Do you ever wish you’d paid it forward just a little more with your wife? Given a little more attention to that conversation or request for some help? Sometimes life gives you just that opportunity to help your wife feed more cherished. If you’re running a little short on inspiration, here’s your cheat sheet.
If you’re a wife and want your hubby to read this, print the list and just leave it lying around. Maybe he’ll take the hint. Better yet, check out the upcoming blog, “20 Ways to Make Your Hubby Feel Loved and Respected”. Implement a few of those ideas and he might come up with some of his own…
This story and some of the suggestions are shared from a post by Janel Breitenstein and the Family Life website. It’s just too good not to share.
An old story told from the island of Kiniwata relates the account of a man known as Johnny Lingo.
Johnny was the youngest and strongest man from the island, Johnny shocked the islanders by paying the father of his bride not the traditional two to three cows for his wife, or even the four to five cows for an exceptional wife. For Sarita, he paid eight. No one could understand: “It would be kindness to call her plain. She was skinny, walked with her shoulders hunched and her head ducked. Basically, she was scared of her own shadow.” Eight cows? The entire island laughed at the audacity.
Curious about the story, writer Patricia McGerr visited Johnny’s home. She was fascinated by what she describes as the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen. She wrote about this in a Woman’s Day article, Johnny Lingo and the Eight Cow Wife, “the lift of her shoulders, the tilt of her chin, and the sparkle of her eyes all spelled a pride to which no one could deny her the right.”
When McGerr later pressed Johnny Lingo for his reasoning, he explained, “Many things can change a woman. Things that happen inside, things that happen outside. But the thing that matters most is what she thinks about herself. In Kiniwata, Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she’s worth more than any other woman in the islands. The way a man cherishes his wife has a lasting effect on her beauty and mental well-being.
How do you cherish your wife? Below are some suggestions to get you started.
1) Take care of the kids for a day so that she can have a personal spiritual retreat to recharge.
2) Listen to her sincerely: Turn Towards her (read more here) Observe her words, body language, and circumstances in order to compassionately understand her. Make eye contact and ask thoughtful questions, like…How did that affect you? Will you tell me more about that? Why do you think that happened?
3) Make a playlist with songs that specifically encourage things you love about her.
4) Identify your wife’s “Love Language” Discover Your Love Language by Gary Chapman and then show her love the way that speaks most intimately to her instead of the way you like to be loved.
5) Allow your wife to set your standard of beauty, and make it clear to her that she is secure. Your eyes are only for her. Security breeds confidence.
6) Talk through your budget together. Make sure you both have the resources you need to care for your family well. Esteem the wise financial decisions she makes.
7) Gently protect her. Lovingly help her set boundaries with her time, energy, resources, and relationships (kids and mothers-in-law included).
8) Be a student of her body. Ask her, both while you’re in bed and at a completely separate private time, how you can please her sexually and make her feel secure and beautiful.
9) Give her a massage – one that doesn’t lead to sex, unless she’s clear that making love is what she would enjoy most.
And 10 more
10) Send a text or email, “Praying for you today. Thanks for being so courageous in ________.”
11) Be proactive about doing something together that she really enjoys. Make a date, get her excited and share her enthusiasm!
12) Tell her areas she’s gifted in. Don’t stretch the truth: Be honest so she can trust you.
13) Post on her Facebook wall: “I love being your husband. You still take my breath away.”
14) Have your children write her notes or letters about what they love about her as a mom.
15) Remind her of the amazing impact she has on other people and give specific examples.
16) Play together: Paintball, laser tag, sand volleyball. Have a picnic, go to the drive-in…
17) Clean or organize something of yours she finds messy
18) Talk about her fears – both deep and small. Overtime, lead her as you work together to replace those fears with faith in God as expressed in His Word.
19) Be an advocate for her rest. Gently help her to evaluate and set limits on her to-do list, reminding her that she loves others best when she takes time to replenish.
20) When she messes up, respond with the kind of grace, compassion and mercy that God gives us. Respond in a way that communicates, “You’re safe with me and I’m not going to rehash your failures. This is a secure place for you to grow and I love the journey with you.”