Friday, March 21, 2014

Eleven Ways To Bless Your Husband

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it..."
Song of Solomon 8:7
(KJV)

I jolted awake from the soundest sleep in a huge panic.
I grabbed the phone on the table next to the recliner where I had been sleeping,
pushed one of the buttons so the light would come on, and I could see what time it was.
7:23 AM!!!!!

It hit me that I hadn't heard from Kevin in several hours,
and he still wasn't home from work.
I began to pray....or should I say PLEAD with God to put it on his heart to call me.

Immediately, I heard His still, small, gentle, reassuring voice....
"He's okay, child.
Everything is all right."

Peace washed over me.

But, you know me....I still kept praying for Kevin to call.:)

Pretty soon, I heard the sound of a car door closing in the driveway.
I walked to the door to look out.

"Would you rather get a phone call from him,
or would you rather see that?"
the Lord softly asked.

I looked up to see my dear, steady, consistent, faithful, hard-working husband,
walking across the yard toward the front door.
I could tell by his slowed pace that he was exhausted.

Bless his dear heart!
I opened the door and opened my arms to welcome him home.
It felt so good to feel him close to me again.
I stayed there...face pressed against the cold leather of his jacket.

"It is so good to have you home", I whispered.

I hate being apart from him.
I honestly don't know how military wives hold up to the long separations.
Just a day's work is hard for me to handle.

If God spares time and our lives until June, Lord willing, we will celebrate our 26th anniversary.
I love him more today than I did that June day...
my, it seems like a long time ago.
I don't know how we got from there to here...so quickly.
But, here we are.
Silver anniversary behind us....silver hair to prove it!

Living with the same man for this long has taught me much about married life.
I know why God said it is not good for man to be alone.
I have tasted the sweet joys of feeling a union of souls.
The longer we are married, the more one we become.
That is God's design.

He uses the marriage relationship as a symbol of Christ's relationship with the church.
It is a sacred bond that grows closer...and deeper....and more precious with time.

Marriage, along with our relationship with God, and any other bond that matters to us,
needs to be nurtured.
It needs care and attention and a continual pouring of ourselves into it.
In order to remain strong, it cannot be neglected or pushed to the back burner
or left to chance and the mindset that we are just hoping for the best.

Through our nearly 26 years of married life,
I have learned that I can either be a hindrance or a blessing to the man I love more than words.
I feel like I fall so far short of being the wife I long to be to him....
I feel so inadequate and incapable,
but to bless him is...and has always been....one of the greatest desires of my heart.

As wives, we should seek out ways to daily bless our husbands....
to make their lives less stress-filled...
to make our homes more peaceful and a place they always long to come home to and be.

As I wrote this post, several things I have learned through my own life experience,
came to my mind.....
tried and true and personally-proven ways that I have learned to live out in order to bless Kevin.
I have narrowed them down to 11.
I know...it seems strange to make it 11.
Why not 10?
Or 15?
Maybe it is because 11 is one of our favorite numbers.
We were married on June 11th!
Anyhow, here are my top favorite ways of blessing my husband!


#1.  Love God.
What does this have to do with blessing my husband, you ask?
To me, it has everything to do with it.
Loving God with all my heart means that I will do what it takes to keep my relationship with Him current.
I will pay the cost to pray and read His Word and make sure I stay spiritually fortified.
If my relationship with Him is where it needs to be,
my other relationships automatically fall in line...directly behind the one I share with Him.
If my walk with Him is not my first priority,
if it suffers,
if it is out of date and stale,
subsequently every other affiliation in my life will suffer and be out of skelter.
I cannot be what I need to be to my husband,
I cannot stay in a Biblical state of mind,
if I am not keeping near to the cross.
I cannot bring myself into subjection to my husband,
if I am not first dying out to self and keeping my will surrendered to my God.
Making sure I love God with all my heart is the best gift I could ever bestow upon my husband.
After spending time with Jesus, I am better equipped to face the day with renewed courage
and a positive, Godly frame of mind and outlook.
It endues me with the power I need to optimally serve and bless Kevin
and nourish our marriage, which is my second-most important relationship of all.


#2.  Love him.
I know that sounds basic and elementary.
But, in the busyness of life and the continual demands of keeping a home and raising a child,
it is easy to lose sight of who we are trying most to please.
It is easy to just rush through the day doing what we do,
cooking, homeschooling, cleaning, ironing, paying bills, doing laundry,
and all of the other regular things we do,
and completely leave out the loving affection that he so desperately needs.
Loving him means that I put his physical and emotional needs above and before my own...
and everyone else's, too.
It means that I take the necessary time to meet those needs....
regardless of what else does or does not get done.
It means that I do everything I do for him wholeheartedly, unreservedly, and ungrudgingly.
It means never making him feel that he is bothering me or interrupting me
or that anything else I do is more important than he is to me.
It means kissing him on his way out the door and on his way back in.
It means being available to him....
touching him gently when I pass him in the hall,
telling him he looks nice,
complimenting his efforts,
baking him his favorite treat,
cooking his favorite foods,
thanking him for all he does for Zach and me.
Loving him with all my heart and proving it in a thousand little ways,
must be done regularly...consistently...genuinely and faithfully.

#3.  Love his child(ren).
Again, you say, isn't this a given?
Well, it should be.
But, sometimes it isn't a reality.
A man needs to know that his children are being well cared for and loved.
They are his personal treasures....held close and dear to his heart.
He needs to have that assurance and should never have to worry
about whether or not they are receiving the loving care they need and deserve.
He needs a woman who nourishes and tenderly provides the gentle guidance and comfort a child craves.
His home should be a haven for him from the cold world outside.
He should be able to resort there and find a place of peace, not discord,
between his wife and his child(ren).
Constant complaining, arguing, and upheaval are not
conducive to making home a place our husbands want to be.


#4.  Pray for him.
Is there any way of measuring the value of this?
I could never count all of the times I pray for my husband.
I carry a burden for him and Zach like no one else.
I should.
It is my duty as a wife and mother...
and as the keeper of the home Kevin works so hard to provide and maintain for us.
I provide no financial contribution to the operation of our household.
The things I contribute are not monetary.
Praying for my family is one of the most precious trusts ever committed to my keeping.
I take it very seriously, and I practice it diligently.
It is both my duty...and one of my most beloved privileges.


#5.  Speak well of him.
Don't put him down.
Never speak of his faults to others.
Praise his every effort...even when the results aren't perfect.
He doesn't need to hear someone else, (especially the one who professes to love him most),
pointing out and magnifying his flaws.
Tell him how handsome he is.
Remind him how smart he is.
When his name comes up in conversation....
with your mother, sisters, other family members, friends, fellow-church-goers, etc.,
speak only good things about him....
no matter what.
Accentuate the positive.
Focus on the reasons you fell in love with him in the first place.


#6.  Respect him.
There are lines and boundaries of respect that should never be crossed.
No name-calling, even when teasing.
No hitting, even when playing around.
No raised voices, even when trying to make a point.
Make sure his favorite chair at the table and living room chair is available when he needs it.
Give him his space.
Don't nag.
Let him breathe...and relax...in his own home.
Kevin and I decided early in our relationship that we would never lose that initial respect for each other.
That we wouldn't cross those lines into disrespect.
That we would strive to hold each other up, never tear each other down.


#7.  Keep his secrets.
There are just certain things you should not discuss about him.
There are just certain topics that are off-limits and should have a "Road Closed" sign attached to them.
You are the one he trusts most.
You see him at his most defenseless....his most vulnerable.
Around you, and you alone, he most completely lets down his guard.
You get to see that inner "sacred" part of him that no one else ever sees.
He trusts you with that.
He should never have to put up a defense around you.
He should never feel the need to.
With you, he should be able to be himself...completely....
and know that you would rather die than to reveal the depths of his heart.
With you, he doesn't feel he has anything to prove,
nor should he.
Guard the treasures he shares with only you...keep them like a sacred trust
and never, ever embarrass him by divulging any part of his privacy to anyone else.
It is rare...and special...and intimately yours and his.
Always keep it that way.


#8.  Lighten his load.
Do anything and everything you can to make his burdens lighter.
Little things mean a lot.
Place a glass of water on his bedside table at bedtime, so he doesn't have to.
Scratch his back while you stand next to him, without him having to ask.
If you are physically able, take a turn at doing one of his household chores.
Offer to make a dreaded phone call for him.
Don't take advantage of him.
Don't take him and all he does for you for granted.
There are a lot of women out there who would gladly take your place.
Don't ever give him a reason to even entertain the possibility.


#9.  Listen to him.
Keep an "open ear, open heart" policy at all times.
Never close yourself off from him or make him feel hesitant to come to you.
Let him pour out his heart, without interrupting him.
Learn the fine art of quietness.
He needs you to be there for him.
He should feel more comfortable talking to you than to anyone else.
Be accessible.
Be ready.
Make him priority, and let him know it.
Look into his eyes while he is talking.
Don't divert your gaze.
Let him know you are interested in what he is saying.
Don't patronize him.
Men hate that and are quick to pick up on it.
Mean it from the heart.
Be genuine.
Listening distractedly or begrudgingly or half-heartedly or insincerely
is worse than not listening at all.
It is like a slap in the face to him and gives the impression that you
would rather be doing anything other than having to endure a conversation with him.
Watch for warning signs that something is bothering him.
Be in tune with his feelings.
Listen to them, as well as to his words.
Hear the words he doesn't say.


#10.  Show interest in what is important to him.
Believe in him and what matters to him.
Share his dreams.
Through the years, I have always sought out the things that Kevin likes to do.
It may not be my favorite thing in the world, but if he likes it, I want to be a part of it.
Mostly so I can be near him, and to show him that I value his opinions and preferences.
If they are important to him, they automatically mean something to me.
For instance, when we lived in Florida, Kevin enjoyed playing golf.
Sometimes he played with other guys,
and then there were times that he wanted to go with me.
I loved that he wanted to be with me.
Was I ever a good golfer?
(Insert side-splitting, doubled-over, belly-laugh...right here...:)
Just the thought of that makes me laugh!
Athletics, in any form, have never been my strong suit!
No matter how many times we went to play, and there were many,
I never seemed to improve...at all....okay well, except in putting.
The improvement there can probably be contributed to the putt-putt we still love to play.
Kevin tried.  Others tried.  I learned how to hold the clubs,
where to place my fingers, how to stand, etc.
Nothing helped.  It was hopeless.  It didn't matter.
But, regardless of whether I ever became good at the sport or not,
I absolutely loved getting out on the golf course...because I was with Kevin.
Riding around in the cart with him, us laughing good-naturedly together at my pathetic attempts,
our talks while out there, being outdoors, watching him....
all of it was wonderful.
There was one particular par-three course that I especially loved.
It wasn't nearly as challenging, so my scores there were slightly improved...
but still pretty awful.  :)
It didn't matter....we were together....and that is what made and still makes us both happy.
There are many other things I could mention, but the point is that I try to support Kevin's efforts...
his interests...the things that make him happy.
Always.
I think it is important.
I love this man so much...it is worth the required effort...
just to see him smile.

I love blessing him in every way I can.
Blessing him, blesses me.


#11.  Let him be the man.
It's his God-given place in the home.
Sorry to burst any bubbles....I know this is a touchy subject
and is no longer a popular teaching or viewpoint,
but it's Divinely-inspired Biblical instruction, my friend.
I didn't write it.
"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: 
and He is the savior of the body."
Ephesians 5:23
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; 
and the head of the woman is the man; 
and the head of Christ is God."
I Corinthians 11:3
This is the Biblical chain of command.
This is the corporate structure.
When it is followed, it works out perfectly.
It makes for joy-filled lives, happy marriages, and peaceful homes.
I found out early in our marriage that it is very liberating to just let go and let Kevin lead.
It enables him to fulfill his God-given role,
it frees him up to be the man God is calling him to be,
and it eases every drop of tension in our home.
The Bible-way works.
If everyone stays in their God-ordained place,
the family unit runs like a well-oiled machine.
There is no friction.
No power struggles.
Just release your need to control everything,
and let your husband shine.
Don't try to overrule or override him or his decisions.
Be there to gently support him and to add your "wisdom" and input,
but, allow him to lead.
I am not talking about abuse situations here
or becoming a door mat or whipping post....
please don't misunderstand me.
There is plenty in the Bible about how a man is to treat a woman in order to gain her respect,
submission, (Ouch!  I know that's not a popular word...but in the Biblical sense, it is beautiful), and love.
"Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them."  Colossians 3:19
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it..."  Ephesians 5:25
"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, 
giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, 
and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."
I Peter 3:7

Marriage is a wonderfully-splendid thing.
Especially when both parties are following Christ with all their hearts.

I realize this is not always the case.
Even if your spouse has chosen to take a different path and approach to marriage,
God still has grace for you to fulfill His will on your part.
If you have a difficult husband,
read about a woman HERE who overcame in spite of her crude, brutish, abusive husband.

If he is especially hard to deal with, would you be willing to try these suggestions anyhow?
Who knows?
Maybe the extra attention, the special doting-kind-of-love and affection,
the kindness-in-spite-of-how-mean-he-is treatment,
and most of all, the humility...might just cause him to turn around.
Maybe he will change.
Maybe you can win him over.
If not, you will feel better about things.
And you will please God while trying.

How about giving it a try?

So, what is important to your husband?
What makes him smile?
Even the meanest-spirited of men have soft spots.
What creative ways have you found to bless him in the past?
What touches him when nothing else will?

How have you blessed your husband today?
(P.S. This line of writing may turn into a series....
there are many other ideas floating around in my head!
But, to keep this post from being any wordier than it is, I'll stop here for now...
and we'll see how the Lord leads.  :~)


30 comments:

  1. This was an excellent post!! I loved that your husband pulled into the driveway (instead of calling you) and I loved seeing pictures of you. Hope you have a wonderful week and will see you around again next time.

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    1. Thank you so much, Judith! YES, God surprised me with way above and beyond what I prayed for...I'd prefer seeing Kevin's face and knowing he was safe over a phone call any day! Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by...it meant so much! Love, Cheryl

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  2. Yes on all accounts! Thank you for such a lovely post!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Lisa, and for leaving sweet encouragement behind! God bless you. Love, Cheryl

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  3. This is a fantastic post and offers great encouragement to wives. These are all magnificent ways to bless our husbands and we should take care to practice them everyday! Thank you for this post. I look forward to reading more around your blog, I found you through Marriage Monday.

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    1. So happy to meet you Rashel, and so thankful you stopped by today! I so appreciate your kind comments and look forward to many more happy visits with you! God bless you! Love, Cheryl

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  4. So much wisdom in this post, Cheryl. It is surprising to me to discover some things that bless my husband. Things that I take for granted. For example, this weekend he told me how much he appreciated my jumping in to help when our apartment flooded a while ago. Well, I was flabbergasted. Why wouldn't I help him? To him, however, it was a very big thing. I think it just blesses a man when his wife is by his side in the midst of something like that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you will do a series. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Awww...that is so sweet that it meant so much to him for you to do that. You know, I suppose we don't really realize how much our support means to our husbands. They must feel so overwhelmed sometimes, and to know that we have their back and they are not walking this path alone must mean the world to them. We are so very blessed to have husbands who appreciate us and the efforts we make. It was so great to see you here today...so thankful you stopped by. Love, Cheryl

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  5. What a beautiful, thoughtful, inspiring post, Cheryl! This is my first visit to your site, discovered through Growing Homemakers.

    I am in the second year now of a second, mid-life marriage to a wonderful man. This time I am determined to have it be a wonderful, nourished, harmonious experience that lasts for the rest of our lives. We are both very busy and independent, so we try to 'connect' every day by curling up on the couch together. Even for a few minutes, this time to hold and be held, grounds us and makes all the stresses and rush of the day fade away.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Rebecca, and for your sweet comments. So happy to have you here! May God bless you and continually guide you in all you do. Love, Cheryl

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  6. Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” Your delightful post causes me to suggest you perhaps condense your list only a bit for editing purposes and give a copy to any bride ready for marriage. This is a wonderful list and I had trouble finding a favorite one. I like Respect and others too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Hazel! What wonderful encouragement...it meant so much! Maybe I will do that one day. God bless you in a special way. Love, Cheryl

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  7. Your post was written in such a loving and kind way and filled with such beautiful wisdom. I've been really good at some of these things and not so good at others. I'm working on those. : )

    Thanks for sharing. I'm visiting from the Link Up over at Walking Redeemed.

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    1. Thank you so very much for your kind words and encouragement, Cathy! So thankful you stopped by. :) Love, Cheryl

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  8. Perfect timing for me today. Thank you. I'm going to go make breakfast.
    Laura

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    1. Thanking the dear Lord for you and your sweet encouragement. Have a blessed day, Laura! Love, Cheryl

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  9. It took me many years to learn how crucial # 5 and #6 are. Men need our respect and they need us to speak well of them. I didn't do it for many years, but thankfully I read Emerson Eggerichs' book entitled "Love and Respect". It really impacted me and brought wonderful changes in our marriage. Stopping by from Jennifer Lee's link up!

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    1. So happy to meet you today, Leah! Thank God for His amazing grace and for the way He leads us to resources that will help us in our journey. Have a blessed day! Love, Cheryl

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  10. Wow!
    Cheryl, what a great piece of writing! Every woman should read this for the betterment of their marriage. I will make few copies of this great read, and distribute them. The ladies at my Church will love it!
    What a Ministry!
    Note: All your 11 points are dear to my heart...And please do not think you are alone in your incapacity to stay away from your husband for long : I am just like you ( or worse...)
    God gave me "The perfect husband" for me. He is growing steadily in the Lord, and he loves me with all his might.
    I get to stay home with my four beautiful children and our kitty, all the day of my life.
    My days are joyous because of his support.
    After a long homeschooling day, the children and I are so impatient to see him.
    What a joy to be on God's side!
    Many blessings to you Sheryl.

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    1. Thank you so very much for your visit and your dear, sweet comments! I am so thankful you will pass it on to others and so grateful to know that God has blessed you with a wonderful husband who loves you and whom you love so deeply in return. YES, my dear sister, what a joy to be on God's side! It is the only way to live and truly be happy. :) Love, Cheryl

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  11. What a great post ... so much truth! This is my first visit ... from Serving Joyfully. May God bless you both with many more years of marriage blessings!

    Donna @SoulSurvival

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    1. So thankful you stopped by, Donna! It was so nice to meet you and to read your kind comments. I so appreciate the encouragement! Come back anytime. :) Love, Cheryl

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  12. I'm next to you at Thought Provoking Thursday this week. Your post is full of love and wisdom!

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    1. Thank you so very much for your kind words and visit, Elizabeth! So thankful to have met you. God bless you! Love, Cheryl

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  13. What a beautiful post, Cheryl! Filled loving, practical, Biblical insights. Your 26 years is a testament to your wisdom. Thank you for sharing - I will refer back to it often.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, June! So thankful for your words of encouragement. They meant so much! God bless you and keep you in His care. Love, Cheryl

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  14. i yi yi! I need to work on #10. Fishing and hunting does not excite me at all. Neither does paying for a deer mount...he probably thinks the same thing about my hobbies :/

    Thanks for sharing! Your posts always help me! Thank you.

    waitingforbabybird.com

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    1. LOL!! I know what you mean...we have a mounted deer head that hung on our den wall for years. When we moved, somehow it ended up on the garage wall now, where it has remained ever since, thankfully!! :) Fishing and hunting don't do much for me either, but I do tag along sometimes...more for the fishing than the hunting. Thank you for your sweet encouragement...it means SO much to me!

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  15. I'm new to your blog and newly married. Love this list. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. A BIG welcome to you, sweet friend!! So very thankful you stopped by. :)

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