Constant Love

IMG_6145Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her


So today is Valentine’s Day and I wanted to write a little something on the topic of married love. That time when you were first falling in love was a very heady time. Chances are good that if you are a few years out from that, and have kids, and life has somewhat eclipsed your romance, that you are not currently in a phase where your husband calling you makes your heart race. In fact, you may even answer the phone with a complaint about your day, a comment about something he forgot to do, or just something incredibly mundane. Truthfully, things could be at a point where you are seeing him as an extra chore on your list. Maybe when you see your husband you see the things you wish he was doing, a life you wish you had, or a long list of failed expectations.

Luke and I were once watching something where the pastor was telling husbands to date their wives. And I told my husband that I really, really don’t want to be his girlfriend, I want to be his wife. The idea that you need to go back to a time of infatuation instead of settled married love is a sad one. Infatuation is like a crazy waterside – it is wild and fun and makes you feel things that you didn’t know were possible. But the thing is, like any good water slide, it ends. Married love is not a fast and furious exciting ride. It is as though that water slide emptied out into a great lazy river – the depth and breadth of which puts that little slide to shame.

No matter what we are discussing, it is important to spend more time thinking about how you can change things for good than we spend thinking how others should. It is easy to look at our marriages and make a mental list of things that our husbands could change that would be nice. But this is more than unhelpful, it is downright damaging. So I wanted to look at things that wives commonly do – not because I think husbands can do no wrong, but because we are not them.

The heart of her husband safely trusts in her. Does that sound like dating to you? Isn’t part of the thrill of dating the unknown? The idea of being “Old reliable” to your husband may not interest you, but it should.  I know that a lot of people have a bad attitude about this Proverbs 31 woman, but I want to talk about her anyways. Because she is held up in Scripture as the ideal wife. And if you are a wife and you love the Lord – this is a role model that He has provided you.

The obvious point is that the heart of a husband should safely trust that you are not wandering. You affection should remain steadily with him. He should be able to trust you to not be fantasizing about other men, even if they are only fictitious – Mr. Darcy comes to mind. You shouldn’t care about Mr. Darcy. It doesn’t matter if the man you are dreaming of is a man of character and dignity, he isn’t your man and you should stop. He should be able to trust you to be faithful. Faithful to him, faithful to God, faithful to your vows.

Your husband should be able to trust that you are not playing hard to get. You need to consider yourself already gotten. Every day is not a new chance for your husband to earn your affection and respect. He should have it. I think women want to be wanted – which is natural. But the trouble comes in when you think making your husband jump through hoops and show his love for you is the only way he can show you he loves you, and the only way he can earn your love for the day. The same is true of respect. Respect him all the time – not just when he has a really respectable moment. There is an old and wonderful word for this – constancy. Be constant.

When you have a trouble, or a need, or a grief – give it to him plainly. Do not let these things come between you or threaten your love. If you like to set up barriers that he has to battle through every night when he gets home – you are the one creating distance. Busyness and children are notorious for creating distance – look past that to him. Do not expect him to get through it all to you. I don’t even know how many times I have heard people casually refer to men as the more sexually needy. And yet this behavior of women’s is extremely needy – acting like he really wants something that is yours to give, and yet you will not think of giving it unless he goes to great lengths – what is that? Lying in bed at night, acting like you are way too busy for your husband. Leave me alone. I’m BUSY. Watch me doze off, and yearn for a better tomorrow. Seriously women –  fight for intimacy with your husband through whatever barriers you are finding in front of you. Let him fight though his – don’t make him also battle his way through your selfishness or tiredness or indifference. Do your part to make this part of your marriage thrive. If your husband wants it more than you do, want it for him more than you do.

Related to this – be honest. Many women strike a pose of sexual indifference because it gives them some kind of serene majesty in the bedroom. Don’t do this. Do not hide your interest or talk later as though you didn’t care one way or the other, but since he is so needy…. Think if your husband did this to you. Think of if he always mentioned conversations that you had where you really connected as though he seriously could have done without that. If he joked about not needing to hear how you were feeling ever again. That is simply unloving. One of the ways we become one flesh is through taking on the needs and strengths of the other. What he needs, you need. What you need, he needs.

The heart of a husband should be able to trust that you are not going to generate drama between you so that you can feel some sort of catharsis over the resolution. Sometimes women fall back on this as an escape from what they see as the monotony of marriage. If we all feel the same about each other all the time, how boring would that be? This is simply a lack of faith in God’s plan for you. A marriage without drama does not mean a cold marriage. People always talk about where the spark has gone in your marriage, as though a spark is the ultimate achievement. Well ideally, it has turned into some red hot coals. No drama does not mean no heat. Sparks are not always an indicator of things being alive. Sometimes it is just someone trying to light a damp log with a sparkler.  We should be pursuing in our marriages a kind of deep, unrelenting, steady heat. True love is not showy, it is reliable.

Most importantly, your husband should be able to safely trust that you are in submission to God and seeking to grow, and be challenged. He should be able to trust you to be wise and not reactive. He should be able to trust you to help him and not accuse him. He should be able to trust you to deal with difficult things and remain with him. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.


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12 thoughts on “Constant Love

  1. I find so many things on your blog give me courage. Thank you for this.

    “I know that a lot of people have a bad attitude about this Proverbs 31 woman, but I want to talk about her anyways. Because she is held up in Scripture as the ideal wife. And if you are a wife and you love the Lord – this is a role model that He has provided you.”

    I love your level headed perspective and I’ve been amazed at how many blessings God has given me through this passage (like the blessings in your post!) once I started humbling myself enough to learn from her.

  2. Thank you Rachel – I needed this – I have been lamenting over the “rutt” our marriage seems to be in lately, but I know that even though we might not “connect” on a deep level on a regular basis that ours is a faithful and reliable marriage with red hot coals. I needed to be reminded of the part I play in all this too, to not think that him being busy is always the problem.

  3. Beautifully said, & so wonderfully true <3
    I took up the challenge to memorize Prov 31 -& say it over myself every morning as I get physically ready for the day- when I was in college.
    Ten years later, it has become a beautiful anthem over me, still (99%) daily, still learning new truths from it as my life stage changes through the years from single to married to married & mama 🙂
    Thank you for unpacking more wisdom from amongst its verses.

  4. “Married love is not a fast and furious exciting ride. It is as though that water slide emptied out into a great lazy river – the depth and breadth of which puts that little slide to shame.” What a wonderful description.

  5. Thanks for this post–insightful, as always, and timely for me. You’re making me realize that when I hear those “date your wife” speeches, I think, “Yea! Manufacture those feelings I had for you 13 years ago!” when really my love is so much deeper and stronger because of the life we’ve lived (and the children we’ve had) together since uniting before God in the covenant of marriage. And thanks for bring home to me my responsibilities as an aspiring Prov 31 wife.

  6. Thank you for touching on this topic! It’s so wonderful that something as simple as asking God to change our heart attitude smooths out the bumps in the physical realm. I also appreciated your insight into Prov. 31:11 as I had never thought of it that way.

    I do have a question that is somewhat related to the post. What is your take on books and blogs that claim to be Christian marriage bed how-to manuals. I’ve been running into lots of young married Christian women lately who like to chat (or post on Facebook) about Christian blogs and books that teach you, step-by-step, how to “spice things up”. Now, to me this seems like letting the world into your private garden (or us into the author’s private garden for that matter). Obviously, Song of Solomon is not G-rated and the Victorian ideal of hiding sexuality away in a dusty closet and pretending it doesn’t exist is far from biblical. However, some of these books and blogs appear to be of the same breed as the cover of Cosmo. I mean, what happens when you finish the list of “new things to try”? Isn’t that a sandy foundation for long-term intimacy? Is marital intimacy something that husbands and wives should simply enjoy figuring out together without the aid of “the Christian experts” in order to “get it right” or do I just need to overhaul my thinking and lighten-up? 🙂

  7. Thank you, Lizziejank.
    I really liked your point of fighting for intimacy with your husband. I think a lot of this runs into respecting our husbands. When we choose to respect our husbands, along with their ideas, desires and opinions, we end up finding our own happiness as well.

    “She lies in his Bosom, and his heart trusts in her, which forceth all to confess, that the stream of his affection, like a mighty current, runs with full tide and strength.” Thomas Hooker (Puritan)

    Embrace it.

  8. Thank you!! I read this post at a low point and completely shifted my perspective. Now to keep living it out week after week instead of falling into old habits of making lists about what I wish he would do differently.

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