“They do not love that do not show their love” (William Shakespeare). That is one of the great marriage tips that we’ll be giving to those who are married. Love needs to be nurtured and shown or it eventually dies! As we’re told in the Bible, “it is not self-seeking;” and it “always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13)
Marriage Tips for Spouses
To help us to persevere in our love, we’re sharing, “Ten Great Tips for Husbands and Ten Great Tips for Wives” written by J. S. Salt. We’ve added additional comments in [brackets]:
TEN GREAT TIPS FOR HUSBANDS:
1. Listen, listen, listen! Put down that newspaper (or TV remote control) and let her know your focus is on her.
2. When she tells you her problems, try not to jump in with advice. A sympathetic ear may be all she needs.
[If you have advice to offer, ask her if she wants it. If she doesn’t, then just listen to her. This will mean more than any advice you could give —even though it makes no sense to you. The point is to give her what SHE needs not what you feel you need to give her.]
3. Schedule a date with her once a week. It doesn’t have to be expensive. The goal is simply to create time for just the two of you.
[You dated her before marriage, which helped you both to fall in love with each other, now date her after marriage to nurture and continue to grow your love.]
4. Surprise her with little things that show your affection —a note, a funny card, a small gift, or flowers for no reason. She needs to feel you’re thinking of her.
5. Do little day-to-day things that make her feel taken care of —like filling her empty water glass, bringing her coffee in bed or turning down her side of the bed if you go to sleep before her.
6. Connect with her physically during the day. Kiss her when you wake up, hold her hand sometimes, and touch her in non-sexual ways. She’ll be nicer to you and your sex life may improve.
[But if that’s your main motivation it may not, depending on her personality.]
7. Let the kids be your responsibility too. That way, she’ll get some time for herself.
[They’re your children too. It gives you the opportunity to connect with them —which they need from you!]
8. Respect her. Don’t make fun of her or berate her just because she doesn’t think the same way you do.
[The Bible tells us, “Love protects.” She needs you to “protect” her feelings.] ALSO, whether you are a husband or a wife, please read the following article —with the point being that both husbands AND wives need respect. It’s just that it may be needed with different packaging:
[The book Robert Ferguson referred to in his blog is, Love & Respect, written by Emerson Eggerichs.]
9. When you’re angry or upset, tell her why. Don’t make her guess.
[But be careful. The Bible tells us to “speak the truth in love,” —meaning that what you say is to be motivated by your love for her to improve things between you. Things won’t improve if you communicate in mean-spirited ways.]
10. Compliment her. And tell her you love her —at least once a day.
Based on the book: How to Be the Almost Perfect Husband: By Wives Who Know, by J.S. Salt.
TEN GREAT TIPS FOR WIVES:
1. Let him know you believe in him. This will empower him to achieve his dreams.
[You made him feel that he was more special than anyone or anything else, before marrying. Work to help him see that again.]
2. Accept your husband for the man he is, instead of wishing you could change this or that.
[Stop concentrating on your spouse’s faults (this makes them look even bigger than real life). Instead, work on your own. Take the “log” out of your own eye, as the Bible says to do in Matthew 7:5.]
3. Help him be a hero to his kids. Speak well of him and the good things that he does.
[You are God’s choice for being your husband’s cheerleader, when it comes to your husband. (And the same goes for him.) Please read Little Eyes Are Watching – MM #153]
4. Appreciate the things he does —like making repairs around the house.
[Even if he doesn’t do them well —at least he’s making the effort —which is more than a lot of husbands will do.]
5. Let him spend time with the guys doing “guy” things [unless those “guy” things compromise the integrity of your marital relationship].
6. Respect his right to need some space sometimes. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.
7. Stop asking him to throw out his torn, faded jeans. What you hate about them is what he loves about them.
[Learn to choose your battles —concentrate on things that really ARE important.]
8. Stop criticizing his mother (or father).
[This may be difficult to do when his family makes life difficult for you. “Speak the truth in love” and —motivated by love, when it concerns his family. If this doesn’t help, ask the Lord to show you how to handle the situation in the godliest, most peaceable way possible.]
9. Be patient with him. Make him feel special —he’s still someone who craves your approval.
10. Keep looking your best —for him … and for yourself.
Based on the book: How to Be the Almost Perfect Wife: By Husbands Who Know, by J.S. Salt. You can also visit their web site at Shakethatbrain.com.
Even if you pick only one thing to do in the above lists, it’s a good beginning (and for some of you it may be real progress —at least until you later expand your actions of showing love). And here’s a poem written by Henry James Borys that may inspire you to show your love to each other:
What good is my love if it stays in my heart?
Hidden from the world and from my partner?
Love can be an action as simple as doing the vacuuming,
making dinner, or an unexpected hug.
Love can be even as simple as giving my partner more attention
than I give to the television.
SO TRUE! As the Nike (sporting equipment) commercial says: “JUST DO IT!” Show your love each other. Don’t expect your marriage partner just to know it – SHOW IT!
“Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).
Steve and Cindy Wright
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