When Nate leaves work every day, there are always guys who don’t mind staying behind. One guy was even like, “Eh, I don’t really want to go home. I don’t even look forward to going home anymore.” So sad! It makes me wonder what “home” looks like, and what kind of wife is greeting him at the door, or if she’s greeting him at all!:( You don’t want to be like that guy’s wife. This list is so you can be assured that your husband will actually look forward to coming home to you.
If you listened to the sermon on my last post, you might remember what an “En Geti” is. But in case you didn’t, here’s an excerpt from the transcript:
“My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of En Gedi.” Okay, ladies, here’s a couple things that men need. She understands this. Number 1: he needs an En Gedi. En Gedi was a desert oasis. There was desert, and En Gedi was this amazing oasis with fresh water, trees, fruit, life. It was a wonderful place to be. Men feel like their life is a desert, and they want to come home to En Gedi: to a wife, home, children, that is a place of rest, refreshment, rejuvenation. See, if your husband loves you and he’s working hard all day, and he’s out there slugging it out to feed the family, and the whole day has been a desert. No encouragement. No support. No replenishment. He comes home. You want to greet him at the door and be En Gedi. “I love you. Welcome home, sweetheart.”
So ladies, here’s some ways to make your home “En Geti” for your partner!
(Guys, you can skip towards the end for two bonus tips)
1. Have dinner ready when he comes home.
Okay, I know this can’t really work for everyone. Especially if he works a different shift and doesn’t come home in the evenings or if you work at night. It’s especially difficult if you also work 40 hours away from home. If this is the case, maybe it’s time to reevaluate where money is going to see if there is a way for you to work less away from home so you really feel like the home is your kingdom. Ideally, I think it works out best if the guy works a full time job and the wife (especially if you have kids) works part time.
This is ideal because women are usually happier with this kind of situation because they get to raise their kids, and men are usually happier with this situation because alot of their identity comes from their success in their careers. For some couples, the stay-at home dad and the working mom works best.
The point is that someone needs to come home and cook. And this will be a huge strain on the marriage/relationship if both partners work 40 hours a week and you’re both too tired and drained to get dinner ready. So evaluate your work schedule. There’s only so much time in a day, in a week, and mealtimes are sooo valuable. Someone has to do it without feeling like they are overwhelmed and taking on too much. Even if you both split this task, if you’re both working full time, you’re still going to end up tired and end up resenting one another or at the very least, not having enough margin in your schedules to give each other quality free time.
So, if you come home earlier than your partner, you work less hours, or you work from home, make sure dinner is ready before he comes home. It makes such a difference when he comes home and the house smells of food. He’s tired and hungry and just wants to plop on the couch and relax. When he’s greeted at the door with a hug and a kiss and a wife who’s obviously very excited to see him, and ON TOP OF THAT his sense of smell is going crazy out of curiousity because the house smells so damn good, this is going to be one happy man.
I’ve noticed that the days I make dinner after Nate’s already home, it cuts into the time I get to spend with him. I’m preparing in the kitchen when I could be eating dinner with him or if I’ve eaten dinner earlier, sitting by his side and sharing our day together. It’s just nice to have him come home and be greeted by a meal that’s ready to partake.
Here’s what we had last night! Ribeye steak, recipe here, grilled asparagus tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, (I use the Uh-MAZING Magic Chef Grill– can’t find the exact model I have online) and to-die for cheesy bacon polenta (hearty grits), recipe here.
2. WAIT to tell him negative stuff.
Don’t greet him at the door with the bad stuff: the things that need to be done, the way the kids have been behaving. How you’ve been frustrated all day. Check this out:
Don’t start with the honey-do list. Don’t start railing on him. “Boy, the kids, man, they’re terrible. They’re just like their dad. You got to spank him and deal with her and, you know, we need to paint the house and the grass is too high and, you know, ah.” He comes home not to En Gedi, but to purgatory. Like man, this is terrible. I’m trapped and it’s terrible. You want to be En Gedi. You want your home to be En Gedi. One guy said it to me recently. I said, “How’s your marriage going?” He said, “Great.” I said, “Really, what happened?” He said, “I came home from work the other day. My wife greeted me, and sitting next to my recliner chair was a plate of nachos and a drink.” She said, “Welcome home. I know you’ve had a rough day.” He said, “I love that woman.” Who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t? And, you know, if you ladies then come to that kind of husband 30 minutes and say, “Sweetheart, I need to talk to you about a couple of things,” he’ll be like, “Great.” Or, “There’s something I need you to do for me,” be like, “Happy to.” All right. It’s all about respect. It’s all about understanding. It’s all about being En Gedi.
Greet him with a smile, a hug, a kiss, a “Welcome home! I missed you!” Take the things he’s carrying inside and set them down. Take his jacket. Lead him to the table where you have your meal prepared. Ask him how his day was. Who wouldn’t want to come home to that?
How about soft music and mood lighting? I put up lights above our kitchen cabinets to mimic “recessed” lighting because it offers a warm glow. I turn off the bright florescent lights and leave the light on the stove:
Here’s a short playlist if you need ideas for soft evening music:
3. Wake up with him on days that you aren’t working earlier than him.
En Geti isn’t just in the evening. I’ll lose some sleep so I can wake up with Nate, even if it’s my day off. I figure I can always go back and take a nap, but I know how much it means to Nate for me to see him off in the mornings.
Nate goes to work and hears men gripe about their wives all the time. They stay late at work and make it clear that they aren’t excited to go home. Yesterday one guy was like, “When I get home, I have to cook dinner. We need to go over to Nate’s house for dinner! I see the stuff his wife makes him for lunch!”
I pride myself in this task of making Nate’s lunch and coffee every morning, sending him off with a daily reminder of how much I love him. The more you feed your man, the more he feels loved:) While he’s watching everyone else run over to get fast food everyday or throw together a slice of bread and ham from the fridge, he gets to open his lunch pail everyday to a daily lunch surprise made from his wife!
I want to make this Marlboro Man Sandwich for him soon!
In your home, you need to have a little corner you can call your own. Even if it’s just a couple of throw pillows on a window ledge, a side table and reading chair with your favorite books and a warm glowing candle, or a bathroom retreat with all of your favorite pampering products. Part of taking care of your partner is taking care of yourself. And in your home, you need a place to escape to, a place where you can just relax. Mine is my dressing room and bathroom. Right now we don’t have kids yet and so this one room and this bathroom are my relaxing spots. It’s still a work in progress, but Nate wants to make me a vanity area and eventually we want to get a sofa bed and a shag rug. It’s this area where I have complete decorative control. I can go all out on my vintage gold fixtures and my wispy white drapes. On the ledge I used old candles and made holes on the bottom, putting string lights in the holes. It creates a warm glow in the room.
Here’s what Mark says:
The first is this: what does En Gedi look like for you? What does En Gedi look like for you? The wife may tell the husband, “Our bedroom is just devastated. There’s junk everywhere. It’s cluttered. We got kids. There’s Barbies and G.I. Joes and Juju Fruits, and there’s a laptop and you return an e-mail.” It’s not En Gedi, right? It’s not En Gedi. One wife told her husband — I know this couple well — she said, “Well, for me, En Gedi is we tuck the kids in bed. We sit in the tub, drink a glass of wine and visit.” I look at him. I’m like, “Any objections?” He’s like, “No, I vote yes.” “Okay, great, we have unanimous vote. That’s En Gedi. Go enjoy your En Gedi…”
Next question you need to ask then, on the way home, if you’re a married couple, is this. “What do we need to change in our house?” Is it cluttered, disorganized? Is there junk in your bedroom? Is there a TV in your bedroom so you don’t talk and read and hang out? Just sit there and watch TV: not very romantic. What needs to change for your house to be a place of En Gedi and delight? So you ask one another, “What do we need to change?” Maybe you need to change where you live or it may mean you need to make some adjustments to the place that you are.
I know Nate loves a clean home. Between the two of us, I am the messier one. But after being married almost two years, I’ve actually gotten a lot neater! He really helps. A house that has minimal clutter makes you feel more relaxed. What I’ve learned from Nate is to not just buy something because it’s on sale. He waits for the best quality and then he buys only one. When you have only one pair of scissors in the house, you always know where it is! We’ve also minimized our clutter by streamlining what we have. We have only white dishes. Only one kind of coffee mug. We only keep things we actually use.
I feel relaxed in a home filled with mood lighting- lots of lamps and recessed lighting instead of overhead lights. I love rugs and things that make a place feel homey: throw pillows, throw blankets, flowers. With Nate’s streamlined orderliness and my homey touch, we’ve combined what we both find relaxing and now our place feels just right for us.
We’ve also had a lot of fun decorating the house with a mix of Parisian style + touches of restoration hardware + touches of vintage.
I think the key to making your own personal “En Geti” is to make it a fun project. Nate and I go antiquing and right now our current project is creating a standing lamp using an antique surveyor’s tripod!
6. Share your bodies freely with each other.
A wife whose body is always accessible? Yes, that’s part of “En Geti.”
Here’s what Mark has to say about it:
Additionally, men need something else. She speaks of this here. “My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh that lies between my breasts.” Okay? Now the men are hoping I say this, so I will.
Ladies, your body is a gift. You share it with your husband, and that is to him, part of En Gedi. It’s a place of rest and refreshment, and she says that between her breasts is this perfume, “nard”, that would melt off the body heat and then would give this wonderful fragrance, and she said, “That’s where he spends a lot of time also.” Praise be to God, okay? You might be surprised that the Bible talks about these things, and it does. There are other places that it talks about this. These are very important verses, and Christians get uncomfortable, like, with this. Like, “Oh, my golly, this is not appropriate.” This book is 3 — Song of Songs is 3,000 years old. So, praise God… It’s a woman who shares her body with her husband, and it is, for him, part of En Gedi. Amen? Amen.
Bonus Tip 1 for the men: keep the compliments coming!
Men, want to make it easy for your wife to desire you sexually? Keep the compliments coming! You wanting her makes her want you more:)
Mark talks about why it’s important to make your compliments specific here:
So we will continue, Chapter 1, Verse 15. He speaks to her again. “Behold, you are beautiful.” Keep it coming. You men can’t say, “You look nice,” and then just wait for years. You got to keep saying it.
She needs to see herself through your eyes. She doesn’t know you’re thinking. So tell her. “You look great.” And the compliments have to be specific. You can’t just say, “You look nice.” She — no. Do you like her shoes? Do you like her handbag? Do you like her clothes? Do you like her hair? Do you like her makeup? Do you like her eyes? Do you like her sense of humor? Do you like her smirk? Do you like it when she snorts because you told a funny joke?” Tell her. Tell her what it is. If she does something nice, tell her she’s a total sweetheart. Tell her how great she is. Let her know, all the time, everything. You should be like a running sports commentator, right? You should just always play-by-play. “You look nice. That was sweet. Thank you. You smell like vanilla ice cream, praise the Lord.” Just keep telling her. Okay?
Because she won’t see herself through your eyes unless you know her — unless you let her know what it is that you’re feeling and thinking and seeing. “You are beautiful. My love, behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves. You are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.” Doves represent peace and tranquility and purity and faithfulness. Doves only have one faithful mate for their whole life. Say, “When I look at you, I see peace, tranquility, purity, beauty and fidelity. I love looking at you.” When you tell her this, look her in the eye. He’s looking her in the eye. He’s looking her in the eye. She might be a little sheepish. She might be a little coy. She might be a little embarrassed, but, deep down in her heart, she likes that, right, ladies? How nice is it your husband looks you right in the eye?
“I appreciate you. I enjoy you. I like looking at you. Thank you for serving me that way. You know, the other day, when you encouraged me, that meant a ton. The other day when you held my hand, that fixed everything.” Tell her. Just look her in the eye and tell her.
Bonus Tip 2 for the men: be a good provider- read: can you put a roof over her head?
I just want to end with this for the guys, because all of this seems like great stuff wives should bring to the table. But what does the husband bring? He needs to be a good provider. Deep down gentlemen, you know this. You know that even if a woman loves her career and wants to work, that one day if she wants to be a mom, she will be divided between her home and her career. And deep down you know that every woman at this point wants to just “have the option” to work and be able to say, “Yes, I want to stay home with my kids. Or No, I want to work outside of the home too.” But she wants the option, not the feeling that she must choose career over being a mother. The feminist movement was not to force women into the work place, but to give them the freedom to have that option.
Guys, this is where your big role comes in. Listen to Mark’s story:
Well, she responds. You notice they are speaking to one another. Verse 16 through — Chapter 2, Verse 1. “Our couch is green,” she says, “The beams of our house are cedars. Our rafters are pine. I am a Rose of Sharon, a Lily of the Valley.” Here’s what you need, men. You need a home to put the woman in, all right? You do. That’s why a man needs to leave his mother and father, Genesis says, go get his own job; his own house; his own life; take responsibility for himself. Then he can marry a woman. Then he can be one with her physically.
Now you may not be a rich guy, but you need to be a guy who can provide a home for your wife. She says, “I love our couch. I love our home. I love our ceiling. Thank you so much. This is a nice place to live. I’m glad that we’re here.” And when you get married initially, it’s usually not very impressive. Grace and I, our first apartment was a bedroom apartment. We were 21-year-old college students, and it was 250 bucks a month: little living room, little dining room, little bathroom, little bedroom, but it was ours. It was simple and it was safe and it was clean. You want simple, clean, right? Do the best you can…
We want to have kids. We want to entertain. I want to work from home. There’s all these things that we aspire to, and you don’t start there. I mean, we were married, I don’t know, what, 13 years, before we got the house that we ultimately think we’re going to settle in long term. You work toward it. You got to be a good steward…
that’s what she’s (the shulamite woman) doing. She’s thanking her husband. “Thank you for taking care of us. Thank you for building this home. Thank you for furnishing this home. Thank you that this actually works for us.”
All of these things will help make your home an “En Geti” for your partner. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Don’t do bills or work there! When I think sanctuary, I think the only things that go on in there are sex and sleeping:)
Invest in frames and professional pictures of you as a couple and of family to put up in your home, as a daily reminder of what is most important.
Keep things orderly; help each other out! Instead of asking your spouse to do stuff all the time and risk being a nag, just do it. And be the first to notice when they’ve done something for you. Be attentive. Acknowledge random acts of kindness performed by your spouse. Have a place for everything, and everything in its place.
And guys, what more could you do for your lady?