Love is in the air! It’s hard not to notice that Valentine’s Day is next week.
I know for some this is a hard time of year. All the red hearts and chocolate only remind you of what you don’t have. If that’s you today, please know how much I care. And I pray the Lord gives you a sweet sign of His eternal, unconditional, love for you.
I never want to exclude anyone, but today’s post does address a topic for wives. And if you are single thinking the answer to feeling loved is found in marriage, that’s not a guarantee. Love, whether in marriage or not, takes work.
Today I’ve invited my friend Sharon Jaynes to share something from her new book. And although the book is for wives, I have to say, if you hope to be married one day, the truths Sharon writes about in this post are worth reading and remembering.
Sharon has written several books for wives, but her most recent has just come out, and it’s called, A 14 Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage. I do want to caution you that this book is not for dating couples, as Sharon is pretty direct about some of the marriage relationship, if you get my drift. But for those who are married, this book is the ideal gift for your relationship. Here’s Sharon:
Where does your husband go for admiration and appreciation? He goes somewhere. All men do. Does he go to work in hopes of hearing “Job well done”? Does he go to the ball field in hopes of hearing “Way to go, man”? Does he go back home to mother to hear “I’m so proud of you, son”? Does he work late hoping for a few compliments from the gals in the office? Does he feast on compliments from patients or clients? Does he hang out at the gym flexing and building his biceps? Tell me, where does your man go to be admired?
Admiration and appreciation are the golden keys to unlocking a man’s heart.
In my first job as a dental hygienist, I noticed how the all-female staff, as well as the patients, admired the doctors in the building where I worked. I admired them too! They were a wonderful group of talented men who were gifted and skilled in their chosen profession. As a young woman in my early twenties, I wondered how the doctors’ wives felt about the praise their hubbies received from other women all day long.
Amazingly, a few years later, I had the opportunity to find out for myself. After working for two years, I decided to go back to college. While there I met and married Steve Jaynes, a young dental student. When he started his practice, I remembered the admiring women from the years before, and I made a commitment that of all Steve’s admirers he would have from the day he opened his practice until the day he retired, I was going to be his number one fan! And it wasn’t long before I realized that admiration and appreciation are the golden keys to unlocking his heart.
Dr. Willard Harley, in his book, His Needs Her Needs says:
“When a woman tells a man she thinks he’s wonderful, that inspires him to achieve more. He sees himself as capable of handling new responsibilities and perfecting skills far above those of his present level. That inspiration helps him prepare for the responsibilities of life. Admiration not only motivates, it also rewards the husband’s existing achievements. When she tells him that she appreciates him for what he has done, it gives him more satisfaction than he receives from his paycheck. A woman needs to appreciate her husband for what he already is, not for what he could become, if he lived up to her standards. For some men—those with fragile self-images—admiration also helps them believe in themselves.
Without it these men seem inherently more defensive about their shortcomings … While criticism causes men to become defensive, admiration energizes and motivates them. A man expects—and needs—his wife to be his most enthusiastic fan. He draws confidence from her support and can usually achieve far more with her.”
If you have been withholding admiring words from your husband, it may feel strange to begin. First and foremost, be authentic—be real. If you contrive admiring words, he’ll be able to tell. Start with one compliment or one word of appreciation. It may be as simple as “thank you” and soon the admiration will begin to flow…hopefully both ways.
Dr. Harley explains the following about your husband’s heart:
Remember that a man really needs appreciation. He thrives on it. Many men who come to me because they have had affairs stress that the admiration of their lovers acted as a warm spring breeze in comparison to the arctic cold of their wives’ criticism. How can they resist? Don’t make your husband go outside your marriage for approval; he needs the perspective your appreciation gives him. That does not mean you have to fake it with him and tell him you love something that drives you wild, but work with him on the needs you must both fulfill, setting up a strategy that builds admiration.
Not all men are admired at work. If work is a place where your husband meets opposition at every turn or leaves feeling like a failure, he will search for someplace to be admired. It may be on the softball field, on the racquetball court, as a deacon in the church, or through Facebook with old friends. How wonderful when that place is in your heart, in your arms, and in your home.
Look for ways to give your husband a compliment every day. Pay attention to him and take note of his appearance, behavior, and character qualities. Then sprinkle a few compliments his way. Your husband may be confused or skeptical with this sudden showering of praise. He may say, “What’s up with the compliments all of a sudden?”
If that’s his reaction, just say, “I’d forgotten what a wonderful man I’m married to, and I’m realizing it more and more every day!”
When you affirm your husband physically, emotionally, and verbally, you are blessing him in a way that no one else can.
Here are some more ideas to bless your husband:
- Make a list of 10 to 15 reasons you appreciate or admire your husband and send it to him in an email, tape it to the steering wheel of his car, or post it on Facebook, making sure to tag him in the post.
- Write your husband a note, thanking him for something he did for you. It could be as simple as thanking him for working hard for your family, cutting the grass, or keeping up with your insurance.
- Fill one helium balloon for each year you’ve been married. Attach a love note to the ribbon of each balloon. Place the balloons over your bed so when he comes into the room he sees the cloud of balloons with love notes hovering from the ceiling.
- Make him a little card the size of a credit card that says “Lifetime Member of the AAA Club of Marriage. I Admire, Adore, and Appreciate You.” Slip it into his wallet.
- Put a note in his wallet that says, “You mean more to me than all the money in the world.”
**GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for Sharon’s book. We’ve got a winner! Congratulations to Julia S! Julia, we’ve sent you an email.**
How will you show your husband you appreciate or admire him today? Leave a comment with your ideas and one reader will win Sharon’s new book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage.
Does your marriage need a little help in the romance department? Has it grown ho-hum in the daily routine? If so, it’s time to spice up your relationship and rekindle the passion with hundreds of creative ways to show your man just how much you love him.
Take the 14-Day Romance Challenge by bestselling author Sharon Jaynes and make your husband feel like the luckiest man on earth. Visit www.sharonjaynes.com to download a free chapter and romance challenge resources.
Sharon Jaynes is a wife, mom, conference speaker and author of 21 books. Her passion is to encourage and empower women to walk in courage and confidence as they grasp their true identity as a child of God and a co-heir with Christ. She is also co-founder of Girlfriends in God, Inc., a non-denominational ministry that crosses generational, denominational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers. Connect with Sharon at www.sharonjaynes.com.