Will We Have Enough?

There are reminders everywhere.  Television, radio, emails and pop-up ads.  Are we adequately preparing for our future?  I propose a different question.  Are we adequately living for today?  Are we pouring the fun into our marriages that will sustain the relationship during those empty nesting, job is a thing of the past days?  Guess what?  We can keep saving for retirement because this kind of fun is free.  Today, Madeline is talking about glue.  The glue that keeps the marital relationship alive and well.

If you’re raising littles, you’re tired.  If you’re raising teenagers, you fondly remember the simplicity of the “littles” days.  This isn’t about whether or not you are exhausted, because I know that you are.  I know this because, I’m exhausted too.  It’s life.  Life is draining, but every day that we choose to put our spouse’s needs toward the end of the to-do list, the life drains out of the marriage and when the children are gone and the careers are over, who and what will we be left with?  Will it be a malnourished spouse and marriage, or shall we choose to invest in this relationship and reap the rewards now and later?  Here are a few of my free investment tips.

 

>Wife, put your freshly showered body between clean sheets and wait for your husband to return home from work?  Yes, during daylight.

>Husband, tell her how beautiful she is to you and make love to every inch of her body?  Yes, not merely the “main parts”.

>Hold hands while you drive to your appointments together.

>Wife, climb onto his lap and let him undress you while you passionately kiss him.

>Husband, walk her to the couch after dinner, place a glass of wine in her hand and immediately return to the kitchen to clean up.

>Wife, greet him at the door, grab him by the belt and tell him about the things that you want to do with him later.

>Husband, envelop her into your arms and just hold her without the expectation of things going further.

>Wife, behave a little naughty for him.   He might enjoy watching you enjoy that ice-cream cone.

>Husband, choose to look at her soul and point out the beauty that exists deep inside.  She might need to hear about why you think she’s so special.

>Take care of yourself for your spouse.

>Look nice for your spouse.

>Enjoy the person that you are married to.  Make a choice to like them, warts and all.

 

Empty nest divorce, also called gray divorce, is too common and it hurts everyone involved – even the grown children.  Couples lose closeness while life marches on around them.  Waiting until the children are gone and life slows down to begin investing in each other, doesn’t work.  In order to reach these years with a successful marriage intact, you’ll need to invest along the way.  Marital romance is the glue that bonds and protects the relationship, so make glue and bond and have some fun along the way.  You’ll never have to wonder – will we have enough to get us through to the end?

Leftovers Again?

Leftovers – great for those occasions when you’re short on time but leftovers can’t compare to my best effort in putting a fresh hot meal on the table.  What kind of a marital diet is your spouse on?  Are you serving leftovers or your best effort?

 

Most of us have fairly good manners and we try very hard to put our best face forward with acquaintances, clients, co-workers and friends. Our spouse deserves the same courtesy but when we’re tired or grumpy, sometimes they are the recipient of our impolite, impatient, demanding, uncharitable, distracted and at the very least, low energy behavior.  It’s true that we should be comfortable and at ease with our spouse but we should never make them feel less valuable than the other people in our life.

 

Here are some ways that we can give our spouse what they deserve – the best that we have to offer.

 

>Greet your spouse with as much enthusiasm as you would greet others.

>Say goodbye with as much feeling as you would with others.

>Ask them about their life and how things are going for them.

>Put their needs before the children.

>Look at them in their eyes when they are speaking to you.  Put your device down.

>Try to look your best for them.

>Compliment them on their appearance or their efforts.

>Smile at them.

>Date them and from time to time, put some effort into the planning and preparation.

>Have compassion for them when they make a mistake.  Don’t lecture them about it.

>Don’t demand that they serve you but say thank you when they do.

>Be charming with them.

>Don’t correct them when they make an unimportant mistake when speaking.

>Offer to be their helper.

>Ask them, don’t tell them and don’t forget to say please and thank you.

 

Our spouse is the most important human in our life and they should definitely feel as though they are.  Would you take a challenge for me?  If this is an area of weakness for you, try implementing one or two each month until they are habits and your spouse is feeling as though they alone, are your most significant other.

What a Husband Really Needs

Last week we looked at what a wife really needs.  Now, what does a husband really need?  It isn’t a deluxe meat smoker, dream boat, tricked-out truck or even the perfectly cooked steak or freshly homemade sweet rolls.

 

He needs you to pursue him sexually.

He needs you to make his sexual needs a priority.

He needs you to enjoy sex and let him know that you are.

He needs you to tell him or show him what feels good.

He needs you to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and most importantly, spiritually.

He needs you to need him and his help.

He needs you to appreciate him.

He needs you to respect him.

He needs you to make yourself available and spend time with him.

He needs you to not discuss your marriage with others.

He needs you to put him before the children.

He needs you to choose him over others regularly.

He needs you to communicate what your needs and desires are.

He needs you to not have a critical spirit toward him.

He needs you to not nag or gripe at him.

He needs you to serve him in little ways such as bringing him a cup of coffee.

He needs you to be his representative in the home.

He needs you to appreciate the sacrifices that he makes for you and your family.

He needs you to not punish or cold shoulder him.

He needs you to tell him what he did wrong instead of making him guess.

He needs you to trust him and his judgement.

 

I hope that you have enjoyed this two-part series and that it has been a helpful encouragement to you.  Thank you for reading and I absolutely love to see your feedback too.

What a Wife Really Needs

She doesn’t need a gigantic stuffed teddy bear or a new pajama set.  She has prepared a honey-do list for you.  I have organized it strategically by your priorities.  This list starts with sex but be sure to persist to the end of the post, because I will have an important explanation for you.

 

She needs you to communicate verbally and non-verbally, that you find her sexy, beautiful and desirable.

She needs you to make love to her entire body and explore how to satisfy her sexually.

She needs you to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and most importantly, spiritually.

She needs you to make her feel like a queen.

She needs you to serve her in thoughtful little ways.

She needs you to listen to her and look her in the eyes.

She needs you to protect her.

She needs you to defend her when she’s right.

She needs you to confront her when she’s wrong.

She needs you to sacrifice some of your own desires for her.

She needs you to choose her over your activities or other people regularly.

She needs you to communicate what your needs and desires are.

She needs you to not have a critical spirit with her or the children.

She needs you to shield her from taking on too much.

She needs you to partner with her in the struggles of life including parenting.

She needs you to ask her hard questions and hold her accountable as a woman, wife and mother.

 

There are a few points that require further explanation.  First, a husband doesn’t need to become financially burdened in order to make his wife happy.  Making her feel like a queen, isn’t as much about money as it is about your effort.  A good woman will feel like a queen when you make her your priority.  She needs to know that she is second only to your relationship with God.  Look her in the eye when she speaks, study what makes her tick and find small thoughtful ways to serve her.  On the other point, it is difficult for a husband to confront his wife when she has done something wrong or needs accountability but according to God, you are the leader of your home.  Unfortunately, you may lose some of your peace and quiet for a time but in the long run, your wife and children and others that are affected will benefit.

 

Be watching for next week’s post.  We’ll take a look at what a husband really needs.

Not Your Typical Valentine’s Day Post

Is it really February 14th already?  You didn’t remember to buy a card for your husband?  No worries – you’ve got everything that you need, to give him the best Valentine’s Day present ever.

 

 

He probably doesn’t really want another greeting card from you and although he loves chocolate, there’s something that he loves even more – sexual enticement from his wife, leading to mind blowing sex with her.  No matter how long you’ve been married, you can climb onto his lap, look him in the eye as you confidently unbuckle his belt, and let him know that there is only one thing on your mind.  If it’s physically impossible for you to do this, I’m sure that you can use your feminine imagination and come up with something just as fun.

 

 

Here are some ideas for the perfect time with your Valentine and by the way, he wants to be your Valentine every single day – not just one day a year.

 

 

>Look him in the eyes and say something a little naughty.

 

>Let him undress you.

 

>When the kids are out of sight and he’s sitting down relaxing, climb onto his lap and make out.

 

>Let him enjoy the view as you walk up the stairs in front of him.

 

>When you’re sitting next to him or even across the room, make sure that he can catch a glimpse of something – your shapely leg, pretty feet in sexy shoes or a little lace.

 

>Pay attention and take note of what seems to turn him on.   It might be as simple as letting him watch you lick honey off of a spoon.  Have fun teasing him a little with it.

 

 

Enticement with the promise of the real thing is like energizing juice and within the confines and commitment of marriage, it is a beautiful blessing.  Wouldn’t you love to hear “wow, sex just keeps getting better and better with you”?

Deep Within

The following was originally published one year ago.  It struck a chord with both men and women and it is a topic worthy of revisiting.  As an introduction, I include the brief statement below, which was written by a real woman who wanted her voice to be heard.  She offered her heart, so that others would be helped.  She entitled this “Look at Me”.

 

“I am your greatest earthly treasure, sitting on the shelf. You pour yourself into things that will be tossed tomorrow. Look at me! Strangers and acquaintances affirm me today and maybe tomorrow but you don’t see my gifts. Look at me! You see my adornments and your hands examine the jewels but you don’t look deep enough to see my heart and mind. Look at me! You praise my efforts but always with a suggestion. Look at me! I am only a whisper away, invisible with tears in my eyes. Look at me! What do I want? I do want you to love my adornments, I do want you to praise what I do and I do want you to know who I am, deep inside of my mind and my heart. Who am I? Don’t look at me but look deep within me.”

 

She wrote this during her darkest moments and from a place of deep pain but it isn’t earth shattering. Too many women struggle with similar thoughts and feelings. She is not a depressed woman.  Actually, she describes herself as happy and striving for contentment. She is an ordinary woman and just like most women, her emotional tank occasional becomes empty. Husbands, this post is not intended to heap more burden or guilt onto you.  I’m hoping that this fills in the blanks for many men.  I know that so many men labor and struggle to understand how to fulfill their wife.  I will boil it down for you.  Love your wife by studying her. Make her your lifelong learning project. There is nothing sexier than a man learning about what makes his woman tick. I know it’s difficult and it requires effort – actually, it requires hard work but please realize that it is difficult for her to let you lead, put you before the children and make your sexual needs a priority? You see, these things are foreign to her, just like it is foreign to you to study your wife.

 

I love how music speaks to our hearts.  There is a beautiful song called Exploring the Blue by Luka Bloom.  He sings – “I go down into the water, and dive as deep as man can go, into those dark places, watch the underwater flow, exploring the blue, in search of you, here I stand by the mountain, look up to the sky, knowing it’s a matter of having to climb, above this place these clouds lie.”  This beautiful song is about a man going as deep or climbing as high as he needs to go, in order to understand and know his woman.  Studying your wife is all about your efforts.  Observe her and verbally affirm her.  There are no flowcharts and at times you may find this to be quite the challenge, but here are a few ideas to get you going.  “I was amazed at how you handled that situation” or “I was watching you from a distance as you spoke to that person.  I loved your smile and facial expressions” or “it really impresses me that you know where to go in God’s word to find the answers”.  Give her specifics – tell her why she amazed you or what it was about her smile and facial expressions that you loved.

 

Most women have a deep need to be understood by those closest to them.  She wants you to see and value her essence.  If you remove the outward beauty and all of the tasks that she completes, you will find her essence. Her essence is her qualities and character. It is her own unique set of gifts, given to her by her Creator.  Is she compassionate? Is she kind and thoughtful – putting others above herself? Is she sensitive to the moods and hurts of others? Does she love others even though she has been hurt in the past? Does her heart of compassion move her to take action? Is she intelligent?  Is she goofy, funny or witty?  Can she find the humor in almost every situation?  Is she as sweet as sugar and yet vivacious and sexy all at the same time?  This is her essence.

 

Look deep within her heart and her mind and appreciate her essence. Praise her and brag about these qualities as well as her physical beauty and the tasks that she completes. As a woman ages, her physical beauty will change, the volume of tasks that she can complete will reduce but it is her essence that will remain and even become more beautiful in time. I know that you love this woman. Give her hope by looking deep within.

Santa’s Little Helper

Good news ladies!  The best Christmas present that you can give to your husband, is absolutely free.

 

He probably doesn’t want another tie and he most likely doesn’t need another tool or electronic device, but there is one thing that he can never get enough of – sexual enticement from his wife, leading to mind blowing sex with her.  No matter how long you’ve been married, you can climb onto his lap, look him in the eye as you confidently unbuckle his belt, and let him know that there is only one thing on your mind.  If it’s physically impossible for you to do this, I’m sure that you can use your feminine imagination and come up with something just as fun.

 

Here are some ideas for the perfect gift from Santa’s Little Helper:

 

>Look him in the eyes and say something a little naughty.

>Let him undress you.

>When the kids are out of sight and he’s sitting down relaxing, climb onto his lap and make out.

>Let him enjoy the view as you walk up the stairs in front of him.

>When you’re sitting next to him or even across the room, make sure that he can catch a glimpse of something – your shapely leg, pretty feet in sexy shoes or a little lace.

>Pay attention and take note of what seems to turn him on.   It might be as simple as letting him watch you lick honey off of a spoon.  Have fun teasing him a little with it.

 

Enticement with the promise of the real thing is like energizing juice and within the confines and commitment of marriage, it is a beautiful blessing.  Wouldn’t you love to hear “wow, sex just keeps getting better and better with you”?

Sweet ‘n Spicy

The opposite sex can be confusing and frustrating to us.  Sometimes we communicate as if we are speaking in two different languages.  These differences cause needless conflict.  We all know that we can only control our own words and behaviors, so let’s take a look at how a wife can effectively communicate love to her husband by demonstrating that she respects and values him.

 

Let’s start with the most difficult aspect of this post.  Many times a wife is struggling – functioning somehow on an empty love-tank.  She doesn’t feel loved or cherished for a multitude of reasons.  Then add to the mix, a grumpy or even angry husband who is unpleasant and emotionally unavailable.  How in the world is she to muster up the strength and the will to extend love to this man?  Here’s the magic – most husbands when they are feeling respected and valued, will reach to the stars to serve their wife.  So if you are willing as the woman, to do the right thing first, soon you may have a man willing to fill your tank.  He may need some help understanding your needs and desires but if he is feeling love in the language that he understands, pleasing you will be his priority.

 

Here are some practical ways to demonstrate love by respecting and valuing a man:

 

Men need some time to unwind when they get home.  He’s been fighting battles for you and the children and he needs time to decompress.  Don’t dump your burdens on him the moment that he walks through the door.  Be sweet and greet him with a pleasant smile, kiss and hug.  If he has a hobby or interest, give him the gift of time to have fun or accomplish with it.  Later, he will be more willing and able to give you the attention or down-time that you need.  Also, if you are usually following these principals, he will be happy to be your hero when you’ve had a bad day and occasionally need to unload on him when he walks through the door.

 

Don’t belittle him or his ideas. If your husband opens up to you and shares a dream, problem or challenge and the way that he would like to proceed, don’t rattle off all of the reasons that it won’t work.  It is acceptable to show concern but not doubt in him or his wisdom.  Instead, reassure him that you recognize the difficulty in making the decision and support him if you can. My husband knows that I need information, so at this point he will answer my questions and usually, we will commit to pray. If you believe that he is making a mistake, remember he probably already realizes that he is accountable for his decisions, so it is not necessary to remind him of this and doing so makes him feel like a child.

 

Don’t sulk. Women are especially in tune with the needs of those around us. Most men are not tuned into the intricacies of relationships. Don’t punish him with the silent treatment or cold shoulder when he does not live up to your expectations. Most men absolutely despise feeling like they must walk on eggshells around their wife. Stop playing games and just tell him exactly what you need or want.

 

Embrace his physical needs and realize that he was created as a sexual being.  Don’t rebuff him or view him as a sex maniac when he demonstrates his attraction for you. Men face a tremendous amount of sexual temptations each and every day. Some men expend their sexual energy on pornography, fantasy and other illicit sexual experiences. If you find yourself exasperated that he has his hands all over you, just relax and enjoy it.  If he pours his sexual energy into you, then he most likely is not pouring it out elsewhere.

 

When a woman is willing to be soft and responsive, amazing things can happen.  Do you remember the old saying “girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice”?  Try using the grown-up version – sweet ‘n spicy.

Love Hopes All Things

Marriage between a man and a woman is a beautiful merging of two completely different people with different temperaments, upbringings and life experiences.  A marriage between two people with the same beliefs and values is challenging enough but what happens when one spouse is a Christian and the other is not?

 

Some Christians choose to ignore God’s warnings and they marry an unbeliever.  Sometimes one spouse comes to faith in Jesus Christ after the marriage begins.  I would never counsel a Christian to enter the matrimonial commitment with an unbeliever and it would never be acceptable to leave a spouse because they don’t come to faith in Christ, but if you find yourself unequally yoked, please be encouraged – there is hope.  There can be peace and joy in this relationship but first you must give up.

 

Every spouse must give up on trying to change their spouse.  The greatest peace that we can experience in any relationship, occurs when we finally accept them, just the way that they are.  The unbelieving spouse needs to experience unconditional love and acceptance.  Here is where we leave our burden in God’s hands and He takes over and does a magnificent work – in both spouses.  I cannot promise that your spouse will come to faith in Jesus but I can promise that they will more accurately understand the great love that God has for them, because of your selfless, sacrificial and unconditional love.

 

I know many that find themselves in this situation.  At times, it is a difficult and lonely road.  For this post, I asked other women to help.  They are married to an unbelieving husband.  I asked them to share their wisdom.  Some of the wisdom came easily and some was learned through hard lessons.  Here is what they want you to know.

 

>We are not our spouse’s Holy Spirit and especially for a wife, she is not her husband’s teacher.

>Remember that it is God’s role to change our spouse’s life.

>We cannot force, pressure or manipulate our spouse into faith.

>Love them according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  Read it and memorize it if possible.

>Have a quiet spirit and live a life that demonstrates how you are different in a positive way.

>Remember that God loves them even more than you do.

>Remember that God desires that they have salvation even more than you do.

>Realize and accept that you are in this for the long haul.  This road will be full of turns, bumps, darkness and times of joy and light.

>Take notice of the little changes that you see along this journey.  Write them down and reflect on them when discouraged.

>Find promises in God’s Word that are comforting and cling to them.

>Love your spouse for who they are right now.  Remember, they are still a created individual with wonderful attributes.

>Be supportive of their interests.  I’m not suggesting participating in anything that violates God’s Word but don’t be legalistic.  If they enjoy an activity, go with them.

>For wives, don’t behave like Mrs. Prudish Churchy.  Every husband wants his sexy wife.  Be fun, flirt, flash and dress attractively for him.  God approves.

>Be an attractive Christian.  Show that Jesus’ power makes a difference in the lives of His followers.  Pray for joy, genuine love, kindness and to be charitable toward others.

>Church stuff might seem strange to an unbeliever.  Don’t burden them with the issues at church and don’t get defensive if they are critical of church stuff or church people.  Remain quiet – God doesn’t need us to defend.

>Listen to the wisdom of your unbelieving spouse.  Don’t dismiss them – many times they are correct.

>Don’t try to be sly about slipping in the Gospel message.  Preaching during a prayer, or using a child to deliver our agenda, makes the unbelieving spouse feel manipulated.

>Respect your spouse on parenting issues.  For example, if they are concerned that the children are only hearing Bible stories, mix in some inspirational secular books and stories when reading to a child.

 

I am married to a believer.  He was raised in a Christian home and I was not.  I was a relatively new Christian when we married but through all of the struggles of marriage, we had our beliefs and values in common.  Most importantly, through 34 years of marriage, Jesus Christ has been the head and center of our relationship.  During every disagreement, we have had the opportunity to look away from our own agendas and instead look at Jesus and what He would want for our home.  I realize that for the spouse who is married to an unbeliever, they don’t have this common focal point.  This is my reason for writing about this.  These situations need our concern, prayer support and practical care.  If this post describes your situation, I want you to know that I care and so do others.  To close this out, here’s a quote from one dedicated wife of an unbelieving spouse – “you loved this person enough to marry them, so love them all the way to the arms of Jesus”.