Heroic Husbands Initiate Emotional Connection

Your wife needs emotional intimacy, which is feeling relationally close to you. You are her husband. You are the man she has chosen to spend the rest of her life with. You are the one with whom she took covenant vows for better for worse. She desires and deserves emotional connection with you. But sadly many women feel distant from their husbands. When was the last time you did something intentional to foster emotional closeness with your wife?


Your wife needs you emotionally. She needs closeness to you that is only found in healthy conversation. And she deserves better than your leftovers.


Heroic Husband Challenge #4: Your final challenge during this season of heroic manhood is to create a new level of emotional closeness with your wife. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Give Her Your Attention: Don’t try talking to her while the television is still on or while you are engaged in a task. Give her your undivided attention to make her feel connected to you.
    • Take Her Out: Go on dates or get away from the routine to create space for uninterrupted conversation and time to just be together.
    • Deepen The Conversation: Be strong enough to open up the conversations you usually avoid. Ask her questions like: “How can I love you better?” “How do you feel about ____?” “How can I understand your heart better?” “What can I do to be a better husband?”
    • Listen Well: Listen to what she is saying. Echo what you hear, then validate her feelings. Empathize. You can do this. It may not always come naturally, but you can learn to get better at this through practice.
    • Share With Her: Volunteer information about your world and your feelings. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It takes strength to be open and honest.  Remember, she loves you and wants to support you.
    • Remove Obstacles: Unresolved conflict, bitterness, unhealed wounds, or lack of forgiveness create obstacles to emotional closeness. Do what you can do to eliminate anything that may get in the way of connecting with your bride.
    • Have Fun Together: Find a hobby or interest that you both enjoy and can do together — going for walks, riding bikes, gardening, etc. Share experiences that allow you to connect on a routine basis.

Present your wife a love gift by connecting with her in a new way this week. Doing so may not feel like a gift to you because you have different primary needs than she does. But it will be a gift to her heart that she will eagerly receive.

Going Further: Take a simple step toward greater emotional connection by downloading a date night idea from the INTENTIONAL HUSBANDS page.



Heroic Husbands Communicate with Wisdom and Tenderness

It can often feel like men and women speak different languages.  Men tend toward facts whereas women tend toward emotion. Men prefer the bottom line while women enjoy the entire story. Men focus on the task while while women focus on the relationship. So it’s no wonder we sometimes struggle to foster meaningful, effective communication in our marriages. Poor communication can turn a minor issue into a major conflict.

Heroic Husband Challenge #3:  Invest the needed time to learn your wife’s language. To do so, we invite you to foster the five C’s of Good Healthy Communication spelled out for us by Paul in Ephesians chapter 4.

CLEAR: (Ephesians 4:15) We are to speak the truth in love. This is different from saying what is true using a tone that can hurt your wife. Men often speak clearly but with a brutal harshness. That is not “speaking the truth in love.”

CALM: (Ephesians 4:26) In our anger we are not to sin. Anger is a legitimate emotion, but when we are unwise and careless our anger can become sinful. Anger becomes sinful when it is motivated by pride, when it lingers, and when we use it to attack the person instead of the problem. Take a “time out” or a break if you need to calm down.

CURRENT: (Ephesians 4:26 & 31) We are not to let the sun go down while we are still angry. Bitterness and resentment are marriage killers. Those two ugly dogs can rip a marriage apart. It is your job to protect yourself from bitterness. Do not allow ill feelings to linger.

CONSTRUCTIVE: (Ephesians 4:29) Our communication should be wholesome, helpful, and beneficial. Constructive is always future oriented. A complaint is always focused on the past and usually makes the receiver feel like they need to be defensive. A request will usually be aimed at the future and therefore can be much more constructive. Communication is not constructive when we beat someone up over what they have already done. Constructive communication makes a clear request for the future, “In the future would you mind _____?”

COMPASSIONATE: (Ephesians 4:32) We are to be kind and compassionate to our wives, forgiving them just as Christ forgave us. Men sometimes claim that they were absent the day that God was handing out mercy and compassion. That is a lame and passive excuse. Compassion is not a gift that we either have or we don’t have. It is a posture we must choose when relating to our wives.

Which of the five C’s do you need to put intentional effort into over these next few days? Why not start by apologizing for ways that you have blown it and ask your wife for her forgiveness? Are you bold enough to share with her your desire to improve in that area and ask for her help and patience?

Keep in mind, the five C’s are for you. Don’t point out her communication mistakes. That is both unwise and cowardly. It is the husband’s responsibility to go first when it comes to wise and tender communication in marriage.

Going Further: Enhance communication in your marriage using ideas available at the INTENTIONAL HUSBANDS page.



Heroic Husbands Lead Spiritually

God is the architect of marriage and he called men to a servant leadership role in his family.  In fact, the apostle Paul described it this way in his instructions to the Ephesian church:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. Ephesians 5:25-28

One of a husband’s most important leadership tasks is to lead spiritually. It can also be one of the most awkward and difficult, especially when we perceive our wives as more Godly than ourselves. But you don’t need to be a life-long Christian, biblical scholar, or prayer warrior to lead spiritually. You just need to initiate. Your wife doesn’t expect perfection. But she does long for you to mature as a man of faith and help nurture her faith as well.   

Heroic Husband Challenge #2:   Take simple steps to initiate spiritual connection with your wife in the next few days. Here are several possible starting points.

    • Initiate Prayer: Pick a time of day that works for you (i.e. before bed, morning). Hold hands while saying brief prayers for the day, your kids, mutual concerns, etc. Ask “How can I pray for you?” Aim for at least twice a week. Put it on your calendar and make sure it happens.
    • Initiate Spiritual Conversations: “How did God speak to your heart in the sermon? What did that special song at church mean to you? What is God teaching you?”
    • Initiate Bible Reading Together: Read a small portion of the Bible together and ask “What did those verses say to you?”
    • Initiate Small Group Participation: Are you in a small group? If not, make it happen this weekend. Be the leader by letting her know this is an important priority to you.
    • Initiate Serving Together: Research some options of how you and your wife can serve others together. Find a need you would enjoy meeting together.
    • Seek Christ Alone: You will not be able to give what you do not have. Spend time alone with God where you are seeking Him in his word and through prayer. Ask Him to mold you into a great spiritual leader in your marriage.

Going Further: Overcome obstacles to praying with your wife using tips available at the INTENTIONAL HUSBANDS page.



Heroic Husbands Love Sacrificially

by Mason Randall
 
Let’s face it husbands, we often forget important details. We drop the ball, display laziness and make selfish decisions or demands. None of us need help making our wives crazy because of us. But all of us could benefit from the secret to making our wives crazy about us!
 
Read Ephesians 5:25-29. The Apostle Paul instructs husbands to love their wives the way that Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. In other words, Christ-like husbands love their wives in a sacrificial, unconditional, selfless and compassionate way. Not just when she is respecting you. Not just when you feel like she is meeting your needs. It is by first loving your wife sacrificially that you will make it easier for her to become crazy about you. There is nothing passive about that.
 
Heroic Husband Challenge #1: Turn up the temperature this week when it comes to demonstrating sacrificial love for your wife. Here are some general prompts to help you brainstorm how to best act on this. Ask yourself six questions to identify at least one way you can reflect Christ’s love for his bride in the next few days. 


~  Where can I serve her around the house in ways that are challenging to me?

~  How can I connect with her emotionally that would be meaningful to her?

~  What could I do to show romantic affection without expecting something in return?

~  Are there arenas she would appreciate me bearing a greater share of the weight of responsibility when it comes to creating a healthy and Godly marriage and family?

~  Could I demonstrate a more positive attitude of sacrificial love?

There is no need to create a massive list of long-term goals. Identify two or three clear things you can make happen in the next few days.

Going Further: Plan one date night with your wife using an idea available at the INTENTIONAL HUSBANDS page.



Accepting the Heroic Manhood Challenge – BwayHuz

Thank you for accepting the challenge to move beyond passivity in your spiritual journey in order to become a more Christ-like man. You are one of those who will help us create a church-wide culture where heroic leadership becomes normal and expected. How? By increasing your own level of manly intentionality over the coming four weeks. If you haven’t already done so, please join the Bway Husband text group for our weekly Hero Challenge for Husbands! When you do, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a Heroic Gift Package, including a gift card to Home Depot as well as some other handy “tools” for your journey. The winner will be announced at our annual Men’s retreat September 28-29th (must be present to win!). Joining is as simple as texting the message “@BwayHuz” to 81010. You’ll receive a confirmation message back and you’ll be ready to go!

Let’s get started!  Heroic Challenge #1: Stop whatever you are doing right now to spend a few moments in prayer using the following prompts…

ASK FOR GRACE: Ask God for the grace needed to adopt the attitude of Jesus Christ who, according to the Bible, “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”

ASK FOR CLARITY: Ask God to show you the present reality. How well have you modeled self-sacrifice for those you love and lead?  Confess any struggles when it comes to loving and serving your wife. If you lead at school or work or church, confess areas of weakness and invite God to give you strength to better reflect the example of Jesus Christ.

ASK FOR SUCCESS: Ask God to give you courage and creativity as you try to serve and lead those within your sphere of influence. Pray that they would be receptive to your efforts, even if you have failed in the past. 

Over the next 4 weeks we will send a new challenge each week to help engage you on your spiritual journey and encourage your growth as a Christ-like husband.  We hope they will help you turn the prayer you just prayed into a real-world reality with those you have been called to love, serve, and lead.

Going Further:
• Visit the TOOLS FOR MEN page to hear the free HEROIC@HOME audio podcast.