Select Page

More Than Sex: How To Love Your Husband

More Than Sex: How To Love Your Husband

By Jill Dillard

I attend a monthly book study with some girlfriends of mine and right now we are reading a book, “His Needs, Her Needs,” by Willard Harley. At a recent meeting, a sweet friend of mine was in town and she shared some good advice with us younger wives. I took notes and thought I’d share some of her advice, combine with some of my own thoughts on marriage. I know I personally love learning more about how to have a healthy marriage and reflecting on advice I’ve been given, so I hope you’ll be encouraged and even check out some of the things I mention toward the end and then comment below! 

Five years ago this month, I married the man of my dreams, Derick Michael Dillard. Some of you may have watched our love story unfold on TV…if you want to read our love story you can click here. Anyways, like most couples when they get married, we were head over heels for each other…and now, nearly five years later, I can happily say that we are still very much in love. 

One thing I got so tired of people saying when we were just getting to know each other, and then as newlyweds too, was stuff like, “Oh you just wait”…or…”You’re just in that newlywed phase.” Although I do realize that sometimes things may change slightly due to life changes (e.g. kids, work schedules, etc.), one thing I think we need to recognize is that the fire in your marriage doesn’t have to die out! But like a fire, sometimes, and more so during some seasons than others, you need to be intentional, proactive and work hard to keep the fire going. I don’t claim to know everything about marriage, or to be presenting some solve-all advice, and I’m only really speaking to wives here, but I hope you find some of these tips to be encouraging!

When my friend’s mom shared her advice with us young wives, she started with a couple Bible verses (Mark 12:30-31 & Luke 10:27), which say essentially the same thing…in Luke, when Jesus was asked how someone could inherit eternal life, he pointed to the religious law of the time which said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus’ advice to the young lawyer who had asked the question was, “do this and you will live.” 

So first, we must recognize that in order to love someone fully, we must understand how much we are loved by God and in turn love him with all that we are by repenting of our sin, turning from it, accepting through prayer his free gift of salvation and asking him to take charge of the rest of our life. (If you want to learn more about what I mean by this, click here.) Secondly, if we truly have made Jesus the “Lord” of our life, then that means there should be some fruit to show for it…like the second part of the verse says, “[love] your neighbor as yourself.” And this includes our husbands! 

Here are some ways we can love our husbands: 

-Have sex often! You both need this time together regularly (3-4 times a week is a good start. lol). And when you may not be able to actually have intercourse for a period of time or for health issues, find other ways to have fun and be intimate. Let your spouse know that you’re aways available. Guard against fulfilling sexual desires alone. Be open with your spouse about your desires and change things up to keep it exciting! (Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Corinthians 7:5) If you’re struggling with sex with your spouse, GET HELP! See a doctor and/or licensed counselor and don’t be afraid to get second opinions!

-Be open about everything: past, present and future! You need to be able to trust each other with the easy and the hard! Secrets are seeds for destruction! (1 Corinthians 10:13) Sometimes there may be seasons of difficulty or you may have to rebuild broken trust. Ask God to help you and get outside help if needed. We aren’t meant to live life in isolation! We need support and community! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Galatians 6:2)

-Tell your spouse when they hurt you or when you have a problem with something and be quick to forgive! Speak up in love or else the problem will just linger and you may suffer unnecessarily and resentment might build up. See a licensed counselor or get help if problems persist! (Eph. 4:25-27; Matthew 18) However, if you are in an abusive relationship, do NOT stay! Report immediately to the authorities, get help and find a safe place to stay and get counseling from a licensed christian counselor!

-Pray and fast for your husband. Ask him how you can pray for him and let him know when you do (e.g. send him text messages &/or write a little note). 

Look for ways to encourage your hubby, serve him and meet his needs. (God creates us all with a desire to be wanted!) Take the 5 Love Languages quiz together to find out the top ways you each receive love, then look for ways to show it! 

-Try to get at least 15-20 min. of uninterrupted time to talk every day! (Time to talk is important!) When he is talking, be quiet and listen, don’t interrupt and draw conclusions or offer advice right away. 

-Look nice for him. It’s easy to get home and throw on the frumpy pjs and wash your makeup off, but make sure that a few times a week you enjoy time together looking like you would hanging out when you were dating! Plus, even if you work from home, just getting fixed up in the morning can give you a boost to your day! 

-Go to bed fresh! It’s easy to just want to shower in the morning to wake ourselves up, but showering in the evening (and sometimes before he gets home if you arrive home before him!), and even putting on fragrant lotion in front of him can be another way to say “I care” and “you’re important to me,” and lets him know you’re up for fun whenever he is.  

-Don’t gossip or name call, even if joking. Be careful not to speak down about one another to each other and/or in the company of others! My parents have been good examples of this to us kids. They would say that “put-downs can plant seeds for divorce in the future”! Beware and ask your spouse to point out to you if you slip up! This can be an easy trap to fall into, especially if you’re hanging out with people and they’re all telling stories or making jokes about their spouses. “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say anything at all!” (Thumper from Bambi)

-Never allow your husband to think you’re his mother! Whether it’s making demands, delegating, or licking your finger and wiping something off his face…if he says “I feel like you’re my mother when you…”, then pay attention to that and ask him what you can to do change/how to handle the situation the next time! 

-Expectations: Be careful not to develop an entitlement mindset, e.g. “I deserve you,” or overlook things he does because, “Well, that’s just something a good husband is supposed to do.” Always be grateful and look for ways to praise him directly and in front of others! 

-Be open about money and spending habits with your husband! It’s vital that you are on the same page about your finances! Consider taking Financial Peace University (FPU) together! There are so many helpful things they discuss in this class, and you’ll learn so much even if you’re not in debt or have financial trouble! We have been through it twice now and enjoyed it both times!

-Be a good listener! Husbands need to know that we value their interests too! Sometimes it can be hard to stay awake at the end of the day when talking in bed, or hard to avoid working on a project while he shares his heart with you or just talks about his day, but if its’ important to him that he has your full attention (ask him!) then do your best to give it to him! I’m working on this too since I know that when I’m distracted while my husband is talking to me it can send the message to him that I’m not super interested in what he has to say. I’ve found for myself that sometimes drinking an afternoon cup of coffee can be helpful so I’ll be more awake in the evening when he wants to talk. And if you really can’t afford the time/energy for the a long conversation in the moment, communicate this to your husband and let him know that you really want to hear what he has to say, but setting a later time to pick up the conversation may make it easier for you to be all in! Just try not to make this a habit! 

-Don’t be disrespectful. While security for wives is usually of utmost importance, respect is probably most important for most husbands! Ask your hubby what you do that makes him feel respected, and ask him in what other ways that he thinks you could show him more respect. 

-Make time with your family a priority. Look for ways to spend time together with your kids and husband. You may have to cut out some activities that are taking away from family time. 

-Wait to talk till you’re not angry. When things heat up, and you want the last word, recognize that you might say things you’ll regret in the moment, so sometimes it might be good to wait till you both cool down to properly work through it. 

-Don’t let the sun go down without making things right! In line with the last point, always try to work through things, or at least start working through them, before bed. You don’t always have to agree, but you don’t want to just “brush things under the rug” either. Problems don’t just disappear and will likely resurface later unless properly dealt with. 

-Call him by a fun or sweet name! Save his name/contact in your phone with a sweet name and don’t forget to use emojis! 😉 

-Remember, your husband is not your dad. You are teammates and he is your God-given protector. Keep this in mind and let it shape the way you relate. 

-Don’t let habits become problems. For example, if you start and then get used to always asking your husband permission to do something (different than getting his take on something or discussing something together)…more like the dad role, then he could start to expect it just because he is used to it. It might be easy to make a habit of this, especially if you don’t want to take responsibility for the possible consequences of a choices you make, and would rather have someone else make them for you so they bear the weight of the decisions if it doesn’t work out, but we are also responsible to God for our lives. It’s good for your husband to know you have a good head and can make your own decisions. (And I do believe you should be open with each other and try to be on the same page with decisions and work together as a team! Our husbands should know us best and their counsel should be valued above everyone else’s, as long as it’s consistent with the Bible!)

-Let him know you miss him and you can’t wait to see him/can’t wait till he gets home! Send texts for him to read when he can, or if you know he has specific times during the day when he can talk, give him a quick call or FaceTime him for a minute to tell him you love and miss him. 

-When he leaves and comes, be the last thing he remembers and the first person he sees when he gets home…run to him (like you may have done when you were first dating). And if the kids are gone, have fun with it! Be crazy with your hubby! If your kids are there, get them excited about daddy coming home and make sure distractions are put away for a bit, so everyone greets him at the door! Stop whatever you’re doing at the time when he arrives!

-Give at least a 6 second kiss when coming and going. 

-Spend the first 15 min. or so together as a couple in the evening without phones or other distractions. After the initial greeting with everyone, if your kids are young, you can turn on a movie or give them something to distract them….or if they’re a little older, send them outside to play so that you and your hubby can have a some quality time to talk.

-Don’t answer the phone during your first little bit together in the evening, and tell people to call you later if your hubby just got there. It’s good for others and your hubby to hear you say something like, “I’m sorry, I’ll have to let you go now, my hubby just got home!” It lets them know your priorities and can be encouraging to others. (The “Find My Friends” app or other tracking apps for phones can be helpful so you can see when he is almost home. You can also ask him to text or call you with an ETA when he is headed home.)

-Be confident about your body. Chances are, he is less concerned about the things you’re worried about him not liking than you are. He will be happier when you are confident about yourself. And if there are things you can change or do to be more confident about yourself, then maybe it’s worth doing, or setting a goal to eventually get there! 

-Don’t let your children control the house. Keep a routine and make them go to bed early so you can have quality time together (especially if you don’t have family or close friends around to babysit regularly!) 

-Figure out what he likes and do it with him! Give him your undivided attention…and if it’s hard, pray for grace to be able to give undivided attention to him. Be open with your hubby if it’s a struggle and keep striving toward your goal till you find out what works…keeping in mind that you want to continue to be the one he enjoys hanging out with and spending his chill time with! (This doesn’t mean y’all can’t ever enjoy time without each other, just that you want to work hard to enjoy some of the same things!)

-Do what you can to make your home a haven or place of rest and relaxation to come home to! Set little goals for yourself with cleaning, e.g. Monday is laundry, Tuesday dishes…tidy up bathrooms while bathing kids, etc. Turn on a cartoon or send the kids out to play for a little while before your husband arrives home/before dinner if things start to get crazy! 

-Make the most of the time you’re both off work and try to keep the calendar free for family time. For example, if he is gone from 6am-6pm, then run your errands during that time &/or hang out with friends, then save most of the time after that for time together (and sometimes that might mean not inviting guests over in the evening!). Talk about it together as a couple and see what you can cut out to allow more family time. 

-Show affection in the home and in public! Your kids need to see you happy and having fun together as a couple! It provides a little extra security for everyone! 

-Get new lingerie (online is an easy way to buy!) as a surprise gift for birthdays, holidays, vacations or whenever! 

-Ask God to give you ideas of how you can surprise your husband or do things that will mean a lot to him. 

-Be intentional!

-Reflect often! (e.g. Think about fun times you’ve had together, your wedding, honeymoon, before marriage/dating season, etc.)

-Take the challenge to spend every night together during your first year of marriage…and be intentional about minimizing the nights you have to spend apart in the future! 

-Make weekly date time a priority! Even if you can’t go out, you can put the kids to bed early, have a candlelit dinner and watch a marriage video on YouTube and then discuss it together or read a marriage book together or take fun personality quizzes online! Anything to learn more about each other and strengthen your marriage! We have enjoyed listening to Ted Cunningham on YouTube. If you don’t have family close by and can’t spend money on a sitter/would rather put the money towards dinner, etc., consider swapping childcare every week with friends or another couple so you both get to have regular date times! 

-Book a kid-free weekend getaway once or twice a year! 

-Invest in counseling sessions a few times a year or as a birthday gift or Christmas present, just to learn helpful tips, keep tabs on your marriage and be constantly striving for better! 

A few helpful books: 

-“The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

-“His Needs, Her Needs” by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

-“Intended for Pleasure” by Ed Wheat, M.D.

-“Letters to My Daughters” by Barbara Rainey

-“Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and John Townsend 

-“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey 

Other great resources:

Family Life Today (podcasts, books, “Weekend To Remember” getaways)

-Ted Cunningham books and fun marriage videos on YouTube

Focus on the Family books and podcasts

-Marriage Retreat at Fort Rock Family Camp

These lists are not all encompassing, but I hope they’ve provided you with some fun ideas! 

What are some of your favorite marriage books or tips you’d like to share? Comment below. 🙂 

Photo by Arthur Brognoli from Pexels

166 Comments

  1. vik

    this is cute and so candid!! have derick do a ways to love your wife version 🙂

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Haha I’ll have to mention it to him!

      Reply
      • catherine

        For Women Only and For Men Only, Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn.

        Reply
        • Kay

          I read this when I was a teenager! They are great! and I still have them to this day! I keep them/it as a good refresher…when I need a reminder etc!

          Reply
        • Samantha

          Lots of great advice here, thanks Jill! I’ve been married for 8 years and needed to hear a lot of this.

          Reply
          • Derick & Jill

            Thanks Samantha. Glad you were encouraged by it. <3

      • Samantha

        I think that is a great idea. Thank you so much for so much insight that definitely reached out to me.

        Reply
        • TDA

          Love it ♥️

          Reply
      • AC

        Such an encouraging and wonderfully inspiring post! Thanks for sharing! Blessings to you and your family!!

        Reply
        • Nicole

          Beautiful and candid! Thank you for sharing!

          Reply
      • Robin

        Great advice even for someone like me who has been married almost 30 years! Thank you Jill!!

        Reply
    • Jodi

      I agree. Have Derrick write the article coming from the husband’s side.

      Reply
      • Amy

        I think these are great tips. I also like how you mention this isn’t a “solve-all” for every situation. Just tips for growing closer. I read “a Mother’s Rule of Life” by Holly Pierot and also “Make My Life Simple” but Rachel Balducci. They helped tremendously even though they are more “mom books” rather than “marriage books.” My home life had gotten out of whack and it was really because a) parenting is hard and b) the order/ structure/ organization had flew out the window so my marriage was always getting the exhausted version of me. Those books helped me plan my days with the kids and order my home so I could do things like you suggested ( greeting hubby happily etc.) Of course we still have bad days, but overall it’s much better. I like to think of it this way “you get out what you put in.” When I find ways to love and honor my husband, he reciprocates that back and then it’s just one big circle of love! (Obv some seasons are different, but having this general mindset is helpful.) Thanks for sharing!

        Reply
        • Kc

          Couldn’t agree more Analia. Couples certainly need to make an effort in their sex life, but no woman or man should be expected to “always be available”. Pretty disheartening to think that some girls will read this and think that this is their almighty calling. Though there are a couple good tips (some not) and there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom/wife (not for everyone of course), with no guidance for ” how to be a good husband” this is nothing but the one-sided. Marriage is a partnership not a service and I didn’t feel that point come across, though I appreciate the effort you put into voicing your opinion.

          Reply
          • Katie branham

            I respectively disagree. Marriage IS a service. It’s an honor to serve my husband. And here’s the thing, I do believe that marriage is a partnership, but the two do not always have to be said in the same breath! The world pushes back so hard against any sort of submission whatsoever and is being consumed by the attitude of “what’s in it for ME?”. I can say everything I get to do for my husband without explaining or even caring what he does for me. It isn’t about me. I strive to serve my husband, to reverence my husband, and to submit to my husband in all things. Period. No need to say anything else. But that’s just the way I personally feel about it. We can agree to disagree. I just want the world to know that I am “old fashioned” and proud of it! I’m technically a millennial but you sure wouldn’t know it. Lol

          • luisa

            Kc, Thank you for being open with worthy thoughts. You did so very respectfully.

      • Courtney

        I would also like to see Derrick’s list, please. These are some good tips for marriage as long as each partner is giving 100% in the relationship. At points the list seems to put a lot of emphasis on the wife to be giving in the relationship.

        Reply
    • Lyndsi mCcurry

      Yes!!! I was thinking the same thing!

      Reply
      • John Clark

        The how to love your wife is simply a change in title. Because it goes without saying, if you whole heartedly love your significant other, are indubitably devoted to and unwavering in your commitment to that person this is automatically a two way street.

        Ive have seen and heard some really negative and ignorant responses to this blog. And to those people i give my pity and loathing. For they are all that is wrong in this world.

        Jill Dillard must be an incredibly intelligent, empathetic, wonderful woman and wife to do these things and share such incredibly valuable insight and wisdom into making love last.

        I appreciate this article beyond measure!

        Thank you Jill Dillard

        John Clark

        Reply
    • Jessie

      I second that!

      Reply
    • Rachel

      I needed to read this. Thank you. Very helpful.

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    We each read “For Women Only” and “For Men Only” while were dating, then we switched and read each other’s book. They were very insightful and in reading the other book we were able to point out to each other the particular parts that were really important to us specifically as a man or woman. It made a lot of the points you did above. I also really liked that they used statistics to explain the information too. So it didn’t just feel like someone giving advice based solely on their own experience or opinions. Which was helpful to my now husband as he’s a very logical scientifically minded person.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Love that idea!!

      Reply
  3. Erin

    I loved this Jill! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. We seek to practice many of these tips but there are some that were new to me that I plan to incorporate. I also love the Scripture references. Thanks for being an example.

    Reply
  4. Emma

    I was wondering if you could get Derek to do a post just like this to see his advice for how to be the best husband. I found this very useful and I think alot of men could benefit from advice from your husband as you guys seem to do a good job with marriage. You guys inspire me greatly! One of the best and most informative posts I have seen 🙂

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      He is the best! I mentioned the idea to him…we’ll see! 😉

      Reply
      • Jen v.

        The biggest thing I struggle with is the “look great for him”. I have a job and own a business, and then have to get kids from school and make sure dinner is ready by 4:30. So there usually isnt alot of “get ready for him” time…suggestions!?

        Reply
        • Kat

          Stay dressed. Run a comb through your hair and apply some lipstick. Pesto! Shouldn’t take more than 60 seconds

          Reply
  5. Misty maheR

    This is such a great post Jill!!!! Well said and very encouraging. I feel like it was just what I needed this morning, even though I didn’t know it! Thank you for sharing this wisdom.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Praise the Lord! 🙂

      Reply
      • Frances

        Enjoyed reading this ! Thanks for sharing , too often in marriage you can get so caught up on the routine you forget to be intentional.

        Reply
      • Mica Dupwe

        I have been married for 10 years now, and these are some wonderful ideas! Thank you for sharing <3

        Reply
    • Lyndsi

      I completely agree with Misty’s comment. I really needed to hear this!!! I think this was such a wonderful post and I am so glad that the Lord laid this on ur heart. I am going to reference some of these books u mentioned and start a bible study with my husband. We have been married almost 14 years and we have 3 boys so life is full of distractions!!! Thank u so much for sharing ur thots!!! This is going to stick with me for a while!!

      Reply
    • Alexandra

      As a young wife myself (25 years old, married at age 18), this was so wonderful to read. I’ve undoubtedly struggled in my faith throughout my life and I’ve recently been putting my trust in Him again, where it belongs. This has helped my marital journey too and I can’t wait to implement some of these tips you gave! Marriage is truly a blessing and we should all cultivate it every day 🙂

      Reply
  6. Nikki

    Great Blog Jill! These tips will come in handy now that my husband and I are navigating through a new season in our marriage. We were married 7 years before we had our daughter Israella so It was easier before to make “us” a first priority but now navigating our marriage with kiddos this list is and was a great reminder of things I can do to make my husband feel extra loved and special! Another great book is “Cherished: a word that changes everything in Marriage” by Gary Thomas! It is fantastic and looks at the needs men versus women!

    Reply
  7. Reba

    No more monthly blog picture/video posts? Haven’t seen one since February…

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      I’m behind with our recent move and all! 🙂 Hoping to catch up!

      Reply
      • Kat

        If we both work outside the home, we both work inside on the home, too.

        Reply
  8. Chrisitine

    Needed This today Jill.
    post pardom issues have taken effect on my marriage and was seeking some simple guidance and direction to secure things up a little. so thank you. I’ll give a lot of these things a go!!
    And I must say it’s always been a practice of ours to no speak down to one another or about one another. When you make this part of your life it just stops popping in your head as something to say, but I sure do notice all the people that do. It’s kind of scary.
    We make it a rule to never say anything about the other that you wouldn’t say if they were there.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Aww. Glad you enjoyed it. I hope you’re able to see a doctor and/or counselor to help with any postpartum struggles! <3 And yes, the negative kinda wipes away the positive, so being careful about our words and actions is very important!

      Reply
      • Christine

        Oh yes no worries. We are managing through the post baby mood changes with a team of professionals and doing better and making steps each day. that why this is helpful. some key things in a positive direction.

        Reply
  9. Janee

    Thank you for this post! Such great advice. My husband and I have been married for 11 years on the 21st of this month which if I remember correctly is your anniversary date too. We loved watching y’all’s shows for years. Anyway, I found this article very encouraging and also very challenging. Too often we let life and busyness get in the way and marriage can become secondary and less exciting than it used to be. So thanks again! I’ll provably read and re-read this. A book I have read and loved is The Power of a Praying Wife. I believe it helped me more than anything.

    Reply
  10. Sydney

    Sheet Music (waited til we were closer to the wedding date ), Love and Respect, and Sacred Marriage were books that we read during our premarital counseling and I refer back to them often! Love this list Jill, thank you!

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Awesome! Thanks for the recommendations! Always love a good book on Marriage!

      Reply
  11. Ellen

    Excellent advice!!!

    Reply
  12. Kelli

    How We Love by Kay & Milen Yerkovich is another excellent book to read together. It helps unravel how our life experiences have shaped our love style. The online quiz is incredibly insightful and spot on.

    Reply
  13. Kayla

    Hi thanks so much for creating this blog. I so enjoyed reading it and it opened my eyes to a few things. I was pleasantly surprised when I was already doing so of things you mentioned. I have only been married seven months so any advice is great appreciated from a biblical view! Would love more to come.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks for these tips! I’ve been married almost 18 years and life does get super busy. Thankful my husband has always made me and our “date nights” a priority too. For our last anniversary, I found a fun and sentimental set of questions on Pinterest to use for reflection and he really loved it. We laughed, reminisced and had a wonderful night

      Reply
      • Derick & Jill

        Aww. Love Pinterest for ideas! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

        Reply
  14. Analia

    This is about marriage and family, why is only the woman who has to be available and able to change everything to satisfy his husband’s needs? I think every relationship is life is both ways, so the husband has to be able to change too, to satisfy the woman! I agree with a los of things this article says, but the point of view is really old-fashioned.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Hey Analia, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As I said in the post, I am writing to wives. Marriage obviously works best when both spouses give and care for each other 110%! 🙂

      Reply
    • Laura

      ^ agree

      Reply
    • Aaron

      You raise a valid point. It’s equally frequent that a husband is the cause of a slump in marital relations by turning away his wife when she desires attention and affection. Men need to be equally attentive to spending time and effort towards their wives.

      Reply
      • Amy2

        That’s true but someone has to start! Ephesians 6, we honor our husbands as a way of honoring God, regardless of whether we think they deserve it. It’s about OUR attitude, and not changing our husband’s although that is one of the results.

        Reply
    • Mike

      It doesnt say “only the women”. If you think that way you may need a beter attitude.

      Reply
    • Charli

      I understand this is meant to go both ways, but the part that bothers me is to always be available for sex. It is, or should be, acceptable to sometimes not feel well or just not be in the mood. For sex to be the union it’s meant to be, both partners should be 100% willing and in the moment, and especially not with one partner only participating out of obligation, pressure, or guilt.

      Reply
  15. Chandra

    This was a great read and loved all your tips and advice!

    Reply
  16. Jen

    Very good! I wish I had known a lot of this stuff earlier in my marriage. But even now after 23 years it’s nice to read reminders.

    Reply
  17. Rebekah

    Hey! Thank you for this post! My husband and I have been married 3 years and I’ve been doing a lot of stuff wrong. I’m going to try and implement this into my life and hopefully I’m a better wife to him!!

    Reply
  18. Wendi Green

    We both enjoyed the book Love Dare by Alex Kendrick. After we completed the challenge, we watched the movie together and discussed it. We have been married 27 years now and I still look for ways to surprise or make things special. In fact, we chose to take on and start the Love Dare on our 25th wedding anniversary. I have found that you are never too old to learn new things or make things right after they have been so wrong. Always pray for your husband and family – especially when you ae upset.

    Reply
  19. Anjee

    Marriage is not easy! Thanks for the reminders 🙂

    Reply
  20. Liana

    Love this! I recently read A Love Letter Life by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. It was great and so encouraging to be intentional and creative about your marriage. I’ve read half of His Needs Her Needs and am looking forward to finishing it.

    Reply
  21. Denise Johnson

    I like some of these ideas, but don’t you think that being open to sex and respect as well as other things should also be given to the husband as advce too? I am curious to what advice Derick would give.

    Reply
  22. Kristen

    Great post! Us Christian wives always need this kind of encouragement from other Christian wives.

    Reply
  23. Cindy

    I have been married 43 years and every single one of these are spot on..now i mess up but I still try..one of the things I learned early on that respecting my husband was very important to him..I had made an off the cuff remark and later on that evening he told me that what I had said was hurtful to him..the thought that “I” had hurt him reduced me into a puddle of tears..it has never happened again..blessings to all

    Reply
  24. Leala

    I think that if people looked at them selves and looked deep down they would see what God had intended for them we have been together for 10 years and still learning about each other like mom always if you can’t say something nice to there face then it shouldn’t be said at all thanks Jill all of us need that reminder sometimes and I would like to hear Derreks side that would be great thanks Jill

    Reply
  25. jill

    this is a little bit bonkers.. i’m sorry but i’ve been married for 5 years and this list is like crazy unrealistic and may make some women feel like they’re not good enough. society’s expectations are already so high for the way wives need to show up for their husbands and i just don’t feel like this helps with that.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      This is just a list of helpful ideas. Not a solve all/to-do list for every marriage. Hopefully, we will always be striving to make our marriage better, but also realize what works for one person may not work for us. I’m encouraging women to communicate with their husbands and see what works for them. Marriage can have tough seasons and times where we have to put in more effort into maintaining the relationship. Setting small, attainable goals versus unrealistic expectations can help us not get overwhelmed as easily.

      Reply
    • Momof4bOyz

      Agree!! Some men work second and third shift.. My husband worked nights for a couple of years. I follow the principles in the Bible NOT a list of good ideas written by a man/woman. Too many people trying to follow a man’s idea/teachings instead of God’s Word. God is so much easier to please then a man or woman.

      Reply
  26. Mollie

    Thanks for sharing, Jill! My hubby and I just celebrated our two year anniversary, and are consistently looking for ways to grow our marriage in the Lord. We appreciate the example your family sets! May God continue to bless your ministry!

    Reply
  27. Tia

    This is everything! My husband and I have been married for 5 years. We had a rocky start because we lacked communication. Now we talk every night before bed, we never correct each other in front of our kids. We always want to be around each other, even if we know we only have 10 minutes to see each other. It’s so incredibly important to be so open with your spouse to make the relationship work.. This was a great post to read, I enjoy your stories

    Reply
  28. Stefanie

    Great advice. Although, I would add, that in terms of sex, how often really depends on the couple. I know a couple who have sex once a day and another twice a month, and it works for them. Having too much bad sex is bad for a marriage as well. Quality over quantity:)

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      I agree! It depends on the couple. The main thing is that they are communicating about it/on the same page and always trying to be intentional about their relationship!

      Reply
  29. Regina Shea

    Thank you Jill for you wonderful post on marriage. I really appreciate your Biblical advice. Though I never read it I heard Love and Respect is a really good book. My husband and I just finished Vertical Marriage by Dave and An Wilson. We both really liked and there are even discussion questions.

    I agree it would be great for Derick to write post for the husbands since from what I’ve seen from him, he is a great example of what a godly husband should be. For that matter Jill, you are great example of a godly wife.

    One thing that’s very important for Christian couples is to pray together each day. Ask each other what their prayer needs are.

    Reply
    • Elise

      Our views may differ on a lot of subjects, but I really enjoyed this post! I agree with almost everything that you wrote.

      A book that has really guided me in marriage is
      The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. It is not a religious book, but he is very respectful to religious views and does talk about it.
      The book includes little exercises and games that spouses can play with each other that are very helpful.
      I think every married couple can benefit from reading this book.

      Reply
  30. Kristie Brittman

    So true!! God has a plan for us and our job is to be ever present and ready for His divine guidance. Marriage is a strong bond we should work to respect and honor God in our relationship of marriage. I’m an “older” mom, but everything you’ve said rings so true, despite one’s age. 🙂 May God keep and bless you and yours.

    Reply
  31. jo

    This was super insightful and reminded me what I can do in my marriage! There’s a new book coming out that I’ve recently received to review called “the intimacy you crave: straight talk about sex and pancakes” by Lucille Williams, I think it’s out in July and it’s incredible! She covers a lot of ground, using stories and examples to improve your marriage.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Nice. Thanks for the book suggestion!

      Reply
  32. M.L

    If Derick writes his own version, it better be just as long, if not longer than Jill’s article. Although there are some good pieces of advice here and there, a few parts definitely made me cringe.
    Do what makes you happy, and your husband will be happy.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      haha we’ll see…he might write one. Thanks for your thoughts. I didn’t expect this list to be a cookie cutter mold…each marriage should be tapered to what works for them as a couple. Being confident can be a good thing…and taking time for yourself is necessary. Treating each other better than you want to be treated is also a good rule of thumb. Again, these aren’t guarantees, just ideas. 🙂

      Reply
  33. Bec

    This was such a great post, and incredibly well timed. My marriage has been on my heart quite a bit lately. We’ve been together for 17 years (EEK HALF MY LIFE) and married for 15, we are happy but I feel Christ is calling me to deepen it. But I just didn’t know where to start.

    Reply
  34. Jordan Grace

    I’m getting married in November and we are about to start pre-martial counseling with our pastors (an awesome God fearing husband & wife duo!!) and our book covers a good amount of these things (Called Together by Steve & Mary Prokopchak). I’m going to send this blog post to my fiancé, it’s a good read for anyone about to step into the world of newlywed life and marriage!!

    Reply
  35. Stacey

    This is a really good write-up, Jill. I have been married for 20 years and have 5 kids. There are things listed in this article that even I can learn from and practice. It’s never to late to start making your marriage a priority. I look forward to your future articles as well.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Aww. Thanks Stacey.

      Reply
  36. PINKCHERRYBLOSSOMS

    I think a lot of women readers will want to try these things because women tend to be the ones who seek this stuff out more than men. Which is great, but it is a big “to do” list.

    I have seen time and time again where the woman will do all of these things and yet the husband does not participate in the capacity that he should or he thinks he is being the biblical husband when in short he is not.

    The woman tries and tries to no avail and not much changes. She goes to her pastor and is bombarded with more to do’s. Or blamed. OR feels blame even though she has tried her best. A lot of Biblical counselling says a lot of this stuff but I find that it misses the mark.

    She then feels so condemned for not meeting all of these things on your list or her own list. Especially when her husband still treats her badly despite the effort.

    I would suggest asking the Lord to transform our general thinking about love and “the list” . He needs to transform the understanding of love in Corinthians to such a deep level it is felt in out body, soul, and spirit. Out of that flows what is necessary to have a good marriage. And the “list” is no longer needed.

    And then if the husband does the same, self control, patience, kindness, doesn’t count wrongs,etc just flows into a naturally. We actually need to become like Christ which is key and ongoing every single day. You don’t need hints or lists.

    The new testament does not give a to do list on how to love your husband in this fashion. It should flow from the transformation of the heart by way of regeneration of the heart by the Holy Spirit.

    All this does in the end run is heap guilt, shame and is totally works based theology. If you and your hubby have the true love of Christ for each other, dressing up when he comes home, putting on makeup or being Fresh for sex is only surface, it’s nice but surface.

    And having sex 3-4 times a week is surface it actually proves nothing. Men can get it all the time everyday and still stray, even in christian marriage because their hearts have not been transformed.

    I think the list is great in theory, and has some valid points, but it is kind of only surface. I have seen too many women try, try, and try, to be everything on that list and the husband still is not engaged in the marriage enough.

    Not to mention baggage brought into marriage by our own upbringings. LIfe does not fit neatly in a “to do list of suggestions”

    Why is Christian marriage stats for divorce so high? Why the domestic abuse in the church? Because we actually have not met Christ. We have been too busy reading the latest book ABOUT marriage. Going to the latest marriage retreat. Trying every to do list out there to no avail.

    Sorry Jill, I know this has been what has been presented to you and for all those well intended folks out there who actually have been transformed it actually might work, I have been married 33 years and marriage is a complex issue.

    I do really appreciate your directing people to therapists and outside sources of counselling.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      I agree with you that we should not just have a “check the box” kind of relationship. Who wants that with anyone? Like I mentioned in the post, having a real relationship with Christ gives us the love and joy that can help us love more. We must be genuine and of course not try to be someone else. This list isn’t all encompassing or a solve all. Each person must follow God’s leading in their own life as it aligns with the Bible and know that they will be accountable to Him some day!
      Also, I recommend listening to this podcast that talks about actual divorce statistics…I found it very intriguing and encouraging, since there are so many common false claims about divorce rates. I hope you’ll take min. to listen! Millennials are bringing the rate down!

      https://www.familylife.com/podcast/familylife-blended-podcast/the-good-news-about-marriage/

      Reply
    • Juneroses

      I have been through this storm. Everything you’ve outlined is what I’ve lived. I considered myself a strong believer and a submissive wife. I tried so hard to follow these lists, to treat him better than I would expect to be treated. He was a believer but not as strong. He encouraged me to meet the demands of these lists and argued that because I failed to live up to these that it was my fault he wasnt more loving towards me. He also argued that only because I stayed at home did I have the time to do these things, i should not expect anything like this from him. It was enough to put food on the table for our five homeschooled children. I was heartbroken for years. I put forth so much effort and my needs were overlooked or dismissed. It was hard. I cried out to God for help. I learned that I needed a ton of patience and a transformation incident only the Lord could have arranged. His faith became incredibly strong and the outflow of his heart dramatically changed. I cannot believe how much he shows his love for me now. Night and day difference. I would encourage any Christian women that are struggling with their husband to pray, be patient, continue to love and respect your husband, and look to God for comfort. He redeems!

      Reply
      • Derick & Jill

        Thank you for sharing your story. We certainly aren’t supposed to make demands of each other like that! I’m happy it sounds like y’all were able to get help and God worked in your husband’s heart to change him into the husband he should be! It’s much easier to make marriage work when both people are working together/all in to make it a success!

        Prayers for continued for a great marriage! Life isn’t easy and prayer is essential! God can change even the hardest people! <3

        And again, the list isn't a magic formula to get a result you're hoping for...just some ideas for ways to show love to your hubby.

        Reply
  37. Tabatha

    Very insightful. Thank you! ❤ I can’t wait to read How to Love your Wife!

    Reply
  38. Allie

    Celebrating ten precious years of marriage this month. We’ve been through some incredibly hard times but God has been faithful to pull us out of all of them and allow us to begin to love each other the way He calls us to. This is such great advice!
    The book “Love and Respect” is also a wonderful study for couples. We did the video series with our small group and learned so much from it.
    Right Now Media is a wonderful app that not only has several video series on marriage but lots for women, moms, husbands, kids, and just to grow your walk with the Lord more.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Thanks for the recommendations! Yes, everyone will have their own journey and marriage takes work, but can be so rewarding! <3 Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  39. Kayleigh

    Marriage really is a blessing but isn’t easy! I’m so thankful for him and I tell him this constantly so he knows! We have that app on our phones so I know when he’s left work and is on his way home! It takes close to an hour for him to come home sometimes. I hate waiting for my hubby to come home lol. As soon as he leaves work I stand and wait at the door, and it helps a lot! The 15 minute chat when he comes home is brilliant!!! We have locks on our kids bedroom doors so I’ll have to try out the 15 minute chat soon! Although typically he will come home and have me wash his feet and then be available () so hopefully I can convince him to chit chat!! I love listening to him talk, I make sure to be very quiet and stare him in the eyes so he knows I’m listening!

    Reply
    • Gina

      Locks on your kids doors? Why? I hope this is a comment left in jest. It is one thing to honor and respect your husband, but to lock your children in their rooms to spend time together, even for 15 minutes is crazy. I love my husband but the Lord has entrusted my children to be to be loved and to know that they are loved, not to be locked away.

      Reply
  40. Kelsey

    Love that you mentioned talking to a doctor or counselor. Please know that sometimes women have pain with sex or leak. Often doctors don’t know how to help or will tell women to deal with it. A pelvic floor occupational therapist or physical therapist can be a great resource for sexual dysfunction!

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Great advice! <3

      Reply
  41. PAyton roswald

    Thank you so much for sharing your most recent post. I appreciate your vulnerability in covering this topic. Sex and intimacy within marriage are topics that are so often not talked about. It can be difficult to navigate and figure it out on your own as a couple. Coming from a 24 year old woman, I believe your point of view is very relevant and often forgotten about by our generation. I shared this with my husband and we are excited to try some of these tips!

    I highly recommend reading this book duo if you have not. The books go into depth discussing many of the topics you touched on.

    https://www.christianbook.com/excellent-wife-exemplary-husband/pd/4373

    Thank you again and may God bless you and your family!

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Yay! Thanks for sharing the book recommendation!

      Reply
  42. SaNdy

    Great ideas !

    Reply
  43. Charity

    One thing I feel makes me a better wife and mother is time alone to do a hobby or reflect and connect with myself. What makes me happy, what’s making me sad etc? I feel it’s just as important to check in with yourself. Once you can figure out what makes you happy, sad etc, you can take control of finding or doing these things what make you happy, and then it becomes easier to give love.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Amen! Time for yourself and self reflection is important! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  44. Kryssi

    The Dating Divas website has amazing inexpensive and fun date ideas. Also if you follow them on Instagram they will have cute little text message template you can send to your spouse. Their date ideas range from when you have to stay home to when you can go out. I highly recommend following them on. Social media and checking out their website. Definitely some of the funnest and unique dates!

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Thanks for the suggestion!

      Reply
  45. LAUREN

    I love this. I’ve found that since putting my husband’s needs first in our marriage, our marriage has gone from strength to strength and I’ve honestly never been happier. It’s so important to make our partners feel appreciated and respected and I’ve found that by following biblical examples we really can’t go wrong!

    Reply
  46. Annie

    To be honest, I don’t agree with every point you make. I feel that there should have been more mention of self-care. In being ‘selfish’ and taking care of yourself… you become a better person because you are more able to care for others. I also strongly believe that women should not answer to men, or be at their beck and call – unfortunately when I was reading you post, that’s the vibe I was getting.

    Reply
  47. Lauren

    I firmly believe that sex should not be scheduled or an x amount of times per week should not be aimed for. Sex is INDIVIDUAL, everyone has their own unique sex drive and this needs to be understood and respected in the context of a relationship. Which is why I think certain topics you discussed, were done so in distaste. Both a man and a woman are equal – although you mentioned teamwork, you simply failed to mention this point. I pray that one day you understand that a woman can be godly and a feminist at the same time.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Lauren,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that weekly scheduled sex doesn’t really work that well and wouldn’t be the most romantic way to make love. I do however think it is important for couples to discuss their desires and sex drives so they’ll be on the same page. Of course the amount of sex each couple has per week will vary. But like I said in the post, even if you can’t have sex for awhile, it’s important for your marriage to be intentional in finding ways to connect emotionally. It can be hard to have a good relationship with anyone when you aren’t connecting, and how much more important is it to work at having a great relationship and continuing to connect in marriage!
      Although we may differ a little in our thoughts on what equality looks like in general, I do believe women should have rights and should not be treated differently based strictly on their gender. I think everyone should have a voice and be treated respectfully. And I believe husbands and wives should treat each other equally better than they themselves want to be treated.

      Reply
      • CatiE

        I completely agree with everything in your post! Most of the points you made I strive for daily in my marriage. But I will say that my husband and I do have set, scheduled sex dates every week. It’s actually VERY romantic. All day long we text and talk and the excitement of Knowing with certainty that we will make love that night is pretty awesome. I 100% know that this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly works for us. This is not to say we don’t still have spontaneous sex, but the scheduled days are awesome.

        Reply
        • Derick & Jill

          Awesome! That sounds like a fun way to do it though…giving yourself something to look forward to, but not seeing it as a chore…e.g. thinking “I gotta have sex X amount M,W,F this week”…and it turns into a chore, vs. something you both look forward to and enjoy. A little planning can be helpful/fun sometimes. 😉

          Reply
  48. KATE W.

    Thank you for the post! My husband and I read through the list together yesterday to see which of these things would be welcome or feasible. While some of them don’t seem possible unless you’re a stay at home mom, we have talked about how we can incorporate more family time and some of these healthy changes into our marriage.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Aww. That’s awesome! Yeah, I realize everyone’s goals in marriage will look different. I’m glad y’all enjoyed the post! I know I was encouraged by my friend’s advice to us and love listening to lots of marriage and family podcasts and all as I’m organizing and doing things during the day! 🙂

      Reply
  49. Marie H.

    Some sound, common sense advice that unfortunately is not common enough. One caveat, sometimes as women we tend to “knee-jerk-ly” blame ourselves first when there’s trouble. If a man strays, even if the wife has not followed these tips or been an ideal wife, it is still ultimately his fault. He is responsible for his own sin, plain and simple. You have some really great Proverbs 31-type tips that we all need to be reminded of.

    Reply
  50. Lisa

    These are such good ideas. I especially like the advice about not being your husband’s mother. So many women that I know tend to do this; they pick out their husband’s clothes, decide what and how much he should eat, tell him where to go and when to go etc…it is not our job as wives to ‘mommy’ our husbands. They are grown men and we need to let them be the God-ordained leaders, providers and protectors they are.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      It’s so easy to slip into this trap! Of course it depends on the couple as to how much it will annoy the husband, but I think for the most part it’s something we have to be careful of.
      Also, if we continually step in and try to control decisions or nag our husband (maybe out of fear?), then we may end up getting in the way of lessons/consequences he is needing to learn on his own, or for bigger things, we may take a weight of responsibility on ourselves that wasn’t intended by God for us to bear. Each person is responsible to God for their own decisions. 🙂 This doesn’t mean we can’t give advice or speak up for ourselves, obviously…but we do need to be careful to not treat them like a child. And I’m speaking to myself here too. lol

      Reply
  51. Trish

    I love this article! I am a single woman, but I will keep this article and remember these aspects when I begin a to grown into a relationship again!

    Thanks, Jill!

    Reply
  52. Jair

    I absolutely agree that it would be extremely beneficial for there to be a post from Derick on a husbands side of this. Sometimes it seems a lot of the efforts are placed on the wives shoulders, and the reminders of what to do, how to be, and what to improve on is pointed at us. While that’s good, and we need some of that!! Our husbands get busy and forgetful of the proper priorities as well. They have to add logs to the fire too. Wives can’t pour from empty cups. With most men it seems they take it from other men. Also blog post reminders seem to be more effective then long books with lots of wasted pre-points and unnecessary fillers. There is NOT enough good, strong, wise, Christ-like men that speak out. Please encourage your husband to do so! Not to bash or scold, but to encourage and build-up. It is needed to battle against the self-focused culture in which we live! Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      I’ve mentioned it to him! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’ll see…I think he would like to do a post. 😉

      Reply
    • Jeff Lucia

      Finding great men to speak on big christian issues is difficult because the stress of being in leadership and getting people to agree along with critics, wears on a mans self esteem.

      Reply
  53. Steph

    You absolutely do NOT need to “always be available“ for sex. What utter nonsense. Sex with someone who isn’t 100% into it is not remotely sexy and what you are advocating is marital rape.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      By letting your husband know that you’re “always available,” I mean we need let our husbands know that we are always there for them emotionally and want to be there physically too, but even if we can’t/aren’t in the mood to have sex when they are, we should try to help them out in other ways and communicate about how we feel.
      And obviously I’m not advocating for marital rape or abuse. I’m just saying, go the extra mile to meet each others needs and communicate about your desires. Hopefully both the husband and wife are willing to be considerate of each other, even if that means not having sex sometimes, or finding other ways to help each other out.

      Reply
      • ChelseA

        Amazing response Jill!! I see where you’re coming from and I’m sure everyone else does too. Some people just want to argue.

        Reply
  54. Stephanie

    Thanks for encouraging, practical advise 🙂

    Reply
  55. Josh

    This is wonderful. God bless you guys.

    Reply
  56. JS

    Smart lady at such a young age. You must have had a marvelous mother and father. Sorry for the naysayers that have bought into a more modern philosophy. They’re the ones that need your advice the most and are the least likely to listen…only to wonder later why they’re a single parent.

    Nice job!!!

    Reply
  57. Regina Shea

    I’m loving all the great book suggestions that the ladies have been recommending. We’ve been married 26 years and we’ve had our share of troubles but God is faithful. I want to recommend the Weekend to Remember marriage conferences which are put on by Family Life. I believe the website is FamilyLife.com

    Reply
    • Jeff Lucia

      After 34 years of marriage I still see many problems in my own marriage. The other day we had a small church function where I spoke with a husband and wife with whom we attended a love and respect class about 8 years ago. I mentioned that I got nothing out of the class. both his wife and mine were both critical of my opinion. The reason for this is because most women do not see the part where they play a mom to their husband and see nothing wrong with it. The men in the class however get a constant beating over the love part. Both come away with different results, where the wife has no expected homework on her constant disrespect but the husband seems to be a perpetual target of the non-loving type and ends up being emasculated-so to speak, in order to keep the peace. Meanwhile any suggestions or desires the husband may make, are looked at as silly and well, “men don’t know how to raise a loving family like a woman does.” To keep peace, he lets her run things in his silence.

      Reply
      • Derick & Jill

        Hey Jeff,
        I’m sorry to hear this. I hope y’all are able to get some professional counseling. Have you shared your concerns with your wife in private? Be careful about talking negatively about her to others too. Also, passivity on your part isn’t always a good way to deal with things either as it may only cause you to become more angry on the inside. Be open with each other, pray for her and get help!

        Reply
  58. Momo Rojo

    I love this!! You are 100% correct, this is how you make a happy marriage!!

    Reply
  59. JeAnnie

    I love all these tips! And yes, never be afraid to ask for a second opinion! God gave us doctors and counselors for a reason! I’m going to work on these for sure! Newlywed over here, been married for almost ten months!!

    Reply
  60. Falcon

    I enjoyed this read. Much of this is also great advice for men to follow. So many of these points hit home for me because of what I’ve learned in my marriage. My husband and I are celebrating 24 years of marriage this month and it hasn’t been a cakewalk. Thankfully, we’ve had more ups than downs.
    I have a wonderful husband, but we were very young when we married and crazy in love. Unfortunately, that’s not always a recipe for success. We had to grow together. After several years of miscommunications, hurt feelings, PRIDE, etc I finally began to really grow in our marriage and realized that I wanted my marriage to be strong and I wanted to feel the best when we were together. So, I started to change how I viewed my husband’s feelings. I started to consider my husband’s feelings to be more important that my own. I know that statement alone sounds completely wrong in today’s society. However, it had such a positive effect on our relationship. By considering his feelings before my own, I was able to get to know him on a much deeper level. I figured out what kinds of things hurt his feelings and what makes him happy. That understanding helped me open up to him in ways I’d never been able to before. Then he really got to know me and he reciprocated by showing more love for me than ever before and more consideration not just for my feelings, but for my thoughts and opinions on important issues. Now we consult each other about everything. We’re so in tune now that most of the time we know what the other is thinking without words. I realize this might not work in every relationship, but for me simply setting aside my pride, compromising and putting his feelings first opened the door to a happiness we might never have achieved otherwise.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Yes! So good!

      Reply
  61. Julia

    Sheet Music by Kevin Lehman

    Reply
  62. Pepper Meulendyk

    Sweet Jill,
    First of all, miss seeing you on Counting On, but I wholeheartedly agree with Derrick’s statement that TLC argued with.
    I am a professional counselor who has been married to my precious husband for over 47 years, and I cannot argue with anything you wrote.

    Reply
  63. JEss

    Hi Jill! Sweet post on marriage and putting the time and effort into your marriage!!! I want to address one thing and you may not have meant this but just wanted to offer some sisterly thoughts for clarity! My husband and I have been together ten years (always leaving children up to the Lord)and our “married life” is hot and steamy without ever changing things up or doing anything outside the ordinary. We are both incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about each other and do delight in intimacy and knowing each other in that special way. The world tells you “to change things up to keep it exciting,” but the attitude that something other than your spouse makes sex exciting is an effect of the pornography epidemic today. We are not prudes, but we also don’t want to pervert or pollute our marriage by engaging in an act that God did not intend for intimacy. I’d encourage couples not to “spill the seed” and for your encounters to always be open to life! Contracepting in any form (other than abstaining) distorts the act of sex and pollutes your relationship. My husband’s prowess and masculinity and passion for ME (and my passion for him of course) completely kill the idea that things have to change or get “more wild” to stay satisfied and happy. If a woman does have a husband that is struggling with ungodly desires due to pornography or a distorted view of intimacy, I can promise that his wife playing into these desires will not help the situation in any way. Thankful for your sweet words and family’s example and I pray God blesses you guys with 70 more happy years of marriage!!!

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Thanks Jess.
      I agree with you on the view the Bible talks about…to keep the marriage bed “holy” and “undefiled”. We should not commit adultery in our minds (or with our bodies!) by allowing images of other people into our minds. Pornography should have no place in or outside of marriage. And this goes for single people too because as Christians, we are to keep our minds pure and treat our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.

      As far as not “spilling the seed,” I think we might hold different interpretations of what the Bible says about this. I do appreciate you sharing your views on this though. However, I don’t think it’s a sin to prevent pregnancy. I am pro-life though and I do believe there are lots of misconceptions about “contraceptives” (methods to prevent pregnancy). They don’t ALL prevent pregnancy…sometimes you may actually be able to get pregnant, but then the contraceptive ends the life of the baby (after conception!). I do believe children are a gift from God, but I also believe God made sex for us to enjoy within the bounds of marriage.

      Reply
      • Nicole

        Jill, could you please expand on your beliefs about contraception? Are you commenting that the birth control pill can end a pregnancy after conception but other forms of contraception (condoms, shots, etc) are okay to prevent pregnancy?

        Reply
        • Derick & Jill

          Hey Nicole,

          About contraception as it relates to miscarriages vs. preventing conception altogether, some forms of birth control may generally be effective in preventing pregnancy, yet others may occasionally abort the pregnancy (in various ways) after conception if the sperm happen to find the egg. Generally the only way to guarantee you won’t get pregnant is total abstinence. Anything hormonal or chemical (pills, shots, spermicides) have greater lasting effects and there is a chance you could get pregnant and then miscarry. Barrier methods alone (e.g. condoms, caps, etc.) do not have long lasting effects like the others. And of course the natural family planning (NFP) method can also prevent pregnancy without lasting effects on the body or potential babies if you know how to time everything.
          Each form of birth control has it’s own stats on effectiveness, but it’s important to know the benefits and risks of each type.

          Reply
  64. Julie walker

    Another point that is very important to remember, is to do for yourself once in a while. As moms and wives we always put ourselves on the back burner and then get burnt out! Make sure that you are taking care of yourself just as much as you care for your children and husband.
    Often, we put ourselves last and then no one gets the best version of you! Take the necessary steps to rejuvenate yourself. ❤️

    Great article Jill!

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Yes!!

      Reply
  65. Sonya

    This is cute and encouraging.

    Reply
  66. Kate

    I really enjoyed this. Im a mom of 8. Started young. My first marriage failed, but my second is strong and it is because I stuck to principles such as these. The amazing thing, is that these words of wisdom work in any marriage. Religious or not.

    Im an atheist, but each and everything you said is true and its amazing to learn it young so that you can enjoy a marriage until the end of your time here on earth.

    Thanks for spreading some good ideas for moms
    Of all ages and ideals!

    Reply
  67. Charli

    Thank you so much for sharing this Mrs. Jill! I’m not married yet this was a joy for me to read. I will definitely be sharing this with young wives that I know. God bless you!

    Reply
  68. Cindy

    Interesting take on marriage and I wholeheartedly agree with putting the work into a marriage and keeping it interesting. I am the main breadwinner in this family, not my husband, and your writing perspective seems like it’s intended for a housewife, not a woman with a full-time job outside the home. My spouse and I benefit greatly from my income. I think it would be nice for him to shower before I get home, to trim his beard, put on nice clothes and make me feel cherished. Feeling appreciated, loved along with good two-way communication is what makes has the greatest impact on our sex life, quality & quantity. It’s takes two in a marriage though, and just addressing the wife’s side doesn’t seem a complete list of suggestions.

    Reply
  69. Surak

    I very much appreciate your interesting column. I am an Orthodox Jewish man. Years ago, I heard a rabbi teach about the most important components of a marriage: attention; affection; appreciation; respect. I try to live these values. These make such a great improvement in our lives.

    I was disappointed to see the negativity in a few of the comments. I suspect these readers are very unhappy – and they can’t figure out why they are unhappy. They are projecting their own negativity onto others. This is a vicious cycle until you decide to take yourself out of it.

    I wish you well with your project!

    Reply
  70. Mindy Doyle

    I have no doubt you meant well with your advice, but you have used Philippians 2: 3-4 and 1 Corinthians 7:5 to back up your opinion that a wife should always be available for sex and that having sex 3-4 times a week is a good start. While you may have been taught that those verses support such ideas, you are putting pressure on wives (your readers) which the Bible doesn’t.

    If Philippians 2: 3-4 is applied equally to husbands, it could include that they too should not seek their own selfish desires (including their sexual desires) but look to the interests of their wives.

    From what I’ve read, the context of 1 Corinthians 7:5 is the practice of celibacy within the marriages of some Christians in Corinth and the sexual needs of most people. According to John MacArthur, “there was a prevailing view, in the Corinthian church, that celibacy was the highest form of Christian life…it got so bad that …people who were married were leaving their partners in order to be celibate so they could be more spiritual.” In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul seems to be responding to their questions about celibacy and depriving one’s spouse of sex (“the matters about which [they] wrote”, verse 1).

    Taken in their context, those verses don’t seem to be general teaching that wives should have sex according to their husband’s desire. And what constitutes despriving your spouse of sex? Not having sex every day? Not having sex every other day? The Bible doesn’t say. It’s a very personal thing in each marriage. I believe that when God wants us to do something in a very specific way, he makes that clear in Scripture. The Old Testament was full of specific numbers, everything from fasting days to sacrifices to priestly garments. The New Testament has fewer specifics. We are commanded to observe the Lord’s Supper, but not told how often. Some churches do this weekly and others do it monthly. Similarly, we are not instructed on how often married couples should have sex.

    John Piper writes: “If her body is his and his body is hers and each has authority over the other’s body, then he has the authority to ask her to do something he would find pleasurable, and she has the authority over his body to ask that he increase her pleasure by not asking that she do that.”

    and

    “The leadership of the husband is defined by Paul not mainly as demanding his rights but as laying down his life for the good of his wife (Ephesians 5:25). Therefore, the predominant resolution of the sexual paradox is that the husband gently and tenderly takes the lead in seeking to maximize his wife’s pleasure, taking her longings deeply into account, rather than pressuring her to adapt to his.”

    Frequency of sex in a marriage is a very personal issue to be worked out between a husband and a wife, according to their needs and stage of marriage. If a wife doesn’t want to have sex 4 times a week, she shouldn’t be made to feel that she *should* do so, and she shouldn’t be led to believe that doing so is a biblically-supported expectation.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Thanks for sharing. I agree, the Bible doesn’t give a number. The frequency depends on the couple and I think if you read my entire post you’ll see that. We each need to treat each other better than ourselves and not constantly make selfish demands, but this doesn’t mean to let someone run all over you either. We love listening to John Piper’s YouTube marriage videos too! He has great Biblical answers to questions people throw at him!

      Reply
    • Emily wedderburn

      Hi Jill!
      I am the same age as you and have been married 6 years next month, and have 2 kids and one on the way. Your blog is a good reminder of some of the relationship tips that we followed when first together and may have forgotten about as time has gone on!
      From your writing and replies it’s obvious that you are intelligent, caring and thoughtful and also respect other people’s opinions. It’s awesome to get an insight into your mind and heart after watching you on tv.

      One part I have trouble with is what you said to make sure you’re always available for your husband. I know this is something your parents taught also and may work for your family, but as a sexual abuse victim I don’t think it’s wise to encourage people to always be available for sex even if they don’t want to do it. This is bordering on sexual servitude and marital rape. If your sex drive is super high and you are ready and willing 24/7 that’s another thing but I don’t think this is the reality for most people. Some days we’re just not in the mood, or tired or sick, and also as people with history of sexual trauma navigating sex is hard. There should never be pressure or expectation to have sex whenever your partner wants it

      Overall it was a helpful and interesting read and I hope you and your family are doing well! I’m also sorry about the recent loss of your grandma

      Reply
  71. Kate

    Thank you for this wonderful advice. I will be putting this into my marriage.

    Reply
  72. Victoria a.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective. I wish we lived near one another and could be friends! You and your family seem like great people.

    Reply
  73. Jessie

    irst of all, I am so saddened to hear about the loss of your amazing grandmother. From what I saw on TV, your grandmother was such a kind, loving person… she simply glowed! It was so painful yet inspiring to watch her lose her husband, but she did so with such grace. It truly gave me pause. It’s good to know she returned home, to be with God and your grandfather.
    Also, if Lauren stumbles upon this page, I’m deeply sorry for their loss, and I’m so happy God blessed her with another little one! My husband and I underwent IVF, and we lost one of our two embryos… it was only a few days old, but I feel the loss every single day, nearly a year later, and I cannot imagine the insurmountable pain she and Josiah must be experiencing.
    Your family is in my prayers.
    Now I’ve got to do a bit of gushing, I check in on your blog about twice a week, and have never commented, so please bear with me! I can be long-winded…
    I’ve watched your family since 14 kids and pregnant! You were all so little and lined up in birth order, introducing yourselves to the world (and you little girls were ADORABLE in your little dresses)! There was so much smut on TV and your family was a breath of fresh air. I think I’ve seen every episode since! I truly miss watching you and the other members of your family that are no longer filming. But I love your blog- it’s given you a platform to present the real, unedited version of you and Derick!
    Anyway…Wow Jill! I have to say I’m pretty amazed at this beautifully written piece! Although the path I chose as an adult is very different than yours (I retired from the US Air Force, and yes, I’m female LOL), and I’m a bit older (40), what you wrote really made me realize we have alot more in common than I ever thought! I LOVE sending little texts to my husband throughout the day, tucking a note in his lunch, and greeting him with a big hug and kiss when he gets home.
    And I will take some of your advice! Because I was pretty badly injured while serving, and I found out I cannot conceive the traditional way, I have frequent surgeries. I just realized that for the past year or so, I’m guilty of wearing PJs all day some days, even when I’m healed up and feeling fairly healthy. I am very blessed to have a husband who tells me every day, several times a day, I’m the most beautiful woman he’s even seen despite what clothing I’m wearing, if I’ve thrown my hair up in a messy pony tail, and the fact that I’ve gained FOURTY pounds since we first met a decade ago (we’ve been undergoing fertility treatments for 3 years and the stim meds took a toll on my figure, or lack thereof, LOL.
    I’m gonna head to the closet to pick out a pretty shirt (I’m still sticking to jeans though!) to put on before he comes home tonight after I finish this reply! So thank you Jill, for reminding me that dressing up a bit not only is appreciated by the husband, it makes the wife feel more confident!
    I truly hope I don’t offend you by saying this, but I was a little surprised to hear some of your ideas! I’ve read alot of Christian articles suggesting that women should always sexually available to their husbands, as if it’s a chore, strictly satisfying the man’s desires and speak nothing of the wife also enjoying the act. My husband and I call it making love, because that is what it is for us. I’m so glad you made the distinction. It should be fun for both partners.
    I also agree with praising your husband, especially in front of others. My husband also served as a Marine for one tour, but if we’re talking to others about the military, he always praises me for my accomplishments. I’M the one that pipes up and says he also served! He is also a very accomplished independent contractor… he built his first house at 14 years old! I’m immensely proud of him, and you helped remind me that I should continue to make sure others know how very talented he is. He is also a very kind man, can make ANY baby smile, and very honest and humble. You made me realize that somewhere along the way I stopped publicly praising him as much as I used to.
    I’m so grateful you took time to share your thoughts and advice. I would hope that those that don’t agree with EVERYTHING you shared (myself included) realize you’re simply explaining your point of view; you’re not writing the universal manual for marriage! You’re sharing what works for you, and guidance you’ve picked up from others. And I noticed you repeatedly stating that this is not a “checklist”… and encouraged seeking PROFESSIONAL counseling when needed, which alot of the more conservative Christian writings I’ve happened to read tend to stigmatize.
    Sooooo… kuddos Jill, you truly have some practical, useful tips to share, and I hope you continue to do so! I personally jotted down a few notes to keep handy!
    Have a Blessed day!

    Reply
  74. vANESSA

    My husband and I will be celebrating out First Wedding Anniversary in THE next few weeks.. it has flown by! There are some awesome ideas and pearls of wisdom and I appreciate you sharing this Jill 🙂

    Reply
  75. Vanessa

    My husband and I will be celebrating out First Wedding Anniversary in the next few weeks.. it has flown by! There are some awesome ideas and pearls of wisdom and I appreciate you sharing this Jill

    Reply
  76. SaraH

    Great article. Except I have misgivings about His Needs Her Needs because they are so compartmentalized based on gender. I’ve been married 28 years. In our 30s, my husband was NOT interested in sex. I tried everything. I was in great shape. I had lingerie, toys, etc. I read books….but ALL of them made me feel awful because the husbands were all supposed to want tons of sex and the wives not so much. My friends complained about how often their husbands wanted sex….and most of these women were grossly overweight. I thought there must be something wrong with ME. When I was almost 40, I was seriously wondering if I could live the rest of my life in a sex-free marriage. I loved my husband, but we were roommates. THEN….by a stroke of luck, his doctor tested his testosterone! It was only at around 100!!!! (Should have been 800-1200). Mystery solved!!

    Anyway, gender wants and needs are fluid. So take the advice of that book with a grain of salt and apply those wNts and needs to BOTH sexes!

    Reply
  77. Marie

    I love this post good luck with your endeavors

    Reply
    • Mrs.Chadwell

      This is so perfectly put! My husband and I got married at 19 years old, and after 10 years of marriage and 3 children later, we are still madly in love with each other ❤️ That “honeymoon” phase doesn’t have to end!…with effort from both the husband and wife, it can get even SWEETER with it’s maturity. Really enjoy your Blog, Jill!

      Reply
  78. Mrs. Jack M. Hoffenburg

    Jill;
    As a mama to 8 littles I am so moved by your post.
    I would love to see you offer a product line we ladies could use to freshen ourselves for our husbands.
    Lightly scented lotions, wet towelettes for intimate areas, maybe even complimenting candles to use. A nice modest priced freshening line would be a great business venture for you.
    Warmest regards.

    Reply
    • Desperate

      Hi, this is a very good article and you make some very good points. But I am having a lot of trouble with these things, what would you say to a young lady having trouble with pain when trying to be intimate? What about when you’ve gone to doctors, gotten counseling, prayed, and there’s nothing wrong with you medically, but something keeps you from being able to get any kind of enjoyment? I try to just get over it for my husband and just feel with the pain, but of course he wishes for me to have pleasure too. I’m afraid he is getting tired of me, and he’ll leave if I don’t figure out a way to make it better. I just feel so alone and desperate. I have tried to fake pleasure so that my husband wouldn’t know how painful and hard it was for me, but I feel guilty for not being transparent and honest with him. Im feeling very desperate and just want to have a good marriage, why can’t it just be easy for me like it is for other people?

      Reply
      • Derick & Jill

        Aww. I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope you’re able to get answers soon.

        I’d encourage you to always be open with your spouse about things and not just pretend like all is well as that is not helpful for your marriage.

        Have you read any sex help books out there? I’m not sure exactly what kind of trouble you’re having…and I know there are tons of different troubles (e.g. scar tissue pain, uterine problems, etc.), so I’m sure you’ve probably been digging into them desperately already, but Dr. Ed Wheat has some books you might find helpful (“Intended For Pleasure,” etc.).

        Also, you may want to check with more doctors or specialists in your area for multiple opinions and consider traveling to see someone if you don’t find someone in your area who knows specifically what’s going on.

        Sorry, I know this isn’t a lot of help, but maybe other people will have suggestions too. Again, I really hope you’re able to find some relief and get some answers!
        -Jill

        Reply
      • Summie

        You need to read The Unveiled Wife by Jennifer Smith, immediately!!!! She has a blog too but you must read her book! You are not alone! Get the book!!!

        Reply
  79. Cristina

    Paul Stevens “Married for Good” is an incredible book!

    Reply
  80. Mel

    I can’t believe nobody mentioned “Created to Be His Help Meet” ! That book saved my marriage early on, and it touched on many of the same topics you mentioned, Jill. After 6 years of marriage and 4 kiddos, I picked up this book and totally changed my outlook on marriage. My husband noticed my change after a few weeks and eventually apologized for not being the best husband he could be. Change has to start somewhere, so even applying a couple of these tips could make drastic changes in a marriage. We just celebrated 20 years this past April, and I couldn’t be more in love with my man! Thanks for the wonderful post 🙂

    Reply
  81. Amanda

    As a woman who has lived through domestic violence in a marriage, thank you for mentioning to never stand for it. I know there are a lot of religious and personal reasons to work through troubles in a marriage, but domestic violence and abuse in the home are game changers. I appreciate your inclusion of those issues on here.

    I’ll be honest, I came to read this because a lot of news outlets were criticizing it. I didn’t expect to agree with anything on here. I’m a feminist and an atheist, and have a really different world view. But I was wrong. A lot of these are great tips for anyone. We should all take the time to strengthen our marriages and serve our spouses lovingly. Husbands included! I would love to see a post from your husband’s perspective about how men should love and serve their wives.

    Reply
    • Derick & Jill

      Amanda, Thanks for your thoughts on the post. Glad you enjoyed it. <3 Keep your eyes out for the husband version...I think it may be coming before too long! 😉

      Reply
      • Rebecca

        I am glad you stated that if you are a victim of domestic abuse you should leave now. Too many women are told to stay and pray. That’s not only unbiblical its unsafe and could lead to injury and even death. As a domestic abuse survivor I know first hand that nothing I could do, no list could change him and neither did prayer. Leave now is the best advice. My second marriage 15 years strong and beautiful…no lists just mutual love and respect. Thanks for the strong words on leaving abuse. Some women need to hear it’s ok to leave. I did. And thankful to that older godly woman to this day.

        Reply
  82. Maree

    With severe chronic pain and no friends/family or sitter near us, I know my husband is missing out on what he deserves. It’s so hard.

    Reply
  83. Lisa

    Hello, Jill.

    I’ve been praying for answers on how I can become a more Godly wife & better meet my husband’s needs, while giving the glory to God. I feel your list of suggestions will benefit my marriage. Thank you. God bless you & yours.

    Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archives

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015

Email Updates

Receive notifications of new blog posts by email!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This