Often on Valentine’s Day the gifts get the highlight but what if on this Valentine’s Day you offer words your husband longs to hear.
Most men aren’t just physical or sexually driven. Most men need verbal affirmation. Every husbands wants to hear the words “I Love You.” We, as wives, should say these words often.
But as women we may interchange admiration with respect or love and think they mean the same thing. But your man needs to hear from you that you admire and respect him. For men, their highest need is not to feel loved and cherished, as it is for women. It’s to feel respected by us and trusted by us. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them and believe in them. The Bible has a lot to say about us wives respecting our husbands,
Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Ephesians 5:22-24 (MSG)
This may sound old-fashioned, and maybe it is, but what every decent guy wants more than anything else is for his wife to look up to and admire him. You are the most important person in the world to him. Thus, your approval means more to him than anyone else’s. Admittedly, even the best of men don’t always behave admirably. But if you’re willing to overlook occasional lapses and consistently treat your husband like the good guy you know he is at heart, he’s much more likely to be that guy more often. Tell him frequently how much you admire him. Chances are, he’ll respond by trying to be admirable. So how do we show our sweet husbands that we respect and admire them? Let’s explore a few ways we can do that.
1.) Ask for his advice – By involving your husband in decisions, you are showing him that you respect his opinions and decision-making skills. When I ask my husband, Tom, a computer question I need help on, he is in his element teaching me what I need to know. As you carefully evaluate his ideas, he sees you consider him valuable. Consult him for reactions to furniture selection and give him a choice for dinner options. Show him you value his advice by occasionally asking for it. Don’t overdo it though, for it might indicate to your husband that you are becoming too dependent. Rather, maintain a balance by looking for special opportunities to seek his opinions and advice.
2.) Remember his requests – Sometimes just simply remembering a comment made in passing by your husband, then following through with it later, will make him feel incredibly special. Think back to a time where you casually mentioned an item you wanted and your husband surprised you with it. You felt special because he not only listened to you, but he made the effort to meet your need. Tom likes me to make BLT’s in a special way – I don’t really see the difference in the way I make them to his way but I always remember to make them his way. And he always comments how good they are !!! Your husband is no different – he will appreciate signs of caring as well. If you make your husband feel special, you increase his desire to do the same for you.”
3.) Brag about him to others – Lift your husband up in the presence of other people. This is not to say that you should obnoxiously brag about him to the point of annoying other people or embarrassing your husband. But simple comments to others about something nice he did for you, taking interest in what he says in group conversations, or a sincere compliment will go a long way toward making your husband feel appreciated. One day I mentioned to the grocery store clerk that my husband goes and gets me a paper every Saturday morning. I said that he was a keeper. Several times during that day my husband marveled over those small words of affirmation. And be sure to always praise your husband to your children.
4.) Take an interest in his job – Take an active interest in your husband’s career and his feelings toward it. A man’s worth is often tied into his job. Many men are frustrated with their jobs, feeling that no one really appreciates their worth or value, their talents and abilities. When you appreciate what your husband does, you may become his only hope for achieving genuine self-worth. Until he really believes he is worth something, he will have difficulty focusing his attention on the worth of others – including you. Don’t ever belittle his job or the importance of his activities on the job. Nothing destroys a man’s self-esteem more than to hear his wife cutting down his efforts to support her. Though you may not criticize his efforts, you may belittle them by being ignorant of them. If you cannot accurately explain to someone else your husband’s job responsibilities during his normal work day, you don’t know enough about his job. Don’t try to gain this knowledge from him at one sitting, but over a period of time begin to investigate by asking a few questions to gain a clearer understanding of how he spends his day, the types of projects he works on, and how his duties affect or support his fellow workers. And make sure he knows that your questions are meant to show interest in his life, not to pry. Help him discover the value of what he does.
5.) Listen to what he has to say – Listen to your husband’s decisions. This is not blind obedience, but rather open-minded listening. Rather than stubbornly holding on to your own wishes and immediately shooting down his wishes, discipline yourself to withhold your reaction and let his ideas sink in before you respond. By showing your husband that you respect his wisdom and leadership, you will be communicating that he is valuable. It is difficult for many of us to practice sacrificial love, and it is all too easy to make sure our own needs are being met, but try to show your husband you love him by respecting his leadership.
6.) Support his goals – Keep an eye out for your husband’s personal goals. He may not openly state them to you, so pay attention to his comments and actions that may reflect his deep desires for his life and your family. Tom was attending college when we were dating. We had to make the decision to move to Indiana (where I lived) or Utah (where he lived) but I made the decision to move to Utah so he could stay in school. He graduated in 2013 and I was so proud. Give your husband plenty of support as he pursues his goals – whether they are advancing within his career, pursuing a higher educational degree, or enjoying a hobby or sport. For example, even though you may not particularly enjoy the social functions through his job, attend the company dinners with him to show you support his career. Or if he is actively involved in sports, attend his games. Encourage him when he feels like giving up on his dreams, and praise him when he accomplishes his goals.
7.) Ask his forgiveness – Sometimes it’s difficult to admit we are wrong. Whenever you wrong your husband, don’t avoid the situation or blow it off with a casual, “I’m sorry.” Through sincere apology, acknowledge how you wronged him and seek his forgiveness. The best outcome of conflict is the strengthening of your relationship, so make sure conflict ends peacefully, and not as an unresolved issue. Show you respect and admire your husband by seeking reconciliation with him.
8.) Just say it – Those five little words, “I’m so proud of you” are sometimes difficult to spit out, especially if it has been a while since you’ve said them. They may feel awkward at first, even “cheesy,” but once you begin, this little phrase won’t seem so strange anymore. But don’t just leave it at “I’m proud of you.” Tell him why: “I’m so proud of you for spending time with our son. That means a lot to him and to me.”
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:18-19 (ESV)
Sometimes your husband may annoy you, and sometimes he may offend you, but admiration looks beyond what he does to who he is. It’s unconditional. God knew that women needed love and men needed love with admiration. And because men gravitate toward those who admire them, you will not only be meeting a need of your husband’s, but you will be improving your relationship as well.
Happy Valentine’s Day