We have an important job as wives – to love our husbands well.
It’s a calling really. And let’s just get it out in the open – sometimes it’s tough, is it not?
We set the tone for our home. We can uplift or tear down. With one word, we might encourage or critique. We’re one action away from either satisfying or disappointing.
But most importantly, we’re one choice away from love. We’ve been given the opportunity to love our husbands well and that is a great privilege. And a big responsibility.
How do we love our spouse well?
Here are five things my husband and I have learned that make a huge difference in our attitude toward one another, and our level of patience and grace.
So, without further ado, how to love your spouse well…
I feel like I could write a book about the importance of appreciation in marriage. It might sound as though we say “thank you” more than “I love you” in our household.
We say thank you for everything – even the little things that might normally go unnoticed. And I must say, I think this has made quite the difference in how we feel about one another.
Appreciation breeds love. Simple as that.
“Thank you for taking out the trash” shows that you notice, that you care, that you appreciate, and that you love.
“Thank you for being quiet this morning when I was still sleeping” tells my man that I was thinking about him and considering him even in my sleepiness.
“Thank you for listening to me ramble” (oh boy, that’s a common one out of my mouth) encourages my husband to listen in the future, because he knows I am not just rambling because I need to ramble. Rather, I choose to ramble to him because he listens and cares.
Appreciation breeds love.
#2 Give Up What You Can’t Control
This is a work of progress in my heart, but when I choose to embrace imperfection and my need for control, I feel much more loving. I respond with a more grace-filled heart. I see the situation from my husband’s point of view – not perfection.
I’m telling you, thinking like a servant instead of a control-freak breeds love.
Or tea dates. Or sandwich dates. Or something.
Make something a habit! If you drink coffee every Saturday morning, turn it into a routine and make it date time. If you always have grilled cheese for dinner on Wednesday, make is a habit and intentionally set aside those grilled cheese sandwiches for meaningful connection time.
Setting aside intentional time to talk, be together, and connect over something that is a routine brings a feeling of love.
I know that I can look forward to Saturday morning coffee dates, and this brightens my attitude throughout the week if I don’t get as a much quality time as I’d like. It makes a difference. Try it and see.
Intentional time breeds love.
Obviously this is important, but I’m talking about something different here. I’m talking about the little brush on the shoulder when you walk by your spouse. I’m talking about a kiss on the cheek when it’s unexpected. This shows that you notice, that you care, that you love.
Stop. Pause. Purposefully take time to notice your spouse and touch them accordingly. Little pats and touches make a huge difference.
Touch breeds love.
#5 Speak What You Need
Goodness, this has been h u g e for me. This is also something I need to work on in my heart daily, but when I grasp this truth it changes everything.
The bottom line is this: tell your spouse what you need. He is NOT a mind reader. He does not know your every thought, every desire, every expectation. You must tell him.
“Hey, I need a hug right now. No words. Just a hug.” HUGE. Life-changing. Can you imagine saying that to your spouse? Because they will so thankful you asked.
“Can you please make the bed?” If that’s what you need, share that need. Your spouse will be happy to help, and if not, that’s something he needs to work on in his own heart.
Then, after they’ve loved you well, connect it back to #1. Appreciation.
Sharing what you need breeds love.
It’s all about love, am I right? When you show appreciation, offer little kisses of encouragement, and tell your spouse what you need, you’re acting in a way so unlike the world.
Let’s be married couples totally unlike this world – loving well and being about one another first.
What tips would you add to this list? How do you intentionally love your spouse daily, even in small ways?