Christmas shopping for my husband is always a challenge. He's a particular guy. He takes hours to pick out a gym bag, and days to choose a watch. On my own, I never get it right. He's also the kind of guy who usually buys what he needs and doesn't wait for Christmas.
Although I found something to put under the tree for him, the best gifts are ones I can't wrap. They are intangibles my husband needs and deeply values. They are not gifts that I can quickly buy, but ones I'm learning to craft throughout the years of our marriage.
Here are four gifts I'm learning to give my husband this holiday season:
1. A Wife Who Is Okay with Her Body
Do these pants make me look fat?
I'm getting old—just look at all these wrinkles!
Do you ever wish you had a wife with long flowing hair, with long, sexy legs or big breasts?
Yep. These are all things I've said to my husband over the years. Of course, I never expected him to respond honestly—I expected him to reassure me that my body is attractive to him. Ironically, by seeking his affirmation, I'm highlighting my flaws. For years, his assurance that he thinks I'm beautiful wasn't enough. Then one day it hit me. When my husband compliments my appearance, why do I argue with him? Why can't I just thank God that my husband likes the way I look, and leave it at that?
Do you know what is really attractive to a man? A woman who is happy with her body, and is confident she can please him. Being sexy has more to do with what you think than how you look. So I'm giving my husband the gift of a wife who won't fish for compliments, and one who is grateful for an imperfect body that can still turn him on.
2. A Wife Who Has Permission to Have Fun
Life is serious. Almost 20 years of marriage has brought some challenges and heartache. Like every other couple, we have bills to pay and problems to solve. Our boys, ages 16, 14, and 10, require a lot of time and energy. But in the midst of all of that, Mike and I haven't lost the art of having fun.
I have my husband to thank for most of the laughter and light-heartedness in our home. I'm the serious one. At times, I've resented my husband's fun nature, feeling angry that I was the one who "had to worry" about everything. He would try to get me to laugh, and I would scowl. He would sleep soundly at night while I tossed and turned, fretting over what the future might hold.
I'm happy to say that resentful worrywart is gone—I've learned to share the burdens of my heart first with the Lord, and then with my husband. And I've learned to delight in his laughter, and share in his fun.