The two areas of life I am most passionate about are marriage and family. I do a lot of reading on the subject and devote a lot of personal time to both. I love being married, and I love having kids. Over the years, I have gained a lot of insight. Even as a single girl in college, I would soak up advice from those who have been faithfully and happily married for years. Though I have only been happily and faithfully married for four years and I am definitely not an expert, I would like to share a few things that I feel are important.
A good friend of mine recently told me that her grandma once told her that a woman makes her man. As a wife, you (I) have the power to make your man. NOT in a manipulative way. Not in a way to get your way or anything like that. But I agree with that statement, and I truly believe you can make your husband feel like the most important man in the world. Or not. I also believe that men live up to our expectations.
By no means do I say lie or be untruthful. Or unnecessary flatter.
But resolve in your heart and mind to build up your man.
A few sore spots that really get me are:
1. When a woman refers to her husband as an extra child. Your husband may not be perfect, but he is a man. His mother’s child. Not yours.
2. Disrespect. Respect is actually more important to a man than love. Get that? He would rather be respected than love.
3. Criticizing your husband to others.
So what are the ways to change?
1. Only refer to your actual kids as kids. Like I said, your husband is a man. Not a child. Even if, in your mind, he acts like a child, there are lots of ways he acts like a man. He works a job, a job that he is good at. He helps out when needed (most likely). Find those things and call those out in him. Thank him for working so hard. Thank him for being a man. Tell him you are proud of who he is. I know this is easier for some than others, but everyone is a treasure and has something good to focus on.
2. Respect your man. Honor him. We all know how to do that. And not to be overly dramatic, but a study I once heard said that the reason some men (NOT all, some jobs require overtime) work extra hours is because they are respected at work. Men will get respect. From someone. How awesome if it is from you?
3. Build your husband up to others. Let him overhear you talking kindly about it. Or let it get back to him. When women build up their husbands to me, my respect for that man goes through the roof. When a woman tears down her mate, I lose respect for him. Be a woman who builds up. Like I said, he will become who you expect him to be (in most cases; there’s always exceptions).
Let me make one exception: I do believe it is important to have one or two friends that you can confide in. Marriage is not perfect; life can be hard. Have a confidant. Someone with whom you can share your frustrations and joys of marriage. Just don’t speak negatively to everyone. Though I have resolved in my heart to never say a negative word about Brett, there have been a few times that I needed advice or just to vent. I understand that, and that is important to have a friend like that. So if you do need to vent, vent to a person or two. Not everyone you know.
And ESPECIALLY not to family (unless your confidant is your sister and she can keep your trust). Another piece of advice I got is to never share your disagreements with your family, especially parents. They keep grudges long after you’ve forgiven. This is the absolute truth: my parents have never once heard me speak of a fight Brett and I have had. Can I tell you what that does for Brett? My parents have the utmost respect for Brett, and they know that I think he walks on water.
I am getting windy, so I will close. Let me make some mega disclaimers.
1. Women are NOT doormats and should never be. I am not encouraging you to become a slave or anything close. You are an equal part of your marriage. You have a voice and input. These are tools for women in a healthy marriage who are looking for new ways to bless their husband. I love looking for new ways to be a blessing, so that is my intent. I am summing up what has taken me years to collect.
2. Do not do anything with the hope to manipulate. Manipulation is ugly and never ends well. Do it out of a heart of love.
3. Everyone is different, so some of these things may be more well suited to my personality and not yours. Sometimes its hard for me to see things from different personalities, so if I offended you, let’s be friends. You be you. I will be me. I wrote this as an outlet because of my frustration that women are tearing down their husbands….most of the time, unknowingly.
I am on a campaign to see marriages happy and healthy. Family is the centerpiece of society. When marriages work, children are secure. Children are happy. Parents are happy. Life is good. And America benefits. Everyone benefits.
I will now step off my soapbox.