I'm writing this article because I when I wrote one just like it for the girls, a million questions poured in asking about simple things guys can do, too.
Many girls have shared with me that they don't feel like their guys understand them and many guys have shared that they don't understand women. It's hard, I know. I'm a woman. I'll admit, we are complex creatures and sometimes hard to understand. 😉
So, if you want to understand women better and therefore be able to not only love them well but love them in a way they really receive and appreciate, here are ten easy peasy ways to do that with intention, Godliness, and selflessness. 😉
1. Validate her feelings.
Ask how she feels instead of assuming and seek to understand or listen even when you don't see what the big deal is. You don't have to validate drama but also let her vent, listen, and hug before you try to reason, explain, or fix it away. It makes her feel heard and when a woman feels heard, she's much more inclined to listen.
2. Show her off.
Post photos with an appreciation caption on social media now and then, take her out with your friends, and bring her around your family or those that you love. It may seem small to you but it's usually the smallest things that make the biggest difference. When you do that, it shows her that you're proud of her and if she's anything like me, it'll melt her heart. Don't make her feel like she's something in your life you have to hide. That's weird and sketchy and would make anyone feel unappreciated. If she's a priority, make that known in your actions. If she's not, don't be with her–that's using someone and that's not cool.
3. Pick Your Stuff Up Off the Floor.
In other words, hold yourself accountable and do the little things and order your own private world. Don't clock out of all responsibilities when work ends or expect her to clean up after you. She's not your mom and if you're married, she's your partner not a magic fairy to pick up after you. While she should help you now and then, don't expect her to be your slave. Work together. Don't neglect your personal responsibilities. That shows that you choose laziness in some areas of life and laziness is unattractive to anyone. When a woman sees a man acting in discipline and responsibility, she feels more secure with him.
4. Communicate your intention.
Don't leave her guessing how you feel or what you intend when it comes to the relationship. You're going to have to be a little vulnerable and that is not a sign of weakness.
5. Put yourself last.
This doesn't mean get walked all over, it means choose simple ways to serve and put God and her before your own desires. Biblical love and friendship is described in John 15:13 as, “one who lays down their life for a friend,” and Biblical leadership is described in John 13:12-15 as service, not dominance. If you're married to her, you don't have an easy job. Love her as Christ has loved the Church and even as you love your own self (Ephesians 5:25).
You may never have a chance to take a bullet for her but you can die to yourself. In other words, you can put your desires aside for the sake of honoring her or putting God's decrees above your own desires.
A relationship only flourishes when two people choose selflessness and sacrifice but again, this is for you as a guy. The girl's article touches on this, as well. But this is about you — are you leading in dominance or bending down to serve first? She will respect and value your leadership, decision making, and insight more when you do so from a place of humility and not pride.
6. Hold her accountable.
While it's important to validate her feelings, love her enough to point her to Truth (lovingly, of course!) Don't let her walk all over you emotionally but don't shut her down every time she needs to shed a tear. Understand that Jesus was both compassionate and convicting, but compassion must always come before sharing Truth. A heart that's hardened won't receive the Truth you share if you haven't love it with compassion first. However, don't shy away from holding her accountable if it gets excessive.
Many times my husband has had to love me through my frustration and then love me enough to tell me when I'm being unreasonable and not acting as one who trusts the Lord. It's hard to hear but it's necessary to help me focus on what matters most, too. It will show you respect her honor and trust she can act maturely.
7. Build her up.
The first several months of our marriage, I would ask Matt, “What do you love about me?” and he would respond with something like, “I love your eyes.” Sweet, but not what I was hoping to hear. I would respond with, “No but what do you love about me?” He realized that while I appreciated compliments on my appearance, I really wanted to know what he saw my strengths as, what gifts he was drawn to, and what about me at my core he loved. Even if I had heard the answer a million times, words of affirmation was my number one love language and hearing words of affirmation from my husband was something that I really valued. Since then, he's learned how much I value when he, at random, points out something like, “You work so hard, I love that about you!” I no longer ask because he chooses to remind me and encourage me.
What you need to know: Women constantly wonder how they measure up to others and trust me when I say that the ones who seem most put together on the surface are often the most insecure on the inside. Remind her not only of her outer beauty but even more so of the strong character traits, strengths, and gifts that you see she has. Just like men love having a cheerleader, women need to be cheered on, too.
8. Be spontaneous and intentional.
Women love when you take initiative and just plan a date or come up with a fun idea. Even if she doesn't end up loving the activity you choose, she will love that you took some initiative instead of just saying, “I don't know, what do you want to do today?”
It would be wise to find out what she likes and the types of things she enjoys doing but then take it into your own hands and come up with a game plan. It shows intentionality in your pursuit of her, whether you just started dating or have been married for years, and women love that.
9. Take a Stand.
Don't be fearful of what others think and don't be a chameleon. It's really hard for anyone to respect someone if they don't stand by and live out what they claim to be their convictions, regardless of what situation they're in or what crowd they're with. If you want your girl to respect you, you can't be the guy that says and does one thing with one group of people and then acts another way around another group of people.
You love your woman well and honor God best when you have the confidence to take a stand, even when it's unpopular.
10. Take care of yourself.
A man that takes care of his health and well-being is attractive to a woman because it helps her see that he's capable of taking care of a family. When you take care of your health (without being vain about it), it shows that you care about her. If you don't do the little things and don't take care of yourself and your own responsibilities, it's hard to take care of someone else and it really isn't loving someone else well. Eventually, that lack of care will catch up to you and if you're married or get married, it'll fall on her shoulders if you become too unhealthy. Of course, you can't control everything but be intentional and don't set her up to carry a burden heavier than she needs to.
Men, the bottom line is this: You don't need to Prince Charming and you certainly don't need to be perfect. You simply need to understand what a woman truly values (trust me, she cares way more about being listened to than a bouquet of flowers, though flowers are always appreciated!) and you need to choose to be disciplined in simple things like this.
Jesus didn't try to prove anything, even when people tempted Him to prove Himself. He did, however, live a life of compassion, intentionality, service, Truth, and humble confidence. You'll be her hero not when you conquer the world or prove how macho you are, but when you are dedicated, sensitive, and intentional enough to lead and love like Jesus–especially in the little things.