Today is part three of a three part series I have been writing on pursuit. It started two weeks ago when I wrote about my pursuit of this adorably cute and comfortable maxi skirt and how it made me stop to think about pursuit in relation to God and my Husband.
Do I pursue my husband with such vigor?
Do I pursue God with such diligence?
Last Wednesday, I went over 10 Ways To Pursue God. I talked about how God’s pursuit of me astonishes me. He is completely and utterly relentless. In learning more about how God pursues you, and how you can pursue God, my hope is that you would in turn pursue your husbands in this way. So, today, I am going to be focusing on what pursuing your husband looks like.
1. Study him
When you first start dating you find out each others likes and dislikes pretty quickly. You spend countless hours on the phone or together, just learning about each other. As you continue to date, this tends to change. You don’t spend as much time asking questions or studying him. Don’t let this aspect of your relationship fade. Each of you is constantly changing, so continue to learn about your husband and study him. His favorite color may have been blue seven years ago, but is it still blue?
2. Listen to him
Sometimes, we get so busy doing a million other things that we don’t take time to just listen to our husband. It is often better to listen than to be heard. Be slow to speak. When your in a conversation with your husband, don’t be thinking about what you are going to say next, really listen. This also means putting down your phone or computer and really giving your spouse your attention. You might even learn more about your husband which would help with the “studying him” aspect.
3. Affirm him
You have no idea how far an “I’m proud of you” will go. Your husband wants to be your hero, and he needs you to encourage him. Look for ways you can affirm your husband in his work, around the house, in your relationship, about his parenting, etc. Actively seek out “good” and point it out to him. We can get really caught up on negative things our spouse does or things they don’t do. Make sure you are affirming more than criticizing.
4. Communicate with him
This seems to go hand in hand with studying him and listening to him, but it is very different. Communication is often labeled as the key to a successful marriage. If you aren’t on the same page as your husband, your marriage will most likely be having issues. Part of pursuing your husband means actively communicating with him about his needs, wants, desires and life. Make sure you are asking good questions and really communicating with your husband.
5. Have fun with him
Pursuing your husband should be fun. Remember those butterflies you used to get just when he glanced at you from across the room. Those are still there. Be silly together: have a water fight in the house, go on a date night, watch your favorite movies snuggled up in bed. Laugh together.
6. Serve him
Marriage isn’t always going to be equal. Some weeks, you might feel like you are carrying 75% of the burden, and some weeks your husband might feel that way. Love isn’t about keeping track of who did the dishes when, or cleaned the house last. These things can come in-between your marriage so quickly. It is easy to become prideful in who did this and who did that. Instead of keeping track, make a point to do things for your husband that take a little bit off his plate. Is he having a bad day at work? Make sure the trash can is pulled inside and dinner is ready as soon as he gets home and greet him with a kiss. Is he having a good day at work? Unload the dishwasher for him and leave him a trail of notes that lead to you when he gets home. (for other ideas see: 20 ways to say I love you)
7. Pray for him
Prayer is one of the most powerful and meaningful things we can do for our marriage and our husband. Not only are we told to pray in scripture–we’re told to pray without ceasing. I want to be a praying wife. I want to cover my husband in prayer, I wrote a post last year about verses to pray over your husband and it has been such a great guide for me. I fully believe you should pray FOR your husband and not ABOUT him. Praying for your husband is done in love, not ranting or nagging (see Are you trying to change him?). Praying for him means digging into God’s Word and praying Scriptures specific to his struggles. The Word of God is powerful, living and active. It breaths life, never underestimate its power to transform your husband and your marriage.
8. Show Affection for him
Yes, you are married, so yes, you should act like it. I’m not saying go all “get a room” style in public affection… but subtle public affection and “get a room” private affection. Lets face it, we were created to be intimate with our spouse. But, I believe that it means more than just showing up at night, its about the spiritual and emotional connection you experience with your spouse. It can’t be just physical, if it is, it will just be temporal and meaningless.
9. Be gracious with him
We know that through our relationship with Christ, we are already forgiven. He has taken care of our biggest worry and condition, our sin. Once we accept Christ as our savior, he instantly forgives all of our past and future sins, because of His work on the cross. Therefore, he tells us: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) This is a huge statement. I think it is so important to keep a soft heart toward your spouse and show them grace. You didn’t marry a perfect person, nor should you expect them to live up to your every expectation. Show grace toward your husband.
10. Love him
The simple and fun part. Enjoy him. Smile with him. Laugh with him. Love him.
My prayer is that through pursuing Christ, I would learn, more and more, how to love Kevin relentlessly and how to pursue him as Christ pursues me. I hope these are 10 practical things you can put into practice in your marriage to pursue your husband and strengthen your marriage.