Over the weekend I had a conversation with some friends about doing things that please our husbands. I specifically mentioned keeping my hair long because I know Rob likes it that way and other preferences he has about how I dress.
For some women the idea of dressing a particular way to make a man happy is abhorrent and dated. It seems terribly antiquated at best and rather chauvinistic at worst.
But I like dressing in a manner that I know attracts my husband to me. Why wouldn't I? It's a simple thing to please him...choosing styles and colors that I know he likes on me. He likes skirts for instance, so I don't mind wearing them often. At the moment I happen to be in a pair of shorts though. He doesn't mind nor does he expect me to wear only what he wants me to. Because he knows that I am receptive to his likes and dislikes and that information helps govern my choices.
A few weeks ago I blogged about our husbands needing hospitable grace from us. I've been thinking about it since then and I really think we need to take that idea a step further. Our husbands need hospitable wives. And I don't mean they need to know they can bring company home or invite people over for dinner whenever they'd like.
I mean we should be hospitable to him.
What does that even mean? I'm glad you asked because like I said, I've been thinking about it.
The word hospitable means "promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome; offering a pleasant or sustaining environment."
Obviously there are ways that we can be welcoming and hospitable in how we govern our homes but I'm talking about something more than that...something a little deeper and more personal than that.
Would your husband describe you as welcoming? Does your interaction with your husband promise or suggest that you are receptive to him? I realize that this type of language can be interpreted to only apply to the physical intimacy between a husband and wife but I think if we cultivate an attitude of being hospitable to our husbands in other areas a level of emotional intimacy will grow.
Does he find you to be generous and welcoming to him in general? Or does he ever feel like he's just another plate of food for you to prepare or load of laundry to wash? While I think that being hospitable is more than how we greet them at the end of the day you should ask yourself how do you react when you see him after a separation of any length? Do you allow your eyes to light up? Do you smile and turn toward him? If he arrives somewhere after you do you move to be by his side?
Does he find you to be a pleasant environment for his thoughts? Can he share what he is thinking and dreaming about and find you to be a place where those things are free to grow wild without criticism? Sometimes in our desire to be a helpmeet I wonder if we are too critical or practical; maybe feeling like we should play devil's advocate on a regular basis to help him work through various issues.
Does your husband find you to be a hospitable playmate? Seriously, when is the last time you played with him? I'm talking flat out being silly doing something ridiculous? Provoke a pillow fight...ambush him with a nerf gun, whatever. Just something that makes you laugh with each other. Have you ever heard of a game called Flipping Frogs? Our son got it one year for Christmas. It didn't take long before the frogs were being left all over the house and somehow it became a thing between Rob and me to hide the frogs for each other to find. We did this literally for years...we even hid them in suitcases when one of us was going on a trip. I won the game by actually opening a bar of soap, shoving the frog into the box and gluing it shut again so that he would find it the next time we needed a new bar of soap.
Slip a note into his briefcase or a book he's reading. Buy a snack or candy bar that you know he enjoys and put under his pillow. Send him a text telling him that you're making his favorite meal for dinner. Wear an outfit you know he likes. These are just ideas...any and none of which may sound like something your husband would enjoy. Come up with your own ways to be hospitable to him. Maybe what you'll find out is that he doesn't need you to do anything but needs you to be hospitable...welcome his opinion and thoughts. Don't underestimate the power of touch and body language. You might be surprised at how those physical and tangible ways you can be welcoming will strengthen your relationship with him.
Are you familiar with this quote by Martin Luther?
There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.
I think that is a hospitable marriage. It's the kind of marriage that produces the fruit of what he speaks of here: