Husbands need to take the initiative in assuming the spiritual leadership of the family. That leadership is not, of course, dominating the woman; it is the “follow me” kind of leadership. As part of that, it means that husbands need to take the initiative in nurturing, helping, and encouraging our wives. Men’s emotional needs are pretty much met watching a football game with their buddies. Women are different. Way, way different. They’re like from an alternate universe where the laws of physics do not apply. Wives need their husband to listen to them. Listen, listen, listen, listen - and then maybe, just maybe, respond.
One of the things that Eva
beat into taught me was that women don’t always want a solution from their husbands when they have a problem - they just want their husbands to listen.
Women are surprisingly responsive to little things that we guys tend not to notice at all. We need to get our wives flowers or a small gift for no reason other than it happens to be Tuesday. Women go absolutely crazy when you send them flowers at work. Women love when we husbands take the initiative to go fill their car up with gas, to vacuum without being asked to do so, when we hold their hands and pray before meals, and (as I’ve discovered recently) for washing baby bottles and doing the baby’s laundry. When we take care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves.
God calls us to nurture our wives: spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Eva likes it when I take time to read the Bible to her. She thinks that I’m a hero when I say, “let’s sit down and pray together.” It makes her entire week when I take her to church. When women have to drag their husbands to church, it means that the man is not being a leader. Taking Eva to church - even at times when she would rather watch TV - always blesses both of us. We’ve never regretted going to church a single time. When we husbands do nurture and encourage our wives, we’re one with them. Otherwise we’re just roommates.
I’m about as far from being the perfect husband as a man can get, but I have gotten the clue that when we function together as one just as God planned us to do, the rewards of marriage are much greater. I have a lot to learn and need to step up to the plate more, but even doofus me has learned that Eva and I get along wonderfully when I do just the little things for her and take the initiative to be the spiritual leader.