Now that Valentine’s Day is over, you men may be breathing a sigh of relief. No more romance for a while…at least not until your wife’s birthday or your anniversary, right? But until then, how do you plan on keeping your love alive? Is that all women want—flowers, candy, and endless romance?
Take Peter Pumpkin Eater for instance. I’ve always been a little confused about him. Could he not keep a wife because he couldn’t afford a house of his own? That would explain why he was thrilled to find a jumbo-sized pumpkin, big enough to set up housekeeping in. Or could he not keep a wife because he wasn’t a good husband? In an effort to prevent her escape, did he then lock her in an abnormally large pumpkin (which sounds damp, smelly, and cramped) and thereby “keep” his wife? 
No matter how you look at it, it doesn’t sound like an ideal romance, much less an admirable children’s rhyme. But it is thought-provoking. Just what is the best way to keep a wife (or husband)? 
These ten ideas are not a comprehensive list, but they are the yearnings I hear most often from women.
1    1. Pursue
Women want to be pursued, not just before marriage, but for a lifetime. Women want to feel like they’re interesting enough to motivate a man to action. It doesn’t have to be big—an occasional text or call to say hello, an invitation for a walk, regular date nights to laugh and talk without interruption.
2    2.  See
Women want to be seen—beyond their facial expression, curves and outer appearance to who they are inside. She’s a wondrous creation of body, soul, and spirit, with dreams and longings. She longs to be known, really known; by the one she loves the most.  
3    3.  Connect
Women want a meaningful connection with their husbands. But there are many variables—differing work schedules, hungry kids, evening activities, so you have to pick a time that works for both of you. Then turn off the TV, put down your phones and reconnect. 
4    4.  Cherish
To cherish means to adore, be devoted to, treasure, prize, and hold dear. Women long to feel cherished—more than the vintage car her husband’s restoring; more than the business opportunity he hopes to land; more than his next fishing or hunting trip; more than time in his man cave. 
5    5.  Protect
Women are smart, capable, strong, and resilient, but they still want the protection of a good man. They don’t need their husbands to solve everything, or fight all their battles. But a woman needs to sense her husband is on her side, watching out for her best interests; that he has her back.
6    6.  Provide
This is most often what men think proves their love (remember Peter Punkin Eater?), but a woman’s definition of provision might differ from a man’s. True, she needs a house, food, clothes, and basic necessities, but these things should give her comfort, not stress. If her husband is always working, or thinking about working, she won’t feel loved.  She will feel alone.
7    7.  Touch
A young mom, surrounded by clingy children needs a touch that replenishes, instead of demands or expects. Women of all ages constantly give to others. A long hug, holding her hand, a foot rub, stroking her hair, or rubbing her back, without the expectation of sex, tells a woman she is loved. And is more likely to elicit her touch in return. 

8    8.  Lead
The best kind of leader is not a dictator or tyrant, but one who truly cares about his “subjects.” He seeks wise counsel in order to make the best decisions for his “kingdom.” Wives want to give input and contribute, but they’re not created to bear the burden of leadership. Leadership is a privilege and a responsibility of manhood. A man who leads as Jesus did will bless his wife immensely.
9    9.  Pray
A woman whose husband prays with and for her feels a special kind of intimacy with him that goes deeper than sex, because it touches her spirit.  A self-serving man prays at his wife, attempting to manipulate and change her; a godly man seeks God’s best for her in intercessory prayer.
1    10.  Know God
The best way to “keep” a wife, by far, is for a man to know and love the One who created her.  How? By reading and studying the Bible, being an example of Christ-like love, and sharing a life of faith-filled JOY. 
These are the longings of a woman’s heart and some of the best ways I know to build a lifetime of love. No pumpkin required.
#whatwomenwant #howtoloveawoman #10waystoabettermarriage #lifetimelove #reallove