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Protecting Your Husband

We don’t often think of what we must do to protect, because that is not our role as women. We allow our men to protect us.
But there are things that we should do to help our husbands be the men God wants.
For lack of a better word, I will call it “protect.”
Song of Solomon 2:15 describes the foxes that eat the tender grape vines. They destroy any hope of harvest for many years to come.
What can a little fox do?

A vine grew beautifully down the entire fence. It started from one main stalk. When a fox dug under the fence and destroyed the main stalk, the entire plant died within days. 
That’s what foxes do.

We must guard our marriage by protecting our husbands.
How do we do that?

Men are motivated by sight.
That is why the advertisers sell toothpaste with sex appeal, why car dealers have a good-looking girl with the fastest car or the biggest truck. Technology is pushed by sex.

Sometimes it is what we don’t do.
When my boys were young, we went to Hume Lake in the early morning. We hiked around the lake and ended up at the beach around 9 AM. We froze in the snow-melted waters until the crowds came. 
When the scantily clad girls arrived, we were ready to go.
I protected my boys from images that would stick in their minds forever of the poor choices girls and women make in their dress. 

When my boys started reaching their preteen years, I changed my shopping route to avoid billboards of more poor choices of dress.

Not only do you help avoid the wrong places that may cause stumbling, but you are there with him when he must be in those places.
When my husband has a conference at Las Vegas, he asks me to go. Not that I like Las Vegas. I hate crowds. That city makes me feel like I’m sinning. But I go. Why? To protect my husband. He sees a lot.
Women do not dress appropriately.
Billboards show every body part.
Temptations for men are great.

I go, not because I don’t trust my husband, but because I want to protect our marriage. By going with him, I help the foxes stay out. We stand together, united against it.

When my husband has Christmas office parties or army get-togethers, I am not a fan of parties or people, but I do enjoy meeting the people he talks about. Even when we had small children, we took them all. It was expensive. It was long. But we brought them.
Yes, there was drinking, but we didn’t stay for the after-effects. We stayed for the dinner and ceremony. My presence helped stem unwanted affections.
It’s not that I don’t trust him. It’s that, by my presence, others stay away. And his attention is toward home.
See what I mean?

It’s building a wall around your marriage to protect it from outside forces that will destroy it.
It’s also building a wall around your marriage to provide a safe zone where you can be you, without criticism.
Do you share your husband’s mistakes with friends?
Do you tell what happens in the bedroom with others?
Those are things that your husband and you share ALONE.

Lately as the boys have asked for counsel, we have shared some of those “learning experiences.” Exposing some of those early mistakes, I need to be gentle and selective in what I shared. 

Our strong wall of safety depends on our loyalty to each other.
The world doesn’t need to know what wrong thing my husband did (even if it’s funny). That brings him respect.

Not only loyalty to him with his mistakes or shortcomings, but by staying home you provide a wall of protection.
When you visit others while your husband struggles at home, you give temptation to husband.
He needs you.
You are not there.
Satan distracts him because his anchor (you) is gone.
He works more hours at work. Or works out at the gym more. Or hangs with the guys. After all, what is there to come home to?
Not to mention lack of intimacy.
It becomes a habit, even when you are home. He gets more respect there. He feels his worth.
He loses his focus. He is tempted.
It may not be over one visit to mom’s, but over repetitive trips.

I change when I get with my sisters. I treat my husband differently around my family. I’m tempted to share things that aren’t mine to share. I want my sisters to know how hard it has been for me. And soon I am sharing shortcomings of my husband that I should guard.
See what I mean?

Instead of building a wall, you are tearing it down.
Proverbs speaks of a woman like that.
Proverbs 14:1

Family is important.
But your husband is more important.

Your family crises should not dictate what you do. 
You cannot be his helpmeet when you are not even home.

It's providing the intimacy that your husband needs, when he needs it, not when it is convenient for you.

And when you must be away from home, do you have a list your husband must do before you return?
Who is the helpmeet here?
My husband tells me whenever I am not home (which is rare), he wanders the house aimlessly. He can’t focus. He doesn’t know what to do.
I don’t understand it, but it’s not exclusive with my husband. Other men tell Joey that’s what they do, too.
Wives give their husband direction. Not that we must direct what they do, and boss their list of accomplishments for the day, but we anchor them.
I re-arrange my schedule to be at home when he is. 
I re-arrange when we eat and what we do, by what he is doing. He doesn’t demand it, but I give it out of respect for his time.

If he is working on a sermon, I ask about his next eating break, then allow him to work. If I can’t keep my mouth shut, I leave the room and shut the door. He must work.
Same when he is at work. He is “IN WORK MODE.”

I don’t call him at work, unless under dire emergencies. Why?
Because he is in work mode. 

Remember the differences between men and women? Woman are like spaghetti. Everything is tangled up and interrelated. Everything touches everything else. 
Men are not like that. Men compartmentalize. They have a box for everything. When he is working, HE IS WORKING. He cannot think about Johnny’s problem at school or how to help Susie. Wait for a time when he can sit and listen.

When I learned not to call him, except for emergencies (like does this require stitches NOW), then my feelings weren’t hurt when he “didn’t have time right now.” After all, he is working.

That is more difficult when men work at home. Men are not built for jumping in and out of their boxes. They must stay in their box, complete their task so they can give you their undivided attention later, when their job is finished.

Providing them a room where the door can be shut and you stay out, will help them stay in their box.
When they choose to open the door and return to your world, that is when you may ask your questions.

That respects their time, their work, their choices. 

And when you speak, he can give his undivided attention to your words, because you have respected him.

By us being home, they are anchored. They have purpose. They can go out beyond the wall and stand for what is right, but they must be protected within the wall.

Another area that is more difficult to protect is mutual friends.
Couples should have friends. They help sharpen and support us and hold us accountable. Often the friends have similar interests, hobbies, or children the same age. 

Although a safety wall is built around your relationship, you allow others to enter that safe zone and share intimate experiences. But with that sharing, an intimacy develops that can bring a wedge between you and your husband. You share with your male friend your frustrations with your husband, “because he will understand.” When understanding and compassion is felt, you share more. You find more irritating things your husband does to share with “your mutual friend,” the wedge widens. Soon you cannot stand your husband, but you like the mutual friend a whole lot better.
“Your mutual friend” is a fox who will destroy your vine.

Build a wall. Stop talking to him. Only be with him when your husband is present. Respect your husband.
Appreciate what your husband does for you, not what you hope he should do. 

My husband tells me he must guard himself against patients who are like me. They dress conservatively, have children and happy homes. 
So do I.
At church, I do not shake some men’s hands. I keep a distance. Why? I respect them a lot. I value what they say, how they pray, what they do.
I keep a wall up around my husband and I.

We both must. 
It is for the safety of our relationship.
For some, it may be putting safe guards on what they access on the computer. Some websites will suck a man in and not allow him to exit. These sights destroy relationships.

My husband is my best friend. I confide in him. I share with him.
I don’t keep secrets from him.
I don’t share our secrets with another.
We build a wall of safety.

Protecting our men?
That’s the only way you build strong walls to protect from outside forces and to keep safe what’s treasured within.


How do you protect your relationship?
 

Yes, yes, YES! This is SO important on so many levels. Once something happened between my husband and me that he came to regret and he came to me and asked, assuming that I had, "Did you tell [individuals in the family]?" My response was, "No, of course not!" I could almost tangibly see his trust and confidence in me grow as he realized that at his most vulnerable I will still protect him. That experience had a big impact on me.

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I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
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               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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