As I sit down to write this article on the importance of nurturing your marriage, I realize that it is likely more for me than perhaps you.
I feel very convicted that I have not been making my marriage a higher priority. It is like I know the why behind the importance, but the actual actions take time and energy, which as busy moms, are often lacking in our days. With the scare my husband had with his appendix on Monday and the rush to surgery, I was really struck with how life can change in a matter of seconds.
The reality is, finding time to honor our husbands and share intimacy is extremely important in keeping our marriage a priority. We can easily start to feel like roommates living under one roof with one goal in mind if we do not take the time to make our spouse feel special.
I am reminded of a very key point made by author Devi Titus in her book, “The Home Experience” when she talks about honoring your husband:
“Wives often mistakenly give to their husbands what they need rather than what he needs. The Four B’s that husbands need:
Backed (support, uplift, and encourage)
Bedded (offer affection and sexual intimacy)
Boarded (provide meals and a comfortable home)
Babied (care for him when he is sick or feeling down)”
For those husbands who might be reading, she goes on to say what wives need:
“Loved (both in words and actions)
Lead (through kind direction and example)
Lifted Up (encouraged, romanced, made to feel special)
Listened to (without trying to solve all her problems)”
Don’t you agree?
For me, as a wife, is seems rather simple. If I can cover each of these areas in a day, then I would say that is a step in the right direction. So what could that look like, without becoming overwhelmed with adding another “item” on my to-do list, let’s come up with some simple ways to incorporate fresh perspective our on spouses and creating that special connection that comes from dating.
Pray for your husband, ask him what you can pray for him in particular that day. Find a minute to give him encouragement and praise for an area that you especially appreciate about him. If he is having a rough day, take the time to encourage him with your words.
Finding time to be intimate can be tricky, especially for those of us with young children, but this just gives you more of a challenge to overcome. I totally get it, by evening I am exhausted and I have learned it is best to give my hubby a time frame – if we are to become intimate it needs to begin before a certain time. That may seem not very romantic, but open communication is important in a home with kids coming and going, a toddler and a husband that works out of town!
But being bedded does not always mean having to have sex, it also includes affection by hand holding, hugging, caressing and being close. Sitting together holding hands can often be just as special. It takes intentional actions.
Taking the time to create a nice atmosphere for my husband to arrive home to after being gone traveling is a huge blessing to him. It is one way I can ‘date’ him in our own home. We don’t have to go anywhere, but when I have the house picked up, candles burning or a nice meal on the stove, he is happy. He knows I’ve been thinking of him – especially if it is a pie baking in the oven! Fixing his favorite foods is an easy way to show him I care and am purposeful in serving him.
This one can be tricky if you have a man who declines help – but insist anyhow. When they’ve had a rough day or are not feeling well, be intentional to do something that will encourage him and make him feel better. Maybe it is a cup of tea, a cold drink, a warm cookie or even letting him crawl back into bed to get some more sleep. You know your spouse best, so think of those things in advance; those things that you know he would appreciate and finding comforting when he is a bit under the weather or feeling down.
It can be easy to procrastinate and always put off caring for your spouse. We have our kids calling us all day and we tend to prioritize their needs above our spouses, because they are little, but our spouses our just as important and our relationship needs to be tended to and nurtured.
Just in time for Valentine’s day – a reminder for all year though!