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Graciously Confronting Cohabitation

February 16, 2009

Today's post continues a series of posts entitled Intentional Manhood written by a good friend of CBMW, Mike Seaver. A new installment of this series will appear each Thursday for several weeks. They originally appeared last year on Mike's blog Role Calling. Mike serves on the pastoral staff of CrossWay Community Church of Charlotte, North Carolina. Mike and his wife Kristin have been married since 2000. They have two daughters and are expecting a third child.

What is romantic to your wife? Is it a relaxing evening talking on the couch or is it surprise tickets to a football game? Maybe neither of these. Maybe both. Every wife is different and every husband should be intentional in getting to know his bride. He should seek to study and know her. He should learn her preferences and her delights.

After reading C.J. Mahaney's Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God, I started a "Kristin 101" file on my Pocket PC. Now, many will find that completely unromantic, but its purpose is to write down different ideas/ways to romance Kristin. My wife says that this is her favorite book I have ever read (outside the Bible…of course). It taught me much about being the godly husband that my wife deserves…or at least attempting to be that kind of husband.

Mahaney gives some categories which he uses to study his wife that I used in my "101" file. I would encourage every man to make either a mental list or a written list of what your wife likes. On page 33, Mahaney asks, "Do you know how to surprise and delight your wife in specific ways in each of the following categories?

  • sex
  • clothing size, styles, and stores
  • jewelry
  • health
  • exercise
  • books and magazines
  • movies
  • the arts
  • sports
  • food
  • music
  • entertainment
  • places to visit
  • intellectual interests
  • hobbies
  • vacations/getaways

Another part of romancing and knowing your wife is having an understanding how she is doing on an emotional level. Mahaney makes another list asking, "Do you know how your wife is faring in each of these areas?

  • theological knowledge
  • practice of the spiritual disciplines
  • growth in godliness
  • spiritual gifts that can be used to serve others
  • involvement in the local church
  • relationship with children
  • relationship with parents
  • relationship with in-laws
  • relationship with friends
  • personal retreats
  • fears
  • hopes
  • dreams
  • disappointments
  • temptations

If there is a fog rising in your brain as you read these lists, I encourage you to begin now with studying your wife. You both will be glad you did.

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