May 152018 2 Responses

Be More Aware of Your Wife

In the Old Testament, the writers didn’t say a husband had sex with his wife. Instead, they would often write, a husband “knew” his wife. In a prudish culture, it’s interesting that the slang term for sex was that of knowledge.

In part, this should remind us that sex is not merely a physical act. It’s a revealing of our soul to another person. As much as others would like to convince us that sex means nothing, the Christian story has long told us that sex is never meaningless. It’s an act of substance and personhood.

But the synonymous use of sex and knowledge reveals something else–knowledge matters. We know those we love; we love those we know. Meaningful love grows in the climate of knowledge. We cannot fully love that which we don’t know. We can be infatuated with the unknown, but we can’t be in love with it.

Marriage is built on the foundation of friendship and a key characteristic of friendship is knowledge. Our best friends know us well. They can look past our surface expressions and words, understanding our true hearts. Good friends can hear in our voice or see in our eyes when something is wrong. They can anticipate our needs sometimes before we even know them ourselves. Friends know the best and worst of us. And their knowledge is never stagnant. It continually grows so their understanding of us deepens.

Good friends don’t just know each other, they store the information in an easily accessible place so that they use their knowledge for our benefit. In a healthy marriage, husband and wife are deeply aware of what is going on in their spouse’s world. They don’t take this knowledge for granted. They intentionally pay attention, research, ask, and attempt to understand their spouse to the best of their ability while always being aware that they don’t fully know. In unhealthy marriages, spouses stop trying, stop learning, and stop understanding. They assume they know when they actually don’t.

5 Steps to Knowing Your Spouse Better

If you want to understand what you should know about your spouse, read 5 Things You Must Know About Your Wife or 5 Things You Must Know About Your Husband. But if you want to understand how to know them, do these five things.

1. Pay Attention. Knowledge begins as we take in information. We can’t gather information without paying attention to what is happening. We must have our spouse in our sights. What’s stressing them today? What demands are being made of them? This requires us to look beyond ourselves and intentionally see them. Without a focused effort, we will not see our spouse. Couples lose knowledge of one another not by choice, but by apathy. Failing to pay attention causes love to fade.

2. Always Update. We never fully know our spouse. People change. This requires us to continually update our information. Much like computer software needs regular updates, so does our information about our husband or wife. Don’t assume knowledge. Even if something used to be true, it may not be any longer. Always update your spouse’s likes, dislikes, fears, affections, attractions, etc.

3. Ask Questions. The easiest way to find out about someone is to ask them. Ask their opinion. Inquire about their thoughts. Many couples fall into the trap of assuming what their spouse thinks and they either stop asking questions or they stop listening to the answers. Wise couples never stop talking. Take a week and track how many questions you ask your spouse about their opinions or ideas. If you are never asking, What do you think? How do you feel about that? What’s your opinion? then you are not growing in the knowledge of your spouse.

4. Test. Trial and error is a great way to understand someone. If you think they might like something, get it for them. If you think they might enjoy something, offer them that experience. If it goes well, repeat. If it doesn’t go well, try something new. Continually testing ideas not only gives you more information about your spouse but also keeps you engaged in the process of learning more about them.

5. Make Time. Learning takes time. There is nothing in life which can be learned without it. As life gets busy, it’s easy to allow other things to consume our time and energy. When a couple will prioritize the time to learn about one another they will grow in their knowledge and love. If they do not make the time, their love will fade.

Be Aware

Awareness is an action of love. One of the greatest ways we can rekindle our affection or grow in our admiration for our spouses is to better understand them. At it’s best, marriage is a place in which we are known and understood. But when those two characteristics are lost, intimacy suffers.

2 Responses to Be More Aware of Your Wife
  1. Bonny Logsdon Burns Reply

    This is excellent, Kevin! Our marriage now thrives because of these principals! When my husband started inviting me to share in his life, all the rooms of his life, our relationship flourished. Thank you for this.

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