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The letter said, He’s tall, dark, and, believe me, handsome.
Yes, I was intrigued. What single, twenty-six year old wouldn’t be? Certainly one who’d been a bridesmaid a record-breaking 12 times.
The beginning stages of despair that I’d ever meet “the man of my dreams” had set in long before this letter arrived. And, as I had well over a decade to develop this dream man, my list for him was really quite impressive.
Impossible, some said.
Yet, when he walked inside to join us for the dinner party, I knew immediately, There He Is. Exactly as I’d imagined he would be. What a picture he made with his dark wavy hair, blue eyes, tall and strong, wearing black Levi’s and cowboy boots. Wowza. Girly sigh.
I watched as he strode purposefully across the room to introduce himself to me.
I left the party that night knowing I’d met the man I was destined to marry.
After a completely inexcusable eternity of three days, Mr. Right came to the same conclusion and a few short months later we were happily married.
So dreams really do come true.
The one hitch in the dream? Like most starry-eyed single women, I’d spent a great deal of time envisioning what kind of husband I wanted him to be – things he would have to do and be to “measure up” to my standards. Somewhere in all that focus on what he needed to be, very little time had been devoted to the consideration of what kind of wife Dream Guy would want me to be.
But when a woman suddenly wakes up a few months into this marriage deal, she starts asking herself some hard questions. Or, at least I did.
- What does this man need from me?
- How can I love him in a meaningful way?
- What can I do to make this marriage the best it can possibly be?
Maybe you’re asking yourself those same things. Maybe you’ve been married a few months, a few years, or even longer. Or, maybe over 20 years like me.
Maybe you’ve been wondering…
What Kind of Wife Does He Need Me to Be?
Kind. I didn’t realize when we began how much he would need me to show him kindness. That he’d need a wife who was thoughtful and gracious toward him. It makes such a difference in our communication if my manner is gentle and my words are sweet. He needs a kind wife.
Loyal. Who would have guessed that this would be so important to him? But I’m telling you, it’s a Big Deal. He needs to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I’m behind him all the way. Over the years, I’ve become downright feisty in my loyalty to him. I’m standing by my man.
Respectful. Okay, so I thought I did respect him. But I had to learn how to demonstrate that respect in ways that proved it to him. It wasn’t only in what I said, but how I said it. It was also in what I did and the choices I made. All of these combined to communicate the kind of regard I had for him. He needs my respect.
Prayerful. You might say marriage has made a dramatic impact on my prayer life. So much to bring before our God: our relationship, for protection, and for growth and understanding. I’ve come to see that a wife is not nearly as effective as the Holy Spirit when it comes to helping him – or me – change our ways. He needs a woman faithful in prayer.
With an eye to the future. When I was young and newly-married, I mostly thought in terms of what I wanted and felt in the moment. So when things were tough, I was tempted to give up or walk away. But a strong marriage requires long-term thinking. Now I remind myself of what I want our marriage to look like in 5 years. Or 10 years. Or another 20. I’m a woman with hopes and dreams for our future together.
So now here it is over 20 years later and he’s still my Mr. Right. Still tall and handsome (though not so dark – *wink). Still the man for me.
And, together, we’re working on making this marriage the best it can possibly be.
In His grace,
5 Days to a Better Marriage
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