HE’S NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING: What Every Man Should Know About The Love Of A Woman

This week, Phil and I took a road trip in his mini-cooper convertible to Victoria, BC.  It’s a romantic, European-style city sitting on a busy harbor, surrounded by breathtaking countryside.

We went to celebrate 35 years of marriage— three and a half decades.

 And while we were there we talked about how we’ve seen our love grow and flourish— and we talked about those not-so-nice times when we’ve been at each other’s throats, cranky, self-centered, off. Because two strong-willed, opinionated, passionately idealistic people like us most definitely have those “off “ times too.

And we talked about the fact that not every one of those twelve thousand seven hundred and seventy-five days of married life has been smooth and peace-filled or even close to the way we would have scripted…

We’ve lived in four different cities and moved thirteen times. (stress!) We managed four pregnancies (stress!) and raised four children (stress!) through sleepless nights, (stress!) toddler tempers (stress!) and teenage worries (extreme stress!).

We’ve had a few hardships too— my unexpected and unexplained deafness, Matt’s juvenile diabetes, difficult bosses, relationships gone bad.

We’ve been swindled, criticized, hurt, misunderstood.

Real life stuff.

So how is it that I can say I am honestly, really, more in love with my husband today than I could have possibly imagined on July 15, 1978?

The answer is so simple.

I wish every man knew this secret.

I wish every girl dating the guy she thinks she might want to marry knew it.

I wish every couple struggling to stay married and stay happy knew it.

I wish I could brand it across the brain of every married man so that he had to see it before he made a choice that could unravel and wreck his wife’s love…

Drums roll….

I am passionately in love with my husband after thirty-five years of real life because I respect him.

That’s it. Simple. Basic. Doable. Truth.

He’s far from perfect- a big personality like his comes with certain side effects. And though goodness knows, I’ve tried, I’ve never managed to quiet him down or neaten him up. He’s not a man to be controlled or coerced into doing things my way.

No, I don’t feel all this passion for him because he’s reached the pinnacle of the Ideal Husband, or followed Ten Steps Guaranteed To Make Your Wife Happy Forever.

My feelings of love for Phil are rooted in days and weeks and years and decades of watching him relentlessly, doggedly align his steps one at a time to follow Jesus. Not perfectly, but persistently. Every day.

And I’m not talking about rule-abiding, moralizing, rigidity. Every attitude, every decision, every emergency, every heart-ache, every disappointment, every bump in the road of real life, gets wrestled to the foot of the Cross. Surrendered.

And that’s why I am more in love with this man today than I ever would have thought possible 35 years ago.

I wish every man realized that a woman’s feelings of love are wrapped up tight in her respect for him.

I wish every woman knew that a man who is good and godly will grow more and more attractive and compelling and sensuously appealing as the years go by.

One choice at a time… that’s all it takes to win the love of a woman for a lifetime.

From my heart,

Diane

PS. Girls- can you leave a list of why you love your husband/boyfriend/fiancé? Might just be an insightful read into the way a woman loves.

Next week, we will talk about the “Secret Switch” I mentioned last week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted
July 22, 2013
In
Charming, Features
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32 comments... (add a comment)

  1. Danelle

    I love and adore my husband because he supports me in so many ways. He is encouraging and keeps me level headed when I’m being irrational. He got up early with me this morning because he knew I needed his company and accountability to exercise before a long work day. He cooks and cleans when I am swamped with work and assures me I am not a failure as a wife when I don’t have the time to cook, clean, shop, or do laundry. And the biggest reason why I love him is always willing to serve me, even when I have been rude and disrespectful. He works hard all day long and then comes home and continues to work by serving me in my time and needs, emotionally and physically! I am blessed.

    • diane

      Danelle,
      I loved reading your comments about your husband! Now make sure you tell him- and show him!

  2. Lauren

    Here’s my list Diane,

    He fears God in such a way that he can lead me, he’s integral and honest, he’s hard working, he’s very adventurous ( one of my favorites), and lastly he loves me. The list could go on but these are to me some of the most important qualities is see in my husband.

    Thanks for sharing so much of your story and heart:)

    Lauren

    • diane

      Lauren, Honesty and integrity in a man are downright alluring! You trust him… because you know he is trustworthy.
      Thank you for letting us see!

  3. Kali Smith

    Diane,
    Thank you for sharing your Christ-given wisdom, love, and tenderness with all who read your blog. I enjoy and look forward to every entry.

    I think watching a man, like you mentioned, grow in Christ and follow Him with a humble and obidient heart provides such comfort (through prayer and obedience of the woman as well) and trust in a relationship. Knowing that the relationship is built on a foundation of obidience to Christ by two people who are dedicated to serve each other and others, provides a love, respect, and trust unmatched.

  4. I love this Diane. I totally agree with you. The other thing that makes me love Dave even more is the way he loves our children. His sacrifice and deep love for our children makes me fall in love with him over and over.

    • diane

      Vickie,
      You are so right! What could be more appealing than a man who leads and loves his family well?

  5. Hannah

    I have been dating my boyfriend for 2 years now, and he and I both follow your blog. The question of why do I love him so much completely follows your point of Respect. We are both waiting until marriage to become intimate and because of that choice, temptation can become very strong. He has always been the one to slow things down or put a complete stop to it. His respect for me and heart, in turn makes me love and respect him even more. He bends over backwards sometimes just to be sweet and make me smile. He strives to serve me in any way possible and his selflessness baffles me sometimes. The Lord has been so gracious to use this relationship to bring me closer to Him and that, of course, is the best part of it all.

    • diane

      Hannah, What you describe is just how it should be and rarely is. By guarding your purity, he is creating a trust in you that will benefit both of you in marriage. So good!

  6. Kelsey

    I lovey husband for so many reasons… But today I love him because when he came home from the gym this morning he scooped me up in his arms, kissed my forehead and told me I am absolutely beautiful. All of this while I’m bawling my eyes out because I only got three hours of sleep, I was up at 6 am, feeling HUGE and very uncomfortbale, knowing I have to go nanny a 1 year old all day… Oh and I’m 9 months pregnant and having many uncomfortable contractions. He’s always there for me, always knowing the right thing to say.

    • diane

      Kelsey,
      That is a moment to savor and remember for a long, long time! Nine months pregnant and he finds you beautiful- you’ve got a good one!

  7. Sally Rogers

    Beautiful…going on 11 years with hubby…took me a while to figure out when I get my eyes off myself and truly look at his wonderful attributes and respect Him how much it changed my attitude and the whole dynamic in the home!

    • diane

      So, so true! Waking up to realize that marriage is “not about you” is life and love changing isn’t it?

  8. Dana Bennett

    I love my husband most of all because of commitment. He committed to me 23 years ago to love me regardless. And I have not respected him continually for 23 years of marriage, but he has loved me regardless. He tells me often how blessed he is to be so attracted to me. He has given me 5 amazing boys who he loves and adores with every fiber of his being. The second thing I love about him is his sense of humor. He is such a glass half full kind of guy. I am so fortunate and incredibly blessed to be married to him. I am learning to respect him, it was not modeled for me at all, but I am proof it is never too late to start trying something new.

    • diane

      Dana, If you’ve never been to a Love and Respect Conference, I’d highly recommend it! I learned so much about how a man interprets respect- like a new language! Thanks for your transparency.

  9. Heather

    I love my husband for many reasons. I think one of the main reasons is that I respect him because he has a heart of gold. He has an amazing way of extending grace to people that I have never experienced before. It has radically changed my life getting to be a recipient of that grace. He loves me just because – not linked to how I perform. I often criticize myself, and he constantly covers me in grace. It is teaching me to extend grace to myself and others. More importantly, it is helping me believe and receive God’s love for me apart from my performance. He is truly modeling Christ to me. He is also very stable and sticks to his commitments. That brings me incredible security, and also reminds me of my heavenly Father.

    He also helps out around the house to try to make my life less stressful. He tries to make me happy and love me well.

    He also has a really nice booty. But that’s a different post all together 😉

    We really sought God for a spouse, and I believe He brought us together. He is using my husband to teach me things I didn’t even know I needed teaching. If you asked my husband, my guess is he would say something similar. God really does know exactly what we need!

    • diane

      Heather,
      This is so great! Knowing you really sought God for who you would marry- and now He is showing Himself to you through the man He choose for you… that is just a beautiful story.

  10. Dana

    A few reasons why I love my boyfriend so dearly…he loves me unconditionally and lets me be me without judgement…even when I’m irrational. He listens and genuinely hears what I’m saying – ALL the time. Even when I drone on for hours about unimportant topics, he listens. I know because sometimes when I’m sick of hearing myself talk, he’ll ask an insightful question that shows I’ve had his full attention the entire time (this can be humbling). And that is after a 10 hour work day and being a single dad to his 2 daughters.

    He is a rock of quiet strength. He doesn’t push, but he is always there for me, even when life falls apart. And it did earlier this year – he quietly stepped aside and took a back burner while I cancelled our wedding and focused ALL of my attention on parenting my adolescent daughter. He is a selfless, humble person with integrity who genuinely treats people better than himself and expects very little in return.

    With this humility comes an ability to laugh freely and enjoy the small pleasures and comical situations that day to day life brings. He is a joy to be around. He makes me laugh and he is not a person that creates tension in situations, but rather addresses situations directly and rationally. Some men can get very heated, but he does not react quickly…I guess that is characterized as slow to anger. It is a rare characteristic and one I respect deeply in him. He is also patient with me and others.

    Now that I’ve told you about him, I wish he was here to hang out with!

    • diane

      Dana, He sounds like a wonderful man! And you sound like a woman of great wisdom. Someday your daughter will thank you…

  11. DQ

    I love my husband because I trust him. I trust him to be faithful, to be hardworking, to love my children as much as I do, for his honesty, work ethic and for what you said, Diane, wrestling with every major decision and bringing it to Jesus. He’s far from perfect and certainly is still learning how to love me, but he has integrity and is not afraid to lead us. That’s why I respect him and love him. He tries to live by his beliefs and that is worthy of respect.

    • DQ,
      I’ve been enjoying your comments! Isn’t it funny that no one ever tells a young woman to rate trustworthiness high on her attraction list for a husband? Yet that is the very quality that creates a sense of deep respect and freedom in marriage, isn’t it. Thanks for this!

  12. Hannah

    Does someone we’re attracted to count? The boy that I’ve been attracted to for nearly 5 years is such a man of God… I fell for him when he started showing me Jesus. I was crying one night… and he said, exact words, “Why are you crying? Jesus loves you.” If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am- pursuing a walk with God. It kills me that we don’t talk nearly as much anymore (I didn’t treat him so well…). Even though we don’t talk, I look back on those days when I treated him horribly and notice he still respected me, loved me for who I was, and cared for me. After I confessed, he forgave me (making me love him even more). Let me tell you- What I did to him was not okay, and if I were him, I wouldn’t even forgive myself! That’s one thing I find so attractive in him- his passion for God and the way he’s so easy to forgive. Not only that, but he’s selfless, giving… and is working on being a leader.

  13. Tarah

    Of the many things I love about my man, one of the biggest reasons he holds my respect is this:

    He holds a type of willingness in his heart for Jess that no matter the ‘call’ on his life, no matter where it takes us, how scary or crazy it may be, no matter how many opinions get in the way (even mine sometimes), he does it. Because he is willing. And with that willingness comes obedience.

    It is so admirable, and I am so proud of him for that.

    Diane I am loving your blog posts. They are truly inspiring and I hope to be as amazing as a wife as you are someday 🙂 Thank you thank you thank you!

    • Tarah,
      Just to set you straight- I am not even close to “an amazing wife”! Just trying to figure out how God thinks about me and marriage and what my part is in all of this learning. Plus I married way above my pay grade!

  14. Kristen

    Wow. I never thought of it that way, but that is the reason I love my husband; I respect him. My husband recently started respecting himself; eating better, exercising and ultimately caring more about his family and wanting to live life with us and be there for us. I’ve been praying for this for so long and it has been such bumpy ride, but I love watching him grow and better his relationship with the Lord. My husband and I were both blessed to be baptized this May by Phil. 🙂 I am just so happy. I am usually the calm and level-headed one, but I have my moments when I have to give constant attention to two boys who are almost 2 and an almost 6 year old girl who has the stubbornness of her dad. Yeah, my husband doesn’t clean, do dishes or the laundry, but he loves me and takes care of me and that’s all that matters. I am so proud of him right now and am excited to watch our relationship grow even more as we walk with Jesus on this amazing path called life.
    Thanks Diane! Love reading the eye opening things you have to say!

    • Kristen,
      Your comments reminds us that we are all in the process of change and growth. And your husband sounds like a dear! Thanks for letting us see.

  15. Jennifer

    Happy 35th Anniversary! Thank you for sharing your love story and modeling a successful marriage.

    My husband has been my Best Friend since we began dating 37 years ago. We will be married 32 years in September and over that time our love and friendship have continued to grow. I love my husbands energy, compassion, patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, understanding, his positive can~do attitude, great sense of humor and willingness and excitement to serve others. He is always supportive, helpful, loving, works hard at everything and is an amazing Dad to our 4 children. He is my inspiration and my cheerleader. I love that we still hold hands, laugh until our sides ache and always look forward to our daily talk time. I feel very blessed.

    • Jennifer,
      Thank you SO much for posting this comment! We all need to have this hope of a marriage done well and enjoyed thoroughly. Your words are so right and good.

  16. Tabitha

    What I love about the man in my life is exactly what you said, Diane- I have never met a man I so deeply respect. I respect him because from the very first time I met him, he lived out the fruits of the spirit. I’ve never seen anything else like it. He is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, self-controlled and on top of that, humble. He goes after The Lord with his whole heart, mind & soul. So despite his many weaknesses & flaws & struggles, I respect him deeply.

    One question if you or anyone can answer: one thing he very much needs to grow in is stepping up in leadership. He tends to be fearful of messing things up & defers authority to others often. How can I encourage him to grow in maturity in that way and help empower him with confidence in his ability to take leadership? I see so much of that in him, so much that God has for him through leadership but he’s still a long way off. We are not married.

    Thank you!

    • Hannah

      Yeah, I have the same question about leadership. I believe men having a role in leadership is so important… being able to lead the family on. I see a lot of men lack leadership through being lazy. How can we inspire them to take a step? To really lead and take on the world?I see so much potential in this one guy. Thanks 🙂

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