Photo compliments of Jessica Lorren Photography
After a long day of work, I often dread the time and effort needed to attempt to make a delicious meal for dinner. Last night, as I mustered up the energy to start thinking about making a meal, I was struck by a profound notion. Making dinner is about more than placing a culinary concoction on a plate.
My efforts in the kitchen are an opportunity to express my love and gratitude to my husband. You see, my husband, Steve, works really hard at his job making sure to give it his all so that he is a blessing to his company as well as a provider for our home. He never complains about having to work, is always so diligent, and still comes home and works just as hard, if not harder, at being an amazing husband to me.
Those things may seem somewhat ordinary, but the reality is that they are not. The effort Steve puts in at his work, as a provider, and then at home as a husband is not something to be taken for granted. Often times I get so caught up in how hard I work that I forget that he too is working away day in and day out.
As I was dredging the chicken, I began pondering all of this and thought about how many of us ladies forget to express our appreciation and gratitude for all the amazing things our husbands do. We forget that our man needs to come home to an appreciative and loving wife. It really means more to him than you can imagine.
My husband always tells me how much he looks forward to getting home. It is incredibly touching to hear that coming home to me is what gets him through his days. It is an emotional reminder of how important we are in one another’s life. How important it is for us women to be awaiting our man’s arrival home with a warm greeting of arms wide open, a smile on our faces, and kind words of affirmation.
Women underestimate the importance of welcoming their husband home. So often I hear of women who greet their husband at the door with a laundry list of complaints, undone to do’s, and an overall angry countenance. Or just as bad, they don’t greet their husband at all. Ladies, while perhaps imperfect at times, your husband is the man of your house. He thrives on being honored and respected. It is your job to make your home a safe haven for him to escape the world’s stresses and Satan’s fiery darts that have been beating on him all day long.
The Bible clues us in to what a husband needs. In Ephesians 5:33, Paul writes, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (italics added for emphasis). Bingo! The very Creator of men and women gives us one of the greatest keys to unlocking a successful marriage. While you may be tempted to focus on the part about men loving their wives, try to focus on what your role is. Success marriages do not entail two individuals who are looking for how his/her spouse can serve him/her but rather how he/she can serve his/her spouse. That is what I am asking you to do – take a giant step toward your husband and respect him. I guarantee you will see major changes in your marriage.
One of the leading reasons for men having an affair as reported in study after study is men feeling disrespected in their home. Most men report that they felt worthless, disrespected, and of no value to their wives. (Cue Satan’s clever and timely antics) At the same time, that secretary or co-worker begins to dote on him telling him how handsome, wonderful, and hard-working he is. Your husband now begins to feel the way you once made him feel with someone else. She is telling him everything he desperately wants to hear from you, and soon things escalate into a misplaced and misguided sexual affair. It all stemmed from a lack of affirmation and respect from his wife.
Ladies, this is a wake-up call! If you do not affirm your husband, respect him, and show him the affirmation he so desperately needs, some other girl will. Of course, this is not an excuse for men to go out and have extramarital affairs! Each individual must be responsible for his/her actions and put in the necessary effort and energy to safeguard their marriage while remaining committed and faithful to their vows, marriage, spouse, and family. That being said, this is a giant, flashing red light telling you how vital it is for you to let your husband know how important, loved, and appreciated he really is.
In Genesis 2:18, the “Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.’” In case you were wondering if your man needs you, here is your answer – a resounding, “YES!” Men need women and vice versa. God knew that men needed a “helper,” which is why he blessed them with the gift of women. Women, we are to be a helper, not a hindrance. We are to be a blessing, not a curse. “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). You were designed to be a blessing and helper for your husband, so fulfill that calling and purpose on your life.
This is not to say that you can never have a bad day, be hurt, or share your concerns with your husband. I am not saying that your husband is perfect. And, I am not saying that you should do back flips every time he gets home. This is also not something for men to hold over their wife’s head – “If you don’t respect me, then I will have no choice but to …” What I am saying though is: while a man may not always know how to express it, he really needs the support, love, respect, and honor of his wife. It is the thing that strengthens, encourages, and uplifts him. It is what helps them ward off the temptations that await his every day when out there in the world. It is the joy, value, and love he longs to feel. It is the thing that makes him feel like he can take on the world headfirst. You are extremely important to him. How you speak, act, and think about him really does matter and make or break your relationship.
As I finished up my chicken parmigiana over angel hair pasta with homemade bruschetta on fresh French bread, I realized that I was making more than a dinner. I felt the joy well up inside of me that I had this opportunity to make my husband a delicious dinner to come home to. Suddenly this wasn’t a chore; it was an honor to be a blessing to this man that is such a blessing in my life, to show my love and appreciation to him, and to be a helper to my husband.
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