Malcolm Gladwell says you have to have 10,000 hours of experience to become an expert in a particular field. I don’t know if that’s really true or not, but here’s what I do know. As a 35 year veteran of marriage, that means Jeannie and I have over 300,000 hours of marriage experience. That must make us some kind of Super Ninjas of marriage.
Now that I’ve established my credentials, lets get to the point of this blog. Since I’ve been teaching at Kairos, a young adult worship experience at Brentwood Baptist Church, there has been a steady conversation going on with young husbands. A lot of the time, a young man will get married and have a limited relationship with his father. That means he’s trying to be a husband without ever having seen a husband. Or worse, his father may have left him with only a negative experience. That means he only has a list of things that he will never do as a husband.
So, they’ll walk up to me and say, “I just got married. Got any advice?” To answer that question, I developed the Fast Five for Guys. Here they are:
1. Tell her you love her—a lot. If you already tell her, tell her more. She really can’t hear it enough. All day long the world tells her she’s not enough. She’s too this or too that. She’s spending too much time at work and neglecting her family, or she betrayed the cause of women by choosing to stay home and be a mother. Our culture sends cruel messages to our wives. As husbands, we have to be intentional about countering these harmful messages. Let “I love you” be the first thing she hears in the morning and the last thing she hears before she goes to sleep.
2. Learn to fight fair. Get mad. That’s fine, but the point of the fight is to solve the problem, not to “fix her.” She’s probably not the problem to begin with. Keep your anger focused on the real problem.
3. It’s all foreplay. How you talk to her in the kitchen will directly impact how she responds to you in the bedroom. If she’s still focused on unresolved anger, unhealed hurts, and other moments of “dis-ease” it will be difficult for her to be your loving wife. Flirt with her, compliment her, and woo her throughout the day.
4. Learn her love language…and speak it often. Jeannie likes “happies.” Happies are little gifts for no reason. Jeannie gets lots of happies. Find out her language and respond accordingly. Remember, roses are cheaper than attorneys.
5. Security is a basic need of wives in marriage. Make sure she’s physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially safe.
Bonus: You’ll never have any trouble with her as your wife if you always treat her as your girlfriend. That means you still ask her out, you still flirt with her, and you dress like you’re trying to impress her.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Get started on these and get back to me. I’ll give you some more stuff to work on after you get these down.
What would you add?