I think we’ve all heard that the way to a man’s heart is through is stomach. I am living proof that statement is false. If it had been up to my cooking to secure my place in Matthew’s heart, I’d still be single. Now, the man does like a good meal, but a satiated appetite is fleeting. If I am going to endear myself to him for the long haul, I’ve got to do better than producing good food. I’ve got to reach his heart with something that has staying power.
If you poll men on their greatest need from their spouses, you might guess that it’s sex. (Let me pause here and apologize to my best friend for talking about s-e-x in the daytime. I promise I’m not going to dwell here, but I have to talk about it just a second.) Sex comes in at a very close second to the thing that they really need the most from us. It’s not love. It’s not humor. It’s not us being thin and beautiful. It’s not money. And it’s definitely not food. The single most important thing they need from us is actually two fold. They need honor and respect from us.
I just lost some of you there, didn’t I? Hang on… stay with me. I know he’s got issues. I understand that he might not be the man of any woman’s dreams. But unless you are from a culture where marriages are arranged, you chose him at some point and found him worthy to be your husband.
Maybe you were young and dumb, but there was something, right? Now those rugged good looks have given way to a balding head and a spreading midsection. His once funny jokes have a hint of sarcasm now that life has gotten serious and challenging. And those dad jeans? Mercy, does he have to wear them every day? And when did it become okay to wear socks with sandals?
I don’t have to point out the man’s faults to you, do I? You cannot help but see them. As a matter of fact, some days, they are all you can see. But let’s take a second and lay all that to the side… they’ll still be there.
What if you could have the man of your heart’s desire? I’m not talking about trading him in for another model. I’m talking about rebuilding the one you have…
What if you could influence your husband with your words? You’ve tried that, you say, and he’s still annoying? I’m not talking about telling him all the things he does wrong. We are good at pointing out faults. I’m talking about speaking life over your husband. The Bible tells us that there is the power of life and death in our words (Proverbs 18:21). How often do we choose to speak death over our husbands and our marriages? Do you find that it’s easier to be critical, and less easy to be edifying? Building someone up is hard work… especially if they are bad at giving us good material to work with. BUT…
What if all it took for you to see changes in your husband is for
you to change?
What we say to and about our spouses has profound influence over our marriages. The simple act of honoring and respecting our spouses with our words can actually begin to change the way we see them, and it can change the person they are. Ephesians 4 says that we are to let no corrupt talk come from our mouths, but only words that build others up.
Begin small. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Find ONE thing for which you can brag on him. Is he a good provider? Brag on that. Find something no matter how small and honor him for it. Does he pick out his own clothes and they match… mostly? It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s true. Tell him. Tell others.
Proverbs Chapter 31 talks about the “virtuous woman”, and says that her husband is respected at the city gate. I would imagine he didn’t get that respect from her trashing him to everyone. I realize it may seem silly to you to speak life to and about a man that seems to fall so short of your mark. But what if it could really work? What if all that stands between you and a blessed marriage is your words? Speak life over your husband and your marriage and watch things start to turn around.
The way to a man’s heart isn’t through his stomach. It’s through his ears.