Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of this beautiful day of love, I wanted to share a few ways to love your husband (or spouse, really). I shared briefly last month about a book I read entitled Lists to Love By for Busy Wives. I read through it again during the past couple of weeks, and jotted down the themes that I thought were the most applicable to my life, or the things I needed to work on the most in my marriage, and am sharing them with you today, along with my own thoughts. I hope they inspire you to love your husband a little bit better 🙂
Remember your vows and covenants.
When you get married, chances are your vows weren’t something like “until we annoy each other” or “until we fall out of love”. Instead most vows say “through sickness and health, for richer or poorer” and “’til death to us part” or even “for forever”. It’s easy when you’re mad or hurt to want to throw those vows out the window, but that’s not what marriage is. Marriage is a hard, growing experience, where you learn to be vulnerable and share yourself with someone, and throwing in the towel when your husband forgets to take out the trash for the umpteenth time is not in your marriage vows. Courtney from A+Life blog (one of my faves!) wrote a beautiful post about this, which you should definitely read! So the next time you find yourself getting annoyed by something small, remember that you promised to cherish and love your partner forever, despite (and even because) of their shortcomings.
Use good words.
This is simple. Use good and kind words. Always. Whether you are talking to your spouse or about your spouse. Use good words in all your conversations.
Make your spouse your #1 priority.
This is so hard, especially once you have children, but it’s 100% what we should be doing. Our spouse is our lifelong partner, who we committed to at marriage, and nurturing that relationship should always be number one. As fallen, human beings, we are naturally selfish, but placing our spouse’s needs before our own is part of growing closer to becoming like God, and growing closer with our spouse.
Be honest, build trust, and be trustworthy.
I feel like this should go without saying, because trust is really the backbone of a good relationship. Even something like following through when you say you’ll pick something up from the store goes a long way in building trust.
Validate and support!
I think we often give our husbands the short end of the stick on this one. As women, we need to feel loved and validated and supported in all we do, and most understand that. But what we fail to realize is that men need this too. We need to be a wife who says to her husband “you are a great father and husband” and “you are such a hard worker, thank you”. We need to appreciate our husbands and then tell them!
Love is a choice.
I’ll probably write a full blog post on this at some point, but once you’re married, I believe you need to choose to love your spouse over and over and over again. It’s easy to “fall out of love” when you’re not working on your relationship and choosing your spouse every day. Every day we need to make a conscious decision to love our spouse, and love them well.
This isn’t anything new, but just a simple little text can be just the little connection you need that day.
And not superficial questions, either. Ask him about work, how it’s currently going, and then really listen. Listen to him talk and find ways you can support him and validate him (see above!). Ask him questions about the future, about his plans and dreams.
Similar to offering validation and support, I think we often think of compliments as something that men give and women receive. But men like (and deserve!) compliments too. Tell them they look good, compliment them on their changing-a-lightbulb skills, etc. Men want to be needed and wanted, so let him know just how grateful you are.
I hope you enjoyed these ways to love your husband. I am not perfect at these by any means, but they are all things that I am working on. Lists to Love By for Busy Wives was a great book to read. Cultivating a loving marriage is work, but it can be joyous work. It takes time to create that close and beautiful relationship, but just by doing simple things each day for our spouse, we can grow closer, step by step, day by day.
Oh, and just a little note: the authors have also written a similar book for husbands, entitled Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands, which I gave to Kyle for Christmas. He hasn’t had time to write down his thoughts yet, but I think he is enjoying it 🙂
*I received free product from Faith Words in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.