Men, have you ever wondered why your wife sometimes expects you to read her mind? Have you ever joked, “I’ll never understand her ways”. Turns out, not only does your wife expect you to understand her on a deep level, but God expects you to as well.
Hear me out on this one! In a classic passage on marriage, God called us husbands to “dwell with our wives according to knowledge” (2 Peter 3:7). The idea in that verse is that we ought to be ever increasing in our knowledge of our wives, and adjust the way we dwell with them to the understanding we have of them. It means that we ought to, over the years, be able to know more and more about our wives than we did before. God has called you, in other words, to be a wife-ologist. Don’t worry, God hasn’t commanded you to understand every wife (thankfully!), but He has commanded you to grow in your understanding of the one that sleeps next to you every night. For me, God has called me to be a Shelby-ologist. Fill in the blank with your wife’s name: that’s what God has called you to do.
While I have much ground to cover in my journey as a Shelby-ologist, here are 3 areas that might give you a start on your own quest to becoming a wife-ologist.
- Learn what she likes and dislikes
I’ve found it amazing (and convenient) how my wife remembers if I liked or disliked an experience that I had several months ago. She can tell me if I liked the fries at the burger place we ate at on vacation and she can recall if I enjoyed the movie we watched several months ago from Redbox. What I’ve found convicting is how many times I can’t recall those same details about her likes and dislikes. As I husband, I ought to pay attention to her well enough to learn what she likes.
To get down to the nitty-gritty, if a husband is going to dwell with his wife according to knowledge, he ought to be able to order her drink for her at a restaurant if she is running the kids to the restroom. He ought to be able to pick out a decent Christmas or birthday present for his wife because he is familiar with some of her wants. A developing wife-ologist ought to know that it drives his wife crazy to not put his socks away or to put his feet on the coffee table.Tip: When you go shopping, take the time to walk around your wife’s favorite part of the store and take interest in the things she likes. If you’re smart you’ll take a mental note of the style of purse she wants or what small appliance could her life a little easier.
- Learn how she communicates
It’s no secret that men and women communicate in very different ways. If there’s any area in which I struggle the most as a wife-ologist, it has to be the area of communication. I’m learning that when my wife asks a question, she isn’t always looking for an answer. I’m learning that when she presents a problem, she isn’t always looking for me to analyze it to death and present my solution. Chances are, when a husband decides to put his wife-ologist hat on, he might find out how his poor communication has been causing many of their arguments, or that his wife isn’t insensitive (and how he truly was being a jerk). It’s a lot of work, but loving your spouse as Christ loved the church is going to take some work!
- Learn what she needs (before she asks)
This is where I’ve especially found myself excusing myself with the line, “I can’t read your mind!” And while it is true that I’m no mind-reader, I’m probably a better mind-reader when I engage my thinking.You’d be surprised how well you can “read your wife’s mind” when you pay attention to things like her spirit, her tone, and body expressions. A simple attentiveness to those things will often give the observant an opportunity to fill a need before his wife asks. When a husband comes from work, he can usually get an idea if this is the kind of night that he needs to take her out for dinner, take a walk in the park, or watch her favorite TV show, rather than bothering her about something else he needs her to do.
No man will ever arrive at a place where they know everything about their wife—I know I’m not even close! But the wonderful blessing of pursuing your calling as a “wife-ologist” is that it is one of the many ways God gives life-long marriages a depth that no other type of relationship can offer.