Revive Your Marriage – Week 3

 

We began the Revive our Marriage series with prayer, then last week we worked on our attitude.  This week we are moving on to Challenge Number 3!

 

Titus 2:3,4 says that older women are to teach younger women to love their husbands.  The word love in this passage is the greek word “Phileo” which is a friendship sort of love.  I would assume that most of us feel like we know how to be a good friend to our husbands – so why would God tell us to have an older woman teach us this?  Because it is something that we need to relearn after marriage.

You see during those dating days – we were all good friends to our future husband.  We were willing to sit through boring sporting events or television shows – simply because they wanted us to be along side them as they enjoyed it.

Then we got married and had kids – and we have way more “important” things to do like laundry and dishes.  As a result – we don’t sit down to watch the ball game or follow our husband out to the garage while he works on the car just to be along side him while he works.

This is a grave danger because friendship to a husband looks different than friendship to a woman.  God wired women to enjoy face to face friendship.  We like to sit across the table from our friends and talk and connect.  But God wired men to enjoy sitting shoulder to shoulder with their friends.

 

Dr. Emerson Eggerich explains this in his book Love and Respect:

I have counseled many couples who have not had a good heart-to-heart exchange for decades.  What can a wife do?  Try seeing his need for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship.  If he has closed you off and gone quiet, the way to draw him out is by simply being with him during some activity.  Don’t talk; just be with him.  Do this over a 12-week period and watch what happens.  I can almost guarantee he’ll start talking.  Will he necessarily look at you face to face? Probably not.  Will he talk for a long time at first? Probably not.  Will YOU be energized by this? Probably not.   Will HE be energized by this? YES!

Trust me.  Your husband has a need you do not have, and that need is met in a way that feels unnatural to you.  But as you are just being with him, shoulder to shoulder, his fondness for you will grow inexplicably.  It really doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the simple truth is he just needs you to be there.”

Wow – does that fact baffle you? I read Love and Respect many years ago and it was so eye opening for me to realize the truth of this shoulder-to-shoulder friendship that my husband needs.

So let’s give it a whirl!  

 **Chime In: What activity will you choose to do shoulder-to-shoulder with your husband this week? Share it in the comments section.

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Comments

  1. I will watch him play handball in the Florida heat for as long as he plays..

  2. This is the second time today I have heard the same suggestions … Perhaps God is trying to get my attention. ;)

  3. I asked my husband what he’d like to do this week — he said, “He would like to help me scrub the floors”. That man makes me laugh.

  4. I love this challenge…it’s funny because the Lord had already laid this on my heart. I think for me we both like working out and I will use this time to be shoulder to shoulder with him. Thank you for this challenge!!!

    Blessings,
    Adrienne

  5. You know you may just have a point here… going to give it a whirl. My hubby and I don’t sit much together – I’m usually on my computer for an hour or so in the evenings and he likes to watch TV. I was thinking about getting a garden stove so we could both sit outside and enjoy the garden / scenery (something we both enjoy and could do together) but then thought about the expense! However, reading this post – getting that outside stove may just be a blessing after all!

    Will keep you posted on the results!

  6. DougsWifeAmy says:

    I can see this in my husband. After dinner, I will be preparing to clean the kitchen, and he will say, “Don’t worry about the dishes, sit down and watch [insert name of some tv show] with me.” Some days it drives me crazy because I would rather he come do dishes :) This article is a good reminder to honor his request to show my love.

    • That is exactly what my husband says! Now I see how important it is just to sit and relax with him. The dishes can always wait even though I think they can’t! They are calling my name! But, sitting with my husband just to be with him is what he likes.
      Thanks for this post Courtney!

      • Thanks Courtney — my husband says the same thing. I feel like if I do not get this done now I will be even more overwhelmed tomorrow. Then when I do go sit with him I fall asleep and that is not the same shoulder to shoulder activity he is looking for. I am going to be more present and awake in my adventures.

  7. We do weekly date nights (have to budget tight for it on a single income, but I look at it as an investment in our relationship) and tonight we are going to watch Monday night football together and have some chicken wings :)

  8. I struggle with this. I could sit and watch football him….however, I feel like we watch too much TV as it is! And where do you draw the line at being with your husband, versus him just being lazy? I like to be doing something all of the time, he prefers to sit around on weekends….what is a good balence?

  9. I love, love, love this challenge! I have never heard the term shoulder-to-shoulder and how it applies to the type of relationship men want. What an eye opener! Thank you for the suggestion. I actually tried this over the weekend – my husband was running some numbers related to our finances and I just went into the room with him and sat with my cup of coffee. I didn’t ask questions or try to offer my opinion unless he asked. But I just spent 20 minutes with him while he figured it all out and talked aloud. That was REALLY HARD for me – I like to take CONTROL of everything and I”m not very good at just sitting and watching. But later I noticed that he really appreciated that time together and he felt like I was actually contributing to the task, even though I tried to keep my mouth shut. AMAZING! I will try again this week – maybe when he’s tinkering with his bike, I’ll go in and sit with him. Thanks again, Courtney!

  10. Courtney, this is so true! If only we could both get to the point of relating to each other on their terms…and it has to start with one of us :) I can attest that my husband is one of those shoulder-to-shoulder people. I remember having a conversation when we were dating, about our perspectives concerning “quality time.” For me, that requires face-to-face conversation, and his full attention for even just a few minutes. But for him, it basically just requires us being in the same room! lol.

  11. This was eye-opening for me as well. First of all, my husband and I don’t often sit in the same room together. I am usually doing something around the house, or I really love to read, but can’t read/concentrate when the TV is on. So often times, I’ll be in the bedroom while he is in the living room. It makes me really sad, actually. There are days when I feel as if we’re living in 2 separate worlds. But after reading this, I think I’ll make more of an effort to sit and watch TV with him, quietly, even if it’s something I don’t want to watch. I can always read later. : )

  12. My husband likes to watch sports. Right now NFL football in particular. Yesterday as a matter of fact I sat down and watch most of a game with him. Often when he is watching games I will go in and sit for awhile and leave and do something and come back. Yesterday I watched most of it with him. It sure helped that it was DVRed so we could go through the commercials. I know that he appreciated me doing that. Love though the shoulder to shoulder friendship comment though. really gives a good picture that i think that i can remember.

  13. I did this for years and still ended up DIVORCED!!!….

    • Courtney Cloe says:

      All you can do is your best…God only holds you accountable for your own actions, not your husbands. If you are the doing everything God calls you to do as a wife, that is enough. Sorry you had to go through that pain; I hope you have found peace.

  14. I should have done this last night when he told me to “relax. come sit and watch the game with us,” but I didn’t. I was too busy with the laundry and cleaning (that *important* stuff). But I’m not going to the live in the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” and instead I’ll focus on this challenge for the rest of the week. He loves it when I’m in the garage while he’s “tinkering” away at stuff. Super BORING for me, but it means a lot to him…so I guess I’ll die to self and make him my priority.

    I agree with Kristin (above) about the shoulder to shoulder work picture. Makes total sense and is a great reminder. Thanks!!!

    Here’s to spending time with our husbands…because they are way more important than laundry or cleaning, right?

  15. Katie Thieman says:

    Can I sit and watch football with him and fold laundry at the same time? Does that count?

  16. A great way to explain that difference – a shoulder-to-shoulder relationship. Good post!

  17. I had already gotten us a movie to watch. We won’t be alone, but I got our son a movie to watch in his room. So, it won’t be as private as others, but when we have no sitter, it’s better than what we have been getting lately.

  18. My husband and I have been married almost 29 years and I am so thankful that we are still best friends. We work side by side in ministry and now are finally empty-nesters. The time we spent cultivating our friendship in the early years of our marriage have truly paid off now that the kids have all moved out. I love the freedom and time that we now have to spend on our relationship. I must say, he spends a lot of time wandering through quilt shops with me, just as I spend time side by side with him!

  19. Courtney Cloe says:

    I just scheduled a golf tee time for him for tomorrow evening…he golfs and I get to ride in the cart…love it. Thanks for the reminder to take the time to schedule things to do!

  20. My husband and I will be celebrating 25 years this Dec and I learned a long time ago how important it is to have that “shoulder to shoulder” relationship with my husband. It is very easy for me to do this as I made a promise to myself that I would not lose sight of what is truly important in my life. I had to find ways to stay connected to my now 17 yr old son and husband so I took up some of the same interest that they had. We now deer hunt, fish, camp, bike and pretty much anything else outdoors together. I love the fact that my “boys” enjoy me being around. Finding and taking an interest in what they do has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I truly enjoy being and doing pretty much everything with my boys. Life is too short and I want to make the most of it with the men I love the most.

  21. Wow! How timely is this lesson today. Just in the last few days I was asked to be a Mentor Mom for Moms of Preschoolers~~not to give advice on how to raise children but to tell the moms they will survive and life will be good. Then within the next few days, I was asked by an aquaintence to talke with her. Her heart was heavy about her well being and her marriage. It turned out we had a lot in common. After our 2-hour visit in her driveway, I feel much closer to her. She called me her Titus 2 woman. I didn’t know what that meant so I went home and looked it up. What an honor! I am so blessed that God chose me to work in her life.

  22. the problem with most marriage advice is that it’s always about going back to your dating years and stuff like that. But what if you were stupid enough to get knocked up and then stupid enough to marry the guy who knocked you up? I slept with him without having any real feelings for him because that’s what I did because men didn’t “love” me if I didn’t. Fortunately, he became a christian a couple of years ago so that has helped our relationship, but still we barely have a relationship. We have no common interests and can’t have conversations because we have nothing to talk about.

    What is someone supposed to do then?

    • Sharon, pray, pray hard! Pray that God will give you ideas of things to do together, words to say. If you are both Christians, ask him what he has been reading lately and how it applies to his life. Go on a walk and admire the beautiful fall weather God is giving us. Set aside time for him. Ask him how he feels about your relationship and really listen; then share your feelings on the matter. And keep praying, it may not come immediately, but God put you in this relationship for a reason!

    • You said “We have no common interests and can’t have conversations because we have nothing to talk about.”
      Can you take that as a small window of opportunity and take an interest in one of his interests? Learn a little about it and ask questions or go with him to an event he enjoys. Pursue him! And maybe, just maybe, you will find that his interests aren’t so bad after all.
      A good marriage is hard work and I think it means giving 100% to the other. Right now it may mean you giving 100% and he doesn’t. But pray that God will meet your needs so that you can reach out to your husband, expecting nothing in return.
      Oh I wish for you a new and sweeter relationship on your marriage! Give it all you have and see what happens! Trust God to redeem the past and still give you a beautiful future. HE has the power to do just that! You are in my prayers.

  23. We did the Love and Respect DVD series with our small group a few months ago. In our group we had couples who were engaged to 13 years of marriage! It was amazing to hear him speak Truth into this area of our lives, and great to talk it over with so many varying couples afterwards! I would highly recommend his book/conference/DVD series, they are wonderful! I am going to play video games with my husband this week. Not something I love, but I can enjoy it to make him happy :D

  24. My hubby owns his own business and can “pop” in anytime. He likes to pop in for lunch, & I have had to learn to stop what I’m doing & sit with him while he eats if I’ve eaten. It’s really hard because my tendency is to want to finish what I’m doing. I’m trying to be quicker! Today he popped in twice and the second time he was cleaning off the ceiling fan and such on our back porch and he wanted me just to sit out there and talk with him. It is a discipline for me (sounds terrible that I have to learn to do this, I guess that’s why Titus says… teach the women to love their husbands… God knew much would not come naturally! (for me that is for sure!)

    I’m the silly blogger that is not on 59 below (which you can delete Courtney! I messed it up!) but I’m 60 too, I popped in twice myself!!! Love ya, Juana

  25. One thing we love to do is go for long walks together. That is our special talk time because we are all alone – no teens around to hear us.

  26. I watch college games(GO BUCKEYES) and NFL games with my husband on a regular basis. Have since we got married. We reconnect on weekends as we both work full time jobs during the week and opposite shifts at that. It’s tough but doable.

  27. Ouch. This just hit me upside the forehead lol. I think I’m going to watch that boring army show next time it’s on…;) I’m definitely guilty of this; going to bed to read after the kids are in bed while he’s watching something I find tedious. But I could just as easily read in the living room cuddled up to him too.

  28. This is so true! I am someone who likes to have a list and be able to check things off as they are accomplished. When I just stand there while my husband is working on something, I feel the weight of all the other things I “should” or could be getting done and checked off that never-ending list. We recently bought a fixer-upper home and since we now have an empty nest, my husband and I have been spending alot of time shoulder to shoulder… and he has began to open up! I actually enjoy the time together now and see the purpose… and another benefit? It makes me more time effecient when he is not home and I can work on my list.

    Thanks for the “Revive Your Marriage” series, it is always good to be reminded of these things!

  29. Nascar races. : )

  30. I have done this almost every night with my husband since we were married. In the beginning, it was great. We sat shoulder to shoulder watching TV and enjoyed the same programs together. Now he just sits in the recliner and sleeps his way through the evening! Then he gets up and goes to bed.

  31. Marriage has been a ministry in my life. its an art!! Only by God’s love everything is possible. I have faith that Marriage brings so much character of Christ in our attitudes.
    Recently I faced an infidelity action from my husband that broke my entire heart, I asked myself what happened, I was his precious wife, his precious treasure, and crown (he gained me to Christ) I am so attentive to his needs, to help him in everything, I cook everything he likes, we enjoy the same things, we home school our children, we like to do sports together. I give him my time and effort in the intimacy. I prepare myself to him in this area. But after all, I believe that communication is the clue for all couples, We had many activities even together, but we did not have time to talk and know our hearts. sometimes that happen to the church, we are full of activities, events, compromises, and we forget to sit down at the feet of Jesus. to talk with him and have communication with our Savior.
    My husband and I are repented, we are working in our relationship again, putting God’s word between us. Jesus is restoring our souls. I am very hurt!!! But that is my job according to God’s Word, to be a help meet to my husband, he needs me, so I pray our Father pour His LOVE in my heart to forgive and love.

    If somebody wants to share or encourage these couple with wise living Words. We’ll appreciate it!!!

    To God be the Glory.

I love hearing what is on your heart.

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