Gina was having her morning coffee as the rain was bouncing off her kitchen windows. Amber, her ten-year-old daughter was in school, and Sam, her husband was at work. She opened her bible and read one of the Psalms stating, “it is well with my soul”. As she pondered those words, a smile formed. She knew the answer to the question, “why is it so well with my soul?” She almost uttered the answer out loud, “Because, my husband is my lover, my leader, and my best friend.”
When she met Sam, it was the first time she attended church in years. He was immediately smitten by her. Being shy, Gina denied his advances to ‘have coffee’ but found him charming. A friendship ensued that eventually transformed into a marriage. Sam was on fire for God and his leadership was appealing to her and years later, their union helped her grow in her faith far more than she ever thought possible.
Gina was a very strong woman who was independent for many years and always wanted a strong man who could adapt to her strength. Sam did that. Even though they had heated arguments, Sam always returned to her with a tenderness and humility that reassured her everything would be ok.
God speaks to these three elements that make for a great marriage.
Husbands, be her LOVER.
Read the Song of Solomon. Both he and his maiden used many words to describe their passions for each other. One of the greatest problems in marriage is a lack of communication. Husbands should verbalize their wants, wishes, and desires with their wives and likewise, wives with their husbands. How can you hit targets you never share with your spouse? Talk it out. Schedule intimacy as if it must be scheduled because for most, it does. In 1st Corinthians 7, Paul teaches us to be sexually intimate within marriage as often as possible because of Satan’s tactics and our lack of self-control.
Great lovers, within marriage, often communicate well so they can keep it active and healthy. A great lover is often a great communicator.
Husbands, be her LEADER.
How? There are many ways husbands can lead without being dictators or harsh. Firstly, they can be good providers so their wives have the option to work, work part-time, or not to work at all. Secondly, they can initiate the spiritual growth plan for the family. Take them to church, make sure the children learn young, and ensure good biblical teaching is present in the home. Third, ask your wife “In what areas do you want me to take more of a lead role?” Listen closely to her answers. Since Pam is far more organized and detailed, she handles all our finances, I handle our investments. We divided up the household duties. (somehow I ended up cleaning the toilets) Here is the problem when husbands are not encouraged to lead, they don’t. They can get lazy and take a back seat on every level. This forces the wife to add to her long list of duties and creates enormous tension.
Other ways husbands can lead: Take the kids and give your wife a day off. Be considerate of your wife’s needs. (1st Peter 3:7) Moderate your selfish interests at times and trade them for time with her and your children. Go on a personal spiritual quest with other Godly men to grow and learn. Crave God’s word. Lead.
Husbands, be her BEST FRIEND.
This one takes a natural course early in the marriage but can often fade away if we are not mindful. After twenty years of marriage to Pam, I can say she is my best friend. I enjoy our weekly nights of playing board games with a cup of hot coffee, our long walks just talking and anytime I can get her to go kayaking with me. We have really found a great rhythm to our marriage but it wasn’t always that way. Friendships take work and sacrifice. The greatest friendships often have endured hard times and even big fights. “What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger” is fairly accurate. C.S. Lewis states, “there is a deeper and quieter love to be found in the second half of our marriage”, if only we could get there.
If you want to be your wife’s best friend, get into her world of interests. Pam loves antiquing, board games, walking, hiking, flowers, house projects, cleaning, family, and being alone with me. What does your wife like? Find out and do it. Of course, this is also true in reverse, wives should reciprocate to their husbands. The joy of marriage is found when we get into each other’s world of interests.
Pam has gone hunting and fishing with me. She has helped me gut a deer. I have found myself in broken-down barns all over Iowa looking at antiques. Does she love hunting? No. Do I love antiques? No. But, we both love each other, and getting into each other’s interests has produced great joy and laughter.
Final Thought: Focusing on being each other’s best friend, lover, leader, or helper completely changes the dynamics of a marriage. It keeps one of you from being the other’s parent, judge, jury, changer, fixer, or controller. If you find yourself in any of those ruts, try to stop it and focus on the other critical roles, you just might find joy in those moments.
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