I'm laughing to myself at my title. I am not a "Five things" or "Ten things" kind of person. For one thing, we all know there's not usually some secret formula with a certain number of steps that makes anything in life work perfectly. For another thing, I don't talk about this kind of stuff. I do not enjoy writing things that, in any way shape or form, make me out to be this person that has it all together and now I think I need to advise you. Don't enjoy it.
The other night Chris and I were talking about marriage - listening to a podcast on the subject together, actually. The speaker hit on the subject of us mothers and how we are so busy and exhausted and feel like we have nothing left to give at the end of the day when our husbands come home. (Yes, the speaker was a woman.) Right in the middle of that part, Chris shook his head and suddenly reached over and hit pause.
"Just hold it right there," he said. "That is not really the issue. The issue is that most women don't think it's necessary to make their husbands a priority. How many of those "exhausted" women would jump at the chance to go shopping with a friend? How many of them would have time for the neighbor lady or time to bake cookies for a church project? But when it's their husband, they are e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d and have nothing left to give; he doesn't even make it on their priority list."
I'm thinking he has a point.
Once upon a time I gave some Unsolicited Dating Advice. I emphasized that a dating couple should focus on becoming best of friends. Our best friends are pretty high on our priority list, right? They see us at our best - and our worst, for that matter - but we take time for them because we want to be with them; we like to be with them.
As newlyweds I'm pretty sure we would have all said our husband was our best friend. Then children came along and our responsibilities grew and our time shortened. It was easy to start thinking, "Well, my husband is my best friend, he can handle less attention," ...if we actually stopped to think that far. Most of the time we didn't even stop to think. Our husbands just got pushed to the back and the noisier, more pressing things took first place.
I think what is important in a dating relationship just might be doubly so in marriage. If I am concerned about obedience to the Lord and his plan for marriage, than one of my goals will be to respect my husband. And if my goal is to respect my husband, it is important - even necessary - to make my husband a priority!
All of this got me to thinking, what things do I do that make my husband a priority? I thought of a number of things that I try to do...and a number of things I could do so much better! Most of them seem small in and of themselves and I certainly don't always do them perfectly but I decided I'd share five with you. So, in no particular order, here are five things I thought of that I try to do to make my husband number one on my priority list:
No work after supper. This is something I remember being a goal my mom and dad tried to live by and I think I sort of subconsciously took it into my marriage. There are, of course, exceptions to this but as a rule I don't start any big projects after supper. When the children were small, Chris would often want me to come sit with him after supper and leave the dishes. That was a tough one for me but I'm glad for every time I did it. These days my children do supper clean up and you will often find me sitting on the couch with my husband's head in my lap being "lazy". ☺
Make food that he likes. My children know that when daddy is home for supper we rarely have soup or tortillas or homemade pizza. It's not that He would refuse to eat them, it's just that I know those aren't things he enjoys. After a long day at work I think he deserves to have food that he enjoys! I often ask him what he is hungry for and plan supper accordingly.
Be available. My husband is a spontaneous person, so maybe this applies more to me than other wives. I try really hard to be flexible and lay aside my neat little "planner" if I get a text asking me to run an errand or help with a project. When our children were little Chris had his own business. Many, many times I would pack everyone up and go hang out with him at the job. Sometimes I could help but mostly he just loved having us there! My work will always be there when I get back home but I never know how many days I will have with my husband.
Care about what he thinks. Maybe that sounds silly but too often I catch myself caring about what everyone else thinks and disregarding my husband.
Say yes in the bedroom. This one should probably be at the top of the list. It makes the prude-ish, Mennonite girl in me blush but I think it needs to be said. Think of the thing your husband does that makes you feel the most loved. That thing that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and close to his heart. That thing that connects you to him and makes you so thankful he is the one you get to do life with. What if he would tell you he is just too tired and exhausted to do that for you as often as you tell him that in the bedroom? Yeah. Changes the picture a bit, huh?
There's so much more that could be said! What things do you do that make your husband a priority? I'd love to hear from you....