The following are quotes that are relevant to you as Married Men. They can help you to live with your wives in “an understanding way.”
• Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
• A husband’s assignment is to help his wife act more like Jesus. This includes thinking more like Jesus, and to be more like Jesus. The Bible says the way you do it is by super loving your wives. You are to lay your life down for your wife. You are to sacrifice for her, and step into her world. As you express your love for her, you’re creating an environment in which it’s easier for her to grow more like Christ. (Bob Lepine)
• If you love your wife, but she does not feel loved, then her perception is the reality you must change. Do not get mad at her. Figure out what you can do to show her the love you feel in a way she will perceive. (Paul Byerly)
• Pray a prayer that I refer to in Sacred Marriage—one I prayed early on in my own marriage: “Lord, let my wife define beautiful to me. Let her be the standard for what I find most attractive.” (Gary Thomas)
Married Men Should Keep in Mind:
• To most women affection symbolizes security, protection, comfort, and approval. When a husband shows his wife affection, he sends the following messages: * You are important to me, and I don’t want anything to happen to you. * I’m concerned about the problems you face, and I am with you. * I think you’ve done a good job, and I’m so proud of you. A hug can say any of these things.
Married men need to understand how strongly women need these affirmations. For the typical wife, there can hardly be enough of them. …From a woman’s point of view, affection is the essential cement of her relationship with a man. Without it, a woman feels alienated from her mate. With it she becomes tightly bonded to him while he adds units to his Love Bank account. (Willard F. Harley, Jr. from “His Needs Her Needs”)
• “Wives flourish as they emotionally engage with their husbands and know that you are really listening. Wives love being in the spotlight of your attention. Your wife has an intense drive to be emotionally transparent with you. She needs to know everything about you—not so she can possess or control you, but so that she can experience true oneness with you. That’s what intimacy is on the deepest level. It’s when you let her get into your soul and you get into hers. It’s when together you talk about everything and you share your opinions and perspectives.” (Joshua Pease)
• The Bible clearly makes men responsible not only for their actions but also for the condition of their marriages. The position of husband carries with it the charge of being spiritually responsible. One pastor said to me, “Whenever I heard the expression ‘laying down your life,’ I always imagined it being like a marine jumping on a grenade and being killed to prevent his friends from dying. I have always said, ‘Yes, I would be willing to die for my wife.’
“But you’re talking about something else here. You’re talking about learning to put my wife first in our marriage. You’re talking about trying to meet her needs, even before meeting my own needs. And if it comes to a situation where it’s a matter of opinion between my wife and me, I’m to give her opinions priority over mine. In other words, I’m to put consideration for my wife before my own needs in our everyday living.” (Ken Nair)
• I refer to my wife as my “God thermometer.” If I wake up and discover that I am not cherishing and honoring her, I need to do a heart check with God. The fact is, God knows my wife far better than I do. And He cherishes her. The closer I grow to Him, the more He will share with me His heart for my wife. I’ve come to learn that the state of my marriage has as much to say about my relationship with God as it does about my relationship with my wife. (Gary Thomas)
Loving Your Wife Well
• Too many men today make the assumption that they can work 12 hours a day. And then they can spend all of their spare time pursuing their favorite hobby. They can watch the same episode of Sports Center for hours and their wife is ok because he brings home the paycheck. I’ve had talks with men about this misconception. They tell me, “I will slow down one day!” But this is a lie …even if the man fully believes it. AND, if “one day” ever does arrive it will be a day full of regrets.
This is because the husband/father chose to pursue money and position. As a result, his own family becomes strangers that he tried to spend a week out of every year with. Yes, we should work hard. But working hard and being insane are two separate things. We are called to provide for our family. But we are not to sacrifice them. (Perry Noble)
• Make loving your wife a part of your everyday schedule just like brushing your teeth. You can’t just brush your teeth once and expect to have fresh breath the rest of your life. The same is true with loving your wife. (Lysa Terkeurst, Capture Her Heart)
• “Husbands, love your wives well! Your children are noticing how you treat her. You are teaching your sons how they should treat women, and you are teaching your daughters what they should expect from men.” (Dave Willis)
Married Men Loving Wives Well
• Our wives need to be cherished. They need to be cared for, and they need to be reminded of that. Covenantal love is not silent. Some guys think because they said it 20 years ago, that it’s still in effect. That doesn’t do a lot for a woman. A woman needs to be reminded through verbal words, and through written words. She needs tender words, tender touch, maybe even carrying the garbage out. Do some household duties that would communicate to her that you love her.
The other night on the deck [my wife] Barbara was working on sanding some chairs. This is the way she relaxes. I’m sorry, sanding chairs, painting chairs, would not be one of the ways I would relax. But I went out on the deck with her, and helped her with those chairs. She told me later, “You know, just you spending that time with me made a statement to me that you love me. It told me you care for me, and you want to be a part of what I’m doing.” (Dennis Rainey)
• A husband who really loves his wife, steps in and says, “I need to understand your world. I need to understand what you’re living with. I need to understand what it’s like for you to be around kids all day. It’s important that I know what it’s like for you to have friends who say cutting things about you. I need to know what it’s like for you to go through your day. That way when I step into your world physically, I can also step in emotionally and be there with you. I can help you and support you.” (Bob Lepine)
Tips for Married Men
• Men, women have an enormous capacity to love their husbands. They love if we will genuinely open our hearts, repent of our sin, and take positive steps to heal the relationship. Wives do not always respond as quickly as we would like. That is because some have built up barriers of intense dislike. But love can break through the barriers that have been erected once a husband becomes vulnerable. (Ken Nair)
• When you look at what the biblical definition of love is, it has little to do with feelings. It has a lot to do with actions. Somebody said, “Read through the passage [in 1 Corinthians 13] and instead of putting the word “love” in there, put your own name in there. Read through and say. “Bob is patient, Bob is kind, Bob’s not jealous…” Go through the whole passage and say, “How are you doing as a love?” And that’s what husbands are assigned to do. We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church. And here is what that love ought to look like —we ought to be patient. And we ought to be kind. That’s where it starts. (Bob Lepine)
• Real love doesn’t change when the circumstances around it change. Real love stays with it even when the circumstances are fighting against that feeling. Love bears, believes, hopes, and endures, and that’s what a husband’s got to do. In the middle of circumstances that would press him back to his selfishness, he’s got to endure. He’s got to bear. His wife needs him to provide the kind of commitment in their marriage that says, “I’m going to love you no matter what the circumstances are. I’m here for you and for us for good.” (Bob Lepine)
More Tips for Married Men
• “If you take the Bible seriously, a husband’s love is an initiating love. When the Bible tells men to love their wives like Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:22), it’s calling us to an initiating, reaching-out love. Christ adopted the breathtaking plan of becoming flesh to get His message across to us—a bold, audacious and one-sided move. He willingly laid down His life to deal with our sin when we didn’t deserve it. He is the most active figure in history, and He continues to be so when He says, ‘I will build my church’ (Matt. 16:18).
“He hasn’t built but is building His church. A biblical husband is an active husband, expending much energy and thought over how to build up his wife. He’s not primarily thinking about how or whether she is serving Him; he’s focused on what He can do for her. A biblical husband is an initiating husband.” (Gary Thomas, from his article, “Husbands, Here’s What God Expects You to Be”)
• Doing what God wants me to do as a man is the basis of a successful marriage. If we are out of our roles as husbands we are going to have unhappy families. This important concept is Psalm 1. Upon it hinges the source of happiness: “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow Him more closely.” (Psalm 1:1-2) (Bob Vernon)
A Gift for Generations:
• Wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift for your children to grow up to desire to have a relationship just like the one you and your wife have? Will it be that way? Will your daughter grow up and say, “I want a marriage just like my mom and dad— it’s beautiful”? OR will she say something else? The balance hangs with your decision to become all God wants you to be. You’re not only to be a good provider for the family He has given you, but also to be a loving, strong man of God leading your family towards a godly life.
You are to live a life in Christ in being a servant —a life full of compassion, of love and of courage. It is to be one, which makes a statement to others that life has a purpose and a mission to use every talent given from above and use them wisely.
It all starts with you, the father, the leader of the home as not only the money maker, but the spiritual leader of your home. If we as a society fail at this, the results will be emotional turmoil for generations to come. It is up to you to make a choice, and to stand fast on your choice and pursue the life, that will always be remembered as an example to goodness to others. (Marvin Redlawski)
Biblical Advice to Married Men
• “Be sensitive to every problem and stress your wife is experiencing. As men, we tend to compartmentalize the different facets of our lives. We can have a horrible day at the office and not have it affect our desire for sex at night. Women do not compartmentalize; they synthesize. That means that everything in a woman’s life matters to her and affects her sexual response. That means that every event of the day and every facet of life factors into her mood and responsiveness.” (Jimmy Evans)
• “Giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life.” (1 Peter 3:7) If the husband would straighten out in his own mind, spirit and live with his wife according to knowledge, and remember that she is actually his sister in Christ, his prayers would be answered in spite of all of the other reasons that he gives. A husband’s spiritual problem lie in the heart of the man himself. It lies in his attitude and inability to resist the temptation to grumble, growl and dominate. There is no place for that kind of male rulership in any Christian home. What the Bible calls for is proper and kindly recognition of understanding and love, and the acceptance of a spirit of cooperation between the husband and wife. (A.W. Tozier)
More Biblical Advice for Married Men:
• Husbands have used the apostle Paul’s teaching (Ephesians 5:22-23) to justify control and abuse of their wives. We have rarely seen a client in marriage therapy bring up submission unless a big part of the problem is a controlling husband. Usually a husband wants to control and not serve his wife. When his wife stands up to him, he plays the submission card as a way of getting back in control. He tries to avoid whatever problem she is confronting. This is not what this passage had in mind.
Basically, this passage establishes a sense of order in a marriage. It places final responsibility for the family on the shoulders of the husband. He is the “head,” or the leader of the family, as Christ is leader of the church. The passage asks the wife to submit to her husband’s leadership, as we all submit to Christ’s leadership. What submission does not mean is that a husband just tells a wife what to do. Leadership does not mean domination. Marriages that work best have equal partners with differing roles. Decisions are best made mutually, as both parties with their different strengths bring in different perspectives.
The husband should submit to his wife’s needs as Christ did for ours… (Ephesians 5:21) The idea of submission is never meant to allow someone to overstep another’s boundaries. Boundaries promote self-control and freedom. If a wife is not free and in control of herself, she is not submitting anyway. She is a slave subject to a slave driver, and she is out of the will of God. (Galatians 5:1). Seek each other’s best out of freedom, and submission issues will disappear. (Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries in Marriage)
The Influence of a Married Man
• Be on the alert for a common male problem: “the refusal or inability to accept influence” from our wives. “Our studies show that most women are comfortable listening to their mate’s point of view and allowing it to influence them. But only 35 percent of men really listen and take into account their wife’s view” according to John Gottman. “When a man is not willing to share power with his partner, there is an eighty-one percent chance that his marriage will self-destruct.” (Judi, Dash)
• You are to serve each other just as Christ served His Father’s perfect will. When He washed his disciples feet, Peter said to Jesus: “No master, you shall never wash my feet. I am not worthy of it.” Jesus replied: “If I do not wash your feet, you can have no part in my kingdom.”
We are call to follow the example that Jesus showed us here on earth. The message is still the same. SERVE, and give more than you think you can. Then your life will have meaning, and you will be full of love for each other. Christ did not come to be served but to serve, even to death on a cross. This is to give us redemption so that when we leave this planet, we will live for all of eternity with God, the creator of the universe. Give of yourself to your bride, your love. Never stop serving her. She will see your sincere heart and will try to serve your needs even more than she could ever imagine. This is the way God has created us. (Marvin Redlawski)
Additional Married Men Tips
• Most of us married men don’t think of our wives as God-given, valuable assets, worthy to include in our problem-solving processes. You think sharing those problems would reveal you as a failure, and you don’t dare appear less than perfect. Although your wife may not understand all the complexities of life for you, she wants to be included. This is true especially if something is bothering you. Let her show her love for you by being there for you emotionally and spiritually. A wife loves the husband who believes that she is intelligent enough, that God will use her to help him become more effective because he is inclusive. (Ken Nair)
• For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife. And they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
• You are created in the bonds of matrimony, to become one union to bring forth a greater and even more loving existence than you could ever do on your own. God has created you to form a complete union with his daughter, your wife. He did not bring you together to form a household of competition as to who is better, who can provide more, or who can conquer the world faster—none of that. He brought you and your wife to form ONE spirit dwelling in flesh to serve others TOGETHER. (Marvin Redlawski)
Quotes to Help Married Men
• Every husband needs to know that no matter what we say, all wives really want is more of them. Not their time but their attention. Not their money but their treasure …their hand, their help, and their heart. (Anonymous)
• Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body. But he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church. For we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:28-30)
• I’m convinced that the concept of oneness in marriage involves this principle: two halves fused together, making one. They are unable to properly function separately. Each requires the other for success. I do not make any decisions without letting me know what I’m thinking. Therefore, since my wife is ‘me,’ I’m not going to make decisions without letting ‘me’ know what is going on in ‘my’ thinking!” Including wives in the decision-making process so improves their sense of security that it is also reflected in all aspects of intimacy. (Ken Nair)
• If you take care of how things look, you take care of how they are. In other words, if you are never alone with an unrelated female, because it might not look appropriate, you have eliminated the possibility that anything inappropriate will take place. (Jerry Jenkins)
More Tips for Married Men
• You are sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything but your wife. We’re able to draw sexual gratification from only two places: the eyes and the mind. Therefore, to be successful in the battle for our sexual perimeter, we must blockade the “shipping lanes” of the eyes and mind. Beyond that, we also want to make sure that we have healthy, positive affections and attitudes in our relationships with our wives. In other words, we want our hearts to be right. (From the book, Every Man’s Battle, Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker)
• Avoid thinking of yourself as single. Look at your ring finger on your left hand right now. I do a “ring check” almost every week with my Thursday night men’s group. I remind the married men whose marriages are in crisis that they are still married —even if their spouses have filed for divorce. If you start thinking you are single because your spouse isn’t working on the marriage or has filed for divorce, you’re believing a lie. And it isn’t from God. It doesn’t matter how hopeless things may look. Stay focused on God. Wear your wedding band, and keep your heart prepared to reconcile with your spouse. Until your spouse dies or remarries, God’s best is for you to be content in your circumstances as He can work a miracle. (Joe Williams)
• Husbands, likewise live with your wives in an understanding way, showing respect for the woman as you would a fragile vase, and as joint heirs of the grace of life…” (From The New Testament in Everyday English)
EIGHT THINGS EVERY HUSBAND NEEDS TO KNOW:
• As I’ve traveled around the country speaking to women on marriage and sharing our creative solutions, many have told me they wished there was a book to help men understand their needs better. So, I started asking them to write down what they felt every husband should know. The women of America have spoken, and here are their answers:
1. Your wife needs you to be the spiritual leader of your home.
2. Your wife needs you to be her teammate in raising the kids. She needs you to partner with her in taking care of the home.
3. Your wife needs you to communicate with her.
4. Your wife needs her friends and for you to allow her time with them. But ultimately she wants you to be her best friend.
5. Your wife needs you to be a “triple A” encourager. She needs you to give her appreciation, affirmation, and admiration.
6. Your wife needs to feel emotionally filled before she desires to be sexually involved.
7. Your wife needs you to understand that there are some things you will never understand. This doesn’t make either of you right or wrong—just different.
…Now that I’ve given you a list of things you need to know, let me inject two disclaimers. The first is that it is not enough for you to just read this. You must apply this information. …The second disclaimer is that not all women are created alike. While most of these ideas will work great, your wife will have unique ways she needs to be loved. You need to discover these. (From the book, Capture Her Heart, by Lysa Terkeurst)
Living as “Understanding” Married Men
• Husbands are addressed directly, and commanded… to be careful and considerate about how they live with [their wives]. They must stop living in ignorance of their wives’ problems, desires, needs, longings, fears, etc. (as so many married men do who have never bothered to try to come to an understanding of them), but literally, “according to knowledge” —in an understanding way. The old cliché, “You’ll never understand a woman,” must be squelched. Husbands need to be told—as indeed, Peter tells them —”There is one woman you must understand: YOUR woman! God commands it.” (Jay Adams)
• How does a man go about understanding his wife? First, by wanting to understand her so much he will give himself over to the adventure of knowing her. Second, it is by making a careful study of her. One young husband describes how he spent time noticing everything about his bride. He discovered that when she was angry she began cleaning out closets and drawers. When she was troubled, she stared out of windows. He knew what it meant when she looked down and did not meet his eyes.
This husband came to understand what it signified when she put her face on his shoulder. He observed her passing moods, and her changing expressions. She came to realize that when he asked her, “What are you thinking?” he really wanted to know. This young man literally “dwelt with her in knowledge.” (Dr Ed Wheat)
Final Tip for Married Men:
• When your wife asks you if you love her she’s not asking for information —she’s looking for confirmation that you still love her. (Unknown)
• We as men label women as mysterious and incomprehensible. That is because it takes the responsibility off us to become Christ-like in our attitudes and behavior toward our wives. It excuses our unwillingness to genuinely listen to their hearts, to try to determine how their feelings are being displayed in their eyes, facial expressions, and body language. Most of all, it provides a rationalization for not listening to our wives when they are being used by the Spirit of God to point out some of our weaknesses that God wants to deal with.
But it is possible to discover what is on the mind and in the heart of the woman a man married if he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He then begins displaying Christ-like attitudes toward his wife. You and I have to make the choice every day to minister in Christ-like ways to our wives. When we do that, we’ll discover that they are no longer mysterious and incomprehensible. After all, they never were mysterious to the Holy Spirit who is living in us. (Ken Nair)