Respect – This is number one! I would even be emphatic and say every time. In my experience, men are using a different word that means this if they say it isn’t! Ephesians 5:33 says, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” God knew what He was talking about. Men want to know that they are respected by their wives above every other person. Every man feels this internal pressure to excel. We need to be successful at least one place in our life. If we can’t feel that respect in our home, we will find that somewhere else.
Ladies, you want your husband to love you unconditionally. Are you willing to respect him unconditionally? You probably aren’t always extremely “lovable.” (I can say that through my blog where I’d be afraid to say it in person—but you know it’s true.) He’s probably not always respectable. Do you want to be loved any less when you aren’t at your “best”? Neither does he in the area of respect.
Admiration – Men want to be desirable to their wives. That’s physically, but in other ways too. Are we strong enough—masculine enough for you? Do we meet all your expectations in a man? If our wife is always commenting on the sexier man in the movies or the more successful man in the world, we certainly will not feel admired. As an example, if a family struggles financially and the wife complains about it all the time, the man hears that as “I’m not good enough.” The greatest assurance of the fact that we have “what it takes” comes from our wives. Men who don’t sense this will often quit trying.
Ladies, if your husband’s success was proportional to your admiration of him—and the communication of that admiration—how successful will he be?
Peace and Tranquility — I get in trouble with this one, but men want their home to be a place to prepare for the world—they want to be able to relax. Men, that is never an excuse for laziness! (Laziness is a sin by the way.) I know this can be an ouch statement, but men want their wives to be their wife, and not their mother! Plus, and this is so important to understand, nagging never accomplishes what the wife hopes it will. It may get done what you wanted done, but not with the heart or attitude you hoped to go with the action. (If you are raising boys, remember this!)
Ladies, is your home a place of peace and tranquility? Someone said the wife/mother is the thermostat of the home? If that’s true, how comfortable are we living?
Commitment – Yes, men want this too! They want to know they are number one with you. Men don’t want to see their wife looking at other men or hear them commenting on how wonderful another man may be. They want to know you are faithful only to them. (Can you women tell we have shallow and fragile egos?)
Ladies, does your husband know he’s number one to you—that no man could ever take his place?
Acceptance/Participation – Husbands aren’t really looking for a wife who will try to change them. Granted many men need changing, but the Biblical way to do this is through prayer and modeling change for us. Men also want our wives to appreciate our hobbies and interests, since it is so much a part of who we are as men. You don’t have to love golf, but to know that the lower score is the better is a great plus when we come home after a good game. He’ll need to brag to someone. He’s hoping that someone is you.
Ladies, would your husband say you’re his biggest fan?
Be able to lead – Most men want to lead in their home, but don’t really know how. The wife should allow her husband to make some mistakes and not criticize us when we can’t do something as well as you can (which we know is many things!). If we take the effort to fix the bed, don’t go behind us and straighten the comforter (or at least don’t let us see you doing it). If we find we can’t compete in an area, we just quit trying. Applaud what we do right, and we’ll try harder to please. We really do want to succeed!
Ladies, are you allowing your husband to sense your satisfaction in his abilities to lead? If you want him to lead, ask yourself, are you willing to follow if he does?
An emotional release – I saved the hardest for last. Most men do not know how to function in a highly emotional context. So, when our wives are upset, we panic. We move into a “fixing” mode, which is usually counter-productive. When you are emotionally upset, for whatever reason, and you know it isn’t his fault, it’s helpful if you can just let him know the two of you are okay, he didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, it’s not his fault, and there is nothing he needs to do to fix it.
Ladies, does your husband ever feel responsible for your emotions that are completely out of his control?
Men, that is my list. What would you add?