7 Ways To Encourage Your Children

Girl giving mom flowers.Do you want to be a great mom?  Here are some sure ways to encourage your children so they will grow in self confidence and know that they are special.

1.  Affirm Your Children – Through honest praise, treating them with respect, special one on one talks and showing affection.  Let them know when they do something well instead of pointing out their mistakes all the time.  Say “please” and “thank you” when you ask them to do something. Take one of your kids for a special trip to the store or let them help you with a project.  Make sure you give out lots of hugs and kisses and don’t forget to smile.

2.  At the Meal Table – Make meals special and fun!  Talk about your plans for the day at breakfast and discuss the highlights of the day at dinner time.  We like to set a pretty table and enjoy eating outdoors when the weather is nice.  Sometimes its fun to read a special book together at the end of the meal. I used to enjoy reading seasonal books to my children when they were young.

3. Make Family Life Fun – Try to plan a special time for family fun!  Maybe on Friday night or Sunday afternoon or both.  We usually have pizza on Fridays and watch a video together and save Sunday afternoons for a fun outing or just a ride somewhere different.  The kids know that nothing else is planned during that time.  They are our priority!  My dad was a wonderful example here!  He would take us to boat shows, car shows, apple picking, to get icecream, or just a country drive.

4.  Encourage Productiveness – Lets face it our children can do a lot more than we think.  They will grow in confidence as they grown in skills.  Let them make bread, help you plant flowers in the garden, try new recipes on their own and anything else they seem interested in doing.  The experience will do them good and help them to discover their talents.

5. Nourish them in the Word of God – Make sure your children own bibles that are suitable for their age.

They have the most wonderful children’s bibles now with beautiful illustrations.  My Son loved the comic book bible when he was young.  You can buy them each a special bible to keep in their rooms for their own quiet time.  Encourage them to look at it at night before lights out.  Tell them they have 10 minutes and you will come and tuck them into bed. They will feel special and develop a habit of reading the word before they are even reading.

My daughter would sit on her bed and look at the pictures when she was four.  Now that she is a teen she finds it relaxing to read her bible before going to sleep at night.  Let them choose the bible that appeals to them. Give them the catalogue and let them choose!

The goal is not to be a nagging complaining mom who always finds fault.  But to be a supportive mother who encourages your children through affirmation and affection, mealtimes together, planning fun activities, finding productive things for them to do and nourishing them spiritually.  

Drinking tea can help you stay slim.

Coffee Cup and SpoonTea is a treat I look forward to several times a day.  Years ago when I was a young mother ,I remember telling the Lord that the day felt long.  As I quietly reflected, it seemed as if He responded by saying, have a cup of tea!

Along with making our day a little brighter, there are many health benefits associated with drinking three or more cups a day, especially with meals.

I found this article and thought you might find it interesting.

Teas that make you slim!

By: Bushra Kafeel ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Date:25-NOV-2011
| 40273 views

Making Your Home Come Alive!

???????????????????????????????????????????????I sat with a friend in her kitchen as we chatted about a book on housekeeping and the reasons why we take care of our homes.  Everyone is happier in a clean and uncluttered home, but not if we are tyrants about it.  We want to create a haven, a place that protects us from the harshness of the world.  Unfortunately most people just exist, but there is more to it than that.  We want to show love to our family and that is why we do it.  Serving one another cheerfully is what makes life sweet and makes your home, come alive.  

A haven is like a hothouse protecting you from the harsh elements in the world.

Cleaning, getting rid of clutter and keeping a good attitude is like pulling weeds,  it allows the beauty of your home to come through.We all wish our homes could look like house beautiful, but a perfect house without love is cold and uninviting.

Here is a list of things we came up with that show love and will make your house come alive!

HOME- Make a comforting seasonal meal.

- Add seasonal plants and flowers.

- Play soothing music.

- Tea or coffee in a special cup or mug at a special time each day.

- Fresh sheets and a made bed.

- Add the colors of nature!

Children – Listen to them and talk together.

- Play together, even the teens. (play a board game, sled down the hill etc.)

- Read the same books, watch the same movies and discuss it afterwards.

- Take walks or do dishes together and ask them questions about how things are going.

- Go shopping with one child and buy them something they need.

- If there room is a mess, just mention it once and ask them sweetly to take care of it. Close the door until then.  If they are very young, ask them to pick up one toy group at a time, for example; all the dolls and baby clothes.  Don’t make it hard for them to clean it up.  Have bins for them to toss things into.  Keep it positive.

Husband – Go to lunch just the two of you and talk.

- Exercise together or just take a walk.

- Go for a ride.

- If you get offended, laugh it off.

- Make him a nice meal or a nice snack and enjoy it together.

- If he leaves his shoes or keys in the wrong place, happily put them where they belong and when he asks where they are, you will have the answer.

Sphere of Influence – Nurture your friends and family.

- Offer to help out when it is needed.

- Share materials, news and tips with each other.

- Visit with each other on a regular basis.

- Share food and recipes with each other.  Give your friends something to take home.

If we remember what is “really” important we will have beautiful homes where our families can flourish.

As we enter into Holy week let us ponder on the gift of “eternal life” that so many of us take for granted. Talk about it with your children and enjoy the Christian celebrations and rituals for this time of the year. Most of all make your homes come alive with the spirit of love, peace and joy.  

You Are Never Too Far!

MP900262221This month I’ve been thinking about what Jesus did for us at the cross.

As a young Catholic girl I remember Holy week and Easter being very special.  We would look forward to hot cross buns and prepare our special clothes for Easter service.  At that young age, I didn’t understand the true significance of Jesus sacrifice and what he accomplished for us on the cross.

As I have grown in my Christian walk, I have grown in my understanding of the Lord’s sacrifice and “our redemption.”  What Jesus  accomplished for us there and what it means to us today.

First, We are forgiven of our sins and past mistakes. No matter what our past is like, we can start over and start fresh.  As if we were a dirty garment that was washed as white as snow.

As the popular song by the group Unspoken “Who You Are” says;

You can never fall too hard

So fast, so far

That you can’t get back

When your lost

Where you are is never too late

So bad, so much

That you can’t change

Who you are

You can change who you are

Sometimes when we think back to our past we regret some of the things we have done or some things we should have done that we didn’t do.  I wish I would have been stronger in my faith in college and treated certain people in my life better.

As a wife and mother I know when I miss the mark.  For example, I could have been more encouraging but instead I was critical or I allowed myself to be offended by something my husband said. You can probably relate to a time when you could have walked in love and been more sensitive to someone, but you didn’t.  You need God’s grace to truly become the person you want to be.

Grace is one of the gifts of the cross.

Ephesians 1:7 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trepasses), in accordance with the riches and generosity of His gracious favor.

So let the ashes fall where-ever they land

Come back from wherever you’ve been

To the foot of the cross

To the feet of Jesus

The feet of Jesus

You can start again.  Your past or your daily mistakes do not have to hold you back! Jesus made a way for you to start anew.  He took the blame and he doesn’t want you to look back or carry the burden. It will only slow you down.

If you haven’t already, make a list of your past sins and mistakes and give it to him.  On a regular basis, each night before you go to sleep, take some time to ask for forgiveness when you blow it. Bring it to the foot of the cross in your imagination and leave it there for him to take and remove it from you for good.  Ask him for his grace to do better in that area of your life.

As Jason Castro’s song says “Another chance at the starting line!” I’m full of songs today!

We can change who we are, because of what Jesus did for us!  Next week, “Redeemed from the curse.”

10 Ways To Be Good To Yourself and Fill Up Your Love Tank

dreaming and happy When we honor our temples we honor the God who made us.  Taking care of yourself is one way you can glorify your creator.

Psalm 45:11 
For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord(NLT)

Last time we talked about 10 things we could do for others, this week I have listed 10 ways to be good to yourself and fill up your love tank.   Taking time for yourself gives you a zest for life which also makes you beautiful.

The bible says; “Love others as you love yourself.”

10 Things you can do for yourself:

1.  Get your hair done. Getting your hair done can be your special time.  It helps you look your best and it makes you feel pretty. Try to find a good hairdresser who is a pleasure to talk to and wears her hair something like you want for yourself.  (If you don’t like what she does with her hair, why would you want to trust her to do yours?)  Try different styles that flatter your face. Cut out pictures of styles that you like.

2.  Do your nails.  Collect some pretty colors or if you don’t like a lot of color you can use a nice clear polish. Keep them fairly short but long enough to look feminine.  Also, remember to do your toenails in the summer when you where sandals.

3.  Talk to a friend on the phone.  Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who cares about you and who can relate to what you are going through.  Moms need to talk to other moms, teenagers need to talk to other teenagers, preteens can benefit from talking to their best friend etc.  It helps your mental outlook to share your concerns and ideas with others and listen to them as well.

4. Take a walk.  Even if you only have 20 minutes.  It’s enough to give you an energy boost and it will release hormones that will put you in a good mood.  If you have more time, walk for 30 minutes.   Enjoy the nature around you while you clear your mind and tone your body at the same time!  Walk to the store, park farther in the parking lot, take the long way not the shortcut.  Take advantage of walking paths that are around your area or walk on a quiet street near your house.

5. Do light exercises in the morning before you shower or before you go to bed.  Start with a few stretches to warm up and relax your neck and shoulders. Then do a few rounds of sit ups to tone up your stomach muscles. Start with 20 and make it a goal to reach 50 if you are ambitious and you need help in this area.  It will help your self esteem when you see that area firming up. Look up some exercises on line to see which ones will help the muscle family that you need the most.  Watching a favorite show or listening to music while you do it keeps you from being bored.  It doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes every other day.

6. Take the stairs.  The  women in France use the stairs because the buildings in France are older and they don’t have as many elevators, but don’t feel sorry for them.  They see it as an opportunity to get a work out.  I use my stairs at home by going up and down 20 times.  It takes 5 minutes and I don’t have to do squats.  So if you have a choice of taking the stairs or using an elevator, use the stairs! Its good for your heart and your legs will look great!

7. Take a scented bath or shower.  Try out some of the new bed and bath type shower gels or soak in a tub with epsom salts.  It will make you smell sweet and give you soft skin while relaxing you.

8. Give yourself a facial.  There are several facials that cost you next to nothing that give great results.  Some people swear by honey facials, you just add a little water to some plain honey, put it on your face and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse it off.  One women recommends doing that right before going to bed.  Another options is to make a sugar scrub.  You use 2 TB of sugar and 1-2 TB of almond or olive oil (a beauty secret from the bible) and rub it on your face with gentle circular motions.  Then rinse with warm water.  The more you do it, the more you will get results.  My hair dresser uses egg whites, applies them to her face and lets it dry for 15 minutes, then when you rinse your skin will feel tighter.

9.  Reorganize your closet and buy yourself a new outfit.  Take a weekend and go through your closet.  Get everything out and put it on the bed. See if you can make outfits out of what you have.  Use the three item technique.  A nice top, t-shirt or sweater, a pair of pants or a pretty skirt and an accent piece like a great necklace, colorful scarf or a cute cardigan or jacket.  You can pair up a cute dress with a blazer or cardigan and great pair of shoes as well.

After you have paired up things, take a picture of it with your phone or make a list of outfits to keep in your closet. Only put back the things that you love and that make you feel great.  Then if you have a few odd things that don’t really have a match, right down what you need to get to make it work.  Again, only if you really like it. (Why keep clothes that makes you feel bad about yourself?)  Give it away to someone who needs it. Keep the list with you when you go shopping so you know what to look for.

After you have cleaned out your closet, reward yourself by buying yourself a new outfit, if you can afford it.  Or go find something on your list that you really need.  Don’t forget you need 3 things to make yourself look pulled together.  If you can’t afford the mall, go to the local thrift or consignment store. If you don’t like used clothing go to a store that usually has good deals like a Reny’s or an outlet store. Make sure you try it on to see if it fits right.  Also, it helps to know what colors look good on you.  What color is it that brings you the most compliments?  Make sure you have plenty of that in your wardrobe along with some neutrals that everyone should have, like white and black.

10. Attend inspirational, spiritual, and religious gatherings regularly.  If you really want to look beautiful you need to shine from the inside out.  Taking some time to attend to your spirit will make a difference in the way that you look. Try to spend time listening to good podcasts and CDs, going to a church or a women’s bible study where they teach the word of God and have inspiring messages.   Take time to pray and read devotional books that build up your spirit.  The time you spend with God in private will affect the way you look in public.

Psalms 45:11 So shall the king greatly desire your beauty: for he is your Lord; and worship you him.

Beautiful in God’s eyes

Young woman on sofa. Doing things for others fills the connecting and befriending need that women have. This makes a woman feels happy and alive. It also makes her beautiful in God’s eyes and in the eyes of others.

One day, as I was praying and listening for the Lord speak, I felt He said;
“When you do good works you are beautiful.”

10 Things to do for others:

1. Schedule a regular time to talk with a friend. Plan a time when you can get together for lunch, a cup of tea or coffee and a treat at your house. You will find that you look forward to it and it helps brighten your week. Sharing hearts with each other and bearing one another’s burdens can lift your spirits.

2. Share your best recipes with a friend. When you get together bring along a few copies of your favorite desert, main meal or side dish. Ask her for one of hers as well. You will both enjoy trying new recipes and expanding your repertoire.

3. Take your dog for a walk or give your cat some play time or cuddle time. Giving your pet some undivided attention will make his day and will help you feel better too.

4. Plan a family night. Find a fun new game to play, or a good family movie to watch. Make a yummy dinner that everyone will love. This is a good time to try out new recipes or to make your tried and true favorites. Do this on a regular basis so that the kids can look forward to it.

On some occasions you might want to invite another family to share in the festivities you have planned. For example, a harvest party in the fall, a skating party in the winter, a summer barbecue etc.

5. Keep updated on the lives of friends. Check in on old friends by giving them a call, or going on face book to see how they are doing. Keep tract of what’s happening in their lives and offer encouragement or congratulations.

6. Make a charitable donation. Share what you have with others. Give a church or ministry that has encouraged you  a donation.  Or, give someone who could use a little extra money a love gift. Big or small it will get your mind off yourself and help you to be grateful for what you have. If you don’t have money perhaps you can donate clothes.

7. Send a card. Sending someone a card can really brighten their day. Also, thank you notes and friendship cards can make people feel appreciated. It might be just what they needed and you may make their day!

8. Clean out your book shelves and give your extra books and magazines to the local hospital, hair dresser or local library. It can be one way to give to the community and you can replace some of the worthless magazines with something worth reading.

9. Call an elderly person and ask them if they need anything. Sometimes all they need is for you to pick something up at the grocery store. Other times they may need someone to have a cookie and a cup of tea with them. Who is there in your neighborhood that could use someone to look out for them?

10. Play with your children or with someone else’s kids. Children love it when you come down to their level and you will benefit from it as well.Let them pick something that they want to do with you. Even teens love it when their parents spend time with them. Just find something you both like to do and your relationship will blossom. Color with them, swing on the swing, play ball or play a board game.

You can add more to the list as you think of them. All of these involves sharing and caring for friends, family or a neighbor. Nurturing others stimulate the production of the feel good hormone oxytocin and will give you a sense of well being.

Next week, I will talk about things you can do for yourself.

Don’t Worry, Cast Your Care!

Affectionate Daughter Posing with Her DadWorry is unbelief and is the opposite of rest.

I’m not sure about you, but usually, when I get all worked up about something it doesn’t make it happen any faster.  It actually can work against me.  For example, when I’m uptight, I tend to make more mistakes.  When I’m at rest, I can think more clearly and things just seem to go better .

In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus said not to worry about your life.  He gave examples about the birds being taken care of and the beautiful lilies, and how worry could not make anything happen.  His focus was that he cared about the birds and the flowers and “that” was the reason they are there.  Doesn’t he also care about us?

I Peter 5:7 says; Casting all of your care upon Him who cares for you.  All of your anxieties and worries, all of your concerns.  The reason being He (God) cares for you affectionately and watches over you.

The times that I had seen the most answer to prayer in my life was not when I was upset or worried, but instead when I had given it over to the Lord.  When I let go, He was able to take it.

How many of you know that when God takes care of it, things go much better than when we try to make things work out on our own.  Like a friend, take your concerns to Him, but then relax because you know He loves you and will take care of you.  Even if it takes longer than you think it needs to take.  God is much smarter than we are and he has a reason for His timing.

Years ago, I read a book called Let Go and Let  God.”  Every now and than I need to tell myself that.  When my daughter was only 3 years old, we went strawberry picking.  It was a good year and the berries were large and a beautiful red.  She was so excited about the berries she picked that she didn’t want to give me the basket so that I could pay for them.  I remember she ended up in tears as we had to pry them away from her to pay the man.  I just wanted to take them home so we could make something wonderful out of them, but she didn’t understand.  Sometimes we are like that.  We don’t trust God to take care of something and we end up struggling with the very one who wants to bless us.

Why don’t we just let go and let him pay for it.  He already paid at the cross for the grace that we need to meet the need. Take it to Him and let Him bless you on His timetable.

Another time, I remember my husband telling my daughter that it was time to go.  She put the toys down and put her arms up and said, “Daddy will you carry me?”  She laid her head on his shoulder and our friends thought she was a little angel.

When we rest in Him, He can carry us to the place we need to be.

Don’t Despair!

Young Woman Biting Her Finger NailEven though I am an optimistic person, I’ll admit that  life can be hard at times.  Some days are great and other days it seems like everything and every one is against you.  You feel alone with no one you can talk to or turn to for comfort.

When I am going through something difficult and I feel discouraged I turn to God’s word and so can you!

Here are some of my favorite inspirational verses to hold on to when going through difficult circumstances and waiting for God to come to my aid.

Psalm 37: vs 1 says: “Fret not!”

Try to stay positive and don’t let yourself get overly anxious.  Meditating on verses and repeating them to yourself before you get up in the morning or when you go to bed can help.  Tell yourself that the Lord loves you and you are his child.

vs. 3  says: “TRUST in the Lord and do good.”  Lean on, rely on and be confident in the Lord.  Remember all the times God has been faithful to answer your prayers in big and little ways.   I try to remember how God helped me find a good husband when I thought there weren’t any good men left!  I made a list of what I wanted and needed in a man and cut out pictures of girls getting married, adding them to my prayer journal. I tried to focus on putting God first in my life and doing the things that please him.   Within 2 months I was engaged to be married.

vs. 4 says: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires or secret petitions of your heart.

Delight means to take great pleasure in.  Delighting in anything when you are in despair over something seems difficult.  However, we can take delight in the things we do have and that are going well at the time. Making a list of what is going well in your life can be helpful.  I have a warm home, a good car, food in the fridge etc.  Also, we  need to remember that when our troubles seem big to us, God is bigger!  He loves us and wants the best for us.

Sometimes we think that He is not answering our prayers because it is not on our time schedule.  We need to remember that God sees the future, we don’t.  He knows the big plan for our life, we don’t.

We can delight in being close to Him and telling him our hearts desires.  We can feel comfort from pouring out our heart to Him.

vs. 5 says: Commit your way or roll and repose each care on Him and He will bring it to pass.

Repose is a temporary rest from activity, excitement or exertion…a state of peace.  Another words, after you have made your need known, give it to Him.  He will bring it to pass, not you!  You can try doing it yourself, but it’s a lot easier with God’s help, in His timing.

vs. 6 says: Be Still and rest in the Lord; wait for him patiently.

Lean yourself upon Him.  Don’t let it disturb you, stay calm, it is coming.  Rest means to cease from your own works.  Tell yourself to relax…refresh yourself and recover your strength.

Place your hope, trust and confidence in God.MP900227506

Next week look for more verses to build your faith and confidence in God.

Oneness in Marriage: Setting Goals Together

Couple Strolling on Beach    Make some yearly goals together. “Honor each other as heirs together in the grace of life.” (I Peter 3:7 ) 

Each year we take some time to pray and set goals together.  We call it a Vision Retreat!

Some years we are able to get away and stay at a special Inn and other years, we sit at our kitchen table or in the parking lot at our local McDonald’s. Whatever you can afford or have the time for, make sure you come into agreement about the big areas of life.

Here are some things you should be talking about!

For example;

Finances – How much to spend on each category? How much to save? Give?

Children – The things you need and want for them. How to discipline and encourage them. How to spend time one on one time with each one.When to have family time etc. Maybe you don’t have children yet and you want to talk about when to start a family.  

Home improvements – Do we redo the kitchen or build the garage? What room do we work on next? Talk about what you can do to improve it even if its something small.

Ministry or church – How do we get involved at our church? What are your gifts and passions? Do you want to play on the worship team some day or do special music? Are you passionate about children’s ministry? Maybe you want to take the year to just sit and soak in the messages.  If you’re not currently attending a church, maybe you want to think about finding one together.  Talk about the things that are important to the both of you in a church.

Fun or family vacation – Where do we want to go and what do we want to do this year?

Is this the year to take the kids to Disney land or rent the cottage on the coast? Maybe you want to go camping at the lake?  Perhaps all you can afford is a day trip here and there to a state park or beach for the day.  Either way plan something you can look forward to.  Maybe one year you will make it to your dream destination, but if you never dream about it, you may never go.

Figure out what fits your budget and what would work for both of you depending on the ages of your children.

For example; My father took us camping at the lake each summer when I was young! It was a great because we could stay in the water all day. Then one summer he took us to the mountains, but because we were quite young and the ride was very long, we found it very boring and kept asking when we could go swimming. It worked much better for my parents to do an overnight and go to places like BarHarbor and Camden while us kids went to grandma’s house. 

Fitness Goals- Talk about what you will do for exercise.  Will you take a walk together after supper or go to the gym while one of you watches the kids?

Why have a Vision Retreat? Issues get dealt with before they become problems If you talk about how you are going to spend the money before it comes up, you are less likely to argue about it later.

For example, you can talk about all the categories where you spend money and discuss and pray about how much you should spend. Decide how much to spend for groceries, gas, eating out etc.

Also, make sure you each have a small allowance. It helps if you both have a little money you can spend at your own discretion. He is free to spend it at home depot and you can spend yours to get the little things that make you feel happy. A plant, some flowers or a new pair of shoes.  We call it He and She money. Make sure you include clothing needs for yourself and growing children. If you talk about it now, you will be less apt to argue about it later.

Also, don’t forget to pray about your needs together. A friend of mine gave me a large box of dresses for my girls when they were little. It kept them in dresses for a long time. Another time we needed skates and a friend happened to have an extra pair.

 While you are driving in the car listen to books on tape like Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace or …listen to his radio show or to his web pod casts together. Try to get like minded in this area together.  Make a plan and try to work on it together!

We used to argue about finances until we did this…Then one day I asked God to please help us in this area. Then next day, my husband came home and said he heard this really interesting guy talk about finances on the radio. It was amazing how different it was after we had common ground. We had a strategy and it made a difference.

Don’t forget to get God involved and ask him for whatever you need to make it all work. He can take you from just making it to having an overflow, which you can then give to help others.

Do you ever have arguments or concerns about the kids?  This is the time to discuss it.  What is your vision for them this year? Do you want to send them to private school, public school or homeschool?  We wanted our kids to be good readers so we made it a priority to read good books to them before bed.  It was so much fun to read through “The Little House on the Prairie” series!  Pick out some of the books you loved as a child and want to share with your kids. 

Use this time to make decisions so that when life happens you already know the direction you are headed in.  Then if someone veers off you can say, “Honey, we agreed...”with a smile of course.

Be creative and let me know if it makes an impact on your marriage!

Oneness In Marriage: His and Her Needs

Intimate Couple#3 – MEETING EACH OTHERS NEEDS

Oneness in marriage grows as you try to please each other.  The needs of a man and a woman are very different and if you know what they are, you will understand each other much better!  You will know why he or she makes such a big deal over certain things that you don’t think are important. You will also divorce proof your marriage and set a great example for your kids.

The Top 4 Needs of a Man Are:

  1.  Respect or honorThey need to feel like you respect them. It really hurts a man when you treat him disrespectfully or make him feel like you think he’s an idiot. I’m not saying that you need to do everything your husband says with no questions asked, but I am saying that you need to respond with a sweet spirit and gentle tone. You see things he doesn’t see and he sees things you don’t see. That s how God made us and it’s for our good, but just remember, you can give him information and counsel without being negative or pushy.  For example, don’t make him feel stupid if he doesn’t know how to handle something with the kids, can’t find the half & half in the fridge, or just asks a simple question. It’s much better to simply tell him how you feel and what you think in a friendly manner.  If you wouldn’t talk to your friends that way, you shouldn’t talk to your husband that way.
  2. Physical union -Because of the way they are designed,  men need sex on a regular basis and they need it more than most women do. Men tend to be more physical and women more emotional.  Because you probably won’t have the same desire in this area, you will need to find what works for both of you. Talk about your needs and try to find something in the middle.  Set aside a few nights to be close and also some times when you know you can just go to sleep.   He will be happier and you will both look forward to the times you have to be together.
  1. Companionship -He needs a friend. Just as It was fun to do things together when you were dating, you should continue to have fun together. Even if its just taking a ride to town to pick up something or getting a cup of coffee at McDonald’s. Watching TV together, if it’s a good show you both like or maybe just watching the weather. Taking a walk on a beautiful summer night. They want to be your best friend.  If he says, I’m going to pickup such and such do you want to come? Say, “sure”, or I can’t now but how about in half an hour?  Try to take an interest in something he likes.  When we were first married my husband liked to garden.  I didn’t know the difference between a peonies and a poppy. I felt bored when we went to garden stores together, until I decided to get out some books and read up on it.  Since then we have both enjoyed planning gardens, shopping at our favorite plant nurseries and picking out new plants for spring!  What could have been a barrier is now a bonding experience for us.  Over the years we have enjoyed landscaping our yard together!  We turned a chore into something we can do together. 

           Whatever he is into why not do it together? If he likes to fish, then you can just sit in the boat and bird watch.     If he likes to exercise, you could run or walk together. I have a good friend that works out with her husband at the gym every day after work. Some couples may prefer a bike ride, a swim in the pool or cross country skiing. Find something they like and enjoy it together.

  1. Domestic support – Different household chores are important to different men.  Some really like a home cooked meal when they get home, others just want clean socks and underwear.  First, whether you are at home or at work during the day you need to make sure there is a plan for dinner.  You can decide who does the cooking depending on your work schedules and share if need be, but make sure you oversee it.  If your husband is really busy at work, the last thing he wants to do when he gets home is figure out what’s for dinner.  Make a list of your family’s favorite meals and write out a simple menu plan.  This can free you up so much, since you only have to think about it once a week.  Secondly, make sure you have a plan to keep up the laundry.  If these two things are taken care of the house will run pretty smoothly.  I like to give everyone a day for laundry, that way I don’t have to do a lot of sorting.  Since I’m home, I can just throw a load in each morning, fold it when I have 10 minutes and than return the basket to the room it belongs in.  If you work, you might want to put a load in before you leave and put it in the dryer when you get home, or pick one day a week and get the whole thing over with.  Lastly, make a simple list of the things that need attention in your home each week and do one a day.  Such as; Monday-vacuum downstairs, Tuesday-water plants, Wednesday- wipe down kitchen, Thursday – clean bathroom and dust bedroom, Friday – grocery shop  and Saturday – clean closets and fun errands.  If you don’t like that idea, and you both work and can afford it, hire someone to come in once a week to vacuum, mop your floor and clean your bathrooms.  Or make a list for your husband and see if he will knock off a few things for you. It all depends on your lifestyle and income.  Just make sure that the basics are covered so you can enjoy your home and make it a place of comfort and rest for your husband and family.

The Top 4 Needs for Women Are:

  1. Security- Like men need respect, women need security. They need to feel loved and know that you are devoted to them. When you bring them flowers or express your love to them through small gifts and doing them favors they feel loved. Husbands need to reassure their wives by telling them how much they appreciate or cherish them. They need to lay down their lives for them, by daily sacrificing their time to help with the family, not just at work, but at home as well.  
  2. Non sexual touch or affection – Like men need sex, women need non sexual touch! They need their husbands to put their arms around them and hold their hand on occasion. Did you know it is a medical fact that women need 10 hugs a day! Joyce Meyer, a famous bible teacher, counted the amount of hugs she was getting and told her husband Dave that he was killing her.   All kidding aside,  men need to know they are meeting a big need in their wives life when they are affectionate. Ladies, if your husband is not affectionate you can try asking for a hug. :) Snuggling at night or in the morning on the weekends when you can sleep is a great way to end or start a day! Also, make sure you kiss your husband good bye in the morning and hello when he gets home, make it a 3 second kiss not just a quick peck and it will help you get through the day!
  3. They need to talk – Women need open communication with their husbands and their women friends. It actually helps them produce a hormone called oxytocin which puts them in a good mood. They need to talk about the kids, the house and the problems and challenges they have. Women also need details from their husbands not generalities.  Let your husband know that you really need to talk in order to get your needs met and that you will be alot happier if he gives you a little time each day.   Also, plan a day when you can get together with a girlfriend and chat while the kids play.  You will be easier to live with and your husband won’t mind at all.  
  1. Leadership – Most women love it when their husband takes the initiative! Women don’t really want to make all the decisions themselves. It can be very stressful and tiring  They need their husband’s input and direction. She doesn’t want you to leave everything up to her. Yes, she wants you to ask for her counsel and see what she thinks, but she also wants you to take responsibility for your family.  Wives, help your husband by asking him what he thinks and give him a chance to come up with something. Try not to tear down all his ideas and he will grow in confidence.  If he suggests something and you like the idea of make sure you express your pleasure! Not everyman has had a good role model in this area so he may need some coaching.  Remember Mr. Incredible in the Pixar Movie “The Incredibles” Mrs. Incredible is sitting at the table with the children fighting and arguing and Mr. Incredible is reading the newspaper. She says, “Now would be a good time for you to engage.” 

Meeting each others most important needs will give you the basis for an incredible marriage! Take the time to discuss these with your husband or wife and see if it makes a difference!   Let me know how it works out for you. :)