"Joy is visible."
I have often asked my kids why they were sad. When they said they weren't I would jokingly say "Well you need to inform your face so it can show it because your face is telling me that you are sad." They will usually smile after that. :D But I had to think about how often I unintentionally show my husband that I am sad or discontent or unhappy just by the look on my face. I need to be more aware of my face and what it is communicating to my beloved!
Debi talks about an "only for him grin." I have one of these. It happens every time I think about my husband and his love for me and how blessed I am to be married to him. It is also a grin I give him when I am thinking about us and the marriage bed. :D I actually took a picture of myself with this grin and framed it for him. He keeps it in his office. Only HE knows what I am thinking when I show him that grin. :D
I also heard once, somewhere, a long time ago, that a woman should keep a picture of her husband from when the first started dating on the kitchen counter near where she cooks/does dishes. It is supposed to be in a place where a woman is often. And it is supposed to be of him when you first started dating so when you look at it, you can be reminded of all the things you fell in love with him for. I know for myself, having done this, it is a good reminder, especially during those times where his life gets busy and he doesn't seem to have the time to be with me as much anymore. I remind myself of all the things I fell in love with him about.
I also read in a book (Sheet Music by Kevin Leman) that whenever you have gotten into a bad habit of doing something wrong in your marriage, that it can be helpful to write a letter to your husband. In it, you state what you have done wrong, and then apologize and let him know you are going to be working on that area and doing things differently. That you appreciate his encouragement and patience with you as you work on becoming better. I too have done that (about 7 years ago now) and I will tell you that it was wonderful for my marriage.
"Cultivate his love for you."
I LOVE using the 1828 Webster's Dictionary! It is the only dictionary where almost all of the words are defined using Scripture!
It defines cultivate as "To till; to prepare for crops; to manure, plow, dress, sow and reap; to labor on manage and improve in husbandry." OK, now I know what is meant by husbandry, but it is kinda funny. :D What I find most interesting is how much WORK goes into cultivating. AND that REAPING as a part of it! So many times I do take for granted that he should be showing he loves me more. That he should be more interested in me. But why should I expect it of him? No one likes to be around a pouty face. Just as I worked on our love before marriage, does not mean I should stop now that I got him. :D There are sadly too many temptations in this world to drag him away. If it is not another woman, it could be work. I know my husband would spend LONG hours at work just because he would rather be there than come home to a nagging wife.
I have a calendar where I chose one day a week to something special JUST for my beloved. Sometimes it is bake his favorite dessert or cook a meal he really enjoys (get a binder and print out copies of recipes to put in this binder that is JUST recipes your husband LOVES). Other ideas: a back rub, time to get away by himself to work on a hobby, time alone at home to work on a hobby, cleaning the garage so he can do woodworking, wearing an outfit he especially likes, wearing something special to bed in the evening, planning a night away just the two of us, making sure he has clean undershirts/underwear/socks (this is especially important since I do not do laundry as often as I would like).
"No man has ever crawled out from under his wife's criticism to be a better man - on matter how justified her condemnation."
This got me the first time I read it and it gets me again. I need to print this out and post it to my husband's forehead! This is SO TRUE and so easy to forget! I like the saying that as a wife, I am not to play the role of the Holy Spirit in my husband's life. I can be supportive in a non critical way.
"He needs to hear gladness and appreciation in your voice when you speak to him... possibly even more than he needs sexual release."
So many times, because the books tell us men are sexual creatures, we go for the sex to please our man when he is stressed or unhappy or whenever we are worried about losing him. But I know my man is NOT like that. While sex does play a role, and is important to my beloved ... It is so much more important to my man to know he is appreciated and that I am happy. If those two things are true, then he can take on the world! He is a happy man. And that makes me happy.
"Ask yourself, what can I do today that will make him smile?"
Something I recently starting doing: flirting with my beloved. I did it while we were dating, why not now?! It makes him feel loved and wanted. And I notice he smiles a whole lot more! I have also made sure that I always look nice for him. I may not always be wearing his FAVORITE outfit, but my hair is brushed, I am not in pajamas, and I am using correct posture (what a difference it makes in how my beloved sees me!). I also ask for his help where he can show off being a man (open this for me please, how do you do that?, what does this mean?) but am NOT afraid to do things that are just "for men" to do (like I will mow the lawn during the week so he has more time to spend with us on the weekend).
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