A wife approached her husband with a troubling look and asked, "We've been married for 30 years. Do you still love me?" With a deep sigh, the old husband gruffly exhaled, "Woman, I told you that I love you before I married you. If I change my mind, I'll let you know."
Unfortunately, this man represents the attitude of a lot of husbands with regards to expressing their feelings. Men prefer action as opposed to words.
Women and men relate differently. Women relate face-to-face by sharing feelings. Men relate shoulder-to-shoulder by facing challenges. So, how can a husband and wife relate better in regards to communicating their loving affection?
The Apostle Paul instructed women to respect their husbands, and he admonished men, "Husbands, love your wives."
Love is more than a feeling. Love is a verb expressed in action. Consider how women have responded when asked to complete this sentence:
"I wish my husband would love me by..."
Listening to me.
Taking my "petty problems" seriously.
Communicating more openly with me.
Noticing me more - not just when he wants sex.
Saying "thank you" for the things I do.
Being interested in my life - or at least acting like he's interested.
Showing affection when other people are around.
Sharing his goals and values with me; talking his business over with me.
Remembering me with little gifts or just planning an evening out.
Taking me out without the kids more - maybe just for a ride and an adult conversation.
Including me in the things he does.
Trying to understand me.
Getting involved with things I enjoy doing.
Just holding me in his arms and talking to me.
Being tender and using kind, gentle words.
Helping in the discipline of the children.
Saying little words of caring, compliments and appreciation.
Accepting me just as I am.
Spending more time with the family.
Making me feel like a woman.
The takeaway for husbands is to take action, and express your love for your wives.
Now, how can a wife show respect for her husband? Respect is an attitude of reverence that communicates that you have confidence in your husband. Having confidence in your husband is like him expressing love to you. Consider how men responded when asked to complete this sentence:
"I wish my wife would respect me by..."
Not acting like my mother, but like my wife.
Showing gratitude for the things that I do.
Flirting with me.
Believing that I have the best intentions in mind for our family.
Keeping our lives private and protecting our confidences.
Not manipulating me with sex.
Simply greeting me with a friendly "hello" and kiss when I arrive home.
Never belittling me to friends or family.
Knowing that I am striving to be a better man.
Not comparing me to another man.
Approaching me for intimacy.
Not reminding me constantly about things or to-do lists.
Verbally saying that she admires me.
Honoring me before the children.
Not correcting me in front of others.
Having a conversation without overwhelming me with details.
Not transferring her fears that I will treat her like her father treated her mother.
Not comparing me to her father.
Understanding that God established my leadership as a servant, not as a dictator. I would gladly lay down my life for her.
The takeaway for wives is to demonstrate respect toward your husbands by showing confidence in them.
As an author, I place an extreme value on words, especially when they are written down. Recently, my wife of 30 years surprised me with a detailed list of 100 things that she loves about me. I regard that list as my most valued possession and often refer to it as a reminder of the intimate friendship and love that we share with one another.
Husbands, love your wives. Women, respect your husbands.