A Husband of Commitment: Some Practical Advice! Part One
- Jay Sklar, Ph.D. Two Becoming One
- 2004 1 Apr
"I want to love my wife well, but sometimes I'm just not sure what to do!" More than one husband has said words to this effect over the years. Many men desire to be good husbands but are not always sure what that looks like. Of course, the best place to begin is simply to ask your wife for her input! Alongside of this, however, there are many practical things that husbands can keep in mind.
A good husband thrives on being a "shock absorber" for his wife by anticipating his wife's needs and fears. Here are three practical ways to provide leadership for your wife.
First, encourage self-worth. The factors that affect feelings of self-worth are usually obvious: intellect, appearance, productivity, success in relationships, and financial freedom, among others. Discover mutual areas of interest with your wife and work at communication in that area.
Some of the best ways to encourage your wife include seeking out her intellectual interests and finding one where she can teach you. Show interest in her appearance, and support her desire to have a sufficient wardrobe for career and social events. Become an expert on her abilities. If she has a hobby, encourage her. Look for ways to involve her talents publicly. If she is a mother, help her develop in-home income, if she desires it. Assist with household chores and especially be involved in raising your children. Monitor her relationships and assist her in developing friends. Help her organize her schedule. Steps like these help to build her self-worth.
Second, provide comfort. Never allow your wife to experience pain without sharing it with her. A death in the family, a difficult child, frustration in her career, or a disappointment in relationships may require your help. Comfort her and take responsibility for helping her find a solution.
Third, facilitate spiritual maturity. Your hope for mutual faith in your marriage is related to your wife's maturity as well as yours. Do everything possible to assist her spiritual interest. Encourage her efforts to minister to others or attend church functions. As a couple, plan to be involved in small groups or Sunday school. One of her greatest joys, however, will be watching you take spiritual leadership in your home and church. Many wives have expressed their joy in seeing their husbands excel spiritually.
Work at giving your wife financial hope for the future. A personal savings account for her is important if possible. Special needs like lingerie, hair styling, exercise classes, and hobbies are not all that expensive, and they mean a lot to her. Take family finances seriously.
The Scripture strongly advocates that a husband provide for the welfare of his wife. "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8).
Romance in marriage is a man's shared responsibility; romantic moments are extremely important to a woman. Be a romantic lover to your mate. Women love small, inexpensive surprises, small jewelry, flowers purchased from a street vendor - and not just on birthdays or holidays. Unique gifts are great, too. An occasional love letter or card catches her off guard. Quantity is not so important as quality and consistency.
Romance includes kindling and maintaining sexual interest. And the Scriptures tell a husband to enjoy sexual passion with his wife, and with her alone. "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19). Delighting yourself in your wife's physical charms will not only make her feel cherished but will focus your attention on her, where it should be.
Too many couples lose their desire to be together because they no longer have mutual interests. If you try, you can develop some mutual interest. Travel is a great possibility. Fun, sports, hobbies, and intellectual stimulation are all vital to a growing relationship.
Pray for your wife daily. Ask God to give you love for her and to help you be sensitive to her needs. It's also important to pray for your children on a daily basis. Ask your wife and children how to pray for them. As the years pass, the children will come to you or call you with their prayer requests, even when they leave home.
Regularly prayer for your family, perhaps more than any other thing, demonstrates your care for them and ultimately shows them God's love.
© 2003 Christian Family Life
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