Marriage and 8 Simple Ways to Bless Your Wife
As of next month and if the Lord wills, I will have been married for 16 years. For some of the old timers, that still puts me in the “rookie” category. But when I think about these past years, “crazy-long” is the phrase that comes to mind. And by that I only mean it seems like a lifetime ago that we two kids started out on our journey together.
As I look back at the struggles and challenges we’ve faced along the way, I am convinced that God has had a hand in keeping our marriage together. Without His active intervention in the midst of our stumbling and fumbling, “we” would have stopped being “we” many years ago. But He has kept us together, and here we are today – more in love than ever and still acting like kids most of the time (to the dismay of own children!). Of course we still have challenges, but knowing that God is guiding our steps brings great comfort and confidence in our future.
What really helped though has been to understand what marriage truly is according to God’s Word. More specifically, as a husband, studying and learning what Ephesians 5:25-32 means has had a huge impact on how I view my wife. Here’s the text:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
I am truly thankful God has brought me up close and personal with this passage. It has become an absolute delight and a joy to put it to use and start walking it out. Oh I mess up all of the time, and I really mean all of the time, and have to apologize, and seek forgiveness both from my wife and God. But to understand how marriage was designed is to get the answers to the test. It’s to see the foundation that supports the structure.
The problem is that God’s intention has become foreign to most of us. The good thing about it however, is that our society’s gutter-level view and treatment of marriage puts God’s plan for it in stark relief. His purpose and goal of marriage is something infinitely higher than what we have turned it into. From the very beginning, God’s vision for and definition of marriage has been to give us a touchable, seeable illustration of Jesus Christ’s unwavering commitment to and untiring love for his bride – the church. It is ultimately meant to be a picture of His blood-bought covenant with His chosen people. When we get this, by necessity, it will affect every part of marriage and take us from holding a self-centered view of marriage to a gospel-centered view of marriage.
Husbands: If you’ve never been taught this about marriage, I invite you to study it for yourself. Make it a goal to find out the true meaning of your bonds of marriage. On a more practical note, over the years (and I think she would agree) I have managed to learn a thing or two about loving my wife. And one of the main things I picked up along the way is that marriage demands effort. If you want your marriage to be successful, you must sow into it by investing time, patience, self-sacrifice, listening, giving, and loving.
How often are you intentional about giving of yourself to bless your wife? If the answer is not frequently, consider making some changes. I’ll start by offering some simple ideas about how to do just that. Some are common sense, but that doesn’t mean that they are common. I’ve done each one of these over the years and I think she appreciated them. Feel free to tweak them as needed or come up with your own, but by all means, seek out ways to show your wife you love her.
1) Clean the house for a month. You do everything – no exceptions – for an entire month. She gets to sit around and do whatever she pleases while you vacuum, sweep, mop, dust, wash dishes, etc. It’s a challenge, but it will open your eyes to a lot of things and bless her in the process.
2) Rub her feet. Get some scented lotion, sit down, and let her prop her feet up on your lap. You can watch TV or talk, whatever SHE wants to do. But spend a good 20 minutes on each foot.
3) Designate one 7 day period where you give her a gift every day. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but make it thoughtful. This one will take a bit of preparation and listening for really good ideas about things she would appreciate. Don’t tell her what you are doing. Just let her wake up to a present for 7 days.
4) Give her a free day. You take the kids (if you have kids) and go somewhere or let her go somewhere. The point is to give her an entire absolutely free day to do whatever she wants to do. And under no circumstances make her feel guilty about it.
5) Take her on a weekend getaway. If it means you have to plan for months, do it. Arrange plans for the kids, save money, and go. Keep it a surprise until you get where you’re going. Leave everything behind for a couple of days to enjoy one another.
6) Talk to her, and more importantly, listen to her. Ok, that doesn’t sound like much and it really isn’t if you think about it. Make it a policy that you spend regular time together just talking. The topic is whatever you want, but make it meaningful conversation. Talk about how things are going in your marriage and family. Be intentional about it.
7) Pray for her. This is one of the most important ones. You should pray for your wife every single day. Pray for her relationship with God. Pray for her contentment in Christ. Pray for her strength to be a good wife and mother. Pray that God would bless her daily. Pray for the needs you know she has.
8) Pray with her. This one may be harder for some you, but that’s okay. If you’ve never prayed with your wife, just the two of you, let it be awkward if it needs to be, but man up and do it. Take the lead and pray with your wife.