Romance Series: A Thriving Husband
Hello my loves and welcome back to the Romance Series!
I typically do fresh blog posts, but I wanted to share this older modified post from a couple months ago. I'm really proud of this piece and felt that it fit this new series perfectly. We have so many new readers on the blog, and I didn't want this post to get buried. I of course went through and updated and modified sections, but I hope you enjoy!
So let's talk about the key to a thriving marriage and husband. I am of course a HUGE proponent of planning towards marriage, so even if you are not married, this may be a wonderful post for you to store in your heart.
Remember, this post is exclusively about how to help your HUSBAND thrive. This is not about US thriving; it's about our husbands, and that's okay. My entire blog is dedicated to helping us thrive, so it's really not a big deal to have a post every once in awhile about the wonderful men in our lives. Also, when our husbands thrive, it's quite common that we will begin thriving as well. The joy of others often spills over into our own lives.
This advice is Biblically-based, specifically gleaned from Scripture, so it definitely does not apply to every person out there. However, I still think that it can be helpful to any person looking to improve their TRADITIONAL marriage. So let's break this down! My top advice for helping your marriage, and your husband, thrive.
Allow Him to Lead, Provide, and Protect
Now this advice may not be for everybody: I'm not saying you HAVE to do any of these things, but I am saying that these are behaviors and attitudes that MANY men desire in a wife.
I need to begin with the following statement:
I believe wholeheartedly that respecting your husband is the key to a happy marriage.
This may irk you, but it is Biblical. If you are not a believer, feel free to pitch my advice out the window. The Bible tells husbands to love their wives, but it tells wives to RESPECT their husbands. Respect is different than love. Of course love and respect both come from a centered, balanced, and generous soul, but they ARE different things.
Respect is all about showing your husband that you know he is a capable, intelligent, and a responsible person. It's about valuing his input, asking him for help, and encouraging him to provide and protect.
Disrespectful wives are often seen publicly teasing their husbands, publicly putting them down in front of others, constantly nagging, or questioning their opinions. I'm not saying that he needs to rule you, but I am saying that we should value their opinions and show them respect, especially in front of others.
Do not undermine your husband.
Finally, remember that this advice is aimed at Christian wives. All my non-Christian babes can feel free to toss it out the window. But nevertheless, Christian wives are explicitly encouraged in the Bible to respect and submit to our husbands. He is to be the head of the household, and we are to be his partner.
Encourage him in his male friendships
Male friendships are important for men. While a wife will always be her husband's best friend, a solid, supportive, and fun male friend group can often amplify a man's life and bring it into the upper echelon of happiness.
Now I'm not talking about an old drinking buddy who encourages gambling, strip clubs, or drugs: But I am talking about a good hunting buddy, a fun group of guys to play a sport with, men from church, or a solid group of friends he grew up with.
It is perfectly acceptable for men to not spend an evening with you here or there: let them thrive in their friendships. Often by giving the ones we love more freedom and space to thrive, we can increase their attachment to us. This is not a manipulation tactic however, but it IS an argument against women who think they must be clingy in order to keep the affection of a man.
Do not suffocate your man: allow him to breathe, thrive, and have space.
If you are feeling the need to control him or to have 100% of his time or attention, please prayerfully consider the fact that you might have a personal heart issue that needs attention. A man cannot fill up all the needs in our soul, nor should we demand that of them.
Encourage him in his career
Now we may not always be thrilled with our husband's career: perhaps we think he deserves a promotion, or should stand up to his boss, or work harder, or whatever. But I can promise you this: your husband will never achieve upward trajectory in his career if his wife is in his face complaining about his job or telling him what to do.
Don't nag him about his career, instead, take up the mantle of ENCOURAGING him in his career. Our men need to feel confident, encouraged, and emboldened in order to achieve things in their career: not stressed and beat down by a frustrated wife. With a strong and encouraging woman at their side, a man will be able to accomplish and even exceed what he is capable of.
Likewise, I encourage you to not be hard on your husband about how much money he makes. If he is doing his best at work; please give it a break. I have heard MANY tragic stories about men who folded under the pressure of a demanding wife, resorting to criminal activity or suicide in order to deal with the mounting pressure to earn more. If you truly need more money as a family, consider contributing yourself or rethink the budget and expenses.
Above all else, remain in a spirit of encouragement. Listen to his work woes, and always make sure that you are building him up, not nagging or tearing him down.
Encourage him in his hobbies
Hobbies are important ways for men to overcome challenges, use their bodies/hands, and ultimately, to scratch the itch to conquer things.
Encourage him in his hobbies and don't make fun of them. If he takes it seriously, I encourage you to take it seriously as well. Now of course, if he's spending the family budget on hobbies instead of the mortgage, that's a problem. But if you have the resources, I encourage you to support his hobbies.
My husband has a plethora of hobbies: working out, deer hunting, sailing, skiing, water-skiing, duck hunting, and video games, just to name a few. These are important areas where he can continually build confidence in his capabilities, let off some steam, and ultimately grow in his masculinity. I even like to join in on some of the fun.
In total, hobbies are ways that men can grow into their talents, creativity, and energy. They can find ways to accomplish more things in life and conquer more realms. Give him the time, space, and room he needs in order to do his hobbies.
Embrace his sexuality
Now, you all know that I'm a Christian; therefore I DO stand behind the Biblical concept and advice to remain pure until marriage. My advice in this section applies to the situation of MARRIED people, as that is the only perspective I can speak from.
If you are a Christian young woman hoping to be married someday, store up this advice in your heart for later! And if you are not a Christian, my beliefs and thoughts don't apply to your life, so don't feel pressured by my beliefs in this area LOL!
Okay so we have a TON of talk about sex BEFORE marriage in the Christian community, but not enough talk about sex AFTER marriage. Sex is an integral, important, and crucial part of a healthy and thriving marriage.
I believe that sex was created and designed for three things; reproduction, pleasure, and bonding.
You might think that you're not interested in pleasure, and you definitely don't want a baby right now, so it's okay to skip out on sex. But never forget that sex is about BONDING and INTIMACY as well. It is about surrendering yourself to your spouse and meeting with them in ultimate vulnerability.
If you are abstaining from sex AFTER marriage, without the consent of your spouse, I strongly urge you to change your behavior.
I am of course not advocating for marital rape, having sex immediately after childbirth, or giving into an abusive partner. I AM however saying that if you are unnecessarily abstaining from sex, you are quickly going down a path that will put your marriage in the danger zone.
The Bible encourages husbands and wives to share their bodies with their spouse, unless they have agreed to do otherwise. Again, if you are not a Christian, this does not apply to you, but I hope you do understand that sex is more than just making babies; it emotionally bonds you with your husband and draws you into a greater connection and love.
Make sure that your husband feels encouraged and loved in this area of your marriage. Do not neglect him or his needs, and make sure your needs are being met as well. Have a conversation with him about this area of your marriage, and try not to be defensive.
Serve Him Generously
I encourage you to rethink "service" within a marriage. A lot of people are allergic to serving their spouse because they do not want to be humbled. Humbly and generously serving your spouse is a righteous and noble way to approach life. Generously serve your husband and see how it helps him thrive.
Acts of service is certainly one of the 5 Love Languages. It is a way to show care, and to nurture your husband. I always like to cook my husband all of his meals, bring him coffee, and to grab things he needs when I get up to go upstairs. It's really not that much effort or work to be honest, and because I'm a homemaker... it's kind of my job right now LOL!
Now I'm not saying that we should be an enabler who allows abusive or bad behavior to slip under our noses within marriage, but I can say that if you are married to a genuinely good, upstanding, moral, and integrity-focused man, that it should definitely NOT be a question of whether or not to serve him generously.
Some of these ideas might seem banal or obvious to you, but I also know that they could appear to be old fashioned or even subversive.
Allow your heart to be softened as you ponder these options. Remember that I am not saying you have to do any of these or that everybody SHOULD do any of these. But if you are interested in WHY my marriage has been able to thrive and grow smoothly, it is because I follow this advice.
Always focus on the fact that we are to generously love others as Christ encouraged us to. This applies to our marriages as much as it applies to loving the needy or our neighbor.