By Pastor Matt Trewhella
I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now. I have married 84 couples and only six have ended in divorce (that’s way better than the national average)! I have counseled literally hundreds of couples regarding their marriages over those years. I have been married for over 36 years myself. I have a lot of experience around marriage.
Marriage is in an abysmal state in America. Far too many marriages end in divorce; the laws regarding divorce encourage men not to marry; adultery is decriminalized; shacking up is commonplace; and about half of all Americans now think it is legitimate for two men or two women to “marry” each other – and it makes an actual marriage. Yep, that’s abysmal.
And what is the condition of marriages that don’t end in divorce? Most are troubled marriages.
But there is hope.
Here is something I have learned over all the years: Most troubled marriages have a common problem. The number one, biggest troubler of marriage I have encountered over the years is – the woman not being assured in her heart of her husband’s love for her.
I know it sounds simplistic. But this – the woman not assured in her heart of her husband’s love for her – is truly the root problem of the majority of marital conflicts. The plethora of conflicts are the surface result of this root problem.
If men can remedy this, a new day will dawn in their marriage. If a man can assure his wife of his love for her, 95% of the problems in the marriage will disappear. The other 5% will become surmountable.
A man has to understand, however, that his love for her must truly come from his heart. You can’t fake it. A woman has a radar-like sense about these things. She knows if that love is genuinely there or not; that you’re head over heels about her.
Here are three concrete things a man can do (the cry of all men is “just tell me what you want me to do!”) to assure his wife of his love for her. Listen, even if the genuine love is not there in your heart, by doing these things – your heart will catch up with your actions.
The three simple concrete things you need to do are:
1. Look at your wife when she speaks to you, and converse with the woman. This is huge. Understand this o’ ignorant man and you will save yourself a world of troubles and heartaches. Too often men ignore their wives. Take it from someone who has been married for 36 years – look at your wife when she speaks to you, and converse with the woman!
She just wants to know that you love her and that she matters to you. When you look at her, you communicate your love to her. When you respond by forming words with your mouth, tongue, and lips (not just grunt or remain silent shutting her out), you are assuring her that she is important to you and that you love her.
2. Take your wife away to spend time alone with her. This is very important, especially to those who have children in the home. You don’t have to take her away for three days (though there’s nothing like it!). I love to slip away with my wife, Clara, once or twice a week to a corner coffee shop for an hour just to relax and talk with her. This communicates my love for her. This let’s your wife know she is a priority in your life.
How stupid are men? I cannot believe the infrequency with which men do this. And how stupid are you woman that when he wants to take you away – you don’t wanna go? Husbands and wives need to spend time with each other. What happens in our relationship with the Lord if we don’t spend time with Him communicating with Him in prayer? Our relationship with Him grows cold. So it is when it comes to our relationship with our wives. You need to make her a priority.
3. Make sure you please your wife physically. The average man is consumed with pleasing himself and meeting his own needs in the marriage relationship. Too many men do not satisfy their wives. Too many men only have an interest in their wives when they want to satisfy themselves.
Knowing how to please your wife is going to take some time, and perhaps even some study, to ascertain. Many men put countless hours into sports, hunting, fishing, tv-watching, computer-browsing, but little or nothing into discovering what pleases their wives. Bad priorities. Put long-protracted periods of time into pleasing her, and this will speak volumes to her heart of your love for her.
I have heard from scores of men who have followed this threefold formula and it has transformed their marriage.
Do these three simple things men – and your wife will be assured of your love for her. Let her sense – you can’t wait to talk with her; you can’t wait to be with her; you can’t wait to get your hands on her. You will then taste the depths (that so few have tasted) of the wisdom of God in establishing the marriage relationship.
Matt Trewhella is pastor of Mercy Seat Church and the founder of Missionaries to the Preborn. He and his wife, Clara, have eleven children and reside in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.
To hear sermons which addresses these important matters in much deeper detail, click here.