Dr. Tony Evans hosts a national syndicated radio show called the Alternative. According to his website, his focus seems to be on restoring and nurturing the most important segment of society - the family unit. This particular series has six parts on "Winning back your wife." The second part of this series is called "Becoming your wife's sanctifier." The premise in this installment is based on the idea that the husband is responsible for the atmosphere where his wife can thrive. This includes the emotional and spiritual climate where married life can improve.
I tuned into my local Christian Talk Radio station, KCIS AM 630, and caught the last few minutes of this program. Evans was discussing three types of birds: buzzard, peacock and eagle. The analogy is that a husband is one of these three types of birds in how he acts in his relationship with his wife.
This bird sits around and does nothing. For me, the scene from Disney's "Jungle Book" comes to mind. Three buzzards are sitting on a branch and one of them asks: "So what are we gonna do, eh?" Evans describes this type of husband as one who complains about his wife.
"I wish she would do this."
"She keeps nagging me about this."
"Why can't she do some of those things herself?"
This type of murmuring and complaining shows a lack of respect, honor and appreciation for your wife. Even more dangerous is when you complain about your wife to her in a heated argument by saying things that demean and belittle.
Buzzards are territorial. Since they are part of the vulture species of birds, they wait until the prey is dead, making it easier for them to eat. In a like manner, a husband who spends the majority of his time complaining about his wife has developed a habit of circling, or waiting for an argument to ensue, or an aspect of the marital relationship to die in order to feed off the dead carcass.
2. The Peacock
One of the most fascinating and magnificent birds, a peacock, comes in a variety of colors and has a tail that can expand into a fan-like shape. Their quills are beautiful and artistic. Whenever a peacock expands its tail, people take notice.
A peacock husband presents himself in a manner that seems bigger than life. He values the perception and attention garnered through his self-indulgence. He values flattery more than true compliments. He is self-centered. A husband who presents himself in a manner of a peacock diminishes the value and splendor of his wife.
The most majestic of all the birds, an eagle is constantly soaring at high altitudes and can pinpoint its prey with precision and accuracy. They are quick and regal. The American Bald Eagle takes pride in rebuilding their nest. They also mate for life and cultivate their relationships together.
A husband who is an eagle maintains fidelity in his marriage. He has a precise vision and works with his spouse to cultivate a home and care for the family. He has a splendor and beauty all his own that is not showy. Unlike the buzzard or peacock, eagles rely on their own instincts to maintain family dynamics.
They do not complain. They are not waiting for some dead aspect of the relationship. There is no ego boosting needed. They are natural and develop an environment that is nurturing.
So, which are you: A buzzard, a peacock or an eagle? It is a question that requires honesty and internal inventory. Here are a few ways to be an eagle in your relationship.
Show her appreciation
This can be accomplished by complimenting your wife. Do things for her, ask if there is anything she needs or just take her out to dinner and recognize the work she does inside and outside of the home. Appreciation goes a long way and takes the focus off what a husband does and shines the light on her.
Give her praise
Instead of wanting to be the center of attention, praise your wife - even if she is not present - for the things that she does. For instance, she cooked a wonderful dinner based off a new recipe she found, or the frugality of finding ways to save money. When you praise your wife, you are honoring her, especially when it is done in front of other men who might be buzzards.
Give her a day off
This requires being sensitive to her needs. About a year ago, my wife was frazzled, working 10 hour shifts, coming home tired and frustrated. I could tell she was unhappy. After much thinking, I planned and invited her friends over for a ladies night dinner party. I cooked, prepared and entertained my wife's friends. I also did all the cleaning and necessary hosting. While this is one way to give your wife a day off, there are a variety of ways you can allow your wife time to kick back and relax.
Courting your wife is always a blessing because it shows her that you find her attractive. This can be done in simple ways without the fanfare of, "see what I did for you." Have someone watch the kids and take her for ice cream, a walk in the park or any other simple gesture that lets her know you think about her and enjoy her companionship.
Granted, these are only a handful of suggestions, but the question remains - do you want to remain a buzzard or a peacock or would you prefer to soar like an eagle in your marriage? As a husband, it is up to you to create the type of atmosphere in your home where your wife can thrive.