It's naive to think that marriage solidifies a relationship. Honestly, it's in marriage where our efforts are most critical. Healthy happy marriages aren't achieved by weddings and rings. It requires the action of love and the effort to display this love in consistent ways.Here a few ideas to help us love our Lovers well and ignite more passion in our marriages.
1. Brag on your Man
A man has an ego. I mean, I guess we all do to a degree, but men have one, for sure. Even the quiet man. Men need to be praised. They are made in the image of God, after all, and just as God finds delight when we declare his goodness, so do our husbands.
We all know that wife who's always complaining about her man, focusing on his negatives and belittling him. Nothing good comes from making someone feel small. Our husbands have been placed in our lives to be our champions, not our case workers. Lift him up! Take his face in your hands and look him in the eyes and tell him everything you love, admire and respect about him. This is something I do with Jarrett. He loves it!
Even if this is a difficult task, you can come up with a few things that you love in your man. Some of us might be in difficult places in our marriages at the moment. There is a season for everything, but in our valleys is where affirmation and encouragement are most needed. Tell your husband that he is your blessing; that you admire how hard he works for you and your family, that you're so glad he came into your life and that he looks sexy in that blue shirt. Tell him that you declare all of God's best over him and that you feel safe in his arms. You'll be surprised at how this will lift his head and his heart.
Another way to brag is to your family and friends in his presence! There's nothing like being acknowledged in front of an audience. Next time you two go visiting, brag on your man. Share something that you appreciated him doing or tell him that you love him, in front of everyone. Not only will it affirm him to others, it will affirm him in your eyes. Deep down, a man needs to be stroked. His trust in you will increase when he knows he is appreciated and that you are unashamed to love him.
(1 John 3:11; Philippians 4:8)
2. Listen to his Dreams
There was a couple my parents counseled who were going through marital turmoil: the wife had accidentally come across years worth of emails between her husband and an old co-worker (a female co-worker) who had left the company and moved away, with her family, to a different state. The wife didn't find any inappropriate messages. Nothing sexual or suggestive. There were no secret messages exchanged about rendezvous or hotel rooms... no. They were simple, good-natured messages exchanged by two friends about family life, career paths, entrepreneurial ideas and good movies and restaurants each had visited with family and friends. But this wife was in deep agony. She was upset and ready to leave. Why? Well, because, although innocent and positive, her husband had never confided in her in such a way. She was afraid and jealous of the intimate friendship between the woman and her man. When asked to end the friendship, the husband, who loved his wife and was very faithful to her, made the comment that if he ended his friendship, then he'd have no one to talk to.
Men, like women, need to be listen to and validated. Their dreams aren't worn on their sleeves, like a woman's might be, but they are there... waiting to be uncovered and discovered. Our listening ear matters to our men. They need to know that we care about them beyond just the bills and their church attendance. They need to know that their thoughts and ideas are special to us.
Yes, we are busy. Yes, we want to be romanced and adored, but so does he. He just needs it in different ways. Take time to ask your husband or fiancé', “What are you passionate about?” Give him permission to dream. One dynamic way to show your hubby he’s loved is by showing an interest in his private life: the thoughts he thinks, the prayers he prays and the hopes he harbors in his heart.
3. Surprise Him
Scripture tells us to serve our husbands. Not because we have to, but because we should do so out of love for him as well as out of love for God (Ephesians 5:22). Whether it’s cooking a special meal (or paying for one) or just visiting him at work in our cutest outfit, it's not difficult to find simple ways to serve your lover each day. Our service and attentiveness shows more love than our words or physical attributes ever will. A man needs to know that our love goes beyond what we receive from him. Here are a few ways you can do this:
hosting a football or sports night for him and his friends
writing sweet messages on the bathroom mirror
turning off the TV and dancing to music
Send him a few cute "selfies"
embracing him at the door when he comes home from work
washing his hair
slipping his favorite candy or snack in his brief case
4. Write out a Prayer for him
Jarrett and I don't argue much, but when we do... we DO! I have come to a place that, when we have made up and forgiven, I try to affirm my love and respect for him by writing out a prayer. Makeup sex is great, but a handwritten note that expresses your love can be a dynamic keep sake. Even in times when we are in perfect harmony, I love leaving these prayers in his lunch box or in his Bible. It really builds him up and I thought maybe it was a good idea to share with all of you!
Simply set aside a few minutes to pray over your man and as the words spring to your heart, write them down. Consider what he's dealing with at work, in his immediate family, with his friendships and church service. Pray for your husband specifically: his future, his dreams, his concerns and his strengths. Ask the Lord to cover him, in all areas of his life, and lift him up to Christ. Remember,as a wife, you are your husbands crown and glory. When you declare God's goodness over him, he is not only covered, but he shines!
Prayer changes the atmosphere, and knowing that his most intimate and most precious person is praying for him specifically is the deepest sense of encouragement your husband needs.