There’s a scripture that immediately comes to mind. 2 Timothy 2:15 is it. For some reason, the KJV is what rings loudly in my head. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” It’s the scripture that was heavily impressed upon me as a bible college student to make sure I was diligent to study scripture as to be a good steward of the Word of God.
Stick with me for a second…
The two words that jump out:
– Study – earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything, to give all diligence
– Dividing – to handle correctly
The question I ask: Even though the context of this scripture has NOTHING to do with marriage…can we as husbands learn something from this?
In marriage, have we has husbands failed in the stewardship of the woman we have married? Has the failure stemmed from our failure to “study“(earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything, to give all diligence) our wife? Are we “handling them correctly”?
Perhaps the way we have struggled in being stewards of our spouses is we have simply stopped the pursuit. We feel we have the answers already so we stop asking questions. Do you remember the dating years? Do you remember the questions you needed answered?
– What movie should I take her to?
– What kind of flowers do I get?
– What do her parents think of me?
– Should I use Brute, Drakkar, or Polo cologne tonight?
The more the relationship grew…the more we moved from asking ourselves the questions to asking her questions.
– Where do you want to eat tonight?
– Can I get that for you?
– What would you like to do next week?
– Can I help with that?
– Would you rather I wear Drakkar or Polo?
– Why do you think I need new cologne?
TRUTH: Ineffective husbands stop asking questions. They stop the pursuit to win and keep the hearts of their wives.
We’ve stopped asking questions. And by doing that, we’ve become poor students and highly ineffective. I can hear it now. “I already know my wife. I know what she likes. I don’t need to ask anything.”
Meanwhile she sighs in the background. She wants the pursuit. I know it’s far different from when you two first dated BUT it’s that spirit, that pursuit, that won her heart and saw something in you that she wanted to be with.
Here I go, 10 questions to ask your wife:
1 – What is something romantic we can do?
Brace yourself men. It may not have anything to do with sex. (I may have lost most male readers.) You idea of romance may no longer be her idea. Here’s a news flash: you idea of romance may have NEVER been her idea of romance. Anne and I sill laugh at some of my cheesy ideas of romance that wasn’t as effective as I assumed. She just wanted time with me. (hence her love language)
2 – Is there something fun we can do together?
This is where many men have lumped romance and fun together and can’t tell them apart. Why? Two reasons: First, we don’t understand, even though our wives have fun with romance, there is a huge difference between the two. You wife likes romance. Your wife like to have fun that has nothing to do with romance. Second, we assume it’s all going to lead to the bedroom. Don’t get me wrong. I won’t stand in the way of that. But if everything we do everything for our benefit as men, our acts of fun and romance will be seen as manipulation. I’m not saying the two can’t coincide. I’m saying that if you don’t know the difference, ask your wife.
3 – Do you feel you’re a priority to me?
Most would avoid this question and pretend like it’s not even existing on this blog. But it’s a question that has to be asked. I’ll never forget the words of a minister praying over our Michigan pastors. “Forgive us when ministry has been our mistress.” Has work taken priority? “But Dave, I have to provide for my wife.” You’re right. Our nature as men are to provide. BUT…if she doesn’t feel like priority, your hard work will be for naught.
4 – What makes you smile?
You’d be surprised at some of the answers you get. It might be “vacuuming the carpet.” It might be when she catches you flexing in the mirror when you think no one is looking. It could be when you’re helping the kids with their homework. Discover her smile again. Be the source of joy in here life.
5 – What are you stressing about and how can I help?
I’ve heard it described that a man’s mind is like a hallway with many doors. The rule is: only one door can be open at a time. A woman’s mind is like a ball of yarn. Everything is going on at once and everything intersects everything. Stop telling her not to be stressed. Stop telling her she shouldn’t be stressed. Start asking her how you can NOT be one of those stress-ers (I made up a word). For me, simply taking the kids out of the home does wonders. Simply putting my dirty clothes into the hamper WHILE not be inside out does more.
7 – How can I pray for you?
When was the last time you prayed together outside of a meal? When was the last time you asked her what she needs prayer over? Don’t give me the excuse, “well, she’s the spiritual one.” Take the lead. Pray over her. Let her hear you pray. Pray over her when you’re at work and send her a text about it. Let her be reminded that you care for more than just her physically.
8 – Do I spoil you enough?
You may approach this with fear and trembling. The reason why I ask the question is we, in our courting/dating process, were so generous with our time, efforts, and money. It’s far beyond a financial thing. Everything about our dating actions was to “spoil” her. Have I taken her for granted? I’ve heard it said too many times, “I don’t have to do that anymore.” Well…enjoy the fruits of that when she returns the favor.
9 – What can I do physically please you?
“If it was good for me, it was good for her.” We assume when we’re providing the physical attention to our spouse, if we’re pleased with it then our wives are just as pleased. I’m talking about PDA (public displays of affection i.e. hand holding), random moments of affection, and sexuality. Am I too physical? Am I physical enough? Do I sweep her off her feet…or does she feel used because it was all about what I desired?
10 – If you could change one thing, what would it be?
This takes guts. This takes humility…AND SHE WILL LOVE YOU FOR IT. It could be that you’re still wearing the same cologne you’ve been wearing for 20 years. It could be leaving work stuff at work. It may be playing with the kids so that she doesn’t feel like she’s the only one raising them. She may want you to take more spiritual leadership in your marriage. Whatever it is, make it priority. Move it to the top of your list.
I hope husbands feel challenged. I hope husband will take me up on this. Don’t be ineffective by assuming you know all you need to know. You and her are constantly changing through the seasons of life. Keep up the pursuit, keep asking questions, and stay effective as a husband.
I’ve enlisted Anne to help me with next week as we speak to ineffective wives.
Till next week…
Thanks for letting me ramble….