I love my husband.
I know this may seem to be a silly statement considering we have been married almost 17 years, but in this day and age, I feel that it is important to say.
I love my husband.
But recently, I have wondered if he knows how much I love him. Of course, I say the words (frequently), we certainly do not shy away from intimacy and affection, but what other ways do I show him that I love him.
It's easy, 17 years in, to get bogged down in the mundane of daily life-disciplining children, helping with homework, housework, cooking, grocery store runs, etc. On top of that, we have had our fair share of medical issues going on in our lives for the past 2 years which can be very isolating and add additional stress to marriage.
So I picked up the book "100 Ways to Love Your Husband" by Lisa Jacobson. As any other study I own, it is sporadic as to when I read and pray over each method, but here is what I have found so far.
Always choose love-I fail at this more than I would like to admit. I tend to be sensitive when it comes to criticism, especially when it comes from my husband, so in those moments I am not always successful of choosing love. But the bigger picture is not always in the minute details of day-to-day life. When the chips are down, he has my back and I have his. We are a team and I will ALWAYS choose love.
Greet him with a loving smile-I work from home and I am terrible about still being on my laptop, working away, when he walks in the door. Sometimes it is a few minutes and other times a few hours before we finally greet each other with smiles and affection. I clearly have my work cut out for me in improving on this one!
Let the little things go-I read somewhere that most arguments between couples are 10 percent disagreement and 90 percent tone of voice. I need deliverance in both areas! But there is so much truth in this statement. Most arguments could easily be avoided if we just slowed down (or stopped completely) and tried to see the issue from the other spouse's point of view.
Work through the big things-I am a talker. I like to hash out problems (and then sometimes rehash them until I get on my own nerves). My husband is a processor. He sees a problem, big or small, and he internally works through the possible actions and outcomes, risk assessment, and implementation of a plan. He is silent and strong. On this subject, we both seem to need to find a middle ground where I don't feel ignored and he doesn't feel alone in being responsible for fixing every issue that comes our way.
Don't try to change him-This one is easy. I learned this lesson early and feel like this one I have mastered to some extent. What I have enjoyed is watching us change together over the years.
Pray for him-Not much more to add here. Pray for your husband daily, hourly, even more if you feel he needs it. There is no tool more powerful for wives that the power of prayer.
Remember he's not your girlfriend-Okay, now we are back in territory I sometimes struggle with. I am not a very trusting person, at least not with my truest emotions. My husband has always been my rock when I needed to visit those raw and painful places. But, it's not fair to him to be my only source from which I seek advice. Over the past few years, I have found a wonderful, small group of godly ladies from whom I can seek advice. I still put too much on my husband sometimes, but it is a work in progress.
But be sure he's your best friend-My mom gave me a great piece of advice when I was first married. She told me that I should never speak ill about my husband to my girlfriends, it is my job to paint the most positive picture of him at all times. While girlfriends that you trust are vitally important to your marriage and spiritual life, make sure your husband is at the top of the list of friends. (As a side note, I personally do not think it is a good idea for married women to have male friends that just their own (with some exceptions), it simply gives a foothold for adultery to step in).
Decide in the beginning that you are going to stick together until the very end-This one was pretty easy for me, when I took my vows all those years ago, I viewed them as not just a covenant between my husband and I, but between my Heavenly Father and I. That being said, it has not been easy every step of the way. There have been times I have wanted to give up, but we always seem to make it work out through prayer and forgiveness. Another important note about sticking together as it relates to raising children-it is vitally important that your children understand that the two of you are always on the same page and always present a united front.
Be a wise woman-This was tough for me. I feel like I am anything but wise. I make mistakes-big ones. I can be ruled by my emotions. But the more I thought about this and read about this in my Bible, I realized that I do not have the strength of character to have the wisdom my husband needs, only God has that. But, I can seek His wisdom at any time and appeal to him in prayer to guide me and my words so that they guide my husband in a manner that glorifies God.
Those are the 10 I have gotten through. Stay tuned for more and wives, love your husbands!