Great Marriages: How to Serve our Husbands Emotionally
Serve one another humbly in love. – Galatians 5:13b
Dear Precious Women at NVCC,
As followers of Christ, we are called to be servants, especially to the most important people in our lives … our husbands! We can serve him emotionally by giving him our respect.
"I respect you.” Very few things are more important to a man then to know he has the respect of his wife. What is respect? A feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, and should be treated in an appropriate way.
I learned to respect, appreciate, and even accept the differences between Gene and me. God used those differences to conform me more into the image of His Son. We need to continually move toward understanding and acceptance, especially in areas where we are polar opposites. In my case, this translated into my needing to be willing to see Gene and our differences (which sometimes irritated me) through God’s eyes and not through my own lens.
He was a planner, I came screeching up to deadlines. He was a big city boy, I was a small town girl. He was organized, I was a pack rat. His spiritual gift was teaching and administration, mine was mercy and evangelism. I did things on the spur of the moment, he liked planning well in advance. We even drove differently! I accelerated at green lights, he slowed down in case someone was running a red light. As a father, he was the disciplinarian, I was the lenient one. I was the extrovert, he was more of an introvert. People energized me, he needed quiet after being with people. I liked trying new things, he liked the familiar.
Opposites certainly do attract! Through all of our differences, I continued to see God’s sovereign hand in bringing us together. We were blessed by the differences we brought to our marriage and I’m grateful that Gene chose me!
“Why do you always agree with Dad?” our children would ask. I didn’t always agree with Gene, but after we had discussed an issue and I knew Gene had heard my viewpoint, I respected and accepted his final decision as the head of our household.
Appreciate who God has given you in your marriage. Speak "rightly" with uplifting descriptors about your husband to others and in the presence of others. Avoid snarky remarks about him, and be on guard and discreet about your marital issues. Ask him for permission to share a particularly sensitive prayer request.
Keep your antenna up in your marriage. Know your mate’s likes and dislikes, preferences, dreams, and desires. Find a common interest. Encourage him in his passion (buy him something, sign him up for training/classes, take an interest, educate yourself so you have something to say, etc.).
Tell your husband often how much you love him. Be his number one fan! Be vocally grateful. Love your mate out loud! Express gratitude for the many ways he includes you, shares his heart, goes out of his way to serve you (name them one by one!). Acknowledge his leadership in every area of your lives. Let him know that you are loyal. You will be by his side, even if the boat leaks.
And don’t forget to laugh and have fun together! Proverbs 17:22 says, "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones." Don’t take life too seriously. Many of the memories I have of Gene are of us laughing together! A sense of humor is important, especially in those times when conditions are far from perfect and your husband needs your encouragement. Remember . . . in Christ’s name we can also play!
Finally, give grace. One couple had a “grace” list. Early on in their marriage they agreed that they would each make a list of things they would immediately forgive each other for when those particular things happened. They called it their “grace” list. They never saw their mate’s list but, over the years, one would say to the other, “Forget about it, that’s on the list.” Forgiveness is critical in our relationship with our mate! I had to respect Gene’s need to take time to process if we had a disagreement. I just wanted to kiss and make up but he needed space and my willingness to wait a little longer. I’m grateful that we were intentional in trying to never let the sun go down on our anger.
Discuss with your husband:
- What makes you feel respected?
- What are 1-2 things I need to stop doing because it doesn’t make you feel respected?
- What things can we do to bring more fun and laughter into our marriage?
Pray: Thank you, Lord, for my husband! Help me to see our differences from your perspective; to be a patient, understanding, and forgiving wife. I can only do this when I rely totally on you for your strength. In Jesus' name, Amen.