By Brie Gowen
Many times when I share with other ladies about my spouse’s behavior, my recounts are met with startled exclamations of, “Wow, that is so awesome,” or even, “I wish my husband did that.” I’ve even been asked before what’s my secret sauce to enjoy such a considerate and conscientious husband. So by popular demand, and without further ado, here’s the recipe for a good husband.
Are you ready for it?
Be a good wife.
That’s all I got. But allow me to expound.
I’m under no false illusion that my husband isn’t a gift from God. He is, and I’m super grateful for him, but I also actively cultivate my marriage and I think that helps. You see, while my hubby is an absolutely fabulous guy, he’s not perfect. But that’s cool because neither am I. Yet here’s what I do. I find his particularly kind and caring traits and I highlight those. I cultivate the spiritual gifts the Lord has placed in his life, and I offer grace for the other stuff.
So when my husband does something that makes me angry, I pause. When his particular idiosyncrasies or bad habits occur in our life, I ask myself how to rank this on the happy wife scale. For example, is it of utmost importance in our marriage that he leaves dirty clothes on the floor sometimes? Or is it more important that he listens to me when I talk about things that bother me at work? You gotta figure out where you want to place your energy.
Should I place my focus on the handful of things on my honey-do list that he’s yet to check off, or should I instead remember the long laundry list of all the ways he has served me in our marriage recently. Since men’s and women’s brains function quite differently on what is and isn’t important it’s easy to be at odds over priorities and responsibility tasking, but I’ve found the ship runs much smoother when the focus is taken off self and instead reapplied in a selfless manner. So instead of asking yourself “what has he done for me lately” you ask “what have I done for him?” I know this sounds crazy, but it works.
All human beings thrive under the affection of their mate, and in marriage you’ll find that as you serve your spouse and recognize their contribution to the household they actually flourish. We all grow and produce more fruit under the act of praise. It’s a proven fact. I do communicate with my spouse about the things I desire for our home, and we discuss areas of disagreement, but I also remember to show my gratitude for his love and contributions to our family.
So while I have no specific, magic ingredients to whip up a good husband I do have a few aspects I know will ruin the recipe for a contented marriage.
Nagging. If you really want a lackluster relationship then I suggest hounding your husband about things he already knows. Nagging doesn’t work. If it does eventually produce results it’s simply because your hubby is tired of hearing your mouth move, but I do not believe it cultivates the type of loving relationship you desire where you spouse serves you out of affection rather than obligation.
Comparison. If you really want to be dissatisfied with your spouse then compare them to someone else’s. The grass is a lot of times greener, but it’s likely an illusion. When you gaze over the fence from a distance the lawn always looks nice. You gotta get down on your hands and knees to get the best view, and if you’re gonna get down in the dirt you might as well work on your own yard. Know what I’m saying?
Don’t compare your spouse to your girlfriend’s or even to mine. You’d probably be disappointed. God tailors the perfect mate for us all and they’re typically not interchangeable. Wink, wink.
I suppose if I did have one suggestion at all it would actually be the one my husband totes as the key to marital bliss. A relationship with the Lord. You can chase the perfect man your whole life, but until you embrace the only perfect one that has ever lived you’ll always come up short. The truth is that as you learn to walk closely with Jesus He shows you the best way to interact with your spouse, and He shows this to your husband also. The fact remains that you’ll never change your husband no matter how hard you try, but the Lord is the master at refining hearts for His service. And happy marriages serve Him well.
So in the end, there’s no secret sauce, no great recipe. There’s only those who wish to follow Jesus and let Him reflect His character in their marriage. Do my husband and I have it all figured out? Ha! Not by a long shot. But this we do; we seek His face and serve one another. We learn as we go. We forgive often, we extend grace. We walk in thankfulness for one another, and remember to not sweat the small stuff, but rather see the big picture that God paints for our life.
About the Author: Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.