Byron and I have been together for 30 years…married for 27, next month. Although, that may seem like a long time, I know I am still learning – daily – what it takes to love my husband the way that I should. Here’s my “top 10” for how to love your man:
(*SIDENOTE TO WOMEN WHO ARE LOOKING FOR “MR. RIGHT”: Although, you should treat any potential relationship as if you could marry him, remember that until you are married, you’re not married. Any man you aren’t married to is not fully “yours”. Men are hunters at heart – if he doesn’t fully pursue you, then move on. If you have to pursue him, especially from another woman’s attention, it’s not the right time. Don’t compete for him…or worse yet, take him from someone else. Be the prize. Remember, if you take another woman’s man, then all you’ll have is another woman’s man… If you want to meet “Mr. Right”, don’t be wrong to get his attention.)
My “top 10” list:
- Only have eyes for him. Find him in the crowd, especially when other men are around, and make eye contact with him. Make sure he knows that you notice him above all others. If another man shows you attention, mention your husband…say “we” a lot. If another man shows you attention in front of your husband, shift your focus to your husband. Make it clear. Real women don’t make their husband jealous of other men, they make other men jealous of their husband.
- Be intentional. Think about his needs and what he likes as you’re planning the day. With men, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture…lots of little ones can mean more. Make it clear that he is constantly on your mind. This Sunday, as I was getting dressed, Byron said, “I really like that blouse on you!”, and I said, “I know, that’s why I put it on!”
- Celebrate his strengths. Don’t let the good things he does go unnoticed. Notice everything. Women are really good at picking out flaws – be different. Let him be the one man whose woman picks out his every skill. Find at least one opportunity each day to say, “One thing I love about you is…” and then fill in the blanks. Men are made to be inspired by women – don’t ever leave that job to anyone else!
- Be his safe place. The world will beat on him and tell him he can’t succeed. Pick him up every day. When he leaves, let him know that you’re with him no matter what. When you see him again, be his soft place to land. Be safe – don’t remind him of his failings. Remind him that he can be real with you. Let him be himself…without words…just let him be.
- Defend him. Women, getting together with other women, talking bad about everything and everyone…especially men, is a thing. The minute you find yourself in that kind of crowd, become quiet. Don’t feel the need to bombard other women with how wonderful your man is, just say nice things and never say bad things. Read the room, if it’s not the right place to say nice things about your man, then just listen and say nothing at all. Defend your husband and your marriage in the same way that you would hope he would if he were in the same kind of situation.
- Protect him. Don’t let him go out into the world…hungry – hungry for attention, approval or applause. If you leave your man starving on a desert island, don’t be shocked when ridiculous things begin to look appealing to him. Even the rats will start to look appetizing…
- Inspire him. We were made to inspire men. Remind him that he can do anything and – if he falls – you’ll always be there to pick him up. Let him know that failure is just a lesson. Never discourage him at his weakest point. Be his cheerleader and his champion!
- Remind him of “us”. Find ways to let him know that you are in this together. Remind him that you are a team, and when one of you is weak, the other will pick up the slack. Never let him feel that he carries everything on his own – even though he will try. Be by his side, no matter what you are facing.
- Fight against “Mommy Mode”. After we have children, it can become more difficult to focus on the needs of our husband because we have little hands pulling on us constantly. There are seasons for everything, and babies demand a lot of attention. Just don’t stay there forever…in mommy mode…where the focus is now, forever, on the children. If you want to be a team, then don’t let your teammate be forever side-lined. Make sure you let him into the huddle as often as possible…
- Fight for him. Use everything at your disposal to do this. Pray for him…not just for what you want from him, but for everything you want for him. Be a warrior for his safety, his health, his happiness and his relationship with God. Educate yourself as to what he needs. If you don’t know what to do, find people who have been successful and ask them. Devour the scriptures and claim God’s promises for him and for your marriage. Don’t let the Enemy get a foothold. Forgive, forgive, forgive… Believe the best as if your life depends on it. Love him as if your life depends on it. Never stop fighting for love – Be unbreakable!
These are just a few thoughts, but if you’re trying, then you’re doing more than most. Just the fact that you took the time to read this says that you are trying to focus on him – and that’s the real secret to a happy marriage:
Just like all of life, it’s others-focused…it is selfless. God wants your marriage to succeed, and even more, he wants you to succeed…to be loved and to feel how valuable you really are. When we know this, then we can love others with our best selves. You can do it! It’s never too late to make a change.