When your heart is in it, marriage seems effortless. Just the thought of it conjures up exciting anticipation to be with your husband and a desire be a blessing to him. However, if your heart is not in it, the same relationship becomes frustrating, irritating and disappointing. What makes all the difference in these situations is the condition of my heart in the relationship. So, how do I turn my heart toward my husband so that I remain positive toward him? Here’s how to love your husband (even on the frustrating days).
“Likewise, teach the older women to … teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children.” —Titus 2:3-4
There is a saying that “opposites attract.” For example, I married Bill because he was wise, calm, reassuring, a patient listener, easy-going, kind and had a deep, introspective walk with God. When my heart is turned toward Bill, I value, appreciate and rely on these steady qualities. But if my heart is not turned toward Bill, then he seems stubborn, cautious and withdrawn, and his easy-going charm and wisdom that draws people toward him can feel like a huge inconvenience to my agenda! On those days, I remember these four things.
4 Ways To Understand & Love Your Husband
1. Speak His Language
Bill likes to manage one topic at a time, which feels slow-paced to me. But setting aside time to dive deep into the topic at hand helps him feel valued, heard and appreciated. Women actually have more connections between the two hemispheres of our brain, so we easily hop back and forth between topics as we process. But in the womb, males experience a testosterone bath that sever more of their connections, so they prefer to process life one compartment at a time.
If I want to show honor and respect to my husband, I can serve him by processing conversations his way, especially when the topic is personal, sensitive or close to his heart.
2. Understand His Need For Success
You may have heard of the “male ego.” Simply put, it is just a man’s desire to be successful at work, in his finances and as a husband, dad and leader. Don’t forget that part of this is that your husband really wants to succeed with you! Nothing crushes a man quicker than constant criticism and correction.
In the garden of Eden, Eve thought she had a better idea than Adam and God. As wives, God has NOT called us to improve our man; rather, we are to honor and respect him! (Eph 5:33). Knowing how to love your husband means knowing how to love him, not your ‘better’ version of him.
3. Romance Him Through Intimacy
We women spin so many plates: work, kids, church, community, friendships, hobbies, etc. At times, your husband may feel like one more of the many plates you are spinning. While he may value your ability to multitask, he longs for your full attention! And that means making time to love your husband with your body as well as your mind. When a man feels like he is capturing all your heart and you share full access to your body, he feels desired and confident. Meeting his (and your!) sexual need fuels his inner engine and makes him feel invincible.
A wise wife will seek to meet her husband’s desire for sexual intimacy with enthusiasm. In fact, there’s one especially significant benefit of putting your husband’s sexual interest on the front burner of your life: he will live longer! Husbands who enjoy regular sexual release have better overall general health and a lower risk of prostate cancer.
4. Nurture Your Attraction To Him
People may comment on how handsome my husband is, but if he is slow to check off items on the honey-do-list, or if his schedule of helping others rather than helping me seems to take up his valuable time, I can easily allow Satan to get a foothold in my heart and mind. The devil whispers things like, “He doesn’t care about you” or “He is not romancing you, so why bother romancing him?”
We need to kick Satan out of our bedrooms and out of our relationship and proactively woo our man. Romancing your husband can include some simple things like looking for ways to express appreciation, praying for him or walking through his side of the closet to take in the scent of his aftershave to prepare your heart, mind and body to enthusiastically love him.
And since we are talking about turning toward our husband, when he walks into the room, put down your phone or turn away from the task at hand and look into his eyes, smile and give him a big hug! As your body turns, your heart will likely follow. Knowing how to love your husband can start with the smallest gestures and build to the biggest joys.
You may also be interested in Bill’s side of the story: How to Love Your Wife: 4 Steps for Boosting Joy