It all began in a cafe—like so many of the meaningful moments in my life. My husband and I were sitting together over a grande latte in the newly-opened Starbucks at the Green Hills Mall. When my dear friend Susan walked in.
My face lit up as soon as I spotted her.
She and I had only known each other for a short time, but we’d made an immediate connection the minute we met.
Our young family had recently moved to Nashville and I’d felt rather alone up until then. So being with her was like a breath of fresh air to me.
So I shot her my sunniest smile, “Hey, girlfriend! C’mon over!”
A big hug before both of us began bubbling over with all the latest news. I complimented her on her new dress. Told her how much I liked the way she was wearing her hair. Thanked her for the book she’d lent me. And gushed how glad I was to see her!
At some point, I noticed how subdued my husband had become. I waited until she’d left us, then asked him what was up. Something was clearly on his mind. I could tell that much.
But he hesitated. Didn’t seem to know quite was to say.
Then finally, he said it so softly, I barely heard him. “I wish . . . you’d be like that for me.”
Okay, I don’t mean to be difficult, but be like what??
“Light up with a sweet smile. Speak kindly. Say nice things.”
No further explanation was needed.
I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. And he was right.
I was all smiles for Susan.
Saved my grumpies for him.
Not Quite Right
Rarely bothered with the niceties anymore. Not particularly gracious or polite.
In all honesty? I didn’t offer too much of this kind of thing to my husband. He was supposed to love me “just the way I am.”
No frills or syrup for him.
But how hurtful for him to see me put on my “sweet face” for everyone else—everyone except the man to whom I’d pledged my lifelong love.
Here I was handing out the big smiles and warm compliments to my new friend . . . and dribbling out the tired frowns and whiny complaints to him.
There’s something not quite right about that.
When Your Husband Wants a Kind Wife
Now don’t feel badly if you’re cringing. I was cringing too. Somewhat sickened, really. Definitely convicted.
So, girlfriend, that’s what got me thinking….
If we’re putting on our brightest smiles for our sisters?
If we’re saving our warmest words for our friends?
If we’re sharing our kindest thoughts with The Girls?
Then we might want to consider how hard it must be for him to watch. Maybe he doesn’t mention it – doesn’t know how to say it – but my guess is that he’d appreciate some of that warmth and kindness shown to him too.
So even if he’s around most every day, why not light up when he walks in the room?
Tell him how handsome he’s looking today. How glad you are to see him. A big hug and maybe a bit more.
Put on your sweet face and say nice things.
Like a breath of fresh air.
He wishes for a kind wife.
…and on her tongue is the law of kindness. Prov. 31:26
In His grace,
*The above is an excerpt from 100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson
Reader Reviews of 100 Ways to Love Books
(With heartfelt thanks to all who submitted such kind words.)
From a Wife:
★★★★★ “Touched my heart and soul”
by Just What I Needed Wife
From a Husband:
★★★★★ “Something to enrich any marriage”
by a Husband Repairing His Marriage
by Matt and Lisa Jacobson
Couples with great marriages know one simple truth: the best marriages are made up of many everyday decisions that say, “I love you” rather than those that say, “I love me.” When we put the other person first, even in little ways, we find true fulfillment.
These books offer wives who want to love their husbands and husbands who want to love their wives practical, hands-on advice to start applying immediately. Maybe you are just entering into marriage and want to start off on the right foot. Maybe you have made some mistakes along the way and are struggling to connect. Or maybe you just want your marriage to go from good to great. Wherever you currently are in your relationship, these marriage books teach men and women how to love one another better.
Matt and Lisa Jacobson, authors of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, are the hosts of a weekly podcast to talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture. Matt and Lisa offer deep encouragement, along with practical steps and true-life stories, as we grow in walking the faithful life together.
Subscribe to the FAITHFUL LIFE Podcast
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Castbox, or (my personal favorite) Pocket Casts. Get notified each week when a new episode is available! New to podcasts...but don't know where to start? It's quite simple. Click here to learn more!