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“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24
This popular, and often misunderstood, verse found in Ephesians unveils the beautiful image of a bride serving and deeply loving her groom. There are two key takeaways to this message that Paul so eloquently shares with the church in Ephesus. The first being that a godly marriage is all about submitting to Christ and seeking His way. The second being that we are called to recognize our husband as leader by taking on a Christ-like servant’s heart.
So, what does a godly marriage look like? Love and service! God designed marriage so we would serve one another in order to grow closer to Him (Ephesians 5:21)! The truth is a husband needs certain things that only his wife can supply, and vice versa. That’s because God created us to complement one another. And, when we do serve our spouse, we essentially share God’s love and exemplify Christ.
1 Corinthians 13 so beautifully states, “love is patient, love is kind…It protects, trusts, hopes, and always preserves. Love never fails!” Serving others pretty much follows suit. Service comes from a heart of longing to love your husband with patience, kindness, striving to protect him, trust him, and find hope in your marriage. When spouses serve one another, maybe even going to such lengths as to outdo each other in service, marriages thrive!
On that note, let’s unpack some ways to do just that and find some sweet and meaningful ways to serve your hubby:
Tap into His Love Language
More than likely, you have heard about the five love languages, developed by Gary Chapman. It’s basically the five different ways we give and like to receive love, which include: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, receiving gifts, and physical touch. If we want to serve our hubby’s well, it’s important to get in tune with his love language (while also understanding our own). While we all need a little of all of these types of love, there are generally a few that stand out for each of us.
My husband is big on quality time, and I am a physical touch kind of girl, so many nights we just talk on the coach after our daughters go to bed and touch base about our day. He’ll often rub my feet, and it’s a great way we actively serve one another.
Think about your dear hubby and what love language he receives well. Then try a few of these ways to minister to his heart.
If he is a words of affirmation guy, try saying a few of these “terms of endearment”:
-“I trust you.”
-“Thank you for providing for us.”
-“You are a good man.”
-“You make me a better woman.”
-“I appreciate all that you do” (and name those things).
If he craves quality time, try being more intentional about your time together.
-Go on routine date nights.
-Play and laugh together.
-Try a hobby together.
If he likes you to perform acts of service, then be mindful of your everyday tasks.
-Do his laundry.
-Clean his workspace.
-Make him coffee in the morning.
-Wash his car.
-Make his favorite meal.
If he enjoys receiving gifts, remember it is the thought that truly counts.
-Create things from the heart such as a photobook, scrapbook, or collage.
-Remember special dates and give a card or sweet sentiment.
-Have lunch delivered to him at work.
-Get his favorite snacks at the store.
-Have a special place for mementos from your travels or special events.
If he likes physical touch, be sure to express your love in physical ways.
-Hug him tight when he comes home from work.
-Rub his back after a long day.
-Snuggle up close during a movie.
-Be playful by nuzzling his neck or combing your fingers through his hair.
-Hold his hand.
Get in His Head
There is a beautiful and wonderful way that God created a man and a woman, especially when it comes to living in harmony with one another. However, we can so easily take things for granted and quickly gloss over the fact that a man is more physically inclined, while a woman tends to lean more into her emotions. And, yes that may be more or less true, but without a clearer understanding of how God views a man and woman, we are missing the mark.
It’s obvious that men and women are different. But, if we really want to be the wives God is calling us to be, we must learn to understand the way God created our man! God’s design for manhood is simple, and it is called out in 1 Corinthians 16:13, when Paul says to be watchful, stand firm in your faith, “act like men,” and be strong!
It’s not hard to see that our culture today is afraid of God-fearing men, and rightfully so. That’s because they have a God that goes before them, stands beside them, and urges them to walk with faithful steps filled with passion and courage! Their mission is to lead and protect their family! They were initially created that way by a purposeful God!
What does this mean for us? We can serve our husbands by tapping into our emotions and getting into his head. In a good way, might I add. Start by praying for him and asking God to help your husband be the man he was designed to be. Then, with love, speak kindness, goodness, and respectfully proclaim strength over his mind to resist the schemes of this world and to stand firm in his faith. Because friend, faith-filled men are in a battle like we’ve never seen before. They need us to be on their side and gently (and tenderly) remind them that God made them to be strong and we truly appreciate that side of them!
Feed His Soul
My husband was raised by his grandmother, and so growing up, he didn’t miss a meal. Food was his love language – ha! When we met, I wasn’t the greatest cook, and let’s just say we had a few mishaps even well into our first few years of marriage. There were quite a few take-out menus stuck to our fridge, and the pizza deliver guy knew us by name. But, over time, I realized that food really spoke to my guy, and I needed to feed his soul. So, I called his grandmother, got some of her “famous” recipes, and found new ways to cook.
All that to say, we must find what feeds our hubby’s soul, and do so with a happy heart and positive attitude. Tap into his needs, and then do your best to meet them. If you are unsure what his needs are, then ask. It’s really that simple. If he doesn’t know or is unsure how to communicate them to you, start with a simple act of kindness or a thoughtful gesture. Cook his favorite meal or grab his hand and ask him about his day.
I know the scoreboard may want to come out here, as your inner needs declare, “What has he done for me lately?” And, I get it, trust me. However, if we shift our mindset and realize that when we serve (and give), it often grows into something beautiful. Remember that marriage is an act of obedience to God. We serve our husbands because we are called to and in doing so we are being chiseled to be more like Christ.
Touch His Heart
It is said that most men aren’t mushy-gushy, meaning they don’t really know how to tap into their emotional side. However, I would beg to differ. While it may not be every man’s strong suit, when they are around those they feel genuinely comfortable with and deeply love, they tend to let their guard down.
That means as our relationships grow, our men become a little more transparent and vulnerable with us. However, that in mind, as wives, we must honor and respect this place and handle it with care. What I mean by that is, when we damage this part of his heart, it can cause so much pain for his manhood. Let me provide you with a personal example. When my husband and I were first married, he threw out his back running on a men’s football team for his work. I tried to be there (at first) by rubbing icy hot on his back and talking sweetly to him. That allowed him to open up and share a few insecurities with me. I should have respected him and just kept nursing him to health. Instead…I laughed. His silence told me everything. I still feel bad about that!
Ladies, we must realize that “tapping into his heart” is not going to come quite as naturally for him as it does for us. So, take it as a distinct privilege and honor when he does share and decides to open up about his feelings. Then take it as an opportunity to serve him by listening attentively, respecting him, and extending love.
My Prayer for Your Marriage
Lord, I lift up the marriages that have said those solemn vows and made a covenant with You. I ask that You bless their union and keep them safe from the schemes of the evil one. Please help them seek You on how to live as a faithful husband and wife, truly embracing the nature of Your beautiful design for a man and woman. Grant each of them sweet and special ways to serve one another so they can grow in their marriage and, more importantly, grow closer to You. I ask this in Your Holy Name. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Sam Edwards
Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
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