It doesn’t take much time or effort to see that our culture is pessimistic about marriage. A happy marriage seems more like a fairy tale that Pollyanna dreamed up fifty years ago. Many of today’s wives are complaining left and right about their husbands’ many shortcomings. So why should a wife make her husband happy when he’s not making her happy?
I like what host Bob Lepine of Family Life Today says, “Our role is not to figure out how to fix our spouse. Our role is: How do we reflect Christ in the marriage?” The game changes when we as wives make it our aim to bring joy to the marriage for the glory of God. It’s no longer about “What have you done for me lately?” it’s about “What have I done for you lately?” Instead of being disappointed in what your husband hasn’t done, you can experience great peace knowing that you are doing him good and not evil all the days of his life (Proverbs 31:12).
And guess what? I can attest that when you respect your spouse and practice making your husband happy, he will turn around and pour that love right back onto you.
Ready to get started? Here are the top ten ways to make your husband happy:
Make sex a priority. No big surprise here. Women understand intellectually that sexual fulfillment is a top need of a man. But do your actions demonstrate that you really get it? Maybe you’ve taken care of the kids, cooked a delicious dinner, and even endured an action flick. Compared to the other wives you know, you’re doing pretty well. Yet you may be discounting his need for fulfilling sex. Most husbands would rather have dishes in the sink and a wife waiting in the bedroom.
Make your home a haven. The world can be a tough place. When your husband walks in the door, he needs to breathe a sigh of relief. He’s home. Think of how you greet your husband. Does he see the back of your head as you type furiously on the computer or do you look him in the eyes and say, “Honey I’m so glad you’re home”? Make your home a place where your husband feels welcome.
Respect your man’s needs. What need does your husband have that perhaps you have discounted? It may be sex, quality time, the cookies you used to bake him, or going to ball games together. Don’t get defensive when your husband voices a need. Listen instead and then act positively to meet that need the best you can.
Let your man lead. The idea of submission has many women up in arms. That does not need to be the case. The New Testament speaks clearly in three passages that we wives are to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18 1 Peter 3:1). This doesn’t mean you become a door mat. What it does mean is that your respect your husband’s role as the leader of the home. After you’ve weighed in on a topic, the final decision belongs to your man.
Kiss every day for five to thirty seconds. Here’s something your husband will really like! It doesn’t cost a penny and it hardly takes any time. A healthy daily dose of passionate kissing will boost your marriage and keep the pilot light lit between you. Give out plenty of kisses, just like when you were dating.
Take care of your appearance. When you were dating, your husband found your body type attractive. He was hooked on your looks. Now that you’re married, it’s important that he still finds you attractive. When you take time and effort to watch your weight and dress nicely for your spouse, it communicates volumes. I care about you. You’re still the one for me. I want you to approach me.
Bring back date night. Someone once wisely said to me that date nights are less expensive than marriage counseling. When you have time to regularly connect with your spouse to be fun and romantic, you prevent the arctic chill from settling between you. Date nights give you something to look forward to. Make sure they don’t become family business meetings. Guard your date nights as pure recreation and pleasure.
Smile. You’ve probably heard the saying “Happy wife, happy life.” Most, if not all, husbands would certainly agree to that! When a wife is unhappy, everyone in the household knows. Some days you may not feel like smiling around the house, but go ahead and fake it at first. Put that plastic smile on and most likely, your natural beautiful smile will emerge shortly after. Your smile communicates to your man, “I’m happy to be married to you. I am thankful for a great life with you.”
Speak kindly. If someone were to repeat all the things you say to your husband, would it be “news that’s fit to print?” Are you heaping on praise and encouragement, or criticism and sarcasm? Treasure your husband’s efforts to please you and provide for your family. Don’t trash what he does either to his face or behind his back. Your words matter more to him than anyone else’s.
Get on the same parenting page. Your kids know they can divide and conquer. When they succeed, your home is anything but peaceful. Recognize that you and your husband are not on opposite teams with different parenting philosophies. You’ve got to get on the same team so you can be a united front to your children.
So which of these suggestions do you think would bless your husband the most? Try implementing that tip this week and then keep adding to your repertoire. You will have one very happy husband!
Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to a Happy Husband and 31 Days to a Younger You. She has been a guest on Family Life Today, The 700 Club, Turning Point with David Jeremiah, and The Hour of Power. Arlene and her husband James live in San Diego with their three children. Visit Arlene’s website at www.TheHappyHusband.com.
Publication date: November 28, 2012
Read more about what the Bible says about marriage and the roles of husband and wife in our Marriage Guide that walks through many hot topics surrounding marriage today in light of God's Word.