After 28 years of marriage, you learn a few thing…things to do and things NOT to do. I am not one for long lists (although they can be helpful). I’m more about simplicity…give me the bottom line and I’ll figure the rest out. What I’m sharing with you here are a few basics that can actually be game changers.  They are simple, but have a positive ripple effect that will help your marriage make it for the long haul!

1.) Get dressed, do your hair and use some make-up-I don’t mean you have to look like a model, but I am telling you, most men are visual. Change out of whatever you slept in and put something cute on…there ARE cute sweats out there, but put a little thought into it, even if you are staying home all day.  You know the old saying, “If the barn needs painting, paint it.”  If you feel (and if your husband feels) like you look fresher with a little makeup, then wear it!   None of this has to take a ton of time. Never leave the house without something on that you feel attractive in.  I have actually asked my husband what he liked to see me in-makeup, hair, clothes, jewelry, etc.  He was glad I asked and I try to please him (it helps that he has good taste, but I’m pretty sure you can work that our with your man). I think our husbands feel respected when we do this.

2.) Be joyful -Don’t complain. We live in a culture that complains INCESSANTLY.  There is nothing more unattractive than a negative wife. It affects our husbands far more than we will ever know. It makes them feel like a failure because complaining communicates discontent and unhappiness and that they just can’t pull this marriage thing off. It makes them want to give up.  (Actually, it makes US want to give up too, so just don’t do it!)  Proverbs 27:15 says that such a woman is like a dripping faucet…drip, drip, drip. On the other hand, a happy, joyful wife reflects respect for her husband and motivates him. A motivated man is a happy man. Proverbs says that life and death is in the power of the tongue…speak life!

3.) Speak highly of your husband both to him and to others-I cannot emphasize enough how very crucial this is. I remember one time when my husband and I were first married, I tried to discuss something negative about my husband with him.  I thought for sure my brother-in-law would side with me and set my husband straight. I was shocked when he defended my husband (absolutely the right thing to do in this situation). I don’t think my brother-in-law meant to, but he taught me something that day: don’t be in a hurry to speak negatively to anyone about your man. That doesn’t mean that it never happened again, but from then on, I would have a major red flag in my spirit, usually caught myself and stopped more quickly. (If there are legitimate issues that can’t seem to be resolved, use discernment in whom you choose to talk to.)

Speak positively TO him. Sometimes that is face to face, sometimes via texting or email. I like doing this because I can really think about what I am going to say and make it meaningful…then add a little emoticon-lips, a heart, etc. I tell my husband how thankful I am that he works hard and does such a good job of providing for our family. I tell him that I can’t wait to hug his neck/ kiss him when he gets home. I make it a point not dump the day’s problems on him the minute he walks in the door…greet him with a smile as often as possible.

I try to send my husband an email in the afternoon telling him what’s been going on at home and how much I love him.  (Again, try to keep it positive.) He likes that he is aware of what’s gone on with the family before he comes through the door. There’s less to try to communicate after he gets home and then he knows what he’s walking into.

4.) Handle the finances well-That may sound like a weird thing to say, but men have provision on their minds MOST of the time. It’s just how they are wired. If we are careful to be a good steward, finding the best deals and learning to be frugal, our husbands feel like more of a success AND they feel like what they are doing is important to us…that we appreciate all their hard work. Even if you make some of the income, I believe this still applies.

5.) Don’t let other things get in the way of your marriage.  Not the children, responsibilities, not home schooling, activities, friends, church, cell phone, social media…nothing.  Give him eye contact and stop what you are doing (if you can) to really LISTEN to him. BE engaged.  And don’t let the sun go down on your anger, God says it gives the devil a foothold.  Wipe the slate clean by the end of the day.  Don’t drag your feet in saying you are sorry.  Keep your conversations clean. Don’t use too many words and choose them prayerfully and carefully.

Husband and Wife Silhouette

6.)  Give your man a good time in bed.  It’s not always first on our hearts and minds, but it usually is on their’s.  My husband’s grandma always said, “Keep your man happy at home and he’ll stay at home.”

We want our marriages to last well past child rearing, homeschooling and many other seasons.  You’ll never regret making it the next priority after your relationship with God. Slow down and be deliberate in loving your man!