It is true that what you get out of life is largely the result of what you put into it. That means it is impossible to reap where you did not sow. This principle applies in everything on earth, particularly in your marriage. If you are the man, your wife is the result of your investments in her, and vice versa. Marriage is supposed to be a mutually edifying relationship. Every woman, like every man, is a bundle of definite potential waiting to be harnessed, and marriage provides a vital platform for husbands and wives to contribute to the development and growth of one another.
We find in the Bible that God expects the man to nourish and cherish his wife so that she will blossom and bloom, fit to fulfil her role as the helper she has been created to be. As a man, you have an unusual capacity to develop potential. And your first assignment is your wife. How successful you become with your wife will determine your overall success in life.
The same can be said for the woman. As a wife you have the capacity via words and deeds, as well as a unique opportunity to help drive that man further down the path of purpose. Unfortunately, many a man and a woman are miserable and cannot find their bearing because they shirk the responsibility of mutual growth and development that marriage innocuously foists on couples.
The best investment a husband and a wife can make is the investment they make in one another. You lose nothing by this, and you gain everything. How do you invest in your wife or husband? Give your best to bring out the best in him or her. Do not get busy with the less important to the detriment of the most important. Here are a few things you can do:
Spend quality time alone with your spouse
As a man, your wife needs financial security, no doubt. But much more than that, she needs quality time with you. As a woman, make no mistake: your husband does, too. The problem is, many men often think if they can provide all the money, their wives and homes will be just fine. So they work hard, and late, to be able to meet their financial obligation to the family. Research shows however that although the woman appreciates this, she wants a balance between the time the man is out in search of money and the time he spends with her. And in an era in which both spouses are most likely effectively engaged in work or business, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make out time to spend time alone. So no matter how tight your schedule is, make out time for your spouse. Some couples actually set aside a specific time after dinner to catch up on the day. Spending quality time together will breed understanding and strengthen your relationship with each other.
Give a lot of affirmation
One nice word spoken to your spouse at the right time can make a lot of difference in their lives and your relationship. As someone said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” So make your spouse feel appreciated. Acknowledge his/her achievements. Tell him/her how much he/she means to you. In a world where numerous forces outside the home constantly seek to bring down our self-esteem, your words and actions should inspire your spouse to be his/her best. For him/her, it is reassuring to know that there is at least one man or woman who believes in her/him.
Be sensitive to each other’s needs
Every woman or man has needs which, if not met, will hinder them from attaining their ultimate in life. A lot of people grapple with numerous physical, emotional and social needs that slow them down on the path of success. It is therefore your responsibility as a spouse to identify the needs of your wife or husband and take the burden off them, where necessary. This may involve helping out with the household chores, providing appliances to ease their burden, or being an active financial contributor to the home.
For example a four-year study of couples actually found out that men who help out with housework are healthier than those who do not. The theory is: willingness to do housework reflects a better ability to resolve marital conflicts and stress in general, thus providing better health. It is all about identifying areas of need at home, and in the life of your spouse, and lending a helping hand.
Discern your spouse’s gifts and help nurture them to bloom
It is not uncommon to find men and women going about survival oblivious of the gifts God has deposited in them, unable to recognise and seize opportunities to exploit those gifts. The truth is, a spouse can prove invaluable in helping us recognise, develop and utilise our gifts. As a husband, does your wife know her gifts? If she does not, it is your responsibility as a man to help identify and nurture them to bloom.
The joy will equally be yours at the end of the day if she succeeds in her area of calling. As a woman you help your husband discover hidden gifts and encourage him to profitably pursue them. Husbands and wives can both serve as sources of confidence, helping each other manifest their best in life. Marriage is an important advantage in this regard. The Bible says one will chase a thousand and two will chase ten thousand. Two people working together in love to bring out the best in each other is one of the most dynamic forces in the universe. You can choose to make your marriage powerful by making a conscious commitment to investing spiritual, emotional, and mental energy in making your spouse a better person for you, your children and the world at large.
If you are the man, it is important for you to know that you are the model your wife has always looked for. The truth is, no one can best fill that position but you. Naturally, you are her No. 1 mentor. She needs your spiritual leadership. She needs your prayers. She needs you to share in her joys, her fears, her failures and her achievements.
God will give you the grace and power to be a blessing, in every sense of the word, to your spouse. Be sure to lean on His help. God bless your union.