I am obviously not an expert on the topic of men and marriage, because I am neither a man nor have I been married very long. So I thought I would leave you with the words of a great role model of a man and of marriage --- our pastor.
His sermon on Sunday was on men and marriage, and it made me realize just how wonderful my husband is. It seemed like most of what our pastor was recommending my husband is already doing. So I thank God for that.
First, he recommended men learn their wives. When it says in 1 Peter for husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way as we are the weaker vessel, it doesn't mean for them to shake their heads at us and be "understanding" at our limitations. This "understanding" means to know us, to learn us, to acclimate to who we are.
Men need to realize that women are different, specifically because we are women. We are emotional thinkers, we're physically weaker in general, we like different things than men. However, husbands also have to realize that their wife is different because she is her own person. He needs to know her and learn who she is as an individual as well as a woman.
Everyone has a love language as well, or several. Husbands and wives should learn what their spouses' love languages are, because it's not enough to show you care but you have to show you care in a way the other person understands and truly feels cared about.
The five love languages are touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts and service. If you want to show your husband you love him by cuddling with him, but what he really wants are words of affirmation and a love letter, cuddling might not show him what you think it does. You need to speak his language, and he needs to speak yours.
Husbands are also commanded to honor their wives. Honor your wife in your speech, both to her and about her. Honor her with your time. Honor her with how you choose to spend money. Honor her parentally and emotionally.
Protect your wife from others, from yourself and from herself. Make sure she is taken care of. Protect her both physically and emotionally.
Finally, lead your wife spiritually. Although the typical U.S. congregation is 61 percent female and 39 percent male, to be a good husband you need to step up and lead your wife and family spiritually. That means praying for her and with her. That means encouraging Bible study together, not just apart. That means discussing spiritual topics. That means seeking God on your own so you can be strong enough to lead her as well.
I think one thing that makes marriages suffer is that men and women think once they have tied the knot that's it. They're done trying. Out come the sweatpants, out the window goes the patience. Marriage is work. It takes thought. So men, be men of God and stand up for your relationship. Take care of your woman!