become emotional and irrational, write out a budget that clearly explains how much money is needed to meet your expenses each month. Let the facts speak for you, and then respect your husband by allowing him to make that final decision.
  • Make time. Remember, your calendar will reflect your priorities. Most busy homeschool moms don’t choose curriculum with their hus­bands in mind. But I’m here to tell you that if your curriculum leaves you cold and exhausted at the end of the day, it’s time to find a curricu­lum that is more suited to helping you put the priority on your marriage.
  • Be That Girl. You can do it. Be the girl your husband fell in love with. Were you spontane­ous, funny, sexy, and giving towards your hus­band when he chose you? You still are those things. And even though now you’re a busy homeschool mom, he still needs you to be That Girl!
  • Revisit your romance. In other words, get back to basics. What is it that makes your husband’s eyes light up? Is it a post-it note on the bathroom mirror? Is it an invitation to an intimate rendezvous? Every busy homeschool mom was once a girl who worked to gain the affections of the man she married.

Do you have a vision for bringing romance back into your marriage? If you don’t, you should! Ask the Lord to help you be the girl your husband married, and commit yourself to being a student of your husband. If he likes M&M’s, put them in his lunch box. If he en­joys basketball, find out what time the game starts.

And be there. You’ll be amazed at what a differ­ence your efforts to keep the home fires burn­ing will have on your on your husband.

Reprinted with permission from Home Educating Family Magazine 2011 Issue 1

Heidi St. John and her husband Jay have seven children ages 1 to 20 and have homeschooled all the way through high school. Heidi has written three books for busy homeschool moms.