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You know how us women have that ridiculously strong desire to feel loved? Did you know God purposely built us that way? Do you know what the equivalent of this is in men? Respect. Men thrive on respect.
I remember a specific time that I was extremely disrespectful to Luke (and what’s worse, I didn’t even know it at the time). One time soon after he had returned home from his second tour overseas – when we were still in that “transition” mode from him coming home – he had put our oldest son to bed, who was 3 at the time, like many times before. In the middle of the night our son started crying and we didn’t know what was wrong. It turned out Luke had forgotten to put a pull-up on Caleb and put him to bed in his underwear so Caleb and the bed were completely saturated in pee. I remember being SO angry at Luke. All I could think and complain about was that I had to do the laundry now, that if he had just remembered the pull-up we could all still be sleeping, and how could he possibly forget to put a pull-up on him? I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I didn’t cut him a break at all. He had JUST gotten home from being away from the husband and fatherly roles for over 6 months and I expected him to just jump right in and know exactly what is done and how it is done. I was unrealistic and so focused on myself and how that situation was affecting me. I was so disrespectful towards Luke and I can’t imagine how I made him feel.
You don’t think of the consequences when things like that fly out of your mouth. I’ve heard of a certain term before and I can’t remember where I heard it but “word vomit” is the perfect description. Little did I realize that being that way and saying those things, not thinking before I speak, only pushes us away from each other.
Here are just 4 ways you can start repairing your marriage TODAY!
Learn to LET IT GO!
It’s not worth tension in your marriage to nit pick at those little things your husband is doing “wrong”. You’re not perfect either. If you let those things go, you can create an environment where true intimacy can grow. So if he does something with the kids or the house or the car that you normally wouldn’t do, step back and be open-minded. Don’t cringe and tell him he’s doing it wrong. Be open to the new ways your husband wants to do things with the kids! After all, he is their daddy! He knows a thing or two.
Watch your body language.
I wasn’t even aware how disrespectful my body language, or my posture, could be towards my husband, either. Shaking my head when he’s trying to tell me something, pointing my finger at him, putting my hands on my hips, rolling my eyes, or even walking away when he’s talking to me. That kind of stuff brings a man down so much. In a book I read that I will mention later, I learned that attitude is posture of the heart. What an amazing way to put that into perspective. It’s simple. God built men to function off respect and women to function off love. When a woman respects her husband, he in turn will want to show her the love she adores and yearns for from her husband. And vice versa, when a husband love his wife, she will automatically want to give him the respect he desires in return. We all have stubborn husbands every now and then, but we are all stubborn ourselves. We are called to love as God loves. We are called to forgive as God forgives. THAT is true love! THAT is God’s love story that He wants us to experience!
Support his decisions. Even if you don’t agree with some. Trust in his decisions and trust that they’re in the best interest for you and your family. Be open-minded towards new things. I can’t stress this enough. My own personal example is when Luke started thinking about getting out of the Air Force after he had been active duty for 6 years. I did NOT support that decision because we didn’t have a really reliable job to go to if he did get out. I was dead set against it and I thought I was right and he was wrong. And because I was so close-minded, we fought. A LOT. All he wanted and needed from me was for me to listen to him and I didn’t even consider it. Let your husband into your heart. Support your best friend!
Listen to him.
The next time your husband is talking to you, put down your phone, walk away from the laundry or making dinner or the dishes or your favorite TV show, and give him your undivided attention. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in the car and Luke has been talking to me about something important and I just completely zone out. Husbands tend to be well-known for that kind of thing but us ladies need to admit to it as well. You know how it makes you feel when he isn’t listening to you so don’t make him feel the same way. The more you listen to him, the more you two will make yourselves known to each other which = TRUE intimacy, the beautiful kind of intimacy that God has set aside for husband and wife.
Do you know how important your husband is to God? Do you know how much He loves him? Do you know God made him the way he is and he is made wonderfully? Psalm 139:13-14 says:
You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.
You need to treat your husband with respect because God made him in His image! Just as He made you in His image. You need to remember he is not perfect-he is human and will make mistakes. The way you react to those mistakes is what determines your love for him and what will help your marriage thrive. You need to treat him as the gift he is to you, whether or not he deserves it. The amount of love you show him cannot be determined by how he treats you or by the amount of love he shows you. Your husband is so important to God and you need to treat him that way! You are called to do that with everyone in general, but especially your husband. Take a stand for your marriage and fight for it. With how common divorce is now, this kind of love in marriage isn’t practiced as much as it should be. You love and serve and bless your husband regardless of his actions. You choose to love him even when the emotions aren’t there at that certain time. That is how you become a wife after God.
Another way God tells you that you are to respect your husband is in Ephesians 5:22-24:
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
We do not get to choose whether or not our husbands deserve to be forgiven or respected or loved. That’s not our call. OUR call is to love him regardless. When we are subordinate to God and then to our husbands, in that order, THAT is when true intimacy between you and your husband will begin.
The book Wife After God: Drawing Closer to God & Your Husband by Jennifer Smith basically saved my life. This book has opened my eyes and I will recommend it a million times! Not only has it drawn me closer to my husband (which was my original intention), but God grabbed my attention through it as well. I now spend time with Him daily, something I NEVER thought I would ever do or even know how to do. I think this book is a great way to learn how to begin your relationship with God. I’m just about at the end of the devotional now. I read each verse at the beginning of every day in the devotional and write each of those verses down in my journal. (I HIGHLY recommend having a journal for this book as well). I’m a visual learner and I know from college that writing down something was the best way I could remember it. And then my best friend and fellow military wife, Haleigh, and I FaceTime (she lives across the country from me now) and go over the discussion questions together a few times a week. I’m extremely blessed to have her and many other great friends who share the same beliefs and goals as me when it comes to God and marriage. Haleigh and I both wanted to better our marriages and spend time with God as well, so we decided to do our own “group study” and go over this book. I can’t say how much it helped to get another point of view. It helped me to get even more out of the book. Since we’ve begun this book, we also discovered they have an actual Small Group Study version of this book called Wives After God: Encouraging Each Other in Faith and Marriage. I HIGHLY recommend trying this version if you have some ladies who will read along with you! I’ll probably check out this book as well just to see how much more I can learn from Jennifer. They also have the husband version, Husband After God: Drawing Closer to God and Your Wife by Jennifer’s husband, Aaron. You could even do the devotional together with your husband. What a better way to start new with each other!
Jennifer and Aaron are godsends. They began these books because they really suffered in the beginning of their marriage and how they came through it all is just amazing. The patience, love, and persistence by them to make their marriage work even through such a personal struggle was inspiring to read about. God is so good! You can find their personal story in The Unveiled Wife: Embracing Intimacy with God and Your Husband by Jennifer Smith. This is yet another example of how struggles lead to amazing things – God puts struggles in our lives for a reason. Read my post on how I came to find God through my own personal struggle here. Jennifer and her husband struggled as newlyweds and luckily found God in those times of difficulty and have now reached millions of people and spread God’s Word because of those struggles! They’re helping countless couples now and showing them God’s way to a more God-centered marriage – the best kind there is! Struggles are a true blessing – be sure to thank God for them because it means great things will follow!
Haleigh and I are also about to begin another one of Jennifer’s books called Thirty-One Prayers for my Husband: Seeing God Move in His Heart. We enjoyed Wife After God so much that we don’t want to stop! I know I’ve taken more away from that book than I ever thought I would. I didn’t expect it to actually change the way I see my husband and I definitely didn’t expect to get as close to God as I have, but it did just that! And I couldn’t be more thankful! I’m so excited to share this with any wife (or husband) out there who feels stuck and wants to find a way to reach that true intimacy they desire with their spouse. All of these books will help with that! I will definitely give a review on the 31-prayers for my husband devotional after we finish that one, too.
I only skimmed the surface of what Jennifer taught me in her book. She explains difficult topics so well in ways I never would have thought and is an excellent writer! It will truly change your life.
My personal prayer to God after learning how to respect my husband (join me in creating a personal prayer for your husband, too!):
Lord, help me to truly respect Luke the way YOU want me to respect him. Help me to see him through Your eyes and know that he was wonderfully made by You. Help me to support him, love him, trust him, and listen to him. Grant me the patience, strength, and wisdom needed to respect him in that way, too.
If you have ANY comments, questions, or even prayers related to this post or others, please feel free to comment below or email me. I would LOVE to hear from my readers!