Marriage and Family: 4 questions a husband needs to ask himselfSeptember 03, 2015
We've heard it said "an un-evaluated life is a wasted life". So for all the husbands out there, here are 4 questions you need to ask yourself about your marriage.
1. Does my wife feel safe with me? Men, when I'm talking about safety, I'm not talking physically, I'm talking emotionally. This can be a real challenge for some men because emotionally connecting does not always come easy. It requires us to become vulnerable, transparent and take some risk. I know what you are thinkg, "to enter into her world, listen for what is really going on inside of her heart and be a safe place for her to connect with you....are you kidding me Dale? That seems like a mind-field waiting to explode." But, everytime you keep the emotional connection at a level you think you can manage by only discussing the facts of your day, handling the minimal details of what you are facing and dealing only with the items and areas where you can come through with an answer, you are stifling the safety your wife feels with you. The truth is that emotionally connecting with your wife requires real strength, real humility and real openness on your part in order to connect with them where they are!
2. Does my wife feel covered by my strength and protected by my presence? I'll never forget the moment this happened for Jena and me. We had just gotten re-married and we were headed back to a wedding where we would see a bunch of people who were on "my side" during the divorce. Jena was very nervous going back and I could tell. I remember asking her "what do you need from me?" She said, "I just need you to stay by my side and not leave me alone." At that moment, I was able to cover her by my strength. Yes, physically by not leaving her alone, but more than that, emotionally because I understood her heart and what she was feeling.
3. Does my wife feel secure by my sensitivity? There are many days of being Jena's husband that my insensitivity leaves her emotionally alone. Sure, we are different, we process things differently, some things are a big deal to her that simply are not to me. Other days, things are a big deal to me that simply are not to her. That is the beauty of marriage. Two people walking out life together with different lenses, passions and points of view. But one thing that we husbands must keep ever before us is to be sensitive to our wives. I remember a time when someone said something to Jena that was insensitive and hurt her. My normal, manly response is to just say to her "who cares what they think!" But the truth is, that's not being sensitive to the wounding she felt by someone else's words. My job is to not go into fix'it mode, blow it off and move on, but to slow down long enough, hear what is going on in her heart, speak truth over the situation and empathize with how that made her feel.
4. What kind of relationship are you inviting your wife into with you? This last question summarizes them all. The fact of the matter is, we reap what we sow. If you don't like the fruit that is being born out of your marriage, then start sowing seeds that will bear the kind of fruit you desire. Great marriages are the result of two people, sowing the good seeds of time, grace, mercy, forgiveness, openness, vulnerability, tenderness, and empathy. Here's a great way to start: Men, ask the Lord to develop in you the fruit of the Spirit for your marriage. Ask Jesus to help you become more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient and kind. Ask the Lord to help you become a man who is tender-hearted, full of goodness, committed to being faithful, demonstrating gentleness and sefl-controlled.
I know marriage is not easy and being a husband is not easy (any more than being a wife is easy for them). But men, if you will ask yourself these 4 questions, take them before the Lord and ask him to help you, I know this: HE WILL...and your marriage will be the better for it!
I'd love to hear from both the husbands and wives reading this post. Here's the question to join in on the conversation:
What is one thing a husband or wife can do to build an emotional connection in their marriage?
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