Continued from Part 1, this is the 2nd of the 3 part series. Here are some practical ways I learnt from the Bible, how to love your husband.
4. Trust him.
- to run his own life. If you think that he needs to be reminded that he needs to pay the bills, how to drive from point A to B, or even what present to get for his friend’s son birthday, relax. Even if you have an opinion, it is his life! Why try to run his life when he is perfectly fine to run it on his own? Unless he ask you for help, don’t bother! If we are sitting in the car and he is directing the taxi uncle or even driving (yes, WM drive but we don’t own a car. In the past we had some opportunities to drive our friend’s or his dad’s van), it doesn’t matter taking route A or B. The bottomline is that we get to the destination. So don’t tell him how to get there…And don’t bother buying socks or underwear because if he thinks it needs to be replaced, he will get it himself. Just relax, why run so many people’s life when you are so troubled by your own? The Bible says we ought to bear one another’s burden, but we should carry our own load (Galatians 6:2-5)
- that he is a good daddy, and he loves the children, in his own way, although you might not be comfortable with it. Let him change the diapers, shower them, or when he plays rough when them. The children won’t die because of a little less cleanliness (I know, his version of bathing kids is just to pour water on them), nor eat a bit more sugar or salt, their bones won’t break because of some rough housing… BUT, he will feel discouraged if you complain and stop him. He might just stop trying altogether. =) I’m very glad that today, WM is very hands-on and I can say he is as good care-giver as I am, just no boobs for nursing only. =P
- that he is a good husband. I know this is going to be tricky because sometimes even our mothers teach us not to trust. Sometimes (especially difficult times when you quarrel…and there seem no hope of patching up…) you may think you married the wrong person. I did! If you ask if there is Mr. Right? I have learnt that there really isn’t the right person. Even if he were right, the moment he married us he became wrong. Heh. It is really by God’s grace, if we stay in His grace by obeying Him, that our marriage stands. I think most of the guys start out wanting to be a good husband. If he even agreed to and asked for your hand in marriage, chances are, he is a good guy. The only “allowable” reason for divorce, according to God’s Word, is adultery (Matthew 5:32). Even then, we ought to give them chances if they are willing to reconcile and break all ties with the third party. If we love our husband the way God commands us to, he will be a good husband, and I believe he won’t be adulterer. See point 6.
5. Love him first, before the children.
Genesis 2:24 (NASB) For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Ephesians 5:33b (NASB) The wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Mommies tend to neglect the daddy because he is an adult and isn’t helpless. But in order to stay motivated and nourished to love the family, mommy needs love too. This love comes from daddy, not the children. The children are the fruit of your love, don’t get the order wrong. Love the husband by respecting him and submitting to him in everything (see point 2). By loving DH, he feels appreciated and will also reciprocate this love and it is a perpetual cycle that never ends, keeping the family going. =) When I feel loved, I feel very energized and motivated to take care and love the children too, and I am diligent to guide and correct them. But every time I have a big quarrel with WM, I often feel very upset and cannot love the children properly, although I can do it with sheer will. I am functioning out of will power, but actually I am hurting inside and cannot function properly! I want badly to reconcile!
Never gang up with your kids against him, nor get them to choose sides or make him appear to be the bad-guy at any time. I know that mommy often has opinions and ideas and standards about how to take care of baby and how to raise the child or some expectations for the kid, try not to make it a fight right there and then. Mommy could give way sometimes, in order to gain more ground. Speak to daddy privately later. If your argument is sound, and the concern is out of love and the good for the child, a father who loves his family will heed his wife’s advice because she is more sensitive and astute to the needs and development of the child. Again, submit, point 1. He is going to answer to God about how he run his family (1 Tim 3:4-5), you are only his helper, point 2. Don’t take on responsibilities you cannot shoulder.
Always remember baby came because of the love between daddy and mommy, so don’t let baby become the stumbling block to your relationship. Otherwise, baby will be stumbled by both of you.
6. Never punish by distancing yourself physically.
Why is it that so many “men of integrity” fail? I seriously don’t know. Lack of self-control? Big and insatiable sexual appetite? I do know that men has physical (erm, sexual) needs, far more than women. Women needs intimacy and that is a clear difference between man and woman. (I think that is why God commanded the men to love their wives as themselves in Ephesians 5:25 and Colossians 3:19)
The Bible acknowledges the powerful attraction between man and woman, especially noted in 1 Corinthians 7. After all, God created sex, it is a good thing! It is a good and enjoyable thing in the context of marriage. But immorality is bad. VERY BAD.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5 (NASB) But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
So then, sexual relations is a duty, and if you ever choose to distance yourself because you were angry or unhappy or is twisting his arm to get something, you are depriving DH of what he is entitled to in his marriage. It will cause him to be tempted. (Therefore I also think it is not good for extended periods of separations, many do so nowadays in the name of work…). Marital rape is also something new today, which the wife thinks husband should not force himself on her. Yes indeed, I agree that sex should be a consensus thing. But marital rape?! I think that is totally weird!! By definition, marriage means you have agreed in giving your body. Why then did the couple get married in the first place? If any woman don’t think you want to have sex, then I think the woman shouldn’t get married. I believe this happens only after the woman lost her love and respect for the husband, and started to despise him and his advances. I think if love is mutual between husband and wife, it wouldn’t happen. The husband wouldn’t force himself on her (because he is already satisfied, or will exercise self-control out of love and respect for her because she may not be ready).
Therefore, do not allow Satan to tempt him (to turn to porn or prostitutes or affairs or otherwise) because you deprive him…A clear conscience when he faces you and the kids, is the best gift you can give to your husband.
This is end of part 2, do stay tuned for the last part!