I wrote last week about what every woman wants— faithfulness. And though I may use implication here to dance around and hint and subtly imply, God isn’t quite so shy with His words:
May your wife be a fountain of blessing to you…
Why spill the water of your love in public, having sex with just anyone?
Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,
or embrace the breasts of an adulterous woman?
And then, as He often does, God answers His own questions. He gives both husbands and wives the way to avoid what He terms “incredible folly”:
Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.
You should reserve it for yourselves.
Don’t share it with strangers.
And so, my dear girls, we need to talk about our part in the faithfulness we want forever. Because to “just say no” to the pulsing need and power of his sexuality is not God’s plan— nor is it enough.
God created marriage as a safe place for a man to entrust his sexuality to a woman whose desires are cultivated by his.
The beauty of His story is evidenced in the way a man responds to the unveiling of a woman’s body. And then the desire a woman experiences when her husband responds.
An enticing dance between two entirely different and uniquely created people who want the same thing— union, completeness, satisfaction, love.
Last week I wrote to the men about how to be faithful to their wives. And yet even as I was writing, I realized that this cannot be the responsibility of men alone. We, as woman, have a role to play in our husband’s faithfulness. Just as he does in ours.
And so today I want to argue last week’s points backwards. To talk to you about partnering with your husband so that he doesn’t have to fight “every man’s battle” alone.
Three Ways To Help Your Husband Be Faithful:
1. By focusing on him.
When life gets busy and kids and careers and all the gazillion realities of real life for real women overwhelm us, our men generally get back-burnered.
They’re strong, they’re independent. They can take care of themselves.
And so we forget what we knew when we were first connecting— that our men need times of our full attention. They need us to see them. To pick up on the subtle hints that maybe their world is running a little ragged.
They need us to notice the victories of every day. To applaud their strategies, to recognize their contribution to a better world.
Our men need us to be proud of them.
Because, frankly, most of our men are being sent the message that they’re insignificant, insufficient, inept and unnecessary. And sometimes, unknowingly, we add to that pile of inadequacy by simply not seeing them.
2. By delighting him and delighting in him.
Thirty-six years ago when I was doing everything within my feminine powers to capture Phil’s heart, I had this science of delighting a man down pat.
Did I flirt? You bet I did. Did I make him smile? Yep. Did I hang on his every word, rub his shoulders, dress myself attractively, wear shiny lipstick? Of course I did!
I wanted Phil to want me because I wanted him. And I still want him. I want all of him. I want only him.
Maybe it’s time we resurrected the art of alluring our husbands. Of enticing them to laugh. Of making them feel as good as they really are.
And while we’re at it, why don’t we remember what it was about him that got our attention in the first place? It’s still there, buried under the responsibilities and pressures of the battles he fights every day. And maybe we’ve lost sight of him because we’re too busy trying to remake him into our BFF.
Paula Rinehart, one of my all time favorite writers for women says, “If you hold up a negative lens, you’ll see what you expect to see.” And, “men aren’t women with big feet and beards, they’re completely other.”
She’s right, you know. These other creatures with beards and big feet will never measure up to a woman’s standard of perfection. They’re not supposed to. If we’re to delight them and delight in them we’d do well to remember that.
3. By pursuing him.
My mother diligently taught me not to chase men. “Run just fast enough to get caught” was her 1950’s mantra. But when it comes to marriage, her dating advice runs on empty.
Husbands want to be pursued. To be sought after and admired and yes, he wants to know you’re aroused by him too. Your husband wants to be wanted. Of course he does.
And here’s the sad truth, girls: There are always women waiting in the shadows to pursue your husband.
A wise woman who values her home knows this and makes sure she’s not simply using her husband as a garbage-taker-outer and kid-watcher.
A wise man who values his home knows this and sets high walls around himself to guard his purity.
A wise couple talks about this. They ask each other questions. They choose to focus on each other. They choose to find delight in each other and to give the other delightful memories. And they are both so busy pursuing each other that there’s really no room for anyone else.
That is what faithfulness really is: two people investing in each other to such an extent that nothing and nobody can wiggle into unseen cracks. Not babies or teenagers or anybody else. Ever.
From my heart,
PS: Okay, let’s hear it. Can you shake us out of our stupor and remind us how to focus and delight and pursue our husbands? Can you tell us how you are helping each other to remain faithful?
PSS: Just to be clear— a man or a woman is always completely and irrevocably responsible for his own faithfulness. We can join each other to fight against unfaithfulness, but it is ultimately always a choice a man or a woman makes.
Adultery is never, ever in any way the fault of the other.