This one is for the gentlemen. Men, what do you do to intentionally turn on your wife? Do you have a plan? Or, do you just wing it? Is your marital intimacy thriving? Maybe you just need a simple tire rotation to get you back in alignment or maybe you need the whole 21-point inspection to course-correct. Either way, these 21 tips will help you foster a fulfilling marriage and sex life. Get to reading!
1. Leave notes (regularly)
Before marrying your spouse, there was probably a lot of romance. For us, writing notes to one another was a constant romantic gesture. And then we had kids. My husband, Tim, returned to the note writing recently. He often departs for work before any of us are awake. Before he leaves, he writes each of us a note and leaves them on the kitchen counter. It sets the tone for our day before it's even begun.
2. Take one of her chores and make it yours
When my husband makes the time to help around the house, it's sincerely appreciated. In our house, he's taken on the role of dishwasher and laundry folder. His choice to help me in those areas makes me feel like taking care of our house is a partnership.
3. Pray with (and for) her
Each night before bed, Tim and I pray together. It's a way for us to connect at the end of the day and share our hearts. It helps us to focus on what's truly important. Praying together is especially helpful if you're going to bed upset. It automatically softens your spirit. Tim knows how important it is to me that we pray before bed so he posted a reminder above his pillow. Do what you have to in order to remember what's important to your spouse!
4. Serve others
There's something powerful that happens when your spouse works to serve others. Your spouse's community service or service within the church is a reminder of their goodness and also works to teach your children to be a servant leader. Tim plays drums and piano for our church's worship band. I love seeing him on stage leading our congregation in praise, while our kids applaud and imitate him in the front row.
5. Bring home a thoughtful gift
I promise you, your wife won't mind if you bring home a special gift. Just a little something (or maybe a big something) to let her know you were thinking about her and appreciate her. After a particularly rough day with our one-year-old, Tim brought home flowers with a handwritten note on behalf of our son. His gesture made me feel heard, loved, acknowledged, and put a smile on my face when I really needed it.
6. Do a relationship check
You may think you're both on the same page in your relationship when the reality is far different. Set aside time to talk to your wife (when neither of you is preoccupied, stressed, tired, or hungry) and ask her how she feels about your marriage. Are there areas where she wants to see improvement? Be open to hearing things you don't expect, and look for ways you can resolve her concerns. Go into this conversation expecting that she'll want you to adjust some things and keep your defenses down. She will be pleased when she sees that you really want to know how she feels and that you desire to better your marriage. P.S. Be prepared for great sex after this conversation.
7. Keep learning about marriage
After your relationship check, find a book, video series, devotional or podcast you can learn from together (on a regular basis). Once a week or for a few minutes each night, focus on bettering your marriage together. Here's a couple options you can order on Amazon right now.
8. Encourage her
Whether it's in the area of her passion or a part of her life where she feels less than perfect, encourage her. You wife wants to feel like you believe in her. If she knows you have faith in her and her abilities she will be more driven and enthused. Tim encouraged one of my passions by celebrating my volunteer work at a local pregnancy center. Read How to Love Your Wife Well to find out more about this.
9. Take the kids so she has time to herself
If you have children, your wife needs a break. Period. As a stay-at-home mom, I usually have the kids for 12 hours before my husband comes home from work. Needless to say, I'm exhausted when he arrives. And I know he is, too, but in order for me to maintain some sanity, I need a moment to myself. Take over at regular, scheduled times in order to give her enough of a breather to recharge and feel like a human again.
10. Say "Thank you"
The importance of a simple, "thank you" is underestimated. Thank your wife, for everything. She wants to take care of you and please you. Thank her after she prepares a meal, after a long day of caring for your children, when she cleans the house, and when she entertains company. She'll be more apt to continue caring for you with a joyful heart if she knows you appreciate all her efforts.
11. Learn her love language; you may be loving her the wrong way
If you haven't learned what your wife's love language is, find out today. Ask her to take the five love languages test. Author Gary Chapman discovered that there are five ways people want to be loved, and almost all of us have one specific type that speaks to us. Without this knowledge, you may be loving your spouse in a way that doesn't make her feel loved. Find out how your wife desires to be loved and let her know your love language, too!
12. Continue learning how to be good man
Make it a point to continue to grow as a man, husband, and father. I suggest downloading the Family Talk and Focus on the Family apps. Both apps provide daily 30 minute broadcasts to help you thrive in the above areas. You can listen to these shows while you work out, on your commute, or while you get ready for work. Also consider reading books, joining a men's Bible study, or meeting regularly with another man you admire who can mentor you.
13. Offer grace
We're all going to make mistakes in our marriages. When you offer your wife grace, her heart will swell with thankfulness. A gentle response is so much more effective and lasting than an argument or judgment. If you respond to her failures in this way, she'll be more likely to do the same with you.
14. Read the Bible and apply it
Of any self-help book, study, or podcast on the market, the Bible is the most effective resource on how to be a real man--the man your wife desires. This is the best, most encompassing resource to turn on your wife. If you can apply the principles in this book, you will be a humble, gentle, loving, respectful, respected, sexually moral, self-controlled, giving, patient, joyful (and irresistible) man. Cue turned on wife.
15. Engage with your children
Seeing the father of your children fully engaged with your kids is such a turn on. Put away all distractions and make them your priority on a regular basis--play in the yard, teach them something new, wrestle on the floor, read them books, or take them on adventures. Being a dedicated father will bring all the qualities your wife loves to the surface. Combine #14 and #15 and you can anticipate some magic in the bedroom.
16 . Lead your children
Your ultimate role is the spiritual leader of your family. When a wife sees her husband embrace this role, her level of respect for him goes through the roof. This is who God designed you to be and the place she yearns for you to take in the home. Read your children the Scriptures or a devotional during a daily meal at the table, put on some worship music and have a dance party, pray with them at bedtime, and make church a priority. Check out Dad Tired right after you read this.
17. Rub her back
This goes back to the basics. A simple back rub can lead straight to the bedroom. After a long day, your wife will surely welcome your efforts to help her relax and alleviate her aches. The act of touching her in an innocent way will leave her appreciating your desire to simply make her feel better. Try not to expect anything immediately. If she knows you're doing it just for her enjoyment, she'll feel loved. She'll remember your efforts and hopefully repay them later.
18. Send her away for a weekend
Your wife deserves some quality time to herself, so she can truly refocus and refresh. Suggest that she go away for a weekend, by herself or with friends. Allow her the opportunity to put herself first. Let her enjoy a couple days where she doesn't have to take care of anyone else. This short break will enable her to be a better wife and mother when she returns. She may also find herself missing you, which makes for a much-anticipated reunion.
19. Pencil it all in
If you're ready to create a thriving marriage, make a plan. First, save this post. Next, decide which tips you want to implement on the front end. Maybe you're going to try #16 on Wednesday, #11 tonight, and #6 this weekend. Put the dates on your phone, make it happen, and prepare for the mutual earnings from your investment.
20. Pray for God's wisdom
The Lord has a plan for you as a husband. If you follow that plan, your marriage will be one for the books--guaranteed. Are you willing to put in the work and follow His lead? If so, you'll have a marriage on fire. Spend time in prayer asking God to show you what He planned for your role as a husband and reap the endless benefits that result from your obedience.
21. Be a real man
Our culture has an extremely skewed view of men. The media typically depicts you as sexually immoral, lazy, incompetent, disrespected, irresponsible individuals. Your wife knows better, that's why she married you. She saw the man that she wanted to protect, lead, and love her. She saw the man that she wanted to raise children with. She saw the man that God intended you to be in this world. Don't succumb to society's view of you. Take your role seriously as the head of your home. Lead your family with purpose, dignity, and gentleness. If you do this, your wife will value you immeasurably--in and out of the bedroom.