For too many years I spent all my relational energy loving my husband the way I wanted to be loved. After all, doesn’t the Bible tell us to do unto others as we want them to do unto us?
So I did unto him in the hopes that he’d do the same unto me.
But it didn’t work. Because Phil was too busy doing unto me what he wanted me to do unto him.
And, in truth, we got into a lot of crazy-cycle struggles over this well-intended-but-doomed-to-failure way of thinking.
So I started over.
First, I let the truth sink deep that my handsome, godly, charming, and ever-so-strong man was not and would never be my Prince Charming.
Then I began the long, slow learning that all my hopes and dreams for a love that satisfies can really, honestly be known in Jesus. I drew close. I heard. I began to feast on His love, to see His affection for me—for the me I really am.
And though we all sigh and swoon when someone sings a song about loving every part of me just the way I am…
… it’s not true… or possible. Because no man will ever love any one of us just the way we are…
And now I am learning something new. Something no one ever told me.
I am learning how to love a man the way he wants to be loved.
And so, for the next several weeks, I will attempt to unlock the mystery of loving a man in a way that actually makes him feel loved.
As you read my list, remember this: every man is different. Same species, vastly different variations. This is my list for my man: a good man: a following-after-God man.
And remember this too: I am writing about marriage. Which puts #20 (for most husbands, most of the time) right there at the top of the list.
Twenty Ways Of Loving Your Man:
- Respect: Respectful words, facial expressions, gestures, actions.
- Encouragement: That strong undercurrent of belief that brings courage to a man who wars for his family every day.
- Friendliness: A woman by his side who likes him. A lot.
- Freedom: To be who he is right now and who he wants to be someday.
- Acceptance: Of who he is and who he isn’t.
- Space: To breathe deep, to spread out, to be a man in a woman’s world.
- Loyalty: Fierce by-his-side belief in him.
- Forgiveness: For all those every day mishaps that make you crazy.
- Fun: Laughter, light-heartedness, surprising joy.
- Intrigue: Mystery and mystique without drama and confusion.
- Agreement: As in the antithesis of constant conflict.
- Help: To make his life better, easier, more fun and more fulfilling.
- Adventure: With you by his side… or at least in the sidelines, cheering him on as he meets the dare.
- Food: It’s still the way to a man’s heart.
- Understanding: A refuge for real relationship.
- Mercy: When you don’t give him the tongue-lashing or eye-brow raising he deserves.
- Grace: When you do give him the warmth and welcome he doesn’t deserve.
- Submission: Pouring all of yourself into his mission.
- Solutions: because fixing it is the way a man takes care of his own.
- Sex: lots and lots of warm, welcoming, fiery, consistent, memory-making, always-available sex.
And so, my dear girls, we begin another series. Starting next week I’ll be posting every Monday one word about loving a man in the way he really wants to be loved. The way, I believe, God designed you, uniquely, to love your man.
From my heart,
PS: This list is incomplete! Can you add what you know? Show this to your husband or your friends and ask them? I’ll be rearranging this list and adding yours as I delve into this next series.
PSS: Jay Payleitner has written a book I go back to again and again called, 52 Things Husbands Need From Their Wives. It’s insightful, funny, encouraging, convicting, and wise. Read it if you’re in need of inspiration.