Today we are going to focus on the act of providing… not financial provision, but intangible provisions from a wife to a husband. You know, those heartfelt and priceless gifts that make our husbands feel loved and appreciated. So the word ‘provide’ for today’s purposes focuses on providing for the heart, not for the home.
But let’s take a brief interlude here, and express what you all might be thinking right about now, after a week of focusing on our husband’s needs …. “But… but… but… what about me? What about my needs? What about my feelings? What about my desires? Why is it all about me changing, and nothing about him changing? What about his faults? What about the problems that he hasfff brought into our relationship, or the hurt he has caused me?”
I understand! I have to keep trying to push those feelings aside too sometimes. My mind is too often guilty of drifting back to negative thoughts, reviewing my mental lists of my husband’s faults and mistakes, and thinking of ways that he needs to change, which void out my desire to “provide”.
Maybe you struggle with these thoughts too at times, so it’s important to acknowledge that we all have them, and that doesn’t make us a bad wife. That makes us human. In fact, if we didn’t have some self focused tendencies, and have some past hurts and emotions bubble up, we would not be normal.
And that is exactly why God’s Word says to love and respect unconditionally. We can easily make our love conditional, especially if heartache and bad memories outweigh our desire to dote on our husband. “Conditions” will always exist in any relationship, and we have to choose to toss them aside if we really want to love others with the love of Christ.
But frankly, that can be a real challenge in any relationship – especially in marriage.
Day after day of the same aggravating habits can take a toll on a relationship. Extreme betrayal and hurt feelings can take a toll on a relationship. Unforgiveness and anger can take a toll on a relationship. Filling our minds with critical thoughts all day takes a toll on a relationship.
And putting conditions on our love takes a toll on a relationship.
“Conditions” can construct a barrier so thick between us and our husbands, that we forget what our husbands really need from us. We not only lose the desire to praise him, but we may forget how. And husbands need praise. We neglect their need for physical intimacy because we’re not in the mood or we’re mad. And men need intimacy. We only agree to respect him based on performance alone, but men need respect all the time. We refuse to do little loving things because they are not being done for us, but many men have the love language of acts of service and they see those acts as pure love.
Author and speaker Beth Moore once said that “the answers God gives us in our tomorrows often flow from our faithful todays.”
No matter what is going on in your marriage today, you can make strides to work towards positive tomorrows. We can’t control our husband’s heart, but we can control our own. And we do have the power to change our attitude and our heart by focusing on the biblical truth that God has placed us wives in the position of being a provider for the emotional and physical needs of our husbands.
With each new day, a refreshed, positive attitude is always within reach. With God’s help, we can maintain the motivation to provide those little things that only we can give to our husbands.
I’ve always been told it’s better to give than to receive. When we sacrificially give in the way of providing for our husbands needs, what we receive in return may be sweeter than any gift bought at a store. Our willingness to “provide” today just might open the door for our husbands to want to “provide” for our little needs tomorrow. ‘Tomorrow’ being a literal term, of course, but let’s give it a try.
DAY 4 CHALLENGE: PROVIDE
Think of some little ways that you can show love for your husband and provide for his need of wanting to be taken care of and doted on.
One of the favorite ways my husband likes to be ‘provided’ for (no, its not what you are thinking, but we’ll get to that later!) is making him breakfast on Saturday morning… .not just a warmed up chocolate pop-tart – but a big ham and cheese omelet, grits, country ham, toast and anything else that would fall into the category of a down home southern breakfast. It always makes him smile, and it makes me smile too. It’s just a little thing – but an act of love nonetheless, since I’d much rather sleep late and stay under my warm covers. It’s just a small way that I can provide for a physical need, and an emotional one, all at one time.
Think of at least one new way (or an old way that’s been forgotten) that you can bring a smile to your husband’s face when he walks in the door after a long day at work, or when he wakes up on a lazy Saturday morning. Just one way to surprise him with the gift of provision.
Consider things that you know are important to him, and make an effort to do some of those today and in the coming weeks,, especially if you have gotten out of the habit of doing that special thing. Ponder some ways that you can bless him, without feeling the need to be thanked for it, and without putting conditions on whether or not its deserved, or even appreciated.
If you have a hard time thinking of something, try to be aware of subtle hints that he may give of what he likes and desires, especially if he is not the kind of man that shares his needs and feelings openly. Sometimes their basic or most common complaints can be clues to what their heart really longs for.
Lysa TerKeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, wrote this practical guide a few years ago which helps each spouse open their eyes to the needs, desires, and longings of the other. She offers eight essential criteria for capturing the heart of your spouse, with creative tips on how to accomplish them. Having a great marriage takes time, creativity, and willingness.
To enter to win a copy of her book Capture His Heart, leave a comment stating one special way that you can provide for your husband’s needs this weekend.
It may seem like a little thing, but it could be a big thing in the bigger picture of your relationship. It’s often the little things that matter the most, and have the biggest impact.
Randomly drawn winner will be announced on Monday, March 18th.
(Her accompanying book for husbands is called Capture Her Heart and is available on the Proverbs 31 website.)