Confessions of a Once Unromantic and Neglectful Husband…

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Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt [my] love.

–William Shakesphere (Hamlet)

 

…rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Prov 5:18 (NASB)

I believe one of the hardest things most men can do is learn to praise, honor and rejoice in their wives.  We men are taught in our world that it is not “macho” to be romantic.  Real men don’t do that, right?  Well, I beg to differ, and I believe that Scripture portrays a different perspective on this as well.  I believe real men are among the greatest romantics in the world.

But society and often a man’s upbringing leads to a tainted view of what it is to be a real man and a good husband.  I have known men who would confess that not only did they never see this in their fathers, they also were disciplined in showing emotion.  Real men don’t cry, right?  I had a friend once that said any time he would cry as a child he was severely punished, physically, by his father:  “You want to cry, here, I will give you something to cry about!“  This resulted in a man who as an adult not only never showed emotion, but who had little ability to share emotion with their spouses.  And forget the idea of being romantic.  This lifetime of training, and discipline, resulted in a cold and even calloused  husband.

Confession time…it took me a long time (most of my life) and a lot of very hard work to become a jerk.  And when the Lord revealed this to me, it is taking more and even harder work to become a good husband (notice I said is taking, not took – this is an ongoing process for me).  Putting off being a jerk and putting on becoming a good husband takes time and very hard work my friends.  I can tell you that today I literally REJOICE in my wife.

Ok, men, so let’s say you realize that your upbringing or societal expectations have been wrong, and now you need a little help in the romance arena.  Here are some suggestions.   Surprise your wife and REJOICE in her!  Yes.  I said, or should I say God said, REJOICE in her.  “Exactly what does it mean to rejoice, Mr. Webster, anyway?”

To feel joy; to experience gladness in a high degree; to have pleasurable satisfaction; to be delighted.

We men experience different emotions, and react to emotion, in different ways.  But one thing I can tell you of a certainty is that when I experience gladness, have pleasurable satisfaction, or am delighted in anything, I want to show it.  We have all seen movies and such in which a man is literally jumping for joy over landing a dream job or winning the lottery.  This is the emotion our wives want to see in us in relation to how we feel about them.  And men, it is fairly easy (and hard work at the same time) to show your wife such emotions when you have them toward your her.

Now, before I start giving you advice and suggestions, let me warn you, be genuine.  Trying to appear romantic when you have been the fool I was for years will only appear hypocritical.  A good marriage requires very hard work, and you may have some work to do before you try some of my suggestions.  Watch your motives also gentlemen…

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Phil 2:3-4 (NASB)

I often say to Christians that this one verse holds the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of the universe, the key to relationships.  If you apply this principle to all you do in relation to other people, your relationships will be amazingly successful.  Selfishness is the killer of relationships, and it often is not obvious to someone when they are being selfish.  They have acted this way for years if not decades, they think this is just “how I am.”  Wrong, this is what you have chosen to become.  You can change.  If you enter this process in order to GET something, and I mean anything, then your motives are wrong.

If you spent your life becoming a jerk, you first may need to learn another principle.  That was your former way of life, and as a Christian you are no longer it’s prisoner.

…in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Eph 4:22-24 (NASB)

Being a neglectful husband is one of the things a Christian Man may have to “put off” in order that his mind may be renewed, and they then must replace what has been removed with what is desired; in this case, becoming a good husband.  I know I had to learn this and it was hard work putting my old habits and attitudes off in order to replace them with Christ likeness wherein I would become one of the husbands who:

…love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for he…

Eph 5:25 (NASB)

Ok, so now you want to learn some ways to be an honest, genuine romantic husband.  What do you do now?

Buy Her Flowers

“‘The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. ‘The fig tree has ripened its figs, And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along!’”

Song 2:12-13 (NASB)

There was a period of time in my marriage, now in its 35th year, when I took my wife for granted.  Ok, I had landed the All-Star (High School Drill Team member) and we were married, now on to more important matters.  I was blessed during this period in my life to have married Proverbs 31 herself, even it I did not see that at the time.  All too often, though, this is not the experience other men talk of and it breaks my heart.  Often their deprived and neglected wives turn elsewhere for the attention their husbands do not give them, end up in adultery, and their marriages often end up in divorce.  All because the husband had centered his attention on careers, sports, fishing, whatever and neglected his wife.  They had not REJOICED daily in their wives.  “But by the grace of God, there go I!”  Few men are preserved as I was when this happens and their lives are left in ruins.

Men, one simple thing you can do to rejoice in your wife is to buy them some flowers! No, you do not have to go to the flower shop and plunk down $69.99 on roses.  These days you can find flowers at Walmart, the Grocery store, convenience stores, etc.  If you are in a tight budget, watch for the clearance flowers often put on clearance.  I have gotten my wife beautiful bouquets  for $ .99

Buy her an orchid plant to put on her desk at work.  Often these can also be found in places men frequent other than a flower shop.  Home Depot and Lowe’s often have them available!

Give Her a Card

One of the things I have learned to do is to express my feelings in a card.  Don’t wait for an occasion guys, if you have strong feelings for your wife let her know so by blessing her with a beautiful card.  Keep a stash of them on hand, hidden away for one of those times you just want to say you love her in a special way.

You can mail the card to her from work, or you can do as I often do and hide them in a certain place.  I have hidden them in the glove box of the car, in her work laptop computer, or other places for her to find.  I then send her a txt message or IM and tell her to go out at lunch and retrieve it from the car or to look in a certain place for something I left her.

Read Her a Poem

My beloved responded and said to me, ‘ Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along. ‘For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone.

Song 2:10-11 (NASB)

Scripture is not devoid of Love Poetry; if you doubt this just read the Song of Songs or the Psalms…

Ok guys, I don’t want to give away all my secrets, but like many things “there’s an app for that!”  The rise of the “smart phone” is a great tool for the smart husband!  Go to your phones “market” and search romance, love poems, etc.  Take your favorites and read to your wife as she falls to sleep or while you take them on a picnic.

If you don’t have a smart phone, try the library or bookstore; buy or check out a book of love poems.

TXT Her Your Thoughts

I doubt that I am wrong in this, but I’ll wager that most women like to know you are thinking about them…send them a txt message telling them so.  A simple “Honey, I love you!” works wonders in bringing your wife a smile during her busy day.

Make Her a Romantic Dinner

Not many years ago, about all I could do in the area of cooking was to boil eggs and burn all sorts of food on the grill.  This was not the makings of fantastic romantic dinners I can assure you.  I decided I wanted to create a special dinner for my wife and really do it up right.  I envisioned candle light, place mats, table covers, a correctly set table, and of course a delectable dinner for two.  Again, the problem was I could not cook nor had I ever had curses in etiquette.  So, there were a few obstacles to overcome.  Enter Google, Youtube, and sites like Allrecipes.com

I had to use Google to learn how to properly set a formal table.  I use Recipe sites like http://allrecipes.com to learn how to cook more than a well done steak on the grill.  I read cooking books and articles.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not the Galloping Gourmet, but I now feel comfortable in the kitchen.

I learned some tricks and Recipes, including creating red wine marinades for my steaks and that they cause the meat to become very tender.  I learned to make Steak Dianne, and the sauce was to die for!  I learned to make Cherries Jubilee.  I learned to cook!  And all it took was a goal (to bless my wife), some time, and effort.

Gentlemen, try it…yes, it will take some effort, but your goal is to bless your wife.

Surprise Her

On our 25th anniversary, I took my wife on a cruise.  She thought this trip was the event…but I had decided more was in in order for such a special time in our lives.  I was working in the best paying job of my lifetime, and beside the cruise had placed in layaway a diamond anniversary ring and paid on it for about a year.  I had researched and planned the presentation of this ring down to the mile.  I determined where the half way point was in the trip and used a GPS to know the exact moment to present the ring.

There are many ways to surprise your wife.  Marriage can get monotonous.  Daily life can result in a man and wife becoming so used to each other that the relationship grows cold.  Men, it is your responsibility in your marriage to keep things fresh, and learning to surprise your wife is one way of doing this.

Recently, my wife was working on a large project at work that was eating her lunch.  She was working extremely hard and under stress.  She was tired at night and fell to sleep  almost instantly when she got in bed.  I knew she was struggling with fatigue even in her commute home.  So I researched Hotels near her place of employment, and found out where her company sent their overnight clients to stay.  I made a reservation there one Friday night and left clues about the evening for her.  I placed a card in the glove box of her car with the details.  The idea was that she would have a 5 minute commute instead of her usual hour; a nice dinner and romantic evening.

The most recent example I can cite was planning a nice evening to celebrate the night I asked her to marry me.  I found the date in our wedding book, and took her out on that date for dinner.  There I presented her with a Love Journal I had spent months writing (see suggestions on this below).

Date Night

It is imperative to date your wife.  Date night can be a night out or a night at home.   Use your imagination.  But whatever you do, date her!

One of the things we used to do (before we had our children move back home due to the economy) was to have a standing date night at home.  We seldom could afford to go out for really special dinners, so I would make her a special dinner every Thursday night and have a romantic quite night at home.

I made sure dinner was something special; complete with candlelight and a properly set table.  At times I served such special items as Lobster.  As I have said, we are on a tight budget.  So I watch for special deals at the supermarket.  I often found fully cooked whole Main lobsters for as little as $5 each!  Deals such as specials on King Crab Legs are available, so I buy what I CAN afford and wait for the next time they were on sale.  When I have enough, we have delicious King Crab dinners for a fraction what we could eat them at a Seafood Restaurant.

Praise Your Wife!

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

Proverbs 31:30

Praise your wife…Wikipedia defines praise as:

…the act of making positive statements about a person, object or idea, either in public or privately.

Post messages about her on facebook.  Yes men, I said in front of the entire cyber-world let your wife, and anyone else out there know you are nuts about her and why it is that you praise her.  And I mean NUTS.  Your ego may have to be swallowed, but post love quotes, poems, Youtube songs and such things as  “I Love You” messages in different languages on her (and your) facebook pages.  Hopefully, she will become the envy of all her cyber friends!

One of the things I have been doing for some time now is to post the message “I Love You” in a different language every day.  Again, I don’t want to give away all of my secrets but this is not as hard as it may sound.  I have invested many hours researching these things, and all you need my friend is Google and a little time!

Write her a Book or Journal of Love

This one is really going to require some work guys.  But if you really want to bless your wife and demonstrate to her your joy in her write her a book or journal of love thoughts.  Go to the bookstore and buy one of those lined journals, I prefer the nice ones with leather covers.  On each page write personal notes of your love for her, write out love poems or even short love quotes you find, write the words to songs you hear that remind you of her and that illustrate your love for her, the words from cards you find, etc.  Write these in your own handwriting. and  date the front of the book…I did this this summer for my wife and dated it ‘Summer 2011′ and gave it to her on a special dinner date.  Not only will she cherish this forever, but it may become a special family heirloom many decades or even hundreds of years from now!

Also try your hand at actually writing poetry to your wife.  No guys, you will find that you CAN do this.  I have discovered that the more I researched and searched out poetry to give my wife it became easy to write my own special thoughts in poetic form.  And no, you do not have to be Shakespeare.

A sample of such a poem is this one I did for my wife recently, which speaks of our mutual enjoyment of the universe.  There are two things my wife learned about me early on.  One was that I was committed to a lifetime of serving the Lord and felt a calling to ministry.  The other was that I was and always would be an Amateur Astronomer, and we both share an enjoyment of gazing at the mighty works of God illustrated in nighttime the skies above.

I wrote this poem from that perspective for her:

While most the world sleeps,
Let others awake weep…
Because this night you and I alone
Own those stars which above us are shown.
Twinkling as though only to us they wink,
Only toward you and I they blink.
We lie together under the moonless skies,
The stars shining brilliantly as each stroll by.
Of all the beauty that the skies unfold,
None of them compare with you, my doe.
Up there in Cygnus, hides the Veil,
Reminding me of the one you once wore,
placing me forever under your spell.
And over in Lyra, the ring doth shine,
Reminding me of the one you wear, which made you all mine.
There is one thing on which you can always count,
And that is my eternal love, no doubt.
You alone will I adore,
as long as the stars are there to explore.
And if they should ever fail to shine,
Still will I only and forever be thine.
Yes, I love those celestial skies above,
But not even they compare with you, my love…

This post was written by

kc5lei – who has written 50 posts on One Flesh Ministries.

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