Recently Brad was asked by a friend, “What are the two or three top habits of a highly effective husband?” Brad thought for a moment and then shared the first five top habits of an effective husband that came to mind.
After their conversation, the list continued to grow in Brad’s mind. So here are the first five habits that Brad shared with his friend and next week we’ll present part two. Each of these take proactivity on the husband’s part, but they are actionable for every husband.
1. Pray daily over your wife
Three years ago, after 29 years of marriage, it struck Brad that he should say a prayer of blessing over Heidi before either of them left for work. So he held her in his arms and said a simple prayer. It wasn’t long, fancy, or filled with “thees” and “thous.” Usually it is something like this:
“Dear God, thank you for Heidi. Please bless her and give her favor at work today. Keep her safe. Give her wisdom in all that she does. Let her know the nearness of your presence through the day. Amen.”
When a wife is prayed over by her husband, she receives blessing from God. She feels protected and cared for by her husband. She knows and experiences a strong man who is living out the Bible verse that “a cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
2. Respect her intuition and insights
An effective husband knows that God has given him an amazing gift through his wife. She is wired differently than he. She senses things about people, situations and decisions where her husband is often unaware. As such, a husband is wise when he takes into careful account how his wife feels and thinks. This doesn’t mean the decision always follows what she says, but it is taken into serious account.
It is the effective husband who is intentional in communicating to his wife how much he values and respects her input. She is his partner and best friend and she knows it from him.
3. Know your wife’s love language(s) and speak it often
Gary Chapman wrote an excellent book called The Five Love Languages. In it he describes that we often communicate love the way we like to receive it. However, in relationships we need to learn to communicate love the way the other person wants to receive it! “Speaking” your spouse’s love language connects with their heart.
The five love languages are: 1) Quality Time, 2) Physical Touch, 3) Gifts, 4) Acts of Service, 5) Words of Affirmation. It’s critical for a husband to talk to his wife and identify her top one or two love languages. Once they are discovered, he must be intentional and proactive in communicating love to her the way she desires to receive it.
4. Show grace when things frustrate or bother you
Grace is a quality that is often missing in how a husband treats his wife. When she does something that is counterintuitive to his way of doing it, or he thinks there was an agreed upon decision that wasn’t kept, or quirks and traits that annoy him, often husbands get angry.
Instead, the effective husband keeps his temper. He may even say a simple prayer asking the Holy Spirit to give him patience and grace. Or he could pray Psalm 141:3 daily so he grows in grace. That verse reads: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” And with God’s help, he can grow in expressing grace to the gift God has given called his wife.
5. Ask and know your wife’s top three prayer requests
This simple act enables a wife to feel supported and loved by her husband. He is choosing to carry her burdens. The truly effective husband not only asks, but he remembers the requests, prays for them, and then follows up periodically with his wife to see if the prayers are being answered and if there are more to add.
Next week we’ll add some other ideas, but what do you think? Are there some traits or qualities you would add? What about effective qualities for a wife? Write about them below, share the article, and take the steps to build your marriage!