What are some of the greatest gifts a husband can give his wife? Karen Loritts shares some very important things a husband can do for his wife that will make her feel cherished, and will ultimately strengthen their relationship.
What are some of the greatest gifts a husband can give his wife? Karen Loritts shares some very important things a husband can do for his wife that will make her feel cherished, and will ultimately strengthen their relationship.
Bob: We think of Christmas, or birthdays, or anniversaries as the time when we give gifts to one another as husbands and wives. Karen Loritts says there’s a gift a husband can be giving to his wife all year long.
Karen: One of the things that speaks to the heart of a wife is that her husband is seeking the heart of God. Knowing and growing in a loving, personal relationship with Jesus is the best gif—the number one gift, guys—that you can give your wife. She needs to know that you love God more than her and that you will do anything to make that relationship tell the truth about their personal relationship with God.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Thursday, January 15th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. Karen Loritts has a list of seven gifts every husband can, and ought to, be giving to his wife regularly. We’ll hear from her list today. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Thursday edition. I have to tell you—whenever I hear our guests today—whenever I hear Karen Loritts and her husband, Crawford—it’s like a coaching session where you know the coach is going to kind of get in your grill a little bit. [Laughter]
Dennis: But they’re going to help you run the play!
Bob: That’s right!
Dennis: They’re going to help you run the winning play. If you’ve been listening to FamilyLife Today for any length of time—two weeks, a month, six months, six years—
Bob: You just tuned in today for the first time.
Dennis: —you just need to know—you need to get your bride or your husband / and you need to go to the Weekend to Remember® and celebrate your marriage—it’s time. This culture is robbing us of the dignity, the beauty, and the magnificence of marriage as God designed it.
Bob: Let me explain why Dennis is so fired up about this, here, as we start today’s program.
Dennis: I’m fired up because we’ve been doing these things since 1976. We’ve trained over three million people! You know what? It is the best stuff out there on marriage and family!
Bob: I agree. The reason it’s of particular interest right now is that, this week and next week, we have a special offer for our FamilyLife Today listeners. If you sign up to attend one of our upcoming Weekend to Remember marriage getaways, you pay registration fee for yourself and your spouse comes free. This special offer is only good this week and next week. You’ve got to sign up early to be able to take advantage of the special deal.
Dennis is going to be speaking at the Weekend to Remember at Hershey, Pennsylvania, Valentine’s weekend; right?
Dennis: That’s right.
Bob: I’m going to be at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.
Bob: A nice place; huh?
Dennis: It is a magnificent venue! I just want to say about signing up—you need to sign up soon for these locations because we had a number of locations sell out last fall.
Bob: Yes. If you’re interested in attending one of the upcoming Weekend to Remember marriage getaways in February or in March—or even in April, May, or June—go, online, at WeekendtoRemember.com. Take advantage of the special offer. Again, you need to do it this week or next week to take advantage of the special offer. That’s why you jumped right in to talk about the Weekend to Remember, here, at the beginning of today’s program.
Dennis: I did. You know what? It would be a great place to take your adult son or daughter, who’s married. Or if you have friends you’d like to encourage to go to the Weekend to Remember—maybe their marriage needs a tune-up or maybe they’re in trouble. Maybe they’ve got a good marriage, and it just needs to be made better. We’ve got people from all walks of life who are attending these events. It’s a fun romantic getaway. Come and find out why. Let us give your marriage a tune-up and some encouragement.
Bob: WeekendtoRemember.com is the website to go to. The couple we’re going to hear from today speak occasionally at our Weekend to Remember marriage getaways.
Bob: Crawford and Karen Loritts are good friends of ours. Crawford is the pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia. They have spoken at Weekend to Remember getaways for almost three decades now. The message we’re going to hear today was actually a message they presented at one of our I Still Do® one-day events for couples, back last fall. Everybody was taking notes during this message.
Dennis: It’s a real sampling, I think, of the kinds of issues and sampling of themes that you’ll hear at a Weekend to Remember.
Bob: Well, here are Crawford and Karen Loritts. We’re going to hear today Part One from Karen about the gifts a husband can give to his wife.
Crawford: Well, Sweetheart, I want to say in front of all of these people that I’m here to listen to you. [Laughter]
Crawford: We’ve been married now for 43 years. [Applause]
She’s the absolute joy of my life. I actually met her when I was in college, just before the beginning of my sophomore year. Two weeks before I went back on campus, my high school sweetheart broke up with me. I was in my dorm room praying—this is a true story—I went to a Christian college. I was in my dorm room, praying—I was on my knees. I said: “God, no more women! No more women—they mess you up every time. I’m going to stay focused this semester—just you and me, Jesus. I’m going to be all zeroed in and not distracted.” Anybody that knows me knows that I can be fairly focused once my mind is made up.
I got up off of my knees, after that deep-seated, stalwart, single-minded commitment to Jesus—to be focused and not to date / not to be distracted because I needed to heal. I walked down the street to the main administration building. Again, my mind was recycling and going over this deep-seated commitment I’d made to Jesus. I opened the door of the main administration building, and there were these two brown legs at the top of the stairs. [Laughter] I said, “Lord, what have we here?” [Laughter]
I learned an incredible life-long lesson.
Karen: Oh, my word.
Crawford: Never make foolish vows! [Laughter] Those legs belonged to Karen. She was new on campus, and my mama taught me to be hospitable to strangers. So, I said, “I’m your tour guide.” [Laughter] I have been showing her around now for 43 years. She’s the joy of my life! [Applause]
Crawford: My parents had been married for 53 years before my dad passed away and went to be with the Lord. What an incredible marriage God gave them. They lived by vows, and I’m really indebted to them. I’ll never forget the last year that he was alive—he was suffering from congestive heart failure and a number of other issues. They lived in Roanoke, Virginia; and we lived in Atlanta. I was helping them with some of their affairs, and I was up visiting them.
We had just sold the house—it was a large house. Mom had arthritis and getting around that thing was quite the challenge. They were living in a small apartment. I’ll never forget this. It was about—I would say—1:30-2 o’clock in the morning. For some reason, I couldn’t sleep. The bedroom doors were open, and I was in the little bedroom right next to theirs.
All of a sudden, I heard my dad say: “Oh, Sylvia, I couldn’t make it. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t make it.” You see, what had happened was my father was moving slowly at that point. He had to go to the bathroom, and he had gotten up and he couldn’t make it. He’d had an accident. Listen to what my mother said—I’ll never forget this—she said to him: “Crawford, that ain’t nothing—we’re married. I’ll clean it up.” The tears began to trickle down my cheeks because, right in that moment, my mind just flashed back as—as they lived out their commitment to one another.
As Karen and I will be talking to you and talking about the gifts that we give to one another, I want you to keep this principle in the back of your heart and mind. One of the great problems of our marriages today is that we’re too terribly pragmatic. We’re not noble enough. I know that’s a word that’s not used often, but we’ve lost the nobility of commitment and the nobility of sacrifice. So here’s the principle: “The richness of your marriage is in direct proportion to the sacrifices that you make for one another.” The richness of your marriage is in direct proportion to the sacrifices that you make for one another.
Now, Karen’s going to come and talk about the seven gifts that every man needs to give to his wife.
Karen: Ladies, I want to talk a few minutes to the men. I need for the men to jot these seven gifts down. Ladies, I want you not peeking over their shoulders—not nudging them. Let them write this list for themselves.
These are the seven gifts, men—that I would like to offer that you give to your wife. The first gift is godliness. One of the things that speaks to the heart of a wife is that her husband is seeking the heart of God. Knowing and growing in a loving personal relationship with Jesus is the best gift—the number one gift, guys—that you can give your wife. She needs to know that you love God more than her and that you will do anything to make that relationship tell the truth about their personal relationship with God. So, the first gift is godliness.
Here’s the second gift, guys—is unconditional love. In the book of Ephesians,
Chapter 5, verse 25, it says: “Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Love her as you would your own body.”
Ladies, 43 years ago, Crawford looked into my eyes and he made a vow—just like your husband did—to love and cherish in sickness and in health, for better/for worse, for richer/for poorer til death do you part. Now, guys, he made that commitment 43 years ago. Little did he realize, when he married me, he was marrying a person that had a lot of excess baggage. I came from the ghettos of Philadelphia—lived in projects—the product of an unfaithful mother, as a teenager, who gave birth to me. I came into this marriage, wanting to be a wife; but I was clueless of what it meant to be a wife. This man loved me! I was bitter / I was angry. I had no way of knowing what it really meant to be a wife.
But he loved me when our little girl died. Through my own selfishness, I would not let him grieve. He loved me through the pain of this lost child—he kept his vows. I love
1 Corinthians, Chapter 13. Guys, let me suggest that you take some time and read through 1 Corinthians, verses 4-8. Ask yourself a question: “Is my love for my wife as described in 1 Corinthians 13?—that unconditional love that my wife needs?” A man who really loves his wife—he will love her unconditionally.
A third gift is the gift of understanding. This is what it says in 1 Peter, Chapter 3,
verse 7: “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
The authors of the book, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, describes for most women—they describe it this way: “Every thought and issue is connected to every other thought and issue in some way. Life is much more of a process for women.” So, men, let me just give you, under the guise of understanding your wife, four “T’s”—four “T’s.”
The first “T” is time. Several years ago, when we dropped off our last child to college, I went through an emotional meltdown. I went through this whole thing about the empty nest, and I was a hot mess. Can I say that? I was a hot mess!
Crawford: Yes. [Laughter]
Karen: I cried and I sobbed. I didn’t know what was happening, but what I needed from Crawford—to understand me—what I was going through—was I needed time to build the relationship—to help me through the healing process. In the midst of this empty nest thing I was going through—menopause—menopause—menopause! My insides were like a hot furnace. I would just be hot and cold—it was just a terrible time.
The only thing I needed from Crawford, even though he didn’t understand, I just needed him to pretend that he was understanding by giving me time—appropriate time.
Another “T” is—guys, you have to be tender. Give her tenderness. When your wife goes and has her mammogram—you know that mammogram that wives have? [Laughter] Don’t just say, “Oh, you’re just going to the doctor.” It is a painful experience as part of this whole process. I had a call-back on my mammogram. I had Crawford go with me because I wanted him to experience what I was going through. We go through an awful lot; don’t we girls? We go through an awful lot! We need, not only time, but we need for you to be tender as we’re going through it. Be sympathetic/empathize with us—encourage us. Don’t tell us to “Just get over it,”—don’t say that.
Another “T” is being thoughtful—being thoughtful. You know, my love language is—Crawford gives me flowers / he gives me notes and all kinds of good things—but do you know what my love language is? “Take out the garbage.
“Just take out the garbage!” [Laughter] So, being thoughtful means you need to do what you need to do—be helpful. I’m working eight hours a day. When I come home, dinner may not be ready. Now, in our house, Crawford has threatened to get rid of the stove; but I put in my thirty-something years of cooking. So, now there’s an empty nest; we can go out a little bit more—be thoughtful on the changes and the seasons in life.
The last “T” about understanding is talking. Listen, guys—save some words for when you get home. “Put on your listening ears,”—Judge Judy—“Put on your listening ears and just listen.” We don’t need for you to always want to fix it! When I was going through my emotional meltdown, I didn’t tell Crawford a lot of the things I was going through because he wanted to fix it. I wanted to work it out myself! Is that true? I’m just saying. I’m just saying.
One little last thing, guys—the process of understanding starts in the morning. If you want to have good fellowship at night, you’d better start early—understanding. [Laughter/Applause]
The fourth gift is to be a provider. Men, we need for you to provide. One of the things I loved /I just absolutely loved about Crawford’s dad is that, for 40-something years, he worked in the A&P Warehouse in New Jersey. He showed his family that, no matter what—whether it’s the night shift or the day shift—that work was what God had called him to do. It wasn’t about building a big bank account or having the greatest place to live; but just being able to have an honest day’s salary for an honest day’s work and to provide for his family.
This is what 1 Timothy, Chapter 5, verse 8 says: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Let me ask you a question, guys: “Have you provided for your wife and family should you die before her?”
A fifth gift is the gift of protection. Men, let me tell you that there are relationship bullies that are ready to go against your wife and your family. I mean, it can be anything from your children—disrespectful children in your home—that talk to your wife any ol’ kind of way—interfering parents, interfering in-laws, interfering co-workers. Lots of people, even within the church, want to interfere. You need to protect her—she is the queen of the house. Are you protecting her the way God has asked you to do? [Applause] You need to be that bullet-proof vest around her heart and her mind—that she knows you are there.
Ephesians, Chapter 5, again, says a great reminder: “He who loves his wife loves himself and nourishes her and protects her.” There is no doubt in my mind that Crawford is my protector. Does your wife know that you will protect her, even sometimes from herself when she seems overwhelmed by the stresses of life? You need to step in and be the voice of common sense and wisdom sometimes. I’m just saying, we need for you to be the protector.
The sixth gift is the gift of trust—it’s the gift of trust. I like what it says in
Psalm 84, verses 11 and 12: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Oh, Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You.” God promises you that, when you walk uprightly / if you trust Him—and, ladies, we know that trust from our guys is a biggie; isn’t it?
Guys, we need to know that you can be trusted. We understand—sometimes, if someone has hurt you, guys, or mistrusted you, or violated a trust that you’ve given—it hurts you—the same way with us. We want to know that you will not violate your vows / you will not violate your family’s trust in you—you will not violate yourself.
Here are a couple of questions: “Are you loyal and do you wear the cloak of integrity? Are you the same in public as you are in private?” Crawford traveled for 20-some years—10-14 days per month. He made it his desire that he would go out, knowing that I trusted him in these hotel rooms. When he would be on the road, he would always have someone that he would call to let them know where he was—he had an accountability partner. He always had a picture of the family. There was no way that I would mistrust him. Why? Because he built—he built, within our family relationship, this gift of trust.
Listen, no matter if you would ever fail guys, we want to know: “Will you do whatever is necessary to build trust again?” We want to know that. I want you to ask her sometime today: “Do you trust me in all things?” If not in all things, then you need to fix it.
Let me give you the last gift. The last gift is the gift of servant-leadership. 1 Peter, Chapter 5, verses 2-3 says: “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” I found these great lyrics to a song called Lead Me.
Let me read this to you and see if this speaks to your heart, guys:
I look around and see my wonderful life,
Almost perfect from the outside.
In picture frames, I see my beautiful wife,
Always smiling; but on the inside
I can hear her saying,
“Lead me with strong hands.
Stand up when I can’t.
Don’t leave me hungry for love,
What about us?
Show me you’re willing to fight,
That I’m still the love of your life.
I know we call this our home,
But I still feel alone.”
So Father give me the strength to be
Everything I’m called to be.
Oh, Father, show me the way to lead them
To lead them with strong hands,
To stand up when they can’t.
Don’t want to leave them hungry for love,
Chasing things that I could give up.
I’ll show them I’m willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home.
Lead me, ‘cause I can’t do this alone.
These are seven gifts, guys—that you can present to your wife. It takes time to be committed and the responsibility of seeing it through. God bless you.
Bob: Well, we’ve been listening to Crawford and Karen Loritts from one of our recent I Still Do one-day events for couples, talking about the gifts that a husband can give to a wife. We still have ahead Crawford’s half of the message, where he’s going to talk about the gifts a wife can give to her husband.
Dennis: It is a sampling of the kind of teaching you can expect at a Weekend to Remember because the men all pull aside and have their own meeting, where the men are talked to straight, in a practical way, about their job descriptions as husbands and dads in their families. It drives the women crazy. [Laughter] Their husbands are hearing some stuff that they aren’t, and they don’t know what they’re being told.
I want to promise you ladies something—by the time those two sessions are over, your husband has heard some of the most biblical, practical, helpful material he’ll ever hear, in his entire life, about how to be the husband—the servant, the leader, the lover—that you need him to be and the father that your children need him to be as well.
Bob: The Weekend to Remember is designed for couples who are in a good marriage and just want to make sure that they do the regular routine maintenance on their marriage. It’s also for couples who may be experiencing some challenges in their marriage and are looking for some help.
Dennis: And it’s also for engaged couples or those contemplating engagement. I have to say to you—if you’re a single person, right now, and you’re thinking about getting married, do not get married without going to the Weekend to Remember. I’m not kidding you! All of our children were required to go before they got married. There’s a reason why—because you get the blueprints, in advance, of starting to build your home.
Bob: Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into; right?
Dennis: And make sure you’re building off the same set of blueprints.
Bob: Yes. Well, again, right now, we’ve got a special offer going on for FamilyLife Today listeners. When you go, online, or call us and register for one of the upcoming Weekend to Remember marriage getaways this spring, you pay the regular rate for yourself and your spouse comes free. This is a buy one/get one free offer. It’s good this week and next week only. Let me encourage you to go to WeekendtoRemember.com to get all of the information about when the Weekend to Remember is going to be happening in a city near where you live or a city you’d like to attend.
See if you can block out that weekend in your schedule and then register, online, or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to register. The deadline for the special offer is the end of next week. Be sure to get in touch with us so you can take advantage of the special pricing. Plan to join us at a Weekend to Remember getaway.
If you’re coming to Hershey, Pennsylvania, Valentine’s weekend, be sure to say “Hi” to Dennis. If you’re coming to Colorado Springs, be sure to say “Hi” to Mary Ann and me. We’d love to see you.
If neither of those locations work for you, or that weekend’s not good for you, plan to attend one of the—I think we have about 60 of these events happening this spring. Come on out and join us for a Weekend to Remember.
Now, tomorrow we will hear Part Two of Crawford and Karen Loritts’ message on the gifts we can give to one another, as husbands and wives. We’ll hear tomorrow what Crawford had to say to the women in the audience about what their husbands need from them. I hope you can tune in for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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