Let’s be honest, loving your husband is definitely not always easy. Some days love requires a conscious effort. Throughout the last year of marriage I have had moments where I would really just like to scream at Clay, but hold my tongue as best I can because screaming is definitely not loving my husband well. Over the last week I have compiled a list of 6 effective ways to love my husband, things that I have personally faced and have either overcome or failed miserably at and am working to improve. Each of these is based on the biblical principal found in Ephesians 5:22″Wives submit to your husband as you do to the Lord”. Many people take the word ‘submit’ totally out of context, so to restore the word to its correct meaning here are my 6 effective ways for loving your husband.
1.Random Acts of Kindness
Showing a random act of kindness allows your husband to know that he is on your mind even when you are not together. My random acts of kindness are typically small; offering a foot massage out of the blue, buying him his favorite candy and placing them on the key hook with a love note. Seems easy enough, but don’t always expect a “thank you” in return. Sometimes (or even most) the kindness falls on deaf ears. The purpose is to give love without expecting anything in return and that is a challenge.
The other night Clay came home after working a 12 hour shift and I was ready to unload the frustrations of my day. During the conversation Clay said something that came across to me as dismissing my feelings, uncaring and trying to make it seem like my day was nothing as bad as his. I didn’t need him to “trump” me, I needed an ear to listen. But out of my irritation I said “I can’t say anything right today can I?”. And to that he got annoyed, took his arm away and turned to stone. I walked away and for a whole eternity of 15 minutes neither of us spoke. After going into my room and sitting alone for a few minutes I realized how stupid this argument was, how years down the road I would regret having these wasted moments. So I sauntered into the family room, sat next to him on the couch and apologized for my behavior. Definitely not easy when you feel like it’s only half your fault, but sometimes being the one to apologize is necessary. Someone has to apologize and if it is half your fault too why shouldn’t you? Don’t waste time on a petty argument, humble yourself and let the smaller things slide. It is not worth the 15 minutes of animosity, frustration and anger. Which leads to number 3…
3. Don’t dwell on the small things
This one is plain and simple, do not let your mind keep captive the things that annoy you. Clay is not always the most delicate with his words, and things he says can rub me the wrong way. The other night after a very long day, long lists of to do’s and little down time Clay came home from work and made a comment that just ticked me off. Walking in to the kitchen he saw the empty paper towel rack and our conversation went something like this…
“Do we have paper towels?”
“Yes. In the laundry closet”.
“Oh don’t worry, I’ll get them”. And the snarky way he said it sent my mind in a frenzy. He didn’t notice the clean apartment, the dinner, the quiet, clean and fed baby. He noticed the ONE thing I forgot to do. But instead of going off on him I bit my tongue, ignored the comment and two seconds later had already forgotten my annoyance. What could have been another stupid argument was avoided simply by letting it go.
To serve means to go out of your way to do things for your husband. Getting him a glass of water when you see his is empty, putting together his outfit for the day, plating him dinner. Serving is showcasing your appreciation for all the hard work he puts in to provide for the family. Do not confuse serving as slavery.. there is nothing I hate more than when people believe that serving your husband is comparable to slavery. That is a load of bullshananny. Your husband deserves to be treated by you with the same love that God shows us. Pretty sure that dying on the cross was the ultimate way to serve, so if all you have to do is get him a glass of water you have it pretty easy.
A perk to serving: the more you serve the more you get served. A wonderful demonstration of how kindness is contagious 🙂
5. Demonstrate his love language
Many couples love in the way they themselves desire to be loved. But if your husband or spouse does not share your love language then they may feel neglected, regardless of your effort. I tend to fail at this one. Clay is a physical touch and words of affirmation guy. Although I am good at using words to tell him he is handsome, a hard worker, wonderful husband, incredible father, etcetera, I forget to use physical touch. When he has to ask me for a kiss or hug I have an intense feeling of guilt for not loving him in the way he desires. It’s something to be mindful of in any relationship, but particularly with your spouse.
6. Use your words
While it is important not to sweat the small stuff I find a grey line sometimes exists between small things and things that matter. Women are notorious for assuming her husband can read her mind. Newsflash, he can’t. You might wear your heart on your sleeve, and your husband may be able to pick up on your attitude but he won’t always be able to tell exactly why you are feeling a certain way. Clay is great at identifying when there is something wrong because my face can’t lie; but if he didn’t ask me what was wrong I would probably keep it to myself. This is a problem in itself because the issue then festers rather than being resolved.
Use your judgement to know when to speak up or when to let it go. My rule is that if it is something that is constant, effects my walk with Christ or my marriage, gives way to negative thoughts or resentment then it should be discussed. If it is something that really ultimately has no effect other than simply upsetting my emotions it is something that needs to be let go and forgotten. We are naturally emotional creatures and if we got angry and spoke up every single time we got upset over anything it would create a constant battle ground.
Loving your husband well is admittedly sometimes a chore, it definitely does not always come easy. But by simply putting your spouse first and applying biblical principals to your marriage you will find that loving gets easier. It will never be perfect because we are imperfect. It will be flawed, it will be hard but the pay off of loving your husband effectively could be the difference between wedded bliss and marital mishap.