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What does a woman need in a marriage?

Affirmation. Lots of it. Soft, tender, thoughtful, unexpected, meaningful, heartfelt affirmation delivered with no sexual demands attached. That’s difficult for most men. A man usually sets goals and generally acts only when he is after something. When it comes to romance, he’s tempted to give affirmation only because he hopes to “get sex” in return. Husbands would do well to watch Solomon in action. Solomon, by contrast, referred to his wife as “my beloved” forty times in the Song of Solomon. That choice phrase is packed with affirmation. It’s a romantic expression, a call to rich friendship. Each time Solomon said, “My beloved,” his words clothed her with dignity and value. What woman wouldn’t flourish under such a constant stream of loving affirmation?

Here are some nonsexual ways to cherish your bride through words and acts of affirmation. And by the way, the use of these words and actions helps you speak her romantic love language. It’s important to remember that you are not doing these things to get something in return. Perhaps she might reciprocate in your love language back to you, but that’s not your goal.

Are you ready?

Then let’s go:

1. Hug and kiss her every morning before leaving the house. Research indicates that marriages that practice this simple discipline are much healthier than those that don’t. If she’s sleeping, leave her a note, or gently kiss her forehead and whisper, “Have a wonderful day, sweetheart.”

2. Reach across the front seat of the car when you drive and hold her hand, even for a few moments. Allow your fingers to become entwined.

3. Initiate daily prayer with her. This one spiritual discipline has transformed millions of marriages. Make a commitment, and then begin to pray together every day. Ask her to pray for you about a challenge you are facing.

4. Go an entire day without criticizing anything about her. Instead, try to notice her doing something that you really appreciate, and tell her how much you value her.

5. Take her car to the fuel station, fill the tank, vacuum the floor mats, and clean the windows. When you park it at the house, leave a note on the dashboard with just a heart and the words, “Thinking of you.”

6. Write her a short love letter in which you list several ways that she has blessed you this year.

7. Say, “Thank you,” after every meal she serves. Then help her clear the table.

8. Try your hand at making breakfast on Saturday morning. Tell her she deserves a break and should feel free to sleep in.

9. Call her from work and say, “I’ve been thinking of how good it is to have you in my life. Thanks for all that you do for me and our family; and thanks for being there always.”

10. While she studies her face in the mirror, come up behind her and gently kiss the back of her neck. Say, “God broke the mold after He made you. You are so beautiful.”

For some men, the thought of affirming their wives sounds like a lot of work. Others are anxious about being so vulnerable with displays of affirmation. Whatever the reason, they hesitate to step out and pursue the call to love found in Ephesians 5:25.

If you’ve hesitated affirming your bride, or if you’ve been slow to praise her qualities, trust me on this: just do it. Affirming your wife through any three or four of these ideas will do wonders for your romance. Is that too difficult to believe?

You’ll never know unless you try, right?


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