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.