Hey men, what does it mean to be “intentional” when it comes to our wives? This is a fascinating topic and one that deserves some discussion…Ok if I go first? LOL
In all seriousness, it’s a topic that’s not only fascinating, but also one that can be challenging (or even frightening) if men aren’t prepared and equipped with the HOW and WHAT behind it. Case in point – a friend recently asked me to speak about this subject at a men’s small group he regularly hosts. It’s a group of like minded fathers from our local community and he typically expects 7 or 8 guys to show up…this time there were a full dozen in attendance as this topic literally drew men in to learn more about being the husbands & fathers they desire to be. Kudos to those who showed up eager to grow and mature as Christian men!
Here’s what we talked about in that small group…
- Our Finances
- Shared Intimacy
- The Children
Studies show the top three reasons people get married are money, sex & children. Those same studies (ironically) show the top three reasons for divorce are the same…money, sex & children!
Men, if those are the top three things we need to be on guard about, then we (as the spiritual leaders of our families) should be intentionally leading our wives in those areas. They need us to be (i.e., they love and greatly appreciate it when we are) intentional in these (and other) ways.
One simple truth to keep in mind at the beginning is this…
A woman’s greatest needs are love & security!
It brings our wives great “security” when we are intentionally leading & initiating which, but the way, is how God created us in the first place.
So, let’s explore each of these (in no particular order)…
Praying over them (while in the womb)
Paying with them (as children)
Praying for them (as they grow & mature)
As men, we don’t need to know all the answers, we don’t have to be able to recite the most eloquent prayers, and we certainly shouldn’t think we have to “rule with an iron fist” to command respect. Here’s what we DO need to do – be the sacrificial leaders of our homes. Yep, that’s pretty much it! Maybe that’s easier said than done, but Jesus is our example as he willingly sacrificed Himself for His bride (the Church).
So what about this prayer thing? We lead by initiating it! Be the one to say, “hey baby, let’s pray”, then take her hand and pray (out loud) with your wife. Even if you aren’t experienced at praying, it’s OK…there’s abundant grace as you get started. In fact, in men’s ministry we often encourage men to just start out with an 8-second prayer. Anyone can pray for 8 seconds! Maybe something like this…“Dear God, please bless our day, keep us safe, guide us with your wisdom, and let your favor be upon us. In Jesus name. Amen.” BAM…8-seconds. Done! But don’t stop there…as you practice and get more comfortable, the Holy Spirit will lead you and impress upon you more and more things to pray for.
I can promise you this…you will quite literally FILL your wife’s “security tank” to overflowing by doing this…there’s nothing like it!
You can do this! You have what it takes!
Key word = “our” (aka “shared”)
One of the most important keys, as it relates to finances in a marriage, is to view the finances as “ours” – not mine, and yours! When we get married everything becomes shared…our house, our cars, our children, our schedule, and OUR finances…including any debt that either spouse brings into the marriage. This is a crucial component of what we call the “the law of possession”…meaning everyone is equal, and everything becomes joined when we marry…just like we are joining our souls together in a one-flesh covenant before Almighty God.
“Well what if we get divorced?” It will be extremely difficult, stressful and messy…so you better work on your marriage! That means, being intentional!
Another thing we highly recommend is to have a joint bank account, shared credit card, mutual investments, etc. Having things separated can lead to secrecy and dishonesty…keep those temptations away from your marriage and out of your finances. Don’t even give the devil an opportunity to cause division in that area.
So men, lead & initiate when it comes to the finances!
Many times I’ve heard men say, “you don’t want me anywhere near the finances, I’ll mess everything up, it’s just better that she handles everything.” To that we say, “if the wife is more skilled (administratively gifted) at keeping the checkbook, handling the bank statements, paying the bills and doing the taxes – fine, let her do it! But the man should be the one to initiate conversations and prayer ABOUT the finances, the budget, the giving, etc. Bring God into it by leading your wife in this way.”
Intimacy is not sex!
Men, our wives want & need non-sexual touching! That means holding hands, cuddling, or a back rub WITHOUT an ulterior motive.
Please don’t throw anything at me! I know, I know…it can be a difficult concept for a man’s brain to comprehend that getting physically close with our wives doesn’t always have to lead to the full on act of sexual intercourse. Biologically it’s not how we are wired…so that’s where being intentional comes in. We can “practice” this by being affectionate with our wives in little ways, while exercising that all important fruit of the Spirit of self-control. This too will fill her “security tank” and you’ll be well on your way to having an emotionally healthy, satisfied and fulfilled wife.
We often teach couples to look at the word “intimacy” this way…
INTIMACY = into me you see
Genuine intimacy means “knowing” each other in a real, authentic, truthful & honest way. Do we really see and hear each other? Do we cherish and fully understand each other? That’s where true intimacy starts. When we can open up our hearts (the Holy of Holies) to each other by communicating our feelings, our fears, our dreams & desires and let our spouse into the deepest places of our soul. That, gentlemen, is real and authentic intimacy. AND, from that a great sex life blossoms and grows.
I hope this has been helpful to you today, and that you are encouraged to BE INTENTIONAL as it relates to the most important earthly relationship you have – God’s gift to you – your best friend, your partner, your teammate – your lovely, intriguing, fascinating, and beautiful wife!