If you missed the the first post for wives in this series on Christian marriage, check it out here!
Have you ever been “blessed” by what someone did for you? I certainly have been.
One day, when my first baby was just about a week old, I was at home with him by myself, just trying to survive the day, you know what I mean? He’d been fussing, I was hurting, and I’d never felt more tired in my entire life. My phone rang and it was a sweet friend of mine asking if she could bring me some lunch. She and her mom showed up, handed me a sandwich, and took care of the baby for about an hour while I ate and relaxed. Oh, what a blessing they were to me that day! They were aware of my need and actively sought to meet that need.
Have you ever thought about what it might mean to bless your husband? Do you live with his best interests in mind? When he thinks about you, does he smile a little and thank God for the wonderful wife he’s been given?
A good marriage begins when both spouses decide to bless each other every single day. However, since I’m a wife and I’m primarily writing just for wives here on this blog, I’m going to focus on what a wife can do to bless her man.
Today, we’ll look at three different areas where we can bless our husbands.
Bless Him With Forgiveness
“I forgive you.”
Never before in my life had I found it harder than now to speak those words. My heart was breaking. I couldn’t breathe. I felt so alone…empty…exhausted…
Sometimes forgiveness hurts. Really hurts. Even as your mouth utters the words, you wonder in your soul if you’ll ever really be able to forgive. You wonder if you’ll always feel so angry. You wonder if you’ll ever be able to stop the flood of tears. You wonder if you’ll even survive.
In that moment, it feels better to hold on to the anger, the raging fire of bitterness welling up within. It gives you a feeling of power in a situation in which you are completely powerless.
But…more than the power in holding on to the anger, it takes even more power, more strength to say, “I…Forgive…You…”
Unfettered, free, lavish forgiveness is the glue of marriage.
It is what covers a “multitude of sins” and breathes new life into a dying relationship. Forgiveness begins the journey of two broken hearts toward healing. Forgiveness breaks down the walls that divide and allows a merging of two souls.
In plainer terms, forgiveness is to marriage what WD-40 is to a really rusty bolt in a piece of metal. You can push, pull, bang, and fight with that bolt with a number of wrenches, hammers, and sockets, but the only way to begin the loosening process is to give a quick shot of WD-40.
That’s what forgiveness does. A husband may have failed, sinned, or messed up in any number of ways. He might be really really “rusty” in his wife’s eyes. But all her “hammering, banging, and fighting” with him about “his problem” will not work until she first grants forgiveness. She must take a step back and realize she is not fighting him. They are fighting IT (whatever the “it” may be that is requiring forgiveness.)
Sometimes wives can be unforgiving even without an “it” to be upset about. A wife can spend her days nursing an unforgiving spirit about the way he forgot to buy her a birthday card, or the way he spent money on golfing last week, or how he never picks up after himself. These things are not “its.” They are just things–little things that must be forgiven quickly and easily without a second thought.
The first step I can take to bless my husband with forgiveness is deciding before I need to forgive that I will forgive him no matter what.
There is nothing he can or can’t do that I will not forgive him for. As I talked to my husband about this concept a couple of weeks ago, I quipped, “Yeah, honey. I’m sorry. There’s nothing you can do to get rid of me! I’m here for good! I’ll forgive you for anything!” He laughed and came right back with a tickle and “Well, you’re stuck with me too!” 🙂
Even in our lighthearted teasing though, we both have made it completely clear to each other that we have already forgiven anything that the other person may do that hurts. The awesome thing about granting this lavish, openended forgiveness is that it makes me never want to do anything that will hurt my man! I don’t want to make him have to use that forgiveness he’s already given!
And it’s the same way for him. Because he knows I forgive him unconditionally, he is careful with my heart. He tries hard to not do anything I might have to forgive him for.
You might think this kind of forgiveness sounds too soft.
You’d rather stand on your rights and make him pay for what he’s done to you, for how bad he’s hurt you. You can do that. You can “be a strong woman,” throw off the “weakness” of forgiving, and choose to be independent…and it will be a death sentence for your marriage. Even if your unforgiveness doesn’t lead to “independence” in the form of divorce, your husband will never be able to crawl out from under the shadow of your condemnation. “But he’s the one that did ____________!” Fill in the blank. Yes, he’s wrong. He’s sinned. But so have you.
If we don’t forgive, we’re sinning too.
Immediately following Christ’s example of how to pray including the verse, “and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” this is what Jesus says in Matthew 6:15-16,
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Several years ago, I went through my entire Bible and underlined every instance of forgive, forgiveness, or forgiven. (Can you tell it’s a topic I’ve struggled with?) When I got to this verse in Matthew, it took my breath away. I wrestled with it. I argued. “But God, it can’t really mean that? I know I’m saved! I’m already forgiven by You!” But God dealt with my heart and gave me a greater understanding of His forgiveness as I traveled through the process of choosing to grant forgiveness personally.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
I am to forgive as God forgives me.
God uses my forgiveness of my husband to visibly portray here on earth the miracle of His complete forgiveness lavishly bestowed on those who believe in Christ for salvation. God doesn’t withhold forgiveness until I am “behaving properly” or have “fixed my problems.” He forgave my sins 2,000 years ago as He hung on the cross breathing out, “Father, forgive them…” He didn’t have to wait and see what kind of sins I’d commit before he decided whether He’d forgive me. He forgave me before I’d ever done anything wrong, and that forgiveness covers all I’ve done or ever will do. Now that’s a blessing, don’t you think? 🙂
Furthermore, once I finally realized that God truly designed marriage as a visible picture here on earth of Himself and His people, suddenly my responses and behavior toward my husband took on a whole new meaning. I am here on this earth to show unbelievers the mystery of the Church and her relationship to Christ as “His bride.” (See Ephesians 5:22-33). When unsaved people look at my marriage, I hope they’ll see forgiveness freely flowing between two broken sinners. Perhaps then, those people can understand how God also forgives sinners and they too can receive that forgiveness He freely offers.
Ok, we spent a lot of time on forgiveness. But it is so important! The next two will be faster, I promise. 🙂
Bless Him With Faithfulness
Does your husband know he can trust you? I mean really trust you? Can he trust that you are going to buy the right thing when he asks you to get something at the store? Can he trust that you aren’t going to roll your eyes and snort if he says something dumb at a party? Can he trust that you won’t talk derogatorily about how he snores or what he wears or how he handles money when you’re out with your girlfriends?
Can he trust you with his heart?
The venerated woman in Proverbs 31 had that kind of trust.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”
The man married to a faithful, trustworthy woman doesn’t need to go out without her, conquer something, and drag the spoil home to prove to her he’s a real man. She shows him every single day that his heart is safe with her and she will bless him with faithfulness. (Now, if he does need to go conquer something, he’ll most likely bring her along for the fun of it! Because he trusts her and desires her companionship.)
When I bless my husband with faithfulness, it means I will not discuss matters about my marriage or give intimate knowledge about myself to any man other than my husband. Personally, I have chosen to never ride alone in a vehicle with a man outside my own family. Crazy, you might think. But my faithfulness to my husband means more to me than anything and I will NEVER put myself in a position where that faithfulness could be called into question.
One area where I think all of us as wives could improve our faithfulness to our men is in the way we speak. (Or nowadays, what we write on social media!) Make a decision to never speak about your husband in a way that makes him appear foolish or dumb. Man-bashing may be popular on TV but it is totally not cool in a marriage!
As much as possible, don’t contradict or correct your husband in front of anyone (including your kids!).
If you really disagree with something he says in public that you think might be a big deal, wait until the two of you are alone before discussing it. I’ve really failed with that one. I remember times when we were at my husband’s parents’ house shortly after we were married and I’d jump into the middle of his story with, “No, it wasn’t on Monday. It was Tuesday!” with the tone of “How could you be so stupid?”
Oh my…yes, I did that. Often. I was not being kind, nor was I faithful. It didn’t matter one iota what day something happened in the grand scheme of things, but it did matter that I was making my husband look like a fool. “Like, c’mon, you can’t even remember that?”
Oh how dangerous it is when a wife begins to look down on her man. He may not seem fazed by it at the time. He might even chuckle and joke about it with her. But inside, he’s pulling away. He’s retreating into his shell to a place that’s safe.
Wife, make a decision today to make your husband’s heart safe with you.
If you’ve failed in this area, like I have, apologize and decide NEVER AGAIN!! Never again will you be unfaithful in your speech. Never again will you be unfaithful in your actions or your thoughts.
When you bless him with faithfulness, you can also…
Bless Him With Friendship
The third and final way is the funnest part of deciding to bless our men! 🙂 It means we fellowship with him! We pursue a friendship with him.
What do friends do? They hang out. They do fun stuff, normal stuff, crazy stuff together. They enjoy being together simply for the joy of being friends.
How can you bless your man with friendship?
Has he asked you to go golfing? Go! Does he like it when you pull up a chair and watch him play a video game or challenge him to a duel? Do it more often! Does he like to watch movies with you? Have him pick out a good one while you pop a giant bowl of popcorn and then go settle in under his arm.
Maybe he likes it when you just come hang out wherever he is. My husband likes when I come visit with him out in the shop while he’s working or tinkering with something. Several years ago, he rebuilt a car, engine and all, and I got to be his extra set of hands. Sure, I got greasy occasionally, but we made such good memories with that little 90’s sports car. And I learned more about cars and engines than I ever thought I’d know! 🙂
Enter your husband’s world, as much as he wants you to.
Now, obviously, don’t go shoving your way into an activity that he’d rather pursue on his own. But often, I think husbands are craving fellowship with their wives but aren’t sure how to ask for it. They do “guy stuff” with their buddies, thinking she doesn’t want to be involved, when really, if she just showed a teeny bit of interest in his hobby, he’d gladly welcome her presence! And he’d probably enjoy it better without all the “extra guys” along too!
If you’re not sure how to bless with fellowship without becoming a pest to your husband 😉 just ask. The next time he’s gearing up to go shooting or golfing or play a video game ask, “May I come along?” or “Can I play too?” He might look at you like you’ve grown a third eye, but probably, once he realizes you’re serious, he’ll be happy to have your company.
One word of caution: if he does invite you along, zip your lips! 🙂 No seriously, be thoughtful and gracious. If he doesn’t seem to like a lot of questions, just go with the flow. Learn as you go and ask questions sparingly. But really work at learning. There’s nothing worse that for a man to invite his wife along and then be humiliated because she keeps squealing about stuff or breaking his golf clubs. Be considerate of his desires and bless him with friendship and fellowship as often as you can.
Well, that’s a little of what I’ve learned so far in our first 7 years of marriage about what it means to bless my husband. I hope to learn many more areas where I can bless him better in the future!
Soon, we’ll look at how to choose our husband first and continue down the path of oneness and fun-ness in marriage! 🙂 Stay tuned!
What are some ways you’ve found to bless your man?