Up for a challenge?

This one is for all the married women out there. Men, you can read on if you want, but the post is geared toward women this time.

Ladies, do you love your husband? Like really love your husband? I’m sure you all answer “yes” to this question but I don’t think you know what I mean. If you said “yes” to my question, then you should be able to answer this one: How do you love your husband? Is that a little harder to pin down? Probably is, and that’s ok. You’re in the right place.

If you are a married woman, your priorities should look a little different than those of a single woman. A married, Christian woman’s priorities (according to the Bible), should be 1. God, 2. Husband, 3. Children, etc. If this is true, we’re looking at the husband having a higher ranking in the wife’s life than her children, job, housework, other relationships, etc. Rub you the wrong way? It did me too, until I started applying it in my marriage. The change has been incredible.

What is the most important human relationship you’ll ever have on this earth? Who knows you better than anyone else and still loves you? Which human being has the ability to make you happier than you’ve ever been with anyone else ever? Catch my drift? Your marriage is the most important relationship you’ll have this side of heaven. And if that’s true, it’s probably worth your effort.

Is your husband perfect? No, I’m sure he is not. But neither are you. Is loving your husband always easy? No, I know it’s not. But God never promises life is going to be easy. Notice the order of priorities above? God is first.

God is first because you can’t love your husband without God. You can’t love your children without God. You can’t love your neighbor without God. Without the love of God indwelling, you are not capable of loving anyone properly. Because love is not a feeling that ebbs and flows like the tossing waves of the sea, love is a choice. I choose to love my husband when he’s being a turd, or worse, because God chooses to love me as a wretch. When I was the worst of sinners, God sent His only Son to die for me. I’m glad He made that choice.

Knowing the love of God is the foundation of any love relationship you’ll ever have. So that’s step one. But I don’t want to leave you hanging while you dive into step one, it could take a lifetime. Here are some practical ways to love your husband (these are your “how” answers from above), in spite of how you FEEL for your husband:

1. When he comes home from work, drop everything you’re doing and hug him (or kiss him or grope him, depending on your level of comfort). Doing this will show your husband that he is your top priority; not dinner, or tending to the house, or children, etc. If he knows he’s your number one, you’ll see some changes in your relationship almost immediately. You are his biggest cheerleader, or insult-er, and you hold his self-worth in your hands. Are you building him up with your actions, or tearing him down?

2. Ask his opinion on things. Again, by doing this, he’ll know you value his opinion, and in turn it makes him feel important. You two are a team, act like one. Making decisions without him, repeatedly, will have the opposite effect and make him feel unimportant. Eventually, he won’t know how to make a decision without you and then you’ll be insulting him for never making a decision on his own.

3. Initiate intimacy. Show him you want him. Men need to be wanted. They want to feel attractive and needed. If you let him know you want to be intimate with him, and that it’s not just a chore, his self-worth will increase immensely.

Are you freaked out by those three things? They’re not that hard, right? Ok, maybe number three is a little difficult, but the other two are easy peasy. The trick is to not give into your feelings. He may come home from work Tuesday and you’ve had a horrible day. You have a full night of errands and your only goal is to get dinner in your kids and get out the door on time. In the grand scheme of things, is 30 seconds of attention to your husband really going to make you late? Drop everything you’re doing and hug him, as soon as he walks in the door, regardless of how you feel. There’s a reason why that’s number one, it’s the easiest one to incorporate into your “routine”.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering “Why do I need to do all this? Just because some blogger mom told me too?”. No, of course not. The answer to the question, “Why do I need to show my husband I love him?” is simple, because God showed you He loves you. You have made a covenant with God to honor and love your husband. God has brought the two of you together as one flesh. He didn’t do that so you could just “go through the motions” of marriage. He did that so you could have life abundant here on earth. Your marriage is worth fighting for. Are you going to do your part?

One final point and I’ll end. We (women) are so good at joining challenges to eat better, lose weight, read the bible, whatever it may be. We are smart enough to know we need accountability in certain areas of our life, but why don’t we think we need it in our marriages? So here’s what we’re going to do: I’m initiating a challenge. It’s called the 1 John 4:19 Challenge. I want you to love your husband for the right reasons and I want you to do it practically. I’ve given you three practical ways to show your husband you love him. I want you to find an accountability partner, another MARRIED woman who will do this challenge with you. I want you to commit to four weeks of intentionally loving your husband. Your goal will be to accomplish at least ONE of the three listed above FOUR times a week. One week you could do 1, 2, 3, and 1. One week you could do 1, 1, 1, and 1. Whatever is easiest or most important to your marriage, that’s what you should focus on. At the end of the four weeks, I want you and your partner to meet and talk about what you noticed. How has your relationship changed? How have your feelings changed? How have your priorities changed? Etc.

If you want to take this challenge, and you’ve found a partner, please comment below and let me know you’re in. I don’t have to have names and addresses or anything, I just want to know if you’re doing this so I can pray for you through it. If we all loved our husbands the way God wants us to love our husbands, could you imagine the fire we’d start!? Have fun!

P.S. I can type all of this because I’ve been there. My marriage was on the brink of divorce and, by the grace of God we’re not now. I’d be happy to share our testimony privately, just comment or message me. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and I think your marriage should be your priority, almost always. Strong marriages are super powerful in the Kingdom of God and your marriage can be one too.