When I was engaged and about to get married I had come to the conclusion that I knew a lot about women and what it would take to be a good husband. I felt like I had done everything right as a single man and my wife and I had a great foundation together in Christ!
What I quickly learned is that there was a difference in head knowledge and working knowledge. Did I have the wisdom that I needed? Yes! Was it going to be easy to enforce in my life? No!
The fact is that EVERY Marriage is work. No matter if you have been married 30 years or 6 months, there will never be a moment that you will coast along in your marriage....Think of it this way...if you have the momentum to coast in a car..then you are obviously heading down hill! It's time to fuel your life with Vision and hit the acceleration by making the RIGHT investments into your relationship!
Foundation is key before marriage..but building upon what you know instead of going into coast mode is going to be the difference in a good marriage and a great marriage...and trust me, there is a major difference between good and great!
Here are the top 5 things that I have learned over the past 1.5 years that I know will challenge and help some of you husbands out there!
1. You will never be Perfect but you can be Consistent
I think this is the biggest misconception with men because we are naturally very work motivated and competitive. For me, I have always struggled with "people pleasing" in the sense that I wanted to make sure everyone around me was happy with my performance. The problem with trying to make everyone happy, is that by juggling everyone's opinion you are left INCONSISTENT!
Here's the truth: Mans Perfection is an unattainable goal that you will never reach..why? Because every man's idea of perfection is different.... Consistency, however, is fully attainable because you are being faithful in your own goals and purpose! DING DING DING!!! This is what women really want! They want a man that is Consistently pursuing purpose!
Will you make mistakes? Yes! But if you keep picking yourself back up and you are faithful to your word you will be successful! You may not have all the qualities of what you think is the DREAM HUSBAND...but if you are faithful, honest, loyal, and dedicated you are destined for a great marriage! You don't have to be perfect...you just have to present! Your wife needs your support and vision more than she needs a Gucci Bag or a Diamond Bracelet. Your children need you there more than they need "things" that will just fade away! Most men put their passion in their work...not knowing that your work starts at home! That means making the decision to ALWAYS choose your Lady over everything else! Consult your wife and feel your wife's responses in every major work decision or trip! You can always take a trip with the buddies but you may never understand the hurt that comes from you not being there in a moment when your wife really needed you!
2. You don't have to know all the Answers
I don't know about you but every time my wife has a problem or she is going through something emotionally, I feel the need to become a master investigator and try to solve the mystery of what's going on!! We as men are very ordered and logical in our thinking and sometimes that logical is actually narrow minded. Not that we mean to be...but it's hard for us to understand that the source of a problem that our wife is facing is in fact not 1 thing but a big melting pot of things that have added up over time....
Here's the deal...there are times when you need to help with the problem...especially if that problem surrounds you or something that you did...be a man and take the initiative to make it right, change your heart and ways! HOWEVER!!! I have learned that most of the time our wives do not need us to solve every problem they just want us to LISTEN!! That's big...
Learning the art of just listening will save your life! And when I say listen I don't mean let her talk while you watch TV. I mean UN-interrupted...eye to eye...end of the day...15 minutes of listening! Even if it feels like the 15 longest minutes of your life...and maybe you have a struggle with connecting to your wife in that day...you will quickly learn that it is the greatest investment of 15 minutes that you can make every day...besides your time with God...
Your wife just wants to be heard and understood and during a hard time emotionally she just wants to be held and loved! It is as simple as that. We men want to try and solve some Algebra Equation every time but sometimes it's just simple addition....don't over think it and just let it be. Most of the time, your wife knows what she needs to do, she just wants to talk it out!
3. Know what battles to fight and when to fight them
There are some things that are just not worth fighting about and there are some things that are. Learning to live together with your wife will take adjustments on many different levels, there will have to be compromises, and most of the time we will have to..and very well should..take the sacrificial end of that equation. When it comes down to it, little things are not worth bringing up....So what she wants to park her car on the side of the driveway or garage that you normally parked...or she wants to paint the room a certain color...or she wants to fold the towels a certain way and that irritates you. You have to remember that there is a difference in "wrong" and "preference". Knowing the difference will help you in knowing what battles to fight. If it's a personal preference thing and it is not a big item on your list of preferences...just let it go. It's not that important and in the long run it is to your advantage to make her feel as comfortable at home as she can...she will be better focused and free to help you with the vision that you have for the family! On the other hand..when it comes to the culture of the family...the integrity of the family...or the level of respect and offensive words...some battles...you MUST fight. And not really fight...as in against one another...but fight with one another to make your family culture the best that it can be!
When it comes to big deal situations and being open with our wife...things have to be expressed and you can not repress what has offended you and expect to have a good marriage. The question now becomes when and how are you going to approach the confrontation. Approaching your wife in the middle of her working, cooking, at the end of the day tiredness, or in the heat of a moment of irritation is NEVER going to be a successful approach! You have to Pray first, Plan to have a good conversation in a non-distracting environment, Pray together, and know what is assumption and what are facts in a certain situation. Never point fingers without trying to understand the why and the surrounding elements of a situation. Embrace your wife at all times and know how to bring resolution with a future plan for your relationship and family!
4. Learn how to ride the waves
Learning how to interact with your wife is much like learning to surf the waves at the beach! It is evident that women are emotionally connected on a level that we may not understand...She has deep oceans in her heart that have to be explored with great patience and understanding. When it comes to a surfer...he knows that it will be impossible to try and manage the waves because that would be trying to stop the beauty of nature...instead a surfer learns the ebbs and flows of the waves and knows how to understand the current (to a certain degree).
All women (and even men in some degree) go through cycles every month and year. These cycles must be respected and embraced and I am not just referring to a woman's period...I am talking about her nature. This is the beauty that is a woman! She will give you the greatest high and rush of excitement and then she will give you the deep, most intimate parts of her heart...if you can learn the waves. If you don't understand the waves and when it's safe to go in the water then you can end up with collateral damage! LOL. But if you are patient, you learn to listen and observe, you are understanding...and you are willing to work with time that brings experience...you can truly know the greatness that is the WOMAN!
5. Learn the power of Cultivation & Study the art of the "Tipping Point"
Every good business person knows that investments take time to bring a good return. Relationships hold the same facts true! You can't invest in your relationship for 1 day and expect to have a millionaire's return! Also, some of you husbands need to diversify your investments that you make into your wife! What do I mean? Change it up! Invest in her in a way that she may not expect it. Just because you take out the trash every week doesn't mean that you have made adequate investments. Sure those things are a part of it too, but good investments take good research...trust...and bold initiation! Learn what your wife enjoys and invest in those areas... In the end...the bigger the investment the bigger the return. Be patient and consistent and you will see great rewards in your relationship! A woman is a sophisticated creature that God skillfully and masterfully handcrafted....it's gonna take some good studying and observing in order to remotely understand her greatness!
What I have learned, is that a woman is a natural receiver! God designed her to be an incubator, a prophetess by nature, and a helper. That means that she has the potential within her to manifest vision that is given to her...she multiplies all of what is given to her...and she will return to you in her speech what you have given to her (watch your words that you pour into her). She is a garden of potentiality, and we as husbands are built by God as natural givers...It's interesting to me that in John 15:1 Jesus said that "...My Father is the Gardner". That word "Gardner" is also translated "husband-man". We as husbands are called to CULTIVATE what is in the Garden! If we give the right seed, the care, and the protection...then our wife will yield a beautiful display from Heaven! The First key is watching your words and keep all negativity and harsh language silenced...she will incubate them and they will multiply back to you in some form. Next is making sure that you initiate good encouragement, bible study, and prayer! Finally CAST VISION! Where are you headed each year of your life? What are your goals! Give the Vision and she will be better equipped to HELP YOU!
I know that marriage is a journey...one that you don't give up on, and I know that I have much more to learn but this is what I know so far! Comment and let me know your thoughts and some of the things that you have learned in your marriage!
Share This and Spread the Word!