Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to influence our husbands well. Most wives know the very basic tenets, but we may not know what it takes to make a marriage thrive. I’ll be one to tell you that I’m not usually a fan of most marriage books out there (that’s a whole different topic for a different post). But I found a treasure in Loving Him Well by Gary Thomas and wanted to share with you some takeaways that will hopefully help you influence your husband better.
Pray positive prayers for your husband (pg. 90).
Gary Thomas says, “Find the five or six things he does really well…and try to wear God out by thinking him for giving you a husband with these qualities.” I started putting this in practice as soon as I read Loving Him Well and noticed a heart change within me when I did. Instead of thanking God for five or six qualities, I did three a day and changed up my list each day.
I dare any woman reading these words to try this practice each day.
Marriages die slow deaths from complacency all the time, but this discipline of thanking God for qualities of our husband is a curative balm to complacency.
Don’t be blinded to the blessings of your husband (pg. 69).
Loving Him Well delves into a problem area for most women. Dissatisfaction and complaining. Many of us ignore the positive traits of our husbands thinking of them as commonplace, but when one ugly flaw rises to the surface, we pounce on it!
Thomas mentions that he and his wife watched a special on widows whose husbands lost their lives in the World Trade Center. There was a jarring comment said from one widow, “The thing I can’t stand is when I hear wives complain about their husbands.”
All the women on the special agreed with another saying, “It would make my day if I walked into the master bathroom and saw the toilet seat left up.”
Did you hear that one? It would make this widow’s day to see the sight of the bane of every woman: an open toilet seat. Convicting much?
Don’t compare your husband’s flaws with the good of your friends spouses (pg. 73).
To piggyback off of the last point in Loving Him Well, many women along with complaining compare their husband to other friend’s husbands. Like…
Jean’s husband makes a good salary so that she can stay at home with her kids. I wish my husband was like Jean’s husband,
Alison’s husband cooks every dinner and washes the dishes. I wish my husband could be more like Alison’s.
The big problem with this comparing is that it omits what our husbands are good at. Every one of our friends’ husbands has flaws and comparing our husband’s flaws with the good and only the good of our friends’ husbands does our own spouse a huge disservice.
What does your husband offer that your friends’ husbands don’t? Jean’s husband may make a good salary, but maybe he doesn’t spend time in deep communication with her but yours does. Maybe Alison’s husband cooks dinner every night and washes the dishes after, but he doesn’t give his wife back rubs when she asks, yet yours does.
Look at your husband’s complimentary traits and don’t compare.
Guys rise to praise (pgs. 82-83).
Thomas explains that when someone compliments a guy, they want to retain that person’s opinion of them. And when a wife respects her husband, the praise makes him want to continue any of his good behavior and also to live up to the praise. On the flip-side, “negatively thinking about your husband increases your dissatisfaction with him and your marriage.”
Treat your husband the way you would want your daughter-in-law to treat your son (pg. 86).
And I will leave you with a convicting message from Loving Him Well. It’s easy to treat our husbands more harshly than we should. After all, we’re one in marriage, right? But we need to step outside of ourselves for a moment and think of how we would want our daughter-in-laws to treat our son. “That’s likely how your husband’s heavenly Father wants you to treat his wounded son.” I may not be mother to a son at this point, but this analogy from Gary Thomas still hit home.
Thomas also says, “It really does help if you look at your husband’s faults through the prism of his hurt- not to excuse him, but to plot a strategy for healing and then positive change.”
Love your husband well,
I generously received a review copy of this book from Zondervan. All thoughts are my own. All images are our own. Please don’t use without permission.