Lately, my wife and I have done quite a few couples seminars in churches. One of the questions I like to pose to participants is: “What does a wife have the right to expect from her husband? What does a husband have the right to expect from his wife?”
We also had two pastor’s wives share with our men’s group back in my home church in the Paris area on the subject: “What Do Women Want From Their Husbands?”
I was a bit surprised to hear one thing come from the mouth of two wives in places as far apart as Paris and Luxembourg. “Women expect a husband to be able to guess what she’s thinking.”
Guess what she’s thinking! I suspect that often women don’t even know themselves what they are thinking. How can they expect their husbands to know?
Guess what she’s thinking … that’s rolled over in my mind quite a bit recently, because none of the other lady participants denied it. Hmmm …
Another word came up from both the men and the women in the Luxembourg seminar: “Complicity.” I wondered if these two ideas aren’t related. According to the Oxford dictionaries, complicity is, “the fact or condition of being involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.”
The word, though, was being used in the positive sense in the couples meeting. According to the same dictionary the word comes from the, “mid 17th century: from Middle English complice ‘an associate’, from Old French, from late Latin complex, complic- ‘allied’, from Latin complicare ‘fold together’.”
J. B. Phillips translation of Ephesians grabs this idea: “Men ought to give their wives the love they naturally have for their own bodies. The love a man gives his wife is the extending of his love for himself to enfold her.”
It’s like being “co-conspirators” in something positive, something the couple has together, that they share intimately. It’s a project they have in common. Husbands and wives need to feel they are doing something important together.
Often raising children provides that reason, but it must go beyond that or when the kids are gone there’s no common project and the couple can flounder.
So reading the mind of your woman could be good in such a situation. When you’re so close on a project, you often do know what the other is thinking. I think the wife craves that kind of closeness—someone who understands her intimately.
You know, I think the Lord takes her side in this affair. Listen: “In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives]…” (1 Peter 3:7 Amplified). “Considerately.” Somewhere in that word is the word, “consider.” Like in trying to figure her out.
Ain’t easy, is it fellows?
Clean Out Your Ears
Another word that comes up constantly when women express what they desire in their husband is, “I want him to listen to me.” That response is much rarer with men.
A man wants his wife to respect him for who he is. A woman gets the same sense of value when her man listens to her. Bingo! Maybe, that’s it. If you listen to her long enough, sir, you’re not going to have to guess what she thinks.
She’ll definitely tell you.
And all the while, the act of listening will bring you closer to her.
Tell me ladies. How do you know when he’s listening to you? Are there any ‘’tricks of the trade’’ you can share with other ladies to help her help her husband listen (nagging doesn’t count).
“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
“No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.” (Ephesians 5:28-33, The Message)
The thing is, the future happens. Every single day, like it or not. Sure, tomorrow is risky, frightening and in some way represents one step closer to the end. But it also brings with it the possibility of better and the chance to do something that matters. Seth Godin
Definition of “boy.” “Noise with dirt on it.” Internet
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Do you ever think that if you fully obeyed God, He’d tell you to do a lot of things you didn’t want to?
“Marry that really ugly man to prove that you love me,” we expect God to say. Or, “Go live in a mud hut in the jungle of Lower Slobovia and then I’ll know you’re obedient.”