Do you know how to love your husband the way he needs to be loved?
I’m not asking this as a rhetorical question, as if I have the answers. I have definitely not “arrived” in this area. Honestly, when I thought about how to love my husband the way he needs to be loved, I was struggling to answer the question myself.
My husband is my best friend. As my most valuable relationship, I want my marriage to be one that is thriving, enjoyable, and of high priority.
Rather than assuming I should love him in a certain way, I decided to go straight to the source and find out his thoughts on how he needed to be loved. Interestingly he was able to pull his top 3 rather quickly.
How to Love Your Husband (the Way He Needs to Be Loved)
Here were his responses:
“Honor & Respect Me”
I was truly not surprised by this answer. 1 Peter 3:1 calls us to do exactly what he was requesting. Knowing that this is a biblical command does not make it any easier for me as a strong-willed woman. Just as Eve rose up against Adam, I find myself rising up against my husband, which usually leads to dishonor and disrespect….the exact opposite of what I am looking to do.Many times we find it hard to honor and respect our husbands when we feel like they are not behaving in a way that is deserving of these actions.
To better equip myself, I recently read a book called Liberated Through Submission. It’s not an easy read by any means, but Bunny (the author) shares some life-changing truths that opened my eyes to what honoring my husband means. Here’s what she had to say:
“We may not respect our husbands for the type of men they are, for their decisions or their leadership. However, God demands that we respect the position he has placed them in as husbands. I asked the Lord, “Does this mean that I am to stand whenever my husband walks into a room? He replied, “No, but your spirit should. Your spirit should stand in honor, and bow in respect. When you vowed to Me that you were accepting him as your husband ‘until death do us part’ he became the head of you and your home.” (Wilson loc. 1390)
Her words challenged me. I was truly amazed by the revelation God had given her. It was one of those “aha” moments for me. It became very clear that my internal responses to my husband were just as important as my external responses.
The way I honor my husband is a direct reflection of the honor that I give to God. And God me to love my husband the way He loves me.
“Pursue & Admire Me”
If I’m being honest, this one seemed a little labor-intensive for me.
I was uncertain what he meant by pursue him.
I’m trying to pursue Jesus, my dreams, take care of the children, and the list goes on and on.
How could I add one more person’s needs to this list? And, by the way, isn’t the man supposed to pursue the woman?
Just as I had those thoughts, I realized how shallow they were.
Being married isn’t about getting something from the other person, but giving 100% of yourself to them.
That is so easy to forget when you’re bogged down with numerous responsibilities.
Besides my relationship with Christ, my marriage is the most important relationship I have. Yet, I have been consistently putting him on the back burner.
Yet another “aha” moment.
This is the very thing he’s been trying to communicate to me.
It’s as if he was saying, “Alisa, notice me. Look at me like you did when we first started dating. Admire me as a man.”
After having a pile of kids, I had placed my hubby last on the list and he was feeling it.
Although men don’t usually show a ton of emotions, they still have them.
As I listened to my husband talk, it saddened me that he felt I had, in a sense, abandoned him for other “more important” things.
My goal now is to put him back in his rightful place, pursuing him as if we were dating.
Men don’t have a high need to speak a lot of words, but I will tell you this….they need words spoken to them.
They need to hear, “Honey, you are hot! You are a strong, godly man and I am so blessed to be the woman by your side!”
Try it! I dare you.
You will unlock something in him that you’ve never expected. When you love your husband by pursuing him it communicates admiration and attraction for him.
This is definitely something I will be working on.
“Initiate and Cultivate Intimacy with Me”
I honestly thought this one would be first.
We all know that men have a high need for sex in marriage.
What I didn’t expect, was for him to use the word intimacy.
He wasn’t just talking about desiring sex, although that is most definitely included. He wants closeness with me and he wants me to initiate it.
It goes back to my pursuit of him.
He wants to know that I am still attracted to him and that I am interested in him.
He wants to spend time with me, even if we aren’t talking. I know, bizarre right?
What could this look like?
A friend of mine did something so strange last year for her husband; at least it was strange to me!
She decided to go hunting with him.
Now you have to know, this friend is a girly girl. She doesn’t like bugs or hanging out in the woods. Her idea of fun is shopping and staying in nice, clean hotels.
Yet, she agreed to go hunting to “get into her husband’s world.”
He had been asking for years and she finally agreed.
I have to admit I was a little concerned that this would turn out to be a disaster for them.
However, to my surprise, they both talked about this experience for months!
It created a bond between them that neither expected.
Our husbands want to enjoy intimate moments with us. They want us to willingly come along for the ride in their “territories” without having to beg us to do it.
Have you had this conversation with your spouse?
Do you ever ask him how you can love him better?
I encourage you to ask. You may be surprised by his answers.
Even if the responses above are not on his list, I would still incorporate them.
Seeing you initiate closeness with him, will nurture the relationship and boost his confidence.
Why not start today? Learning to love him better will not only light a spark in his eyes but also in your marriage!