On one occasion several years ago a couple invited my wife and me into their home for dinner. We suspected that there were some problems. Waiting for the appropriate moment, I asked the general question, "How are you two doing?" The wife took the opportunity to say that this was one of the reasons we were invited. "My husband never tells me that he loves me," she said. Of course, whenever I hear the charges of "never" or "always" in a counseling situation, I consider it an overstatement. However, the husband's response came as close to supporting a "never" charge as I have heard. He looked shocked by her accusation and said, "That's not fair, I tell you at least twice a year that I love you." And he was serious! I must admit that it was difficult to mask my shock and sad laughter for that matter. Guys, twice a year will not cut it. Twice a day would be much more acceptable.
One sure way to frustrate your wife is to fail to love her. Your number-one responsibility, humanly speaking, is to love your wife to the extent that she has absolutely no doubts about it. Your expressions of love must be demonstrable, practical, and perennial!
When I go to my local greeting-card store to pick up a card for my wife on her birthday or Valentine's Day, there are always several cards that say, "I know I haven't said it as often as I should," and you should not be in a position to purchase that card! You should be confident that you are speaking such words of love and affection. Gentlemen, be confident that you are speaking words of love and appreciation "as often as I should." Of course, your words should be backed up by your actions and affection. Maybe one of the reasons your wife is feeling unattractive is that you are failing to show her affection from day to day. Don't forget those daily hugs and kisses as you leave one another in the morning and when you see one another again later in the day. Is your wife frustrated? Perhaps it is because she is insecure in her assurance of your love.
Another way to frustrate your wife is to fail to lead. Christian wives hope their husbands will be godly leaders. They hope that you will take the initiative. What does this look like? It includes leading the family as a whole by establishing and actively supporting the objective of becoming a God-glorifying household. It means taking the initiative in leading the family in engagement with God's Word both in the local church and at home. The shepherd leader at home protects his flock by actively instructing the sheep and being responsible for discipline when one of the sheep strays. In addition to these responsibilities you are also to exercise loving leadership for your wife personally in her walk with the Lord. You are there to provide emotional, physical, and spiritual support. Where these are missing, your wife will most certainly be frustrated.
Adapted from The Shepherd Leader at Home ©2012 by Timothy Z. Witmer. Published by Crossway. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Listen to Tim Witmer talk more about his book on a recent FamilyLife Today® broadcast.
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