That title got your attention guys, didn’t it? I bet even if you are woman you wanted to read this when you saw the title because you wanted to see if I got it right. Well let’s get started and you can comment on this blog after you’ve read to let me know how you think I did.
I asked all the men at our church last week to write down what they wished their wives knew and here are some of their responses:
- “Even though I may not listen the first time doesn’t mean I don’t value your thoughts.” (Actually, I think that’s exactly what it means.)
- “When I am watching sports, I have trouble focusing on what you are saying.”
- “I like to fix stuff.” (Talk about deep).
- “I’m not deaf, I just have selective hearing.”
- “It’s not selective hearing. I really am going deaf.” (You read those last two right. I can’t make this stuff up.)
- “I really do know everything.
- I’m not over emotional when I watch sports. Trust me when I say this. Referees are morons.”
- “I love you for who you are and I always will.” (What I think this guy is really saying is “My wife is watching me fill out my card.”)
Before I wrote this blog I read all the cards from the men in my church and I also read this book called the Bible and ladies, you’ll be surprised to learn there was some common ground and it starts here. The first thing husbands want their wives to know is…
1) We Need Respect for What We Do
The book of Ephesians has lots of good wisdom and theology, but it is also loaded with great husband/wife wisdom:
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself… 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.—Ephesians 5:25-28, 33
This doesn’t mean that a husband doesn’t need love and that a wife doesn’t need respect. But it does seem to indicate that respect is a high need for men.
Here is a short list of just a few of the things that husbands do around the house:
- We are the IT person in the house. The extent of most of our computer wisdom comes down to turning the computer off and back on again, but still, that job falls on us.
- We are in charge of pest and rodent control.
- We are the tax accountants in charge of W-2s and 1040 forms.
- We are the bill payers.
- We balance the house budget.
- We are great orators. Some of our greatest quotes include “I paid how much for that swim suit? If it’s that expensive it should come with more material” and “You’re not going out with that guy.”
- We play the role of landscape architect. Actually, we just mow the lawn, and work the weed whacker, but landscape architect sounds better.
- We are the designated auto mechanic in charge of oil changes, smog checks and mechanic negotiation.
Husbands are the toilet plungers, the garage door fixers, the bug smashers, the jar openers, the car registration payers.
There is a danger when ever anyone makes a list like this. Husbands can hold it up and say, “Look at what I do that you don’t do.” Wives can say, “My husband doesn’t do any of those things. Those are on my list.” Let me tell why I included this list: We all want respect. We all want appreciation. We all want to be thanked. This list is not for husbands to hold over wives to say “Thank me.” It’s a reminder to wives to look at what your husband does and don’t take it for granted. It’s a reminder to guys to study your wife and notice all the things she does as well.
Marriage expert Elizabeth Schmitz says If you’ve got a good man in your life, recognize it and treat him accordingly.
“Men will tell us, ‘I want my wife to respect me. I want her to respect me for who I am, how I act and behave, and for how I treat her. More than anything, men want the love of their lives to respect and appreciate them for who they are as human beings. Women who focus on their husband’s strengths and tell them what they do well are bound to have happier marriages.”
Paul my associate put it like this: “Don’t bag on your husband, brag on your husband.” We like to come off all rough and tough but the reality is we could use a pat on the back. We could use a thank you for the thankless tasks we do. The people in our lives would be better if we spend more time bragging than bagging.
[bctt tweet=”Don’t bag on your husband, brag on your husband. #CanyonSprings” username=”canyon_springs”]
2) We Don’t Do Subtle
One of our guys had this to say. “I can’t read your mind and know what you are thinking.” That’s a common phrase you’ll hear men say. It sounds like a cop out, and maybe it is, but we can at least say this: It is extremely hard for us. Let me illustrate how the adult male mind works. This is from Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys:
“Let me tell you the story of Roger and Elaine. A guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine and tonight marks their six-month anniversary.
So Elaine says, ‘Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?’ Elaine begins to ponder, ‘I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.’
Meanwhile Roger is thinking, ‘Gosh, six months.’
And Elaine is thinking ‘But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had aˇ little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward… I mean, where are we going? Do I really even know this person?’
Roger is thinking, ‘So that means it was… let’s see…February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means… lemme check the odometer… Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.’
Elaine is thinking: ‘He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong… Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment: maybe he has sensed– even before I sensed it– that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it.’
Roger is thinking: ‘I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.’
Then Roger takes Elaine home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul and weeps until dawn, whereas Roger gets back to his place, opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he has never heard of.”
This is how the adult male mind works. It doesn’t do subtle. It doesn’t understand nuance. Last week one of the wives in our church told me that she wanted her husband to be aware of her wants and needs, but here is the problem: You want us to be aware of your wants and needs, but we are too stupid to figure out what those are. The Bible is filled with examples of the way the adult male mind works. Let me show you some examples:
- God appears to Moses in a burning bush but it takes God two more signs and 31 more verses to convince him to go. Do you know why? He’s a guy
- God asks Jonah to go speak to Ninevah. Jonah goes the opposite way and gets swallowed by a fish. Do you know why? He’s a guy
- Thomas won’t believe that Jesus is alive until he puts his finger through the hole in his hand. Do you know why? He’s a guy.
Maybe I’m not looking in the right place, but I don’t see that behavior in any of the female characters in the Bible, but it happens over and over with the men.
Kira Sabin in her article, “Men Can’t Read Minds” put it like this:
“If you want a psychic, go hire one. If you want an awesome relationship, you create one. One of the best ways to start creating that relationship is by letting people in on what is going on in our heads. As a life coach, I have seen this trend lately where we believe someone loves us more if they can figure out what we are thinking at all times. That they know instantly when we are happy, upset, frustrated, excited, disappointed, etc., and more importantly, they understand why we are feeling those emotions. Because they just ‘get us.’ What? Who told you that? Reality check. People do not show their love by randomly guessing correctly what is going on in that very, very complicated place we call our brain. They show love by asking questions, listening, supporting and learning about who we are.”
Ladies we don’t do subtle. We’re not trying to be thick. We just don’t get subtle hints. Please tell us what you want.
- Please tell us when you want us to clean.
- Tell us when it’s time to listen and not solve
- If you want a good birthday present, for goodness sake, tell us when your birthday is.
3) We Feel Most Connected Through Sex
It will not surprise you that I got a lot of these comments on cards. Let me give you a sample. Let me warn you again, that guys don’t do subtle:
- “I like it when you touch me.”
- “I’m not an animal, I just have needs.” (Sounds like she’s married to the Elephant Man: “I am not an animal!”)
- “I need more intimacy.””I’m horny, after 2 minutes I stop listening, I’m horny.” (That was all on one card.)
I know it sounds like guys are just sex starved primates, but these sentiments actually represent Biblical wisdom:
3 The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife. 5 So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control. —I Corinthians 7:3-5
God challenges us to not deprive each other and he has some very good reasons. Look at the last phrase again: “Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control.” This is a tough world to be a guy. Temptation is everywhere. Intimacy needs to happen at home or it’s going to make it rough on your guy. If you don’t believe me or the Bible, I found a couple articles this week. Both written by women.
Shaunti Feldhahn interviewed more than 1,000 men prior to writing her book, For Women Only. It was no surprise that the interviews revealed that men desire more sex:
“Men want more sex than they are getting. And what’s more, they believe that the women who love them don’t seem to realize that this is a crisis—not only for the man, but for the relationship…. For your husband, sex is more than just a physical need. Lack of sex is as emotionally serious to him, as, say, his sudden silence would be to you, were he simply to stop communicating with you. It is just as wounding to him. When you don’t understand one another sexually, you run the very high risk of not connecting emotionally. And what could add some spice to our relationship becomes a battlefield and a power match where he’s always keeping score—‘We’ve only had sex once in the past three weeks.’”
Psychologist Anne Crowley puts it like this:
“Physical intimacy is how many men emotionally connect with their wives. When (wives) do reengage in sexual intimacy, the wife typically reports, ‘he is so much nicer.’”
Ladies, I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that this is a very sex oriented world we live in. Your man faces more temptation then men did 50-100 years ago. Images are paraded in front of us on a regular basis. Internet, movies, TV. You don’t even have to watch the show. The commercials are enough. And men are visually stimulated. It doesn’t take much to get us going. In this world, staying sexually pure is hard. There are always women out there more than willing to flaunt what God and or a surgeon gave them. Ladies, don’t wait the planets align to enjoy sex with your husband. Men don’t want sex just because we are animals. Men want sex because this is how we feel close. That’s our number one need. When your man doesn’t get that at home he’s walking out into this big scary, sexy world unarmed.
4) We Want You to Know We Love You
Okay, one more point. This one will be quick, but it’s the comment I got most on the cards I got. I know guys, it sounds like I’m giving up an opportunity here, but the reality is, based on what I read, the guys at Canyon Springs Church love their wives. Here’s what they wanted you to know:
- I love her just the way she is no matter what.
- I am blessed to have her.
- I love you.
- I love you, but you knew that 😃.
- Through the days that are good and bad I have zero doubt how much you love me and I love you.
- You are perfect for me.
- My love for you is unconditional.
- It makes me happy to talk and spend time together.
- I appreciate all the things you do for us.
- I want my wife to know that she is the love of my life. I love Kylie. She wants a shout out.
It is possible that the reason why these guys went on and on about how much they love their wives is because their wives were looking over their shoulders while they wrote (certainly that is true of the last guy), but the reality is I have never met more guys who truly love their wives than the guys at Canyon Springs.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”–Ephesians 5:25
I see that lived out in the lives of guys all around Canyon Springs. Sure we are dense and we try to solve too much and we get so involved in watching sports that we don’t listen. But the guys around here love. They honor their wives. They take care of the kids. They cook and clean. They run carpool. So often guys get shots taken at them when it comes to marriage and what they do, but the guys at our church really do love their wives. It’s impressive. Thank you guys for being an example to me. Ladies, take some time today to say “I love you back” to your husbands. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.