6.) A leader
Before diving into this point, let’s define leadership. You ready? One word … servant.
Leading your wife has nothing to do with rigid rules or doing things your way. It’s not about control, manipulation or selfish gain. Husbands, if you use power selfishly, God will hold you accountable.
If you want to know whether you’re leading your wife well, look at whether she lives with courage. Is she unafraid to fail? Is she using her gifts? Show me a woman who feels empowered and isn’t afraid to fail, and I will show you a husband who leads well.
Great leaders empower others.
My relationship is healthiest when I make Jesus the top priority, take my job seriously, choose hard decisions over easy ones and serve my wife. Husbands are the bedrock of the home. Selfish, passive husbands create unhealthy marriages (and families).
Don’t be one of those.
Women need intimacy. This comes in many different ways. Undivided attention is one component. Holding her is another. Sex is yet another. But, husbands, you need to understand something. Your wife doesn’t see sex like you. Guys love the outcome of sex (the climatic ending). Women love this too, but they also love the process. For women, sex is emotional, as well as physical.
Husbands, if you’re selfish sexually, your wife will be reluctant to have sex with you (and, quite frankly, I don’t blame her). For much of my marriage, I was very selfish with sex. And it affected our relationship. Explore sex with your wife. Caress her. Hold her. Talk about sex with her.
Your wife probably won’t tell you this, but she needs more than physical pleasure. She needs intimacy. Don’t be selfish sexually. Try things her way for a change. Think about her needs. In turn, your sex life (and your marriage) will improve.
I don’t care much about dates. I know like five birthdays. One of those is mine. I can’t tell you how many times Tiffani has said, “Do you know it’s ________ birthday?” My wife NEVER misses a birthday. Her record on remembering birthdays is near perfect.
Guys, you might not care about birthdays and anniversaries, but your wife does. And, I’m not talking about remembering her birthday. God knows that would be a fatal error. This is about prioritizing birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine’s or any other day she thinks is important.
The word here is thoughtfulness. Again, your wife wants to feel valued. When you prioritize special days, she feels valued.
Thoughtfulness also includes random text messages, reminding her you’re thankful for her. It means planning date nights. Basically, thoughtfulness means you think about her. Because here’s the thing. You can know you’re thankful for your wife, but if you don’t show her, it means nothing. She needs to know you love her.
She probably won’t tell you this, however. If you don’t go out of your way to make her feel valued, particularly on the “special” days, she might express frustration or sadness. Eventually, however, she will accept your actions as the way things are, but her doing this will hurt your relationship.
9.) Permission to be imperfect
Husbands, you must take the lead here. If you never talk about flaws or failures, your wife won’t either. But your wife needs a space where she can be imperfect (much like yourself). She needs a space where she doesn’t have to put on a mask and pretend everything is OK.
Husbands, you must create this space.
This means listening, especially when she talks about her feelings. You might think her issues are trivial. You’d be wrong. If you write her off, eventually she will stop sharing and spend her days trying to be perfect.
There won’t be a declaration before this happens. You won’t hear, “That’s it. I tried sharing my feelings and being vulnerable. From this point forward, you won’t know how I’m feeling.” It will just happen. If or when your wife does this, your marriage will take an enormous hit. Fight for this space.