The following are quotes that pertain to and will be relevant to you as Married Men —to 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, think more like Jesus, and be more like Jesus. The Bible says the way you do it, as husbands, is by super loving your wives. As you lay your life down for your wife, sacrifice for her, step into her world, love her unconditionally, express your love for her, what you’re doing is creating an environment in which it’s easier for her to grow more like Christ. (Bob Lepine, from the radio broadcast, “The Christian Husband: Loving Your Wife, part 3)
• If you love your wife, but she does not feel loved, or does not feel as loved as you know you love her, 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, from The-generous-husband.com blog, “Reality and Perception: Feeling Loved”)
• 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. And my responsibility to and relationship with my wife are to be just as Jesus’ responsibility to and relationship with the church. 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 in the fox-hole from dying. and of course, 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 to me about learning to put my wife first in our marriage, 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.” (From the book, Discovering the Mind of a Woman, by Ken Nair)
• I refer to my wife as my “God thermometer.” If I wake up and discover that I am not moved by the miracle of her life and love for me; if I am not cherishing her and honoring her, I look up and 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 and the more time I spend communing with 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, from the Ncfliving.org article, The Transforming Miracle of Marriage)
• Too many men today make the assumption that they can work 12 hours a day, spend all of their spare time playing golf and/or pursuing their favorite hobby and sit and watch the same episode of Sports Center for hours and hours and their wife is ok with it because he happens to bring home the paycheck. I’ve had talks with men about this misconception before and they tell me, “I will slow down one day!” 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 because the husband/father chose to pursue money and position and, as a result, had his own family become 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 not to sacrifice them. (Perry Noble, from the Preachitteachit.org article, “What a Wife Needs”)
• 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)
• 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 until they revoke it. That doesn’t do a lot for a woman. A woman needs to be reminded through verbal words, through written words, tender words, tender touch, maybe even carrying the garbage out – 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. I’d head to the woods or go fishing but not do that kind of thing. But I went out on the deck with her, and helped her with those chairs, and I took a couple of screws out of a chair that needed some repairing. She told me later, “You know, just you spending that time with me made a statement to me that you love me, and you care for me, and you want to be a part of what I’m doing.” (Dennis Rainey, from the Familylife.com radio broadcast, “The Christian Husband: Loving Your Wife, part 1)
• 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, or what it’s like for you to have friends who say cutting things about you, or what it’s like for you to go through your day so that when I get home at the end of the day, and I step into your world physically, I can also step in emotionally and be there with you and help you and support you.” (Bob Lepine, from the Familylife.com radio broadcast, “The Christian Husband: Loving Your Wife, part 1)
• 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)
• Men, women have an enormous capacity to love their husbands—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, for some have built up barriers of intense dislike, even hatred. But love can break through the barriers that have been erected once a husband becomes vulnerable. (From the book, Discovering the Mind of a Woman, by Ken Nair)
• When you look at what the biblical definition of love is, it has little to do with feelings and a lot to do with actions. I remember somebody saying one time, “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, he doesn’t brag, he’s not arrogant.” Just 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 the place where it starts. (Bob Lepine, from the Familylife.com radio broadcast, “The Christian Husband: Loving Your Wife, part 2)
• 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 or fighting against the flesh. Real 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, he’s got to believe and hope his wife needs him to provide that kind of commitment, stability, and certainty in their marriage that says, “I’m going to love you no matter what you do, no matter what the circumstances are, I’m here for you and for us for good.” (Bob Lepine, from the Familylife.com radio broadcast, “The Christian Husband: Loving Your Wife, part 2)
• Doing what God wants me to do as a man is the basis of a successful marriage and family life. 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, The Married Man)
• Divorce is happening in one out of two marriages because men and women want opposite “things” from their mate, which has nothing to do with God’s plan. Promises are broken by the minute and we live in a “How many lies did I have to tell today to get what I want” society. And through it all, our children are seeing nothing but confusion at home, on the TV, DVD’s, and Computers. Your beautiful children are depending on you and your wife to cast a net of security in your home, your marriage, and your life as a Christian.
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 and spiritually 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 —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 tears and 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)
• “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 get himself straightened out in his own mind and spirit and live with his wife according to knowledge, and treat her with the chivalry that belongs to her as the weaker vessel, remembering that she is actually his sister in Christ, his prayers would be answered in spite of the devil and all of the other reasons that he gives. A husband’s spiritual problem lie in the heart of the man himself—in his attitude and inability to resist the temptation to grumble and 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 the true relationships of understanding and love, and the acceptance of a spirit of cooperation between the husband and wife. (A.W. Tozier)
• Husbands have used the apostle Paul’s teaching (Ephesians 5:22-23) [concerning wives being submissive to their husbands] to justify control and abuse of their wives. In fact, 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, and he is in denial of his own controlling behavior. When his wife has finally had enough and stands up to him, he plays the submission card as a way of getting back in control and avoiding 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 always 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. Submission only has meaning in the context of boundaries, for 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)
• Be on the alert for a common male problem: “the refusal or inability to accept influence” from our wives. “Our studies show, [says John Gottman, Ph.d., psychologist and marriage expert] 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,” he says. “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, from article, “Lessons for the Love Lab”, Family Circle Magazine, April 2, 2002)
• Contrary to popular notions, most wives do not want to occupy the throne in their marriages. A wife wants her husband to be her spiritual leader, but she is designed by God to feel secure only when she sees that her husband is not the final authority in their marriage, that he is looking to God for direction and guidance. Only then can she be confident that her relationship with her husband will be based on scriptural principles and not on her husband’s personal preferences, which she recognizes can be prejudiced or selfishly motivated. (From the book, “Discovering the Mind of a Woman,” by Ken Nair)
• A man shall leave his mother and cleave to his wife as one, one with the specific purpose to serve a greater purpose more than his needs or her needs— rather to serve the needs of many as one. You are to serve each other just as Christ came forth to serve His Father’s perfect will. When He washed his disciples feet before the last supper, 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.” Peter replied: “Then not only my feet but my hands and my head as well!” In other words, Teach me to be a servant from head to toe so that I may follow you.
This is what we are call to do, to follow the example that Jesus showed us here on earth when he walked here over 2000 years ago. The message is still the same: SERVE, Give more than you think you can, and 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 each one of us, even to death on a cross to give us total 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, your soul mate, give more that you think you can. Never stop serving her. She in turn 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)
• Most of us men don’t think of our wives as God-given, valuable assets, worthy to include in our problem-solving processes. One of the ways it shows is that we don’t share our serious problems at work. For example, the part you manufactured for a major manufacturer didn’t meet inspection, and you got into trouble. And the person you hired for supervisor of office services is just not turning out to be a good hire, and it’s bothering you. But 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 on the job for you, she wants to be included, 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 is intelligent enough, to use her to help him become more effective because he is inclusive. (From the book, Discovering the Mind of a Woman, by 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, a holy sacrament, 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 and perfect 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, who can have more friends, or who can conquer the world faster—none of that. He brought you and He brought your wife to form ONE spirit dwelling in flesh to serve others TOGETHER. (Marvin Redlawski)
• 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. Let me give an example of the reasoning I think is required to make oneness really accomplish God’s purposes: “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. (From the book, Discovering the Mind of a Woman, by 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, Loving Your Marriage Enough To Protect It)
• 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. Are you wearing a wedding ring? I do a “ring check” almost every week with my Thursday night men’s group. I remind the guys 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, “Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved”)
• 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)
• 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, or nearly one thousand of them have, and here are their answers:
EIGHT THINGS EVERY HUSBAND NEEDS TO KNOW:
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 and taking care of the home.
3. Your wife needs you to treat her like a princess.
4. Your wife needs you to communicate with her.
5. Your wife needs her friends and needs you to allow her time with the girls, but ultimately she wants you to be her best friend.
6. Your wife needs you to be a “triple A” encourager by giving her appreciation, affirmation, and admiration.
7. Your wife needs to feel emotionally filled before she desires to be sexually involved.
8. 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, published by Moody Press)
• 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 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)
• It is the man who determines whether the family shall be sports-minded or book lovers; whether they are travelers or stay-at-homes; whether they are a family that emphasizes personal integrity in their relationships, or are clever manipulators who get along by their wits; whether they are social climbers or quiet introverts. Almost always the stamp of the family is determined by the man. This is also, therefore, where men most frequently fail in marriage. They do not exert leadership; they do not give intelligent direction to the home. Even if they do give some kind of leadership, it is not thoughtful, it is not intelligent, and it is not “according to knowledge,” as Peter says. It is simply a drifting along, making the best of things according to the way they feel at the moment. Thus there is no leadership at all, or, what there is —is lopsided.
Many marriage counselors dealing in this area have pointed out that for some strange reasons, we do not teach men to be men. Therefore, many men grow up and get married who are nothing more than grown-up little boys, still looking for mothers rather than wives. They want someone to minister to their physical needs, keep them well fed and happy, and soothe their egos when they get hurt. But that is not the proper role of a wife, and that is why Peter’s first word to men [in 1 Peter 3] is: Learn what a marriage ought to be, what the rules are, what is expected of you. What a home will be is determined primarily and responsibly by the man. (Ray C. Stedman, from the article, What Every Husband Should Know, from Discovery Publishing)
• 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, my making a careful and loving study of her. One young husband describes how he spent time noticing everything about his bride —even the rhythm of her breathing. He discovered that when she was angry she began cleaning out closets and drawers; that when she was troubled, she stared out of windows. He knew what it meant when she looked down and did not meet his eyes. He came to understand what it signified when she turned her face against his shoulder. He observed her blushes, 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, because he longed to know her as deeply as possible. This young man literally “dwelt with her in knowledge.” (Dr Ed Wheat, from the book, Secret Choices)
• We as men label women as mysterious and incomprehensible because it takes the responsibility off us to become truly 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 and 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 gradually discover that they are no longer mysterious and incomprehensible. After all, they never were mysterious to the Holy Spirit who is living in us. (From the book, Discovering the Mind of a Woman, by Ken Nair)