(Or even better title might be “6 Free Mother’s Day Gifts for your Wife.” That might get your attention, gentlemen.)
The Bible says, “live with your wife in an understanding way….” (1 Peter 3:7). You may not understand the power of your love and what that looks like.
Your love will:
1. Work hard to learn her. (Note: I didn’t say understand HER, because she doesn’t always understand herself.) You don’t need to be able to explain her but actively study who she is, her unique personality, her love language and her soul. Know her wounds and vulnerabilities. Her spiritual life should be your NUMBER one priority as a shepherd. It is the foundation of building intimacy. When you learn her you will be able to love her, serve her and shepherd her well.
2. Say, “You are my priority.” As a man, father, pastor or leader in the community people will look into your life and assess pretty quickly what your priorities are. Do not under estimate this. They know how you spend your time. What do you do that demonstrates CLEARLY that SHE is your priority? People know the order of your priorities. So does she.
3. Take the time to listen to her. Yes, we ramble a bit. You are looking for the Cliff’s Note version of our issues and then give us a quick fix. That is your preferred painless option. (Women we would do ourselves a favor and edit details. Attention spans may wane.) She feels very loved and significant when you make eye contact and engage her. You value her ideas. If you have small children this item gets moved up higher on list.
4. Provide the sacrificial leadership she longs for. Ironically it’s a sad secret that it’s tempting to lead well at work or church but coast at home. And we get it. You come home tired, drained and wanting a respite from the demands of leadership. We want and can fill many gaps in the demands of your life but if we get this area reversed it is not good for anyone. Even in a well-meaning way. Your kids will figure out pretty quickly that dad shepherds at church but not at home. Pastors it’s a confusing signal to them if dad is bold in the pulpit but passive at home. It must be hard to lead women. It has to be tricky. We probably send many confusing signals but we want you to lead.
5. Free her. Your wife is mommy, mate, lover, CEO of day-to-day operations of “Litton” enterprises, serves at church and community plus perhaps 40-hour employee somewhere else. What blows wind in her sails? Free her to do that. (If you don’t know what blows wind in her sails skip back up to Point #1) Encourage her to pursue life-giving relationships with other women. Or make space for refreshing experiences. Make those opportunities available. If you see she has no things that refresh, recharge her –help her find some.
6. Pursue personal holiness. Not because you’re supposed to. Or you are a pastor and have to— but because of these two critical things:
1. You possess an authentic vibrant walk with Christ.
2. For her and the sanctity of your marriage.
She needs to see an authentic faith from you. Remember she has a front row seat to the reality of it. Especially as you demonstrate a strong, sexual ethic, which includes appropriateness with other women, resist pornography, monitor what you read/watch and allow into your life. I have been married to two men Rick Ferguson and Ed Litton. These are things I knew about these men; they would struggle in this area like any other man and that they were men that feared God.
Does your wife know you are a man who fears God? When she knows you genuinely internally fear God her trust in you and respect for you will grow.
Love her well but it still would be wise to find a Mother’s day gift!
(Editor’s Note: The blog also appears at flourish.me.)