Saturday, March 13, 2010

Loving Your Husband in His Language...

In the spirit of using this blog and this ministry to encourage all women, not just those who are grieving, I'd like to switch gears this morning and talk about a touchy subject. I've been wanting to write about this subject for awhile, and a few recent conversations, as well as an article in the latest Focus on the Family magazine, prompted me to finally talk about it here.

I'll warn you, I am speaking to wives in this post. (Although, husbands out there reading...and I know there are a might thank me for this!) I'll be adding this post to the encouraging women page to remain for future visitors, because truly, I think what we're about to discuss is that important. And, I hope we do discuss it. I hope you will comment or email to share what is on your own heart about this. Just, please remember to keep it honoring to God and your I hope my words will be as well.

So...what is this very important topic that wives need to start talking about and offering a little more encouragement?

Intimacy in marriage...loving your husband in his love language...

I have found in conversations over the years, with married friends of mine, that the subject of marital intimacy can be a real issue. I don't want to stereotype, because it can sometimes be the other way around. But, much of the time husbands enjoy feeling loved by their wives in a physical way. Women often feel loved when we are most secure, with gentle words of affirmation, time spent together, as well as physically.

In encouraging female friends of mine over the years, I have heard many say that they need to feel loved by their husbands in order to enjoy the physical part of marriage. They may say, "I wish my husband would..."(fill in the blank.). Some may enjoy physical intimacy, but fail to make it a priority...getting busy with the needs of children, work, home, etc.

In sixteen years of marriage, I've learned a few things that I'd like to share with you...woman-to-woman. These things are thoughts I've shared with friends who struggle in this area. And, although, I'm hardly an expert... and feel a little shy even talking about it, I think it's something that's important. Don't worry, I'll keep it pure.

1. Make time with your husband a priority, and start speaking his love language. While you should not go into this with thoughts of what you may get out of it (It is very important to never use physical intimacy to manipulate your husband.), you may be surprised to find that if you are more physically affectionate and open to him, he may respond by being more loving with you in your love language. As he feels more secure in your love, he will reach out to you in more loving ways. Maybe words of affirmation...maybe will be surprised at how you can melt his heart with your love. And, really is that simple.

2. Do not underestimate the importance of physical intimacy in marriage. A good friend of mine calls it the "glue that holds us together". God designed sex in marriage to be a blessing. The marriage bed is "pure and undefiled". So, we are supposed to enjoy one another, and make it fun. (Don't believe me? Have you ever read the Song of Solomon?) Yes, it is for the purpose of reproduction...but also so much more. It is meant to be a blessing to both of you. Have you ever noticed that when we neglect this part of our relationship, there is more tension and distance? But, when we are making it a priority, there is a bond of affection and often more patience. We look at each other through eyes of love. And that love and commitment is renewed and solidified in the act of marriage. (The Act of Marriage is also the name of a really good book that encourages Christian couples in this area, too!)

3. Remember that your husband speaks a physical love language. Your love and respect give him confidence to be the man he is called to be. He needs this from you. It is part (a big part) of your role as helpmate. If he swats you on the behind as he walks through the kitchen, take it as a compliment and a sign of his affection. Be glad he thinks your behind is "swat-worthy". And, you may just be surprised, if you begin responding to him in a physical way how he will respond to you.

4. Communicate with your husband about your needs and intimacy, using words of love and affirmation. And make sure he feels safe communicating with you. Remember this gift in marriage is not just for your husband, but for you too!

5. Don't let your body image keep you from enjoying your husband physically. Some wives feel less than perfect (aren't we all!), especially when comparing themselves to the unattainable images bombarding us in all forms of media. I think most husbands, though, are less critical, and maybe don't even see the flaws we see when we look in the mirror. Most of the time, a man enjoys the soft physical beauty of his wife, and sees her through the eyes of love. I know this may not always be the case, but I think it is most of the time.

If this is an area you struggle with, I hope you found a little encouragement here. And, hopefully this doesn't offend anyone. I just want to encourage Christian wives to make loving their husbands a priority.

Be blessed and encouraged today! Now...go give your man a big kiss and tell him how great he is!

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