In Red Hot Romance Tips for Women we encourage wives to be nurturing, to be women who know how to educate, equip, train, nourish, foster, cultivate, and nurse a guy. Such a woman can promote, be an advocate, champion, support, boost, uphold, campaign or work for the best for her husband and family.

If we look at the key words in their original language, this could be translated “The man who attains a wife attains a beautiful thing and is promoted to approval and delight from the Lord.” It definitely sounds like a step up in the grand cosmic scheme of things to “find” a good (a beautiful wife that functions as God intended.) In Latin, this word is a derivative meaning to nourish. When we function as God planned as a wife, we nourish our husband. And this reflects the very nature of God. The Bible explains, “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ" (Ephesians 5:22 MSG).

Often when I speak for a Wow Wife night, I share a story about a friend who went to speak to my mentor, Sally Conway, about her mid-life marriage. Sally wisely encouraged her, “Look at your husband through the eyes of a younger woman. What traits, what attributes, what qualities would a younger woman find attractive? Go find those things attractive too. Your husband doesn’t need a mother right now, he needs a girlfriend. Go be your husband’s girlfriend.” Shortly after one of those Wow Wife nights, I got this email encouragement:

"Did you know if you spell WOW backwards you still get WOW? If you hold WOW up to the mirror you can still read WOW? If you read WOW upside down you get MOM? Don’t do that, your husband doesn’t need a MOM he needs a WOW Wife. So stay upright. "

I love it—stay upright! My friend Jill Savage often reminds the thousands of moms attending Hearts at Home, “Wife first- mom, second.” It is so easy to drift to the mommy side of the street, even with our husband. For example, while writing this book, our DVR system got a glitch and Bill is always the hero to fix it. I shared at dinner that it was acting up again and Bill said, “So are you asking me to fix it now or just informing me?”

I replied curtly, “I just said it was not working and I needed it fixed.” (With a very motherly, “If I told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times” kind of tone.) I should have said with a wink and a smile, “Oh that would be amazing honey if you could fix it now. You’re always my hero.” Almost the same number of words—but what a difference!

We have good intentions. We want the best for our guy, right? There’s a joke I heard that expressed this typically female sentiment:

One of our presidents was walking with his wife, who sees one of her old boyfriends in a less-than-glorious occupation. The president looks at the old boyfriend and remarks, “If you hadn’t married me, you might be married to that guy.”

The first lady answers calmly, “If I had married him, he’d be president.”

What would be the positive side of nurturing that is “wifely” and not “motherly?”

A wife flirts. She has full confidence in his success.
A mom fine-tunes. She is fearful he might fail.

A wife asks, “What would you like me to do to help?”
A mom says, “This is what needs to be done.”

A wife releases knowing things will be done right.
A mom hovers to make sure things are done right.