Yesterday, we looked at how men receive love differently than women and we explored what it means to really show them love in a way that will make them feel love from us.
Today, we will explore the ways in which our husbands show us love that we might miss, and therefore we miss the opportunity to show them love by not acknowledging and appreciating their actions of love!
THE LORD JESUS IS THE EXAMPLE
When Jesus was on earth, we see that He did not go in with His disciples and say, ‘Brothers, I do love you very much.’ He showed that He loved them by what He did for them. His love is practical! It is shown by action, not word!!!! Anyone can say, “I love you”. But their actions really reveal their true feelings! Actions speak louder than words! Likewise, as the Church, we express our appreciation in words to the Lord for His acts of love towards us! There are many exhortations in the Bible to give “THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HE IS GOOD!” We are told to give thanks ALWAYS because our Lord is LOVE, and His love is shown through His actions for us!
Ways Husbands Might Show Love That Wives Miss:
- going to work everyday
- calling/texting you during the day
- initiating intimacy
- fixing the car
- fixing things around the house
- carrying heavy things for you
- deciding the best appliances to buy for the home
- filling the car with gas
- going to the store if you need something
- surprising you with little gifts for no reason (cards, candles, etc.)
- spending his time in the same room as you and the family, even if he is not giving his undivided attention to you or the family at the time
- cooking sometimes
- picking out movies to watch with you and the family
- takes care of the yard work
- takes care of your children from previous relationship/marriage
- remains patient when you are being contentious or argumentative
- seeks reconciliation after an argument
- he repents by changing his ways if they are hurtful towards you in any way
- takes you on day trips or vacations
- takes over control of the home and puts the kids to bed when he sees you are exhausted and need to go to bed
- cleans the dishes sometimes
- deals with the landlord/sales people/or strangers that approach you in public
- speaks the truth and doesn’t pretend things are ok when they are not
- helps you when you ask for help
- protects you by leading you in the right way and makes decisions that protect you
- he comes home every night and doesn’t go out at all and all his time is either spent at work or with you and the family
- he vents to you instead of other people about his issues with work, life, etc.
- he goes with you to visit your family
- he gives you the freedom to choose what you do with your time and life
- he apologizes when he is wrong
- he sacrifices his time/$/energy for you in any way
These are just the things I can think of, and I am sure there are much much more that can be added to this list of things that husbands do to show their love that we miss!
What Have We Missed?
When I didn’t realize that my husband shows his love through things like that, I basically accepted these things and probably said thank you for them, but I did not “count” any of them as his showing me he loves me. I would constantly accuse him of NOT loving me on a regular basis, and that would get him so upset and angry because in his mind, he was doing EVERYTHING to show me he loved me in his actions! This misunderstanding led to so many issues!
All of those things he did were expected, and therefore not considered “acts of love” in my eyes.
At some point after attempting to show his love for me through these things over and over, and me still not interpreting them to mean he loved me, and him NOT receiving any acknowledgement or appreciation for them, he stopped doing a lot of things for me. He stopped buying me random little gifts, he stopped coming with me to visit family, he stopped spending his time in the same room with us, he stopped going out of his way basically to show me he loved me because he realized that no matter what he did, it would never be enough for me to feel loved by him.
And no matter what he did, it was not acknowledged and appreciated! And when his actions were never acknowledged or appreciated, HE DID NOT FEEL LOVED BY ME EITHER! There was one falling out where he literally told me in a highly emotionally charged way that I don’t care about him! I was flabbergasted by this! How could HE think I don’t love HIM?! I was the one who was not loved in the marriage! He felt totally unloved not only by all my disrespect, but because I never even acknowledged or appreciated all the things he did for me on a daily basis that showed he loved me!
My mis-interpretation led to his mis-interpretation!
This issue is everywhere in marriages! Marriages are falling apart EVERYWHERE because men are feeling like total failures and totally unloved! And it is all because women don’t realize that when a man so much as spends his free time with her, he is showing his love for her! The reason we don’t realize this is because we receive love in a different way usually.
I used to measure my husbands love by:
- how much he talked to me
- how much he kissed/hugged me
- how much he initiated intimacy with me
- how much he said he loved me
- how much he listened to my feelings and problems
That was how I measured his love for me, and it’s no wonder I always felt so unloved! I was TOTALLY missing all the ways he WAS saying he loved me because I was focusing on the things I wanted him to do that would make me feel loved!
- Anytime he focused on anything other than me, I felt unloved.
- Anytime he didn’t hug/kiss me in a day, I felt unloved.
- Anytime he didn’t listen to my feelings/problems in a day, I felt unloved.
- If he didn’t talk to me, I felt unloved.
And then I would be upset and sulking around and when he would ask what’s wrong, I would tell him I feel like he doesn’t even care about me at all because he didn’t even give me a kiss today! And he would get SO mad! And start saying things like, “All I ever do is show you I love you!” But even though he flat out told me this, I didn’t “get” it! I didn’t understand! He would try to tell me that him going to work everyday and taking care of my son was his way of showing me he loved me and that if it wasn’t good enough, then he didn’t know what else to do. But nothing clicked!
Now that I understand and really “get” that his love is shown through his actions, anytime I forget and feel unloved because he didn’t talk to me or kiss me or something, I have to literally change my mind in that moment and like talk to myself and say,
- he loves me or he wouldn’t be in this room right now
- he loves me because he went out of his way to buy me that card
- he loves me because he went to work every single day while I stayed home
- he loves me because he takes care of my son
- he loves me because he told me the truth about myself
And I go on and on and then, I feel loved because I realize that his love is in all of those actions, and not just in words!!
What’s worse? A husband who goes to work every single day to provide for you, but maybe he doesn’t talk to you all night long, OR a husband who says he loves you all the time and talks to you all day long, yet is cheating on you behind your back and lying to you?
It’s time to open our eyes ladies and realize that if our husband is STILL going out of his way to do things to show he loves us, even after we have not acknowledged or appreciated them, then we have a truly humble and loving husband!
TIME TO GIVE HIM SOME REAL LOVE
Now that we see that his ACTIONS speak LOVE, we are ready to give him some real love!
What we need to do now is:
- repent of our unthankfulness towards our husband
- be on the lookout for anything he does for us and say “Thank you for doing X!!! I appreciate it so much!”
- when we find ourselves wishing he would hug us, talk to us, or spend all his time with us, we have to turn our thoughts to all the things he HAS DONE that day or week and tell ourselves that he DOES love us!
- stop ALL complaining about him or anything he is not doing
- stop ALL accusations of him not loving/caring about us
- stop trying to give him love in the way we want to feel loved and focus on what does speak love to him (respect speaks love and acknowledging his actions and appreciating them speaks love)
I have experienced this. I have seen how my husband has gone out of his way again to do things for me that he stopped doing because he saw that it was recognized, acknowledged, and appreciated by me!
Ladies, if you and your husband both work, I can see how this might be MUCH harder to do because you feel that you are doing just as much, if not MORE than your husband sometimes in the marriage and family, so it is especially challenging to be appreciative of what he does. What I can say is this because I have seen this in life too, that if you are working and your husband is home maybe, or maybe he is self-employed and doesn’t work ALL the time, if he is at home while you are at work, and he is taking care of the kids, or making dinner for you, or trying to keep the house clean—— when you get home, are you THANKFUL? are you appreciating his actions? Or are you resentful that he is home and not working, and that’s all that matters to you?
If you are working and he is too, and you feel as though he is expecting you to work AND take care of the house and kids all on your own, perhaps you would consider evaluating why you are working or if it is absolutely necessary for you to work, maybe consider asking your husband in a respectful way for help with the house/child care so as to make it easier for both of you to function in the home/life. And then if your husband DOES make any adjustments in the situation, be sure to thank him and truly appreciate all that he does, even if you are still working and doing things too!!!!
But just keep in mind, most men really do not think it is their “job” to take care of the house and kids, just as most women don’t think it is their “job” to provide for the family. God has a way for us and if we can follow it out His way, we will find that our marriage is a sweet expression of Christ and the Church! Christ laid down His life for us, and we as the Church are forever thankful and we acknowledge and appreciate all that Christ has done by our thankful hearts which leads to living a life of worship in spirit and in truth!
I pray that you might seek the Lord to be strengthened inwardly to carry out His will in this matter and practically apply what you might have learned! 🙂