Four Great Ways to Love Your Wife
- Ken R. Canfield, Ph.D. <i>The National Center for Fathering</i>
- 2004 8 Aug
God invented marriage, and it's important to Him. So one way to honor Him is to love and honor our wives -- on Mother's Day and every other day. Most husbands already know what they ought to be doing, so I offer these four suggestions as reminders that may help you recommit to being the husband God calls you to be.
Your wife needs regular demonstrations-daily if possible-that you're committed to her and you're still "dating" her. Before you were married, you were thrilled just to be in her presence. You weren't taking her for granted, but constantly plotting how you could win her heart. Revitalize your purpose! Commit to treating her like you did before you proposed to her.
Look for opportunities to re-connect: Put a date night back into your calendar. Write notes and letters. Take an occasional weekend for a romantic excursion-or even an hour for a walk in the park. Tell her in many ways-through words and actions-that she's still the love of your life, and that your love for her has only grown through the years.
Healthy communication is the lifeblood of growing, healthy marriages, and is a big asset for parents working together to raise children. This is a challenge for many men, but it's vitally important. A good starting place is active listening. Few things communicate how special she is as much as your undivided attention. When she's expressing a concern or issue, seek to understand what she means and how she feels about it. Tune in to what's in her heart; draw her out in conversation.
Be a Committed Dad
Mothers are indispensable, and we play a key role in encouraging them and advocating for them. There are many ways to do this, and it won't require any "super dad" commitment-it's really what we all should be doing out of love as our wives' parenting partners. (See the side bar for some specific ideas.)
My wedding ring is inscribed with a scripture that isn't often associated with matrimony, but it's very dear to my wife and me. Romans 5:1: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." I know of no venture short of a relationship with Christ that is as much of an expression of faith as marriage.
Expressing faith in marriage is so much more than remaining "faithful" to your wife in a physical way; it's emotional and spiritual fidelity, being committed to the same cause and working as a team to achieve it. When you express faith, you express trust; you believe in your spouse; you support her even though you don't always understand her. Even through occasional disagreements and miscommunications, faith is believing that you can and will work things out.
Love your wife! If you're persevering, determined and patient, you can become a great husband and build a great marriage. Don't settle for anything less.
Ways to Support Her As a Mom
• Discuss your children's development, goals, problems, and coming changes, as well as your frustrations as parents.
• When she has doubts & frustrations, be there to just listen.
• Give her time away from the kids to just enjoy herself or connect with adult friends.
• Express your appreciation for specific contributions she makes as a mom.
• Be a full partner in parenting your children. You aren't a helper, a playmate or a baby-sitter. you're a dad!
• Get the kids involved in planning and shopping for her birthday, Valentine's Day, and other special occasions. (Or, maybe you can take an ordinary occasion and honor your special wife!)
• Hold your children accountable for unacceptable behavior-especially when they disrespect or dishonor their mom.
• Tell her "Thanks" for all the ways she makes you a better dad.
The National Center for Fathering was founded in 1990 by Dr. Ken Canfield because every child needs a dad they can count on -- someone who loves them, knows them, guides them and helps them achieve their destiny. Visit www.fathers.com for more articles and resources to assist dads in nearly every fathering situation.