You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. – 1 Peter 3:4
I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my husband. Grumpiness and a bad attitude clothed him for a week. I asked him what was wrong and he said those two horrible words hoping for silence: “I’m fine.”
Several arguments ensued, and I was so angry I wanted to build a cement wall around my heart. Frustration overflowed within me and I stormed out of the room.
God’s subtle words whispered, “Humble yourself and I will lift you up.” So I did it. I got down on my knees and prayed for the Lord to show me what I could do differently.
Then it dawned on me.
My husband’s indifference is a result of lack of intimacy.
Physical Intimacy. As a woman, I run to words and discussion, thinking that is just what my husband needs. Sometimes, yes, but many times, a man simply needs that physical connection to his wife. A man feels loved when he is together with his wife as one. A hidden tenderness unveils in a husband’s ways once this connection happens.
So many other tasks had filled our time during the week that, sadly, I had neglected one of my husband’s most important needs. At first, I was pursuing answers through prying and nagging. Proverbs 21:9 shares, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” My husband might as well have been living on a corner of the roof because I wouldn’t let up. That is, until I sought the Lord, and realized what he really needed was physical intimacy and fewer words.
Marital woes cannot be solved by fixing the behavior; they are solved by fixing the heart.
It’s easy to put a guard up when we’ve been wronged, but I am brought back to the timeless wisdom my pastor shared on our wedding day: “Whatever expectations either of you have for the other, drop them. Neither of you will ever be able to meet them.”
Once I had this revelation and met my husband in his area of need, the floodgates to his heart opened. He freely shared what was troubling him. The entire week he had faced difficult issues at work and I had no idea because I was more concerned with myself. Our conversation wasn’t drawn out, but my husband opened his heart to me. In that moment, I felt so connected to him.
Many times my first instinct is to think me, me, me. But, Jesus tells us something different – to think of the other person before ourselves. That’s exactly what Jesus did. He gave his life for each of us, so if we would believe in him, we could have life now and forever with him. In John 15:13, Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Yet, many times we are “too tired” to love our husbands in one of the primary ways they feel loved. If we are to lay our lives down, I think this includes putting our husbands ahead of our own selfishness and tiredness. If that means finding time earlier in the day, so be it. If that means having a cup of coffee to wake ourselves up first, then go for it. If you have children and it means putting on a TV show to entertain them so you have the time, then so be it. Whatever it looks like to you, make time, and your husband will see your efforts, feel loved, and draw closer to you.
As you humble yourself and make connecting to your husband through physical intimacy a priority, the floodgates to his heart will most likely open, and you will be a husband and wife joined together.
What has helped you to make time for your husband in this way, or how have you looked past unmet expectations in your marriage to loving him first?
Linsey and her husband live in Virginia with their seven-year-old triplets. She is passionate about encouraging people to love God & others in practical ways.
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