Confession: Sometimes I am not very nice to him.
Who would have guessed it, in the dreamy days when his voice on the phone was just the sound I longed to hear, nourishing a place deep inside me? Who would have guessed it, in the blissful days of leisurely picnics, happy reunions, endless hours of talk, and reams of letters? Who would have guessed that this sweet girl would turn into such a beast some days? That her admiring eyes were capable of rolling in scorn, that her tender words could someday pack a punch?
Marriage goes on, life goes on, and some things that should not be forgotten are.
Lovers really are the wisest of us all.
This spring I set myself a challenge: thirty days of honor.* I wanted to do on purpose the things that once came effortlessly, so I drew up a list of practical actions I thought would spell love and respect to him—and then tried to do one each day.
* Undoubtedly a spin-off of the Love Dare, from the movie “Fireproof.”
I’m going to show you my list. But if, as you read over it, it begins to sound like an unreachable ideal, denoting some kind of superwife going on here, please know that in between the kindnesses I was horrid to him a lot. I’m no superwife. In fact, I don’t deserve love—none of us do—and I’m learning that anytime you get close to another person you have to wade through a whole lot of alternating layers of sugar and slime, all the way down to the very core. And allow them to do the same with you.
I offer my list to you in case you want to try something similar, in case familiarity and routine have rubbed some of the charm off of marital selflessness. I tried to integrate all the facets of Ryan’s life, and all the love languages that he hears. You will need to tailor it to your own man. I learned a lot along the way—about what means a lot to him, and what doesn’t, and what things are hardest for this proud girl.
I didn’t get them all done. And some turned out very differently than I had planned. In short, this whole post is a confession—
Thirty Days of Honor
- Cook his favorite food.
- Deliver a favorite drink to his office—i.e. iced tea.
- Listen attentively to everything he has to say.
- Initiate intimacy.
- Kidnap him for an inexpensive date—like take-out pizza at a park.
- Ask questions about a work project he has going.
- Provide a snack for one of his ministers’ meetings.
- Meet him at the door with a kiss.
- Write a note expressing specific appreciation for something he does or is.
- Respond positively to one of his ideas I’m a little leery of.
- Allow him the space to correct the children without stepping in to “help.”
- Offer to give him some rejuvenate/solitude time while I keep the kids.
- Offer my assistance on a project—like mowing grass.
- Bake something for his fire hall friends.
- Give him a back massage.
- Clean his office well.
- Praise him in the presence of others.
- Wear something special to bed.
- Thank him throughout the day for things I notice him doing.
- Vacuum his vehicle.
- Walk hand in hand.
- Help the kids rehearse a skit to honor him on Father’s Day—acting out the things they like most about him.
- Host guests he chooses.
- Quietly do the project I wish he would get to—taking out the trash or changing those light bulbs.
- Brew him fresh coffee.
- Enjoy simple touch with him throughout the day.
- Clean his work boots.
- Send him off to a fire call with a smile; welcome him home with a snack that spells HERO.
- Buy his favorite instead of mine.
- Add a new shirt to his closet.
What spells love to your man?
This is a wonderful idea because, face it: much as we love him and think we show it, it doesn’t actually happen unless we are intentional!
I love it! Laura has talked about doing this for her man. I think it’s a great idea…
A Man’s List
1. Meet him at the door with a kiss
2. Initiate intimacy
3. Make him his favorite supper
4. Quietly do a task I can easily do but which I try to get him to do
5. Wear your wedding dress
6. Meet him at the door with a kiss
7. Initiate intimacy
8. Make him his favorite supper
9. Quietly do a task I can easily do but which I try to get him to do
10. Wear your wedding dress
11. Meet him at the door with a kiss
12. Initiate intimacy
13. Make him his favorite supper
14. Quietly do a task I can easily do but which I try to get him to do
15. Wear your wedding dress
16. Meet him at the door with a kiss
17. Initiate intimacy
18. Make him his favorite supper
19. Quietly do a task I can easily do but which I try to get him to do
20. Wear your wedding dress
21. Meet him at the door with a kiss
22. Initiate intimacy
23. Make him his favorite supper
24. Quietly do a task I can easily do but which I try to get him to do
25. Wear your wedding dress
26. Meet him at the door with a kiss
27. Initiate intimacy
28. Make him his favorite supper
29. Quietly do a task I can easily do but which I try to get him to do
305. Wear your wedding dress
Ahem. This rather confirms my suspicions that we women make those lists for ourselves, after all. Lol.
Alright, well put. Let’s call it one man’s list and I’ll accept it. 🙂 It’s not the same five my husband would choose, although I’ll admit to some striking similarities…
You have an excellent point—many men appreciate being loved faithfully in the five really Great ways. On the other hand, many women find it essential to love creatively (creatively meaning new ways she’s never tried before), which means hubby may occasionally have to hang in there for a bit. This is how she’s wired. And sometimes she strikes a real winner.
So. Hmm. I wonder if you are as knowledgeable about the 305 unique ways your Mrs. wants to be loved–?
Well……… You would have to ask my Mrs. about how well I do in that department. “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Proverbs 27:2.
A woman’s list is generally infinite and she tends to seek to show her love to her man the same way. But if her point is loving her man the way HE wants to be loved/honored then she should: Do the five or six things she knows he likes. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat………….
P.S. Her name is Bethany 🙂
I made a hot supper for my husband last night, (on a 93 degree day) baby shrimp, baked potatoes, corn, and cresent rolls, and was apologizing for the HOT food on such a HOT day…he said, “I’m ready for a HOT meal”. Guess I scored!
This list and the acts you did are so thoughtful and honoring to Ryan. I think doing special things for Geryll can do more for me than it does for him, deliberately calling my heart toward him. I have no doubt God is going to take your smallest efforts and make them bear more fruit than you can imagine. Dream on! Love on!