It should be a blessing, not a curse, for your wife to be married to you.
Which is why a Stronger Man will intuitively act and intentionally work to cultivate his wife's gifts, strengths, and passions.
When we say "Kill the Dragon, Win the Girl" here at SMN, we do not speak of a one-time event. It is a posture. A way of seeing the world. Actions that represent an ongoing way of life.
I want to daily win my wife's affection, allegiance, and affirmation. I want to daily win her heart. I want to daily win her trust. I want to be the kind of man she loves to love. It should be easy to follow my leadership, not hard. It should be a delight for her to call me her man, not a drain. She should want to follow me, not have to follow me. She should feel freed, not stuck. Her tank should be full because I'm filling it: she should not have to turn to novels, shows, or men at work to have her needs met.
I've often said this to the men in my circle…they can knock on the door of my home at any time of the week, day or night, and they will find a wife who is thriving. Full stop.
That is my commitment as a Stronger Man, as a lover, as my wife's provider and protector.
Ok, you say, sounds fine and dandy. But how do you actually do that?
Here's my answer: You help your wife articulate a compelling vision for her femininity, and then help her live into it every day.
God has given your wife incredible capacity as a woman. Your job is to draw all of that out of her.
When a wife is loved and lead, she flourishes. Part of leading and loving her is helping her understand who she is, how she's made, and what her specific contribution to the world will be.
As Sharon's husband, one of my goals is to help her live a value-based life. Once these values are articulated, I can make sure she's getting time to live these out. We can shape a life together that's value-driven, not demand-driven; we can live an intentional life, not a reactionary life.
So, to review: One of your jobs as a Stronger Man is to lead your wife so that she flourishes. Helping her discover and articulate her values is a great exercise to help her thrive. Below is an example of what I’ve done with my bride.
Sharon and I regularly get away for WeRetreats. However you do it, the following is best accomplished when your wife is not within eye-sight of the laundry or ear-shot of the kids. Get her away for an overnighter or a long dinner and start helping her discover her values.
1. Ask your wife for a list of words that she hopes would describe her life.
2. Ask her to write down things she thinks are core values as she reflects on her passions and gifts.
3. Ask her to write them out so you can read them, ask questions, understand them.
4. Ask her how you could help her in any areas she's struggling in.
5. Print out the values and put them somewhere both of you will regularly see them.
6. Review them regularly to see if your actual life is lining up with your preferred life.
Mrs. Stronger Man Values
Here’s an example of some of the values my exceptionally beautiful, wonderfully talented, out-of-this-world, knock-out gorgeous Princess Warrior wrote down on one of our WeRetreats. She’s been adding to and working on this list for 20 years. Even better, she’s been living this out in our marriage for 20 years. It’s my privilege to help her discover, articulate, and live into these noble values.
As a woman, I value:
Helping Others...I value giving of my time and energy to help someone else.
Hospitality...I love our home and I love to host people in it. I value sharing the gift of home that we have, with others.
Generosity...giving is the best. To the church, to those in need, to our neighbors, to our team.
Being Generous with our time, our knowledge, our experiences and our resources...all of it. I love giving in such a way that surprises and blesses others with things they aren’t expecting.
Learning...new things, interesting things, helpful things. I love and value learning and hope to stay curious and in awe of our Creator all the days of my life.
Not wasting time/using it wisely...I don’t like to doddle or just sit around. I want to use wisely the days I’ve been given.
Working Hard...there’s nothing better than working long and hard and finishing a project. I especially like it when it is physically challenging (lifting heavy things, working outside, etc).
Beautiful things/beauty...I love flowers, sunsets, paintings, gorgeous font/script, and comfortably decorated spaces. They bring a smile to my face and great joy to my heart.
Creativity...God is the most creative being ever and I love imaging Him in this way. Finding new ways to display His glory through means of creativity is very enjoyable for me.
Variety...is the spice of life, literally! I like doing things differently than before. I think routine can sometime become monotonous so I do take joy in changing things up. It always stretches me to figure out how to do something differently than before...an innovator's dream.
Prayer/interceding and warfare...I am not afraid to pray against the enemy and step into a battle when necessary. He has given me great faith to believe that He is stronger and that He will deliver us when we call His name. I delight in praying for my man, our children and those the Lord leads me to pray for.
Helper...Being a wife who allows/helps my man to fulfill his calling...what an awesome calling for me! I value living in such a way that Josh can be the most productive, effective and healthy local pastor he was made to be. That he would feel supported as he leads our home as the husband and head of household. And that he would be equipped and helped, through insight and conversation, to be the father & mentor of our 4 children.
Motherhood...I value giving of myself in this role and high calling. I consider motherhood a gift and privilege and pray for wisdom daily as I endeavor to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Activity/physical ability...I value being fit and strong, so that I can care for my 2 children with special needs and my 2 able-bodied ones as well. I also value caring for the “vessel” the Lord has given me in the form of my body and health.
Honesty/transparency (not fake/not hiding)...I value the truth and the telling of it. I want to be known as a woman of honesty. I endeavor to live this way in all my relationships as it is the only way for relationships to thrive.
Modesty/femininity...I value the gift of femininity and the wisdom and joy of modesty. I endeavor to pass this on to my 2 daughters as they navigate the increasingly confused society we live in today.
Lover of my husband...I value the gift of intimacy and sex as God created it. I love being a modest woman in the marketplace and a force of sexual love in the bedroom. I believe this is good and right and will fulfill my husband as only I can and should.
The fight for biblical womanhood...I value the incredible design of male and female. I want to help others know the worth of women and to appreciate the created order and intentionality of our God making them in “His image, male and female He created them”.
Life (in the womb & in the final moments)...caring for those in these moments is a privilege. I feel strongly about protecting the unborn and helping those who are in these situations where they are feeling forced to “choose.” I also value the gift of walking with someone and their family through their final moments on this earth.
Hope (she hopes in God)...I value living in such a way that others around me would ask me about the hope that I have.
Gratitude/contentment...I value being thankful and content in all circumstances and cultivating it in my children.
Living as an example...I am honored & humbled to live a life that is observed often. I pray often for the strength to live in such a way that Christ would be honored and modeled to those around me.
Perseverance...I value grit. Not giving up. Sticking with it and finishing strong.
Kind words and thoughtful speech...I detest put downs and criticism. Words are powerful and I will help my children understand this truth, by pointing them to the word as well as having them experience this through my own words and speech.
Friendship...I value those that I get to walk through life with. I will thank them and honor them and not take them for granted.
Encouragement...I value words said to en-courage. I want to build up and bring hope and ballast to those who need it. Through cards, notes, emails, texts...I desire to share words that are specific and refreshing, like water to the soul...that in so doing, I would be putting courage in them.