By Keren Kanyago, Crosswalk.com
Let's be honest; it feels nice to be served and waited upon. While tying the knot, we fancy the idea of having our spouses bend over backward to meet our needs. And while it is okay to expect our spouses to serve us, Scripture shows us a more excellent way - serving them.
"Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mathew 20: 26-28).
In our quest to find fulfillment in our marriages, God gives us a secret tool - serving our spouses. Serving means attending to someone's needs above your own. As a wife, the best way to serve your husband is by meeting his needs. But before rolling up your sleeves to help him, it's important to know what really floats his boat. Because you can be knocking yourself out thinking that you are enthusing him while all the while you are irritating him.
The best way to know how to serve your husband is by acquainting yourself with his needs which are most likely starkly different from yours. You may not even understand why he fancies the things he does. Serving him may require you to go against your grain. Paul encouraged the Church to esteem others above themselves.
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3-4).
As you serve your husband, you are heeding God's command of putting his interests above yours. You are also sowing good deeds into your marriage, and you will ultimately reap a harvest of a great marriage. Here are five ways in which you can serve your husband.
1. Compliment and Admire Him
Behind every man should be an admiring wife - Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Most men crave admiration but not from just anyone - from their wives. They may garner accolades right, left, and center, but if they don't get a pat on the back from their wives, they will still not feel worthy enough. Your husband needs you to be his number-one fan. He needs to know that you are proud of him and his achievements. Giving him genuine admiration will perk up his confidence and self-esteem. It will also motivate him to achieve more.
Even if dishing out compliments may not be your cup of tea, you need to serve your husband this way. Remember serving is not about your own needs but about prioritizing the needs of another. Praise your husband in front of the kids and brag about him while with friends. Seek his advice on stuff and allow him to lead your family. Never belittle him. Let him know that you admire and think highly of him.
2. Provide a Peaceful Home
"Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (1 Peter 3:3-4).
Men fancy the idea of retreating to a peaceful, organized home after a grueling day at work. If it were possible, your husband would love to come to a clean house, play with the kids, and eat dinner together with his family. He would then lead his family in Bible reading and prayer before tucking the kids to bed. After that, he would want to wind down his day in the company of his loving wife before bed.
Depending on the stage of parenting you are in, most of these aspirations are a mirage. When the kids are young, it's nearly impossible to maintain a squeaky clean house. Additionally, if both of you hold full-time jobs, expecting your wife to single-handedly provide a clean and organized household is impractical. House chores have to be shared between the husband and wife.
Having said that, wives can still go out of their way to provide a peaceful environment for their husbands. If possible, you can hire help to take care of some of the chores so your husband can enjoy the tranquility he yearns for. Above all else, wives should ensure they give their husbands peace of mind. Don't nag him, avoid sweating the small stuff, and forgive him when he makes mistakes. Creating a peaceful home for him is another way of serving him.
3. Support His Hobbies and Interests
Most men take their hobbies and recreational activities very seriously. It helps them socialize with their peers, ignites creativity, and gives them immense fulfillment. It could be hiking, fishing, hunting, sports, golfing, bowling, watching movies, etc. Most men plan meticulously for these activities and don't mind spending an arm and a leg. But guess what? That's not enough. They crave recreational companionship from their wives. They want you to be alongside them as they experience the adrenaline and thrill from these activities.
Does that surprise you? Wasn't spending time together doing stuff and having fun how you both ended up married in the first place? Your husband's need for this happy-go-lucky companionship does not melt into thin air after marriage. Serve your husband by showing interest and participating in his hobbies. This will perk him up and make him feel appreciated, meeting part of his emotional needs. Besides, it gives you a chance to be with him at his best moments, when he is having the most fun. This helps strengthen your bond.
4. Initiate Sex
It is a well-known fact that sex is a big deal to men. To many men, love is equivalent to sex because it enables them to form a deep emotional connection with their wives. It is during sex that they feel most vulnerable and attached to their wives. Sex is also closely tied to their identity because it helps their ego. When a wife denies her husband sex, he feels rejected and views it as an attack on his personhood.
In a healthy marriage, a wife should be committed to meeting her husband's sexual needs. But what's more? Your husband would be more than thrilled to have you initiate sex. This is truly the cherry on top for him. Serving your husband by initiating sex will make his ego soar through the roof. It will make him feel needed and validated. There's no better feeling for him.
5. Be a Suitable Helper
"The Lord God said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'" (Genesis 2:18 NIV)
God designed you as your husband's helper, so one way of serving him is by doing exactly that. The original Hebrew word that was translated to mean suitable helper is "Ezer." The same word is used several times in the Bible while referring to God as a helper to man. Ezer refers to the ability to save, protect, and rescue. This means that this role is by no means an inferior one but a powerful one.
Seek to know from your husband how you can make his life easier. Run errands for him, help him achieve his goals, and cheer him on in his work and project. Pray for him and encourage him. Additionally, learn his love language and speak it fluently.
Related: 5 Ways to Serve Your Wife