Engage

Honey Dos Part Two: Advice to Newlywed Wives

Last post, I gave advice to newlywed husbands; a kind of “cheat-sheet” to avoid pitfalls that some spouses (myself included) have fallen into.

I received some great feedback, and a challenge to dedicate a post on giving advice to newlywed wives. Challenge accepted!

(A frustrated commenter critiqued my last post by saying (I’m paraphrasing here) that a list of dos and don’ts cannot sum up the complexities of marital love and commitment. I presumed this was a given, so his comment caused me to realize that it’s worth emphasizing that this post is not a do-this-and-your-marriage-will-be-perfect formula, but pithy words of wisdom based on Biblical mores and life experience. It’s not a substitute for the Holy Spirit.)

Last post, I gave advice to newlywed husbands; a kind of “cheat-sheet” to avoid pitfalls that some spouses (myself included) have fallen into.

I received some great feedback, and a challenge to dedicate a post on giving advice to newlywed wives. Challenge accepted!

(A frustrated commenter critiqued my last post by saying (I’m paraphrasing here) that a list of dos and don’ts cannot sum up the complexities of marital love and commitment. I presumed this was a given, so his comment caused me to realize that it’s worth emphasizing that this post is not a do-this-and-your-marriage-will-be-perfect formula, but pithy words of wisdom based on Biblical mores and life experience. It’s not a substitute for the Holy Spirit.)

I consulted my sweet husband for inspiration (who deftly and diplomatically gave me pointers) as well as my own past and present mishaps.

  • Groom (as in, yourself, not your husband, haha!). Do it as an act of worship and a way to interpret 1 Corinthians 7:4.
  • Express your thoughts directly and specifically instead of hinting. Many men don’t get hints, but will enthusiastically respond to direct requests. (It’s unfair to hold your man responsible for things that you don’t tell him.)
  • Tell your husband what you admire about him; is he awesome with finances? Can he fix anything that breaks in the house? Does he work hard? Let him know you see him, and you’re impressed.
  • Enthusiastically let your husband know that he’s attractive to you, and why. A lot of us women are used to being complimented on our hair, smile, clothes, scent, everything. Men don’t get that kind of affirmation as much, so they bask in it.
  • If you really want your husband to do a chore, let him do it. His way. Say it with me: “his way.” Let go.
  • Read this.
  • Pray for your husband regularly. There are concerns and fears he will grapple with that, to shield you, he may not share with you. Pray that Christ would rule His heart and mind, and bring him to make wise decisions.
  • Pray that your husband has good friends. They are some of his most powerful influences, and can spur him on to greatness, or drag him down.
  • When God graciously answers and your husband is blessed with good friends, please let him spend time with them. He needs male friends. He needs friends other than you. It’s healthy (and really, this benefits you, too).
  • Sometimes you gotta wear the pink bra. You know; the bedazzled one.
  • Relentlessly pursue resolution.
  • Speak your husband’s language, even when it’s not your native tongue. (For example, my husband loves restoring cars. I don’t share his skill in repairing engines, but I adore his talent because I think it’s useful and poetic to take broken things and make them hum again. I support him in his hobby by buying him special tools that aid in his work. I get to research what he needs and get to appreciate his skills even more.)
  • Avoid chronic complaining about your husband with your friends. You wouldn’t want him constantly talking about you behind your back, would you? Plus, your friends will have the stories of your husband’s foibles trapped in their minds long after you and he have patched things up.
  • Instead, devise ways to increase your husband’s reputation. Take Proverbs 31:12 as a personal challenge.
  • Remember that this is not a competition; it’s a partnership. You don’t win if your husband loses. When he wins (by being encouraged, forgiven, challenged, seduced, fed, prayed over by you), you win.
  • Sisters, spend less time fretting and more time flaunting. We slam and insult the bodies that the Lord has given us; bodies that have weathered years, survived cancer, brought forth life, and overcome assault. Bodies that our husbands lovingly chose and excitedly want. Embrace your beauty, and if necessary, repeat Psalm 139:14 and Proverbs 5:19 – this is who you are.
  • If you have to close them, avert them, squint them or hide them, avoid rolling your eyes during discussion. The disrespect communicates disinterest, and may cause your husband to shut down.
  • Kisses, touches and smiles communicate desire and acceptance in a way words cannot.
  • Analyze and adjust your expectations. Your husband is not you; evaluate whether you are holding him accountable or unfairly burdening him with the task of being your twin. (Example: it may be reasonable to expect him to put dishes in the dishwasher, but unreasonable to expect him to place the dishes/glasses/flatware in the dishwasher exactly the way you do.)
  • Keep issues in perspective: just because you discover the toilet seat is up during your midnight bathroom run, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. (He’s probably not thrilled to regularly find your hair in the drain, but you love him, right?)
  • The best thing you can do for your children (if you decide to have them), is nurture your relationship with your husband. The security that comes from seeing mommy and daddy loving each other is palpable and priceless.

Do you have more advice, ladies and gents? Please do share!

0
Sharifa Stevens

Sharifa Stevens is a Manhattan-born, Bronx-raised child of the King, born to Jamaican immigrants, and currently living in Dallas. Sharifa's been singing since she was born. Her passion is to serve God's kingdom by leading His people in worship through music, speaking and writing, and relationships with people. Her heart is also unity, inspired by John. Sharifa hates exercise but likes Chipotle, bagels with a schmeer and lox, salmon sushi, chicken tikka, curried goat (yeah, it's good) with rice and peas, and chocolate lava cakes. She's been happily married to Jonathan since 2006...and he buys her Chipotle.

9 Comments

  • Avatar

    Terri Moore

    Love this!

    especially the advice to spend less time fretting and more time flaunting. 🙂 what a way with words and so true! No one is as critical of our bodies than ourselves. 

    I would add that you should assume the best instead of the worst from your husband. I used to get extremely frustrated with Darren because I thought he was ignoring me and/or forgetting important conversations and details. Come to find out years later he has significant hearing loss, now wears hearing aids and will eventually have surgery on both ears to correct it! I assumed he was just being a jerk when he REALLY couldn't hear me half the time!

    0
    • Avatar

      Sharifa Stevens

      Terri…This Is a Good One

      I sat stunned after reading your comment. Not only is the advice to assume the best really sound, but the example you gave relaly brings the point home to me. Hearing loss! Wow!

      Convicting. Thank you.

      0
  • Avatar

    JackieB

    Honey Dos

    Although not a newley wife, nor do I intend to be anytime soon, many of these can be applied to my son's especially the 17 year old.  But If I had a Bedazzeled Pink Bra…I am pretty sure Vinny would find some way to use it for one of his costumes.

    Thanks SS, I am glad I found your blog.

    JB

    0
    • Avatar

      Sharifa Stevens

      Dress Up and Applying to Sons

      I had to laugh when I thought of Vinny and the Bedazzled Bra. He is such a creative force, I have no doubt he could find a way to turn it into a viking hat or mickey mouse ears. LOL.

      I'm curious to know which tips you would apply to your sons (I'm guessing the chores are one of them, LOL!).

      0
  • Avatar

    Sandra Glahn

    I’ll Add One

    Terrific list, Sharifa!

    Here's my contribution to your invitation to add more:

    Ya know that book on sexual intimacy I co-authored, the one that FamilyLife keeps selling? The best advice in that thing (I'm saving you the cost of the book here) is not some technique. It's this: Be kind to one another. 

    When you put on the pink, also put on kindness. Patience. Selflessness.  Plus forgiveness. Satisfaction in the bedroom is a lot more linked to real unified love and gentleness than to one of the many contortions listed in the Joy of Sex.  

    0
    • Avatar

      Sharifa Stevens

      Kindness!

      My favorite:

      When you put on the pink, also put on kindness. Patience. Selflessness.  Plus forgiveness. Satisfaction in the bedroom is a lot more linked to real unified love and gentleness than to one of the many contortions listed in the Joy of Sex. 

      YES. Thank you for adding your two dollars (I can't call something this good "two cents"!)

      0
    • Avatar

      Sue Bohlin

      Sandi’s best advice

      This is why we need a LIKE button. For Sharifa's boffo post, and Sandi's great addition.

      Honestly, there is no way to underestimate the power of simply being kind to each other. Probably nothing causes me to wince more than seeing spouses being unkind to each other, either to their face or behind their back. And the great news is that being kind can so easily become a habit that, within very little time, it just feels natural!

      0
      • Avatar

        Sharifa Stevens

        Like!

        Sue, you are RIGHT – we totally need a 'like' button. I would 'like' the word 'boffo.' LOL!

        I have been on both sides of the unkind-to-spouse thing; there have been times that I just wish I could take back a comment I made about my sweet husband, and there have been times that I wanted to excuse myself from conversations where someone was dogging out their spouse. Ah, grace. And experience. And growth.

        Here's to the daily practice of kindness.

        0