Do you realize the power of your words? You can build up your husband or tear him down – by how you speak of him. When you speak well of your husband, you are respecting him, you are showing others you care about him, you are reminding yourself of your love for him. I am sure you have heard women who are sarcastic and derisive of their husband. It just doesn’t sit right, does it? I mean, even if it is a funny story or whatever – we feel bad when we sense the pointedness of the remarks.
We need to be careful to respect our men with our words. Maybe you are just sharing a funny story that involves him, but be careful – some funny stories should never be shared. If you are feeling defensive about it, ask yourself if you would like if the situation was reversed? What if he told stories like that about you? That’s an easy test to see if it is actually funny, or maybe should be kept to yourself.
Speak well of your man in public. Even if he has faults – maybe especially because he has faults! Praise the good things about him, tell others what a great dad he is, what a hard worker, what an awesome hunter, buckaroo, farmer, whatever. It helps YOU remember why you like him, for one thing. It will reach his ears at some point, too, and encourage him.
The way we talk about people shows how we expect them to act. If you are always telling your girlfriends how your husband works late without calling, you will notice every time he does that. Soon, it will seem like that is how he ALWAYS behaves. That issue becomes bigger than it is. Mountains out of molehills, you know.
But if, when that happens, you brush it off with: “well he is working on that extra project”, and focus on how dedicated and hard-working he is – you will be grateful instead of complaining.
Action: Think of one area that you have been complaining about to your friends. Ask yourself what your husband is good at – start focusing on the good side of this issue, and being grateful. Whenever that issue comes up – remind yourself you are only taking it to God from now on, and share only the good trait.
Example: Your husband makes a mess in the kitchen after you have it cleaned for the night. You could whine about to your friends, OR, you could be thankful for how he eats anything you make without complaining, etc.
Do you ever feel like you are so OVER dealing with hormones?! You know how it is with hormones and women; first you get weepy and cry over spilled milk. But the next two days you are just mad as a cow who’s stuck in a bog! Your husband can’t do anything right – you become like your 6 year old who screams: “Mooomm!!! He’s looking at me!” If you are lucky, you may get one week of feeling somewhat normal, before starting the whole cycle over again.
Cow stuck in a bog. (we got her out)
OK, so that may be an exaggeration. But you get my point. It is hard. Our hormones change all over the place, and these changes happen every month. Up and down and sideways, till we just want to curl up and sleep for a week. Maybe that is actually what we need.
Anyways, my point is, you KNOW that your cycle does crazy things to your feelings, so do not, I repeat: do not make big decisions on your crazy days. Don’t get all crazy because “he doesn’t really love me…” or “he never does so-and-so, he must not truly care about me…” Don’t go down that road! Chances are, he will seem totally lovable again in 2 days. And it is not fair to your man, to take out your physical problems on him.
Know your cycle. Track your symptoms for several months. See what days you feel cranky, and which you feel weepy. Keep track. Yes it is a pain, but it will help you tremendously to know what is coming – to know what to expect. You may feel like this is real, but then you look at your calendar and say; “you know what? maybe I’m overreacting.”
Take care of your health. It is your responsibility to take care of your health. Why should everyone around you suffer because you are too lazy to research what could help you? Or because you are too stingy to pay a few extra dollars per month for a product that would help. I am not a fan of drugs, for the record. I have found much better help in the natural remedies. But either way, try some things.
My best results have come from two things: Red Raspberry Tea and essential oils. I alternate them, some months taking tea daily, the next rubbing ClaryCalm™ on my abdomen. They both help a great deal! I found the tea helps more with cramping, and the oil helps more with mood swings. Try them both and see what helps you the most!
Ask God for help. We cannot separate our daily life from our spiritual one. Our holiness on Sunday is no higher than our holiness on Monday. Is your God bigger than your hormones? Do you use your hormones as an excuse to be crabby and unpleasant? While you get a handle on your health, you can still be Christ-like and kind. Ask God to fill you with his Spirit, to give you control over your emotions.
Yes, it can be tough. But think of it as a higher grade in school – once you pass the lower evel, then you move on to the higher grades. If you always stay in first grade, you will never go to college! But God wants us to grow and learn! Let’s not use physical problems as an excuse for our human nature. Pray for a sweet spirit when you are feeling yucky. Pray for wisdom in how you plan your days. Pray for wisdom to know how to treat your body.
Work with your body. Don’t plan too much on the days when you feel bad. (This is why you track your cycle) As much as possible, keep your schedule easy. Plan bigger things for those days you feel ‘normal’. On the worst days, remind yourself that it is the hormones talking. Don’t do or say anything rash. Don’t set up marriage counseling, or comment too much on social media. One snippy text when you are in ‘bad hormone mode’ can ruin a friendship. (related: don’t throw a friendship out the door from one snippy text. Maybe she was hormonal that day!!)
Take naps, go to bed on time, eat more than chocolate and coffee. (raises hand) Sometimes I tell my man: “I am feeling emotional today – it will be better in a day or two. I’m sorry, it’s nothing to do with you!” That way he knows it is just hormones, and not to worry that I am losing my mind! Ha! That doesn’t give me excuse to be mean. It just helps him understand why I break into tears over a picture of a baby on facebook. 😀
Some folks find real relief from network-marketing type products. I have tried several, but the only one that given me relief, is essential oils.
You can find those here —> Essential Oils.
And with red raspberry leaf tea (must be from the leaves, not the berries). I drink one cup a day and if I am faithful about that, it helps with cramping tremendously! You can find that here —> Red Raspberry Tea.
If you have found help with your monthly cycles, please comment and share with us what has helped you!
One huge way to show your husband love – is to teach the kids to respect him. They pick up on your attitude and opinions, so if you are always respectful and loving – chances are they will be, too.
When they are small, make a big deal about Daddy coming home. Rush to the door with them to greet him. Let your husband know that you and the kids can’t wait till he gets home!
Give him special treatment sometimes. Or all the time! It is a sign of security – not submission – when a wife finds fulfillment in treating her man special because she loves him. Get the kids in on it by bring him hot drinks in the winter or cold ones in the summer. Make it an honor to do special things for him like cleaning out his truck or folding his clothes. Little kids enjoy doing special things for the people they love. This practice will help them see their dad as someone who needs to be respected. (for his position, if not his character)
As they get older, don’t ever talk disrespectfully about him whether he is present or absent. Kids naturally don’t like when someone speaks ill of their father – just like they naturally don’t like anyone to speak ill of their mother! Sometimes they will come to you with questions when you must tell the truth – don’t ever lie – but you can still be respectful.
“Yes, dad made that decision and we might not agree, but we still need to respect him. Sometimes we disagree, but God has placed Dad as the leader in this family, and we are going to honor him.”
Never fight in front of the kids. Always present a united front. If Dad tells them no, but they come to you – you say no too. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with your husband. You stand with him. You back him up. Let them know that you will enforce dad’s rules. You can discuss disagreements privately, later.
My kids know I am the pushover! (I’m not proud of that) So every once in a while they come to me. Sorry but no. If dad said no, then I say no too! It won’t hurt kids to be disappointed occasionally – but it may hurt them to have parents who are not united.
Respect your husband by teaching your kids to respect him. It may change your marriage!
I have covered this topic throughout the series, but today I wanted to point out several specific ways that we disrespect our husbands – sometimes without knowing it! I have been guilty of some of these, sadly. I ask God often to show me where I can grow in respecting my man.
Correcting him in public. There is a time to speak, and there is a time to be silent. When your husband is telling a story or recounting an experience, it is a time for you to be silent. Does it really matter if he said it happened in January, when it really happened in February? Does it really matter if your uncle Fred is 76 years old instead of 74? I cringe when a man is trying to tell some story but he can’t get through 2 sentences without his wife correcting some minuscule detail. This is disrespect, ladies, and it needs to stop. Let him tell the story.
Telling him what to do. There is a fine line between asking for help and ordering him around. I am a firm believer in asking for help. But I am just as firm, that ordering your husband to do things is disrespectful. Let’s be careful of our tone of voice…
Never wanting intimacy. I know — your hormones are all over the place, you are drunk-tired, you are tired of little people touching, hugging, pulling at you all day long. But If you never want to get sexy in the bedroom – he will feel disrepected. I love this article from Sheila Gregoire. (my favorite resource on intimacy)
“You know the things that drain you: talking to certain people, housework, running around after kids, paid work, chauffeuring, scheduling, all the things that go into a normal life. These things aren’t necessarily bad, but you need to figure out what also charges you…” Sheila Wray Gregoire
Don’t correct his parenting. It’s ok if the baby doesn’t get his hair washed with a special soap, or the diaper gets on backwards, or he lets them eat more sugar than you would. If he is helping you – be thankful. There is no reason to disrespect him because you are Type A or whatever. It is 100x better to have a loving, involved dad who feeds his kids sugar, than to have a absent dad. (research the crime rates in homes with no father) Besides, it smacks of pride to think your way is best! Let him parent how he wants. If it is a big issue – talk to him privately about it.
Thank him for providing for your family. If he is working, thank him! If you are also working, you still need to thank him. Remember the Golden Rule. Men like to be providers – let him know you appreciate it.
Get excited about his dreams, and help him pursue them! You may not be interested in tagging sharks off the coast of California, but if he is – learn a little bit about it! Help him research his dreams and encourage him. He will love you for it.
Take care of yourself, physically. Don’t ‘let yourself go’ because you have your man. Get dressed daily. Comb your hair. And by all means – take a shower daily!! (I won’t hear any excuses) I have raised 7 babies and moved 12 times and been sleep-deprived more than I would like to remember. But there are not many days when I didn’t get a shower. Please, for the love of your husband, take a shower! (3 kids under 3, anyone? been there)
This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. Feel free to comment with your ideas and tips on how we can show respect to our husbands.
No Tattling sounds a bit juvenile – I get it. But the problem remains, no matter what you call it. Are you telling your mom/sisters/friends about your husband’s weaknesses under the guise of humor? Maybe as a shared prayer request? Or just flat-out as griping?
This needs to stop.
There is simply no place in a Christian wife’s life for tattling on her husband. How would you like if he told his buddies how you spend too much money – and they all laughed about it? Or if he told his mom how you are such a terrible housekeeper and he never has clean socks?
You know, marriage is a good place for the Golden Rule.
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:31
“But he DOES treat me like this! He tells mean jokes about me to his buddies!” OK, that is a hard place to be. I get it. I have watched men do this to their wives, and it is NOT Christ-like. It is selfish and cruel. But as a Christian, you must treat him the same way you would any other sinner: with love and kindness, always desiring that he would come to repentance.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12
They (believers) must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:2
This is the part of the gospel no one wants to face: death to self. Because death is unpleasant! But if we say we believe the Bible, and we say we are obedient to Christ – then we need to treat everyone with kindness and not gossip. No tattling. No carrying grievances to your buddies. Even if he does. I like how Elizabeth George says, in her wonderful book to wives:
Your goal as a Wife after God’s Own Heart is to help, heal, and to minister to your husband with your words–not to slash and slice him to pieces.Your rash words can resemble the thrusts of a sword, or they can disperse refreshment that promotes health, edifies, encourages, and delivers grace to your husband. (Ephesians 4:29) -from A Wife After God’s Own Heart
What to do if you have a disagreement? I always, always advocate for prayer first. Pray fervently, daily. God and the Holy Spirit can do far more than your nagging and complaining. Yes, there is a time and place for getting outside help. But just the piddly little stuff that irritates you? Nope. Don’t go throwing him under the bus to your mom. No tattling.
You know that you shouldn’t allow things to build up between you, but then you get in a fight disagreement, and you just want peace, or sleep, or your own way, or maybe life is so crazy-busy that you just don’t take time to talk things through.
First thing you know – a bit of coldness toward your husband is creeping into your heart. Not anger. Not bitterness. Just a general ‘meh’. Maybe the two of you disagreed about something that you can’t get past. If you disagree on principles and values, it is really hard to get past that.
Maybe you think: “It’s not a big deal, I should just get over it!” You stuff it, or you try to forget it. But once there is something you refuse to work through – soon there is more. I have found that talking about stuff is the key to keeping communication open. You may never agree on a certain issue. But you can have a peaceful, loving marriage despite that.
It’s like a brick wall – I am sure you’ve heard this comparison before – one brick is not a big deal, but soon it’s a wall a mile high. Then it is next to impossible to move! So don’t allow even one brick between you! You may have to compromise, you may have to die to self, you may need to explain yourself better. But keep working at communication.
My husband and I have worked through some pretty big disagreements. Do we see everything 100% the same way? Nope. We are human, with different backgrounds, different personalities, different stories. But we follow the same Jesus. We read the same Bible. And we both want a Godly friendship-love. So we talk. We hash things out. In the end, though, I believe the Scripture that says:
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-25
So keep working at your communication, my friends. Keep things clear and open between you. Will this matter in 100 years? If the answer is no, then just let it go.
Technology is one of those things with which I have a have a love/hate relationship. I mean, obviously technology makes my life so easy, and helps me so much! But then, it also can be distracting and frustrating(!!) and get in the way of real relationships.
You’ve heard the jokes about wives who run up credit debt online, or husbands who play video games all the time. Sadly, this is all too common. Now, we have the smartphones to add to the mix; we can buy and play with a swipe of our thumb.
It is easy – far too easy – to live virtual lives instead of real ones. To chat with a friend 1,000 miles away, instead of talking to the person we are sitting next to on the couch. To share our beliefs and the Gospel with someone in a different state instead of with our neighbor. To invite friends to online ‘parties’ instead of inviting them over for coffee.
What does this mean in the context of marriage?
We need to remember that first; this is the world we live in. You ain’t gonna change it, friend. Nobody is going back to 1988. (except a few preppers, maybe) This is our new world. Don’t mourn and fuss and whine about the good old days. That’s what my grandpa said, too, and he farmed with horses till 1960! (or somewhere around there) I mean, there’s a place for old-fashioned things and simplicity, I agree. But there’s a point…
Second, technology can be a real blessing! You can read blogs on marriage 😉 , get financial tools, find jobs, find date ideas and places to stay. You can learn a new skill. You can watch movies. You can listen to sermons and find Bible studies. So many good things to do with technology.
OK, but is it a blessing or a curse in marriage?
Satan wants to bring it between us. He wants to make it a curse. He is a cunning enemy who wants to make us fight and fuss. HE wants to tear us apart any way he can! Technology can certainly do that. But God wants to make it a blessing. We have the same Saviour in 2017 as we had in 1988. We can allow Satan to use technology to come between us, or we can allow God to make it a blessing.
This obviously takes two people to agree that you will not allow Satan to get a foothold. Two people who agree to put their relationship first, and technology second. Maybe you don’t actually ‘sit down and talk about it’, per se. We haven’t. But when technology (usually our phone usage) bothers one of us, we tell each other in a kind, respectful way. I’m not saying we are perfect in this area, but we are learning and growing.
We give each other our full attention when we talk to each other. We don’t interrupt each other when we are busy with something online. We give grace when one or the other spends extra time online or watching a riveting movie series. Again, we’re not yet perfect, but we try.
Remember the good old days where everyone ignored each other with books and newspapers? 😀 Yeah, that wasn’t much better. I know technology has overrun our lives, but we can control it, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Just like alcohol or food, it can become an addiction that needs broken. But in the right place, it can be a blessing!
Texts to each other: flirty, encouraging, loving. Encouraging websites, sermons online, even games to play together. Music. Sending pictures of the kids. Skype. I’m sure you can think of more!
Remember; Satan wants to tear you apart in any way he can. Jesus wants to bring you together. Technology is just a tool. Don’t be a slave to it, don’t allow it to control you. Embrace the good in it, be thankful for the good points.
If your husband suggests that you are using it wrongly; listen to him. If he is using it too much, lovingly discuss it with him. Pray about it. But don’t allow Satan to use technology to tear you apart.
Do you find it hard to have an actual ‘date night’?
Especially when you have babies and toddlers in the house, it is just hard. If you have family nearby, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. But if you live far from family, you will know exactly what I am talking about!
We have lived far from family for years. We have friends, but here in Wyoming, even our friends are pretty scattered! While we had babies and younger children, we just didn’t have many date nights. We did get a babysitter once a year and take a night away for our anniversary. That was so important to our sanity and closeness as a couple. We also tried to have 1-2 nights where we’d get a sitter and go out to eat. But even that was hard.
But why bother?
I do feel it is extremely important that a couple gets a bit of time alone, now and again. Even if it is only 1 time per year. Yes, you can be a close, loving couple without ever doing it, but frankly, I know very few couples who are deeply in love with each other, who don’t take time out for themselves. (I can’t think of any, in fact)
“We do everything as a family.” That sounds wonderful and so committed – but remember that you were a couple before you were parents. If you never go out, never take a night away, then you will need to be extra vigilant to get some time together at home. You just can’t properly nurture a deep, caring, friendship-love when there are kids climbing over you and listening to you talk.
I know, I know. You disagree with me. Well, maybe I am wrong. But if you think so, let me ask you: Do you have a deep, loving, friendship with your husband, or is marriage a bit of a disappointment to you? I challenge you to answer honestly. (To yourself, of course.)
The people whose marriages I respect and look up to – they say to get away from the kids once in a while. They say that the kids will be fine. And they are right.
When I was a young wife, I hated leaving my toddlers for a night. I thought they would be scarred for life, haha! But my husband encouraged me to invest in our marriage – and I am so glad he did. I do not regret even one night away from my ‘babies’. We never lost the sense of ‘us’, and I credit time alone as the reason.
This is the tricky part! It is hard to have the time, money, or sitter. If you have one you probably don’t have the other.
How to find a babysitter: Family is ideal. Friends are second best. If you have neither – then you need to find friends!! Seriously. I recommend that you start by going to church. Even if it isn’t perfect, find a church that believes as closely to Scripture as possible. (just pick the best one in your town.) Then go to that church and make friends, serve them, get plugged in to their lives. You will soon (hopefully) find one or two families who will be willing to trade babysitting. You can also use drop-in daycare. I haven’t, but I think it would be a decent alternative.
I will say that when I had a nursing baby, or one under 2, I often took them along. Especially when we moved away from family.
How to find time: For a night away, I suggest that you put it on the calendar. We used to take a night away on our anniversary, but since we moved to WY (and ranch life) it is a bad time of year for us, so we take our night away a different weekend. But we plan ahead, every year. At least a tentative plan. If we were visiting family over the holidays, we’d plan an extra day, and arrange to leave the kids with grandma for a night.
For date nights we do it differently. If you have a set schedule, then a regular date night may work. It hasn’t for us. We ‘take a notion’ to go on a date, and go! When our kids were little, we grabbed every opportunity we could find. If we had an out-of-state sibling visiting, we left the kids and went on a date.
Now, we have teenage kids!! What a blessing to have built-in babysitters. I remember feeling that this day would never come! But here it is. And we LOVE it! 😀
How to find money: Oh boy. What a tough one, right? Really, we haven’t done much fancy stuff, because we are not rich folk. We would absolutely love to travel overseas or even just to Yellowstone for a weekend getaway. But realistically, we just can’t. The one exception was our 10th anniversary. We saved then splurged, and went to Washington D.C. for several days. That was a huge treat, and a trip that gave us many good memories.
For dates, we sometimes go out to eat, sometimes just ice cream! Right now we live far enough from town, that when we can make it work we will go to town together. We walk around the store, picking up what we need,(not groceries) then get a burger or ice cream on the way home.
Our dates get simpler and more meaningful as we age. Driving 2 hours to and from town is a wonderful date. Checking water or putting out mineral is another way to get time together while not spending money.
When the kids were small, we’d stick them to bed early then pull out some special treats and drinks and have a date on the couch.
Usually for anniversaries, we spend one night at a hotel in a nearby city. We eat out and maybe catch a movie or a local, inexpensive attraction.
On leaner years, we’d get a babysitter for the kids, then pick up a pizza and some pop, and rent a movie and go home. In some ways, that was as relaxing as anything! Very inexpensive, very private, and no hassle of packing/unpacking.
I highly recommend you try this! Especially of you have sitters that you can easily get for a night!
I hope I have sparked an interest in you to make time for your marriage! Maybe you can’t take a weekend away. Maybe you need to put the babies to bed and light some candles and dress up. Maybe you just need to say YES next time he asks you to go check water. Better yet – YOU ask to go along, then be interesting and helpful and stay off your phone. 😉
When we think of romance, we might picture roses, candles, rooftop dates under the stars, walking hand-in-hand through falling leaves, cozy evenings by a crackling fire…
We forget, sometimes, that romance is wildly overrated. That love is what we need most in our days. Love that steps over the scattered toys without complaining, love that says: “stay in bed, I’ll eat cereal”, love that holds you when you are sad, love that eats leftovers for days, love that brings home chocolate for those hard days.
Romance is the feeling of excitement and mystery surrounding love. (Webster)
I love romance! It is fun, and keeps our marriage interesting. But dear sister, please don’t expect your married life to be full of mysterious excitement! Many days will come and go with no rooftop dinners, no relaxing walks in nature, no wine and chocolate. There may be no money for date night, and there will be kids who want to go on that walk with you.
But there will be love. And love wins over romance any day, in my book. Don’t take that love for granted. Don’t miss the romance of a husband who knows what kind of treat to bring you after a hard day. Don’t miss the magical moments of watching a sunrise from your kitchen window together, no words needed. (You haven’t tried that? You need to. 😉 )
Romance is beautiful and there is a place for it, definitely. But the longer we are married, the more I realize that love is pretty romantic, after all.
Today I have a short and perhaps odd point to make about your marriage. See, I hear this a lot, and in different forms: “I don’t like my husband. I don’t love him any more. There’s no spark anymore. We just grew apart. There’s no feelings any more.”
These statements may be 100% true. But that doesn’t excuse you from the vows you made before God. Lack of feelings doesn’t give you an excuse to leave your man – it just means you need to give more attention to your marriage. See, you don’t have to LIKE your husband. You just have to treat him with love.
Feelings are fickle. They come and go. We can’t make decisions based on how we feel. Maybe you need to start practicing love. Practice speaking in loving tones. Practice by doing acts of love for him. Practice thinking good thoughts about him.
Jesus commands us to love each other, and the amazing thing is; if you practice showing love to your husband, (or indeed, anyone!) you will probably start liking them, too! It may take a while, but consistent acts of love are the best way I know to bring those fickle feelings around.
Ask yourself: “How would I treat him if I was madly in love with him?”
Now do that.
“Fake it till you make it” is a terrible-sounding adage. But really, it is pretty close to the truth! Only, it’s not fake if you are sincere. Sincerely wanting to obey God by loving your husband. Sincerely wanting a deep, meaningful relationship with your husband. There’s nothing fake about that!
“Practice till you become” may be a better saying.
You want to know something else? There are very, very few women who are willing to humble themselves and obey God in this area. To say: “OK God, I will begin today to treat my husband with the love and respect You command, no matter if he loves me back, no matter if I feel like it or not.”
Do you realize how brave that is? That is pure faith. Faith in a God big enough to hold you. Faith that His promises are true, that He cares about you.
We hear the term ‘be brave’ bantered about a lot these days, but the real bravery? It’s not wearing a cute tee-shirt with fancy lettering – it is following God into scary waters like these.
Be brave, my friend. Love him like you mean it. Love him till you like him. Do it till you feel it.