As a new blogger, one of the main things I do is write the kind of things I like to read. I love the ones that give practical advice – ways to deepen Bible study, ideas for self-care, ways to strengthen relationships. With that in mind, I’m going to attempt my own practical advice article!
I haven’t even been married for a year yet, so I don’t have a great deal of experience in married life. Still, even if we’re starting out in something, we still have things to offer. Most of this advice isn’t from me, they’re things that I’ve heard over the last few years that have struck a chord with me. They’re things that I’m still learning to do.
Whether you’re complementarian, egalitarian or don’t even know what those words mean, I hope we can agree it’s important to love and respect your husband. So, here are some of my little thoughts on what that might look like.
Don’t talk bad about him in front of others
This is one to be careful with. There’s a really strong pull to fall into gossip – in the staff room, over lunch with friends, even in the church hall. We start out just by talking about the events of the day, and soon it turns towards poking our noses where they don’t belong. Really, we shouldn’t be doing this about anyone. But, especially not our husbands. My husband, like all of us, sometimes does annoying, frustrating things (which you won’t read about here – that would completely miss the point!). But maybe the whole world doesn’t need to know.
In some cases, the problems are a bit more serious than just annoying behaviours. It’s not gossiping to get help and share these problems with a close, trusted friend.
Be gentle with your nagging
Sometimes we feel like we have to nag or nothing will get done. But, maybe we need to let go of things a bit. I know, that can be really hard – I do like to have things under control. If there’s something you want him to help out with, ask him. If he really hasn’t been helping out as much as you hoped, sit down and talk with him honestly. Then, leave it up to him and God. This is a hard one!
Speak affirming words to him
This man is your husband, the one God has given to you for as long as you both shall live. As a wife, your words have power to either build him up or tear him down. Am I often criticising him? Making him feel less than me, or less than others? Or do I tell him that I love him, and tell him the reasons why? Do I make him feel like he matters, like he can attempt great things? The words of someone close to us have tremendous power. Use them wisely.
Be willing to serve him. If he asks you to help with something at home, maybe your response is ‘This isn’t the 1950’s. You can wash your own dishes!’. But being servant-hearted doesn’t mean you’re oppressed or kept chained to the kitchen sink. It means you’re loving and respecting your husband, in a very practical way, because you choose to. This could be expressed in some big grand gesture, but mostly it’s the little, mundane things. Washing those dishes, taking time to listen to him, doing that unseen task – day after day. And if he’s following the call to love you as Christ loved the church, then he’ll be servant-hearted towards you too.
Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon phase and my thoughts on marriage are naive. But I believe the call to respect and love my husband is Biblical, so that’s what I’m going with. I’m still working it out, but maybe we always are.
Do you have any more advice to share?