What Your Hubby Wishes You Knew About Being His Wife

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How can you better understand your husband?

When my husband and I were married over 30 years ago, I didn't know what I didn't know about marriage, men, or relationships. I knew that I loved Bob and that I wanted to be with him until “death do us part,” and I thought that was enough. Love and commitment are a good starting place, but there's so much more to becoming one flesh. I had no concept of what a godly marriage was like--no understanding of the sacrifices required or the pain that two people who dearly love each other can inflict. I also couldn't imagine the joy and blessing of being married to your BFF. 

Over the years I've read many books about marriage and I've come to realize that I will never be the perfect wife. I will never have it all together when it comes to “wifing.” I’m still learning things about myself and about Bob…we change, we stumble, we grow and we move forward. But along the way, I have learned some practical, biblical principles about marriage that are timeless.

At the True Woman ’10 conference in Chattanooga, I sat on the front row in a large room with hundreds of women who had come to hear my husband speak on “What Your Husband Wishes You Knew About Being His Wife.” Ouch! He has a lot to say, and isn't shy about expressing it. His words were helpful, but very convicting for so many of the women in the room–including his wife! Not that he and I haven’t talked about many of these things before; we have. But I need to hear them again. And again. I forget what I know. I start loving me more than he…

One observation Bob made during his message was that a husband needs his wife’s perspective. In our marriage, Bob has sought my input and counsel on issues. He has valued my thinking. He knows that there is wisdom in talking through situations and issues together.  Although we are a team, we see things differently.  And that's okay. 

What's not okay is for me to express my thoughts strongly, dogmatically, and definitively in a way that chafes against his leadership. If I say by my tone, “How could you think that?”, if I'm demeaning, harsh, rolling-my-eyes…that kind of attitude drives us apart and brings pain and isolation, rather than resolution.

I've learned (and continue to learn) that I must offer my thoughts with humility, grace, and deference. I must show respect and be kind. I don't want to shut down my husband; I don't want to demoralize him.

Bob, in his message at TW, also brought out the importance of giving grace and showing love to your husband when he sins or does something foolish. When I sin or mess up, does God give grace? Yes. Does He still love me? Yes, of course He does. And I'm thankful that His mercies are new every morning. But do I extend that same kind of grace to my husband when he fails? Or am I harsh, critical, and judgmental? Am I prideful, thinking that I certainly would never do something like that? But when I, as his wife, respond in grace to his failure, he sees Christ in me, is drawn to the beauty of Christ, and longs to become more Christ-like himself. That's a blessing for both of us. 

Ladies, not every sin and failure needs to be brought up--sometimes we need to, in love, overlook. But, if an issue must be addressed, do so with gentleness and humility. Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”

One of the final issues Bob addressed in his message was the issue of…S E X.  It's important. Very important. More important to our husbands than I think most of us as wives ever realize. The “coming together” of husband and wife expresses love and acceptance to her man in a way that is difficult for a woman to comprehend. Take my word for it, or better yet, ask your husband.

I’m grateful for God’s mercy and grace in my life as I continue in this journey with my husband. I’m still learning. And even though he co-hosts a radio program about marriage and speaks to couples all over the world, he’s still learning too. And that’s a good thing for both of us. He’s a good man. And I’m a blessed woman who needs regular reminders of how I can bless him.

 This post was written by Mary Ann Lepine.

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