The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. What wise words these are! Most all we do in life flows from what first happens in the heart.
Solomon echoes this truth with this poignant piece of wisdom: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). He knew the importance of the heart. He knew that everything in life flows from what’s happening within.
I’ll never forget a counseling session I had with a couple. I asked for the husband and the wife to give their individual assessments of their marital problems. The wife didn’t hesitate. She had her list. She ticked off each item, one by one.
After hearing the list, the husband began to take each item on the list and offer solutions. He knew the steps that needed to be taken for each problem to be fixed.
Exasperated, she finally looked at him and said, “You just don’t get it, do you? I don’t want you to fix the problems. I just want you! I want a relationship with you. I want to know you. I want to share life with you.”
Finally, she bowed her head, tears in her eyes, and said, “I just want you to know what’s going on in my heart.”
Her last comment allows me to bring up a powerful way we as husbands can honor our wives. It’s not astrophysics. It’s surprisingly simple, yet astonishingly significant to a woman.
You need to ask your wife this question and ask it often: How’s your heart?
That’s it. It’s that simple. But, if asked sincerely and often, it can have profound and positive implications for a meaningful and successful marriage.
Remember: Your wife wants to be one with you. That’s what she desires most. But for oneness to occur, you must want it too. Your desire to honor and prize your wife will stimulate your desire to know her heart so that you can become one.
To do this is not natural. In your sinful, selfish condition, you are prone to abandon God’s call to care for your wife’s heart and place your desires above hers. You need to learn and practice being a servant. You need to value her life above your own. One specific way to do this is to ask her what’s happening in her heart.
Before you ask your wife about the condition of her heart, first work on becoming her best friend. Enjoy your times with her. Cultivate the relationship.
A deep friendship allows conversations about the heart to happen more easily.
Have a weekly prolonged time together. Make sure you are never more than six days away from spending some in-depth, quality, meaningful time together.
Your wife really does want to speak to you from her heart. She wants to know that you care about her. She wants to feel honored by a listening ear—something she desires especially from you. She knows it will draw her closer to you. She knows it will help make you one—God’s intent when he created marriage.
She wants you to ask this question often: How’s your heart?
That’s because the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.