Create a date night around favorites.

You could pick his favorites to bless him with a special evening or you could take turns with his/your favorites for a fun mix.

favorite movie
favorite restaurant (or meal at home)
favorite mode of travel
favorite room in the house
favorite clothes
favorite snacks
favorite activities

Make it an evening of special fun.

Women have a favorite room, men a favorite chair.  Bernard Williams

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for creativity and the ability/desire to play.

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The Generous Husband: I’m Older Than My Father My husband … the time traveler.  ;)  (Actually the post is about my father-in-law’s legacy. Very poignant.)

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The Forgiven Wife: The Enemy of Marriage: Pointing Fingers “One flesh cannot stand on two opposite sides of a line.” Stop playing the blame game.

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Bad News

August 27, 2014

in the generous life

It’s tough facing bad news.

Sometimes it’s someone’s fault. Sometimes it’s a case of “life happens.”

Either way, try to be gracious and practical about dealing with the fallout (and, please, don’t play the blame game).

Hugs are good. So are prayers.

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Prayer Prompt Pray for calm, courage and grace to deal with bad news.

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(in)courage: Go Ahead and Grieve It Sometimes we just need permission.

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The XY Code: Will He Ever Be Sexually Satisfied? An analogy and a great recipe!

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Don’t Compare

August 26, 2014

in the generous life

From The Generous Wife archive:

Comparisons can hurt.

I’ve witnessed several conversations where husbands were deeply hurt or shamed because they were compared unfavorably to their wife’s father, old boyfriend, pastor, etc.

You married your husband, unique person that he is. He has his strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and failings.  Yes, he can learn from others, but being unkindly compared to another doesn’t teach him anything, it just shames and hurts him.  Be careful with the “my father did it this way” or (worse) “my old boyfriend really knew how to kiss” kind of comments.  (Instead try, “Can we try it this way?” or “Can I try a few new kisses on you?”)

You married your husband, not any of these other people.  He’s your friend, lover and partner in life.  Build him up.  Praise the good and gently share about your feelings and thoughts when there are difficulties. And do realize that your husband is not bad, wrong or stupid because he is different from other men that you like or respect.  He is just unique and needs to be accepted and appreciated for who he is.

Love is the total absence of fear. Love asks no questions. Its natural state is one of extension and expansion, not comparison and measurement. Gerald Jampolsky

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Prayer Prompt  Ask god to help you appreciate and value your husband and his unique nature.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Should You Have Sex Even if You Don’t Feel Like It? Duty and pleasure are not mutually exclusive.

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(in)courage: Dishtowel Faith The world has enough framed faith. What it needs is more of the useful, weathered, and tumbled-in-the dryer kind of faith.

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I have a real treat for y’all today. Gaye, from Calm.Healthy.Sexy., has written a guest article for us. It’s chockful of practical wisdom and insight. Enjoy.

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As a wife, you probably serve as the “health coordinator” for your family. You undoubtedly know the ins and outs of dealing with doctor’s offices and insurance companies. You probably keep up with the latest health information. And chances are you oversee areas of your family’s life that play significant roles in maintaining good health. So you’re positioned better than anyone to help your husband maximize things that can benefit his health and minimize things that can harm it. Today, I want to share four areas you can influence that will help your husband take care of his health.

First, though, let’s talk for minute about that last phrase – help your husband take care of his health. Your husband is an adult, and he’s responsible for taking care of the body God gave him. He isn’t a child, and I encourage you not to treat him like one. Share information with him, make suggestions, and offer to help. But don’t treat him like a 9-year-old who doesn’t want to take his medicine or go to the doctor. (Except, of course, in the case of very serious symptoms or emergencies.) Encourage him and pray for him, but let him be a man who makes his own decisions, even if you don’t agree with them.

Here are the four areas you can influence to help your husband maintain good health:

Exercise – If you do only one thing for your husband’s health, let it be this – encourage him to exercise regularly. Exercise does things for men that nothing else can do. It helps them control their blood pressure, blood sugar and weight. It reduces their risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It helps them maintain muscle mass, testosterone, strength and vitality. It’s the strongest and most powerful “medicine” available, but it costs almost nothing and is available to everyone. So encourage your husband to exercise regularly. He can join a gym, work out at home, walk, jog, bike, play basketball, play soccer – any activity or combination of activities he enjoys and can do regularly. Then, make sure he has time to do it. Arrange the family’s schedule so that exercise can become a priority, and encourage him to make time to do it regularly. (By the way, women need regular exercise too.) (Additional resources – 10 Benefits of Regular Exercise for Men, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans)

Diet – If you do most of the food shopping and cooking for your family, you can help your husband stay healthy by managing the food your family eats. The diet of most families doesn’t promote good health; in fact, it contributes to poor health. Fast foods, highly processed foods and foods high in sugar, salt and trans-fat contribute to all of the diseases that are slowing us down and making us sick us. So take charge of your family’s diet in ways that will benefit your husband’s health. Increase the number of fruits and vegetables you serve. Increase whole grain foods, lean meat, nuts and olive oil. Decrease processed foods and fast food meals. Decrease high-sodium and high-sugar foods. Be sure to respect your husband’s food preferences, and don’t tell him what he can and can’t eat. Just make small healthy changes over time that will pay off for him and everyone in the family. (Additional resources – Juggling Real Food and Real Life, Healthy Eating 101)

Stress – Husbands feel a lot of stress, but they usually don’t talk about it. Instead, they tend to suck it up and keep going. The problem with that approach is that it eventually takes its toll on a man’s physical and mental health. Over time, unrelieved stress can lead to an increase in colds and flu, headaches, insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure. It also can increase his risk of heart attack, stroke and even cancer. So help your husband keep his stress under control. Encourage him to talk about the stresses he’s facing. Look at your family’s schedule and find ways to slow things down. Encourage him to get enough sleep (at least 7 hours), to exercise (a great stress reducer!) and to enjoy a hobby. And invest in your sex life. Sex is a great stress reducer for men and women, and regular sex promotes the kind of intimacy and connection that staves off the effects of stress for both of you. (Additional resources – Men and Stress – WebMD, Hot, Holy & Humorous blog – great insights into sexual issues)

Medical Care – Although prevention is the key to health, every man needs good medical care too. But most men don’t like going to the doctor, and they tend to avoid it unless they’re sick. For that reason, they may miss out on important tests or end up waiting too long to get treatment when they need it. To ensure that your husband has access to both, encourage him to find a doctor he likes before he really needs one. Suggest that he make an appointment for a routine check-up and tests. That way, he’ll be established with a doctor he knows when he needs to be seen for an illness or injury. If he’s willing to do that but wants some help moving forward on it, lend a hand. Do some research to identify good doctors, make some calls to check on insurance coverage and other financial information, and set up an appointment that works with his schedule. Offer to go with him if he wants you to, but let him go alone if he prefers.

If you can encourage your husband in these areas, you’ll help him live better right now and increase the likelihood that the two of you will stay healthy and grow old together in the future.

Gaye Groover Christmus is a wife, a mom, a sister, a friend and, like you, a woman with too few hours in each day. In her “day job” she works as technical writer and editor in a health field. But her passion is sharing ideas with other women about ways to balance it all, while keeping calm, staying healthy, and enjoying marriage. She indulges in her passion over at Calm.Healthy.Sexy.

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Thanks so much, Gaye, for giving us ideas on how we can encourage our husbands to take care of themselves.

Gals, I encourage you to re-read and mull over what Gaye has shared. I’m 57 and, let me just say, taking care of yourself is so important, especially as you age. Take care of the bodies God gave you and encourage your man to do so too.

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Prayer Prompt  Pray for your husband’s health (yours too!). (Use Gaye’s article as the back bone for your prayers – pray for a good doctor, ideas for healthy food, fun excercise, etc.)

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Making Memories with Your Husband: Just Do Something How a little camping turned into memorable fun.

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Darby Dugger: There is Nothing Like a Wife’s Love! Be amazed, awestruck, and in love with being his wife.

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& Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Stand Up

August 24, 2014

in the generous life

One of the best ways of showing respect and honor for your sweetie is to stand up for him.

When you speak respectful of him or when you stand against negativism about him, you bring him up.

So when your friends bad mouth their husbands, speak respectful about yours (you may help them by modeling kindness). When a family member fusses about your spouse, answer kindly and stand up for your man.

(If you are having struggles in your marriage, it’s OK to seek out help and talk honestly about your marriage problems. Just share with someone who will encourage you to grow and keep your struggles confidential. And remember, you can talk about troubles and still speak respectfully.)

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  Proverbs 31:26 ESV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you ways to build up your husband and stand up for him.

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How special is your bedroom?

Do you keep it clean and attractive or does it become the last room you clean (if you get around to it)? Is it the dumping ground for laundry and stuff that doesn’t have a home?

Give your marriage a special place that says marriage is … well, special.  :)

Decorate your bedroom nicely and keep it clean. Let it reflect how important your marriage is to you. (I’m off to do a little cleanup.)

Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.  William Morris

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you keep your bedroom attractive and welcoming.

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Pearl’s OysterBed: Newlywed Advice from 26 of my friends I love reading positive advice. (good for oldlyweds too!)

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Are you shopping online this week? Please start on the Shop and Support TGW page. It won’t change your purchase price, but I will receive a small commission.

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Can you easily get to your “bedroom items”? Do you have what you need (lube, clean up towels, etc.)?

Find a convenient spot and gather what you need. (Tuck items out of sight and out of reach if you have kiddos. A lock box might be a good option for nosey older kids.)

Marriage, ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends.  Harville Hendrix

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Prayer Prompt Pray for greater intimacy and enjoyment in your sex life.

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We are THAT Family: Three Things I Gave Up to Make My Marriage Better Preach it, girl.

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(in)courage: Smack Dab in the Center Margin gives us freedom to step right smack dab into the center of God’s will.

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