I entered marriage confident and naive about how much work it takes to love a husband well. Before marriage, we’d survived arguments, walked through in-depth marriage counseling, and navigated a long-distance relationship. We had this thing figured out.
Until we moved to Alabama for a nine-month school, and we had to learn how to “do life” with no support system nearby. Learning how to love well got real when he had to study and I struggled with depression . . .
. . . when we needed to squeeze a big television into a teeny-tiny car, and we each had our own idea for accomplishing that,
. . . when we had issues to discuss and weren’t sure how to do that effectively.
6 Lessons Learned on the Journey to Love a Husband Well
1. Learn your spouse’s love language and show love in that way. If you’re not sure what this is, read the book, The Five Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman.
The five love languages we speak and receive love in are:
Acts of service
Physical touch (not only sexual)
Words of Affirmation
Learning to “speak” your husband’s love language can deepen your relationship as you love him in ways he understands. Sometimes, this requires us to think and act outside our comfort zone.
2. Respect your husband. What does respect look like to your man? Learn what speaks respect and what shows disrespect. Then do what helps him feel respected.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T = L-O-V-E
When we’re not in a good place with our husband, or if he’s making hurtful choices that negatively impact us, we’re still called to respect him. To say, “I’ll respect him when he deserves it.” attaches strings to your relationship. It’s the equivalent of him saying, “I’ll love her when she deserves it.” Ouch.
When we said, “I do,” we said yes to loving sacrificially…both when it’s easy to love and when we are so hurt we don’t know how to love him well. Love is a choice we must make every day.
Please don’t hear me saying you must respect and love blindly. Love speaks and listens to truth. There may be times when a wife must seek counsel on how to best handle things her husband is doing that impact their relationship, family, lives. Even when we don’t like our spouse, we can choose to love him.Love is a choice we must make every day. #tellhisstory #lovingwell Click To Tweet
3. The most important thing we can do is pray for our husbands. We know their struggles at home, at work, and sometimes in their hearts. Wives understand their husbands’ strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. We can either play judge and jury in our thoughts, or we can be their encourager through prayer and our words.
And, if you aren’t already, begin a habit of praying with your husband daily. This action knits hearts together in a deeper way.
4. Ask questions and listen to the answer. Whether you ask, “How was your day?” Or “What do you think about ______?” or something else, we women need to become better at listening more and talking less.
My husband taught me early on how important it was to him that I not interrupt when he was sharing his thoughts. Staying quiet rather than jumping in with my response/comment/completing his sentence (I was usually wrong when I did this!) speaks love to him. When I listen and then respond, he feels respected and valued. Plus, when we do this for our husbands, we become a safe place for him.
5. Don’t expect our husbands to read our minds. Early in our relationship, my husband said, “I don’t read minds.” I learned to convey my thoughts, needs, and wants. Hinting at what we want or need usually leads to our disappointment and frustration.
Loving a husband well includes communicating clearly. Forcing our men to guess what we want places a lot of pressure on them. Though they’ll do their best to meet our needs, if we’re disappointed by their attempt, they feel like they’ve failed us.Loving a husband well includes communicating clearly. Forcing our men to guess what we want places a lot of pressure on them. #tellhisstory #lovingwell Click To Tweet
6. Make our husbands our priority. When Hubs wants to chat, I close my laptop and focus my attention on him. If I continue working on something while he’s trying to talk with me, I miss what he’s saying. And I send the message that whatever I’m working on is more important than him.
There are times when I ask for a minute or two to wrap up a thought, but then I’m all his.
To Love A Husband Well
I know some of these steps may require a perspective shift. Hubs and I survived our first year (and the twenty-four since then) by talking. To love a husband well requires intentional choosing to make him our second most important priority in our lives, second to Jesus.
And yes, we did get that big ole television into our teeny tiny car . . . we did it his way.
*****I need to add that I am not a counselor. I am sharing from a layman’s perspective. I didn’t cover this in the post, but for women who are in abusive situations, here are a couple of resources:
What constitutes abuse? Click here for relationship expert Leslie Vernick’s clear-cut guidance on what constitutes physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse. And you can find help at The National Domestic Violence Hotline here
What about you? What would you add to this list to love a husband well? How do you choose to love when you’re hurting?
P.S. The winner of the Amazon gift card is Lisa B! Thank you to everyone who took time to give me input on this space. I appreciate you! Lisa, I’ll be in touch with you soon.