Before I met Alex, I used to have a hard time believing that I could find the kind of man I was looking for. My standards were very high–too high, I thought. But there he was one day, right behind me in church! The godliest, funniest, cutest–and classiest–man I’d ever met. As I got to know him, I realized that his character and class required a different standard of love than I was used to seeing from my peers.
So I set out to discover: how do you love a classy man well? First, realize that you are the only woman he will ever have (assuming you’re married, or getting there). That reality brings a whole new motivation to the way I live, the way I take care of myself, and the way I treat him. You’re it for him. With that in mind, here are five of the most important rules I’ve found about how to love your classy man.
Rule #5: Dress Like a Classy Woman
Has anyone else noticed that it’s now socially acceptable to wear only half a shirt? This baffles me. And I’m not sure which aspect baffles me more, the fact that these shirts cost the same as a shirt twice their size, or the fact that girls buy them.
If you are with a man of the world, he’ll want to show you off as his prize, a trophy that is more desirable than those of the other men of the world. He’ll want you to dress in a sexy way, showing skin and flaunting your body to make other men jealous. But ultimately, this is objectifying: it makes the woman into a thing to be visually enjoyed by others to the glory of the man.
But a real man–a classy man–knows that a woman is to be won with a ring and the rest of his life. The rest of the men in the world have NOT paid this high price and in no way deserve to enjoy this woman as her husband does. Even now, though Alex does not get to partake in anything of that nature with me at this stage in our relationship, I consider myself sealed for him until the day he ultimately wins me. As a result, I wear clothing that prevents other men (and Alex) from seeing anything reserved for him.
Even if you haven’t found the one you want to marry, you are still sealed for him until you say “I do.” Do you want to give other men a sample of something worth the highest price a human can pay–the laying down of a man’s entire life for you? No! You are valuable. You are classy. The wise Proverbs 31 woman “does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life.” All starts before you meet him and continues until the day you are wed. So dress like a classy woman in honor of your classy man.
Rule #4: Dress Up
When Alex and I first started dating, I began to relax my wardrobe. He loves me for who I am, right? No more need to impress!
It’s true that he loves me for who I am. But one day I asked him his honest opinion: “do you mind when I wear sweats, or would you rather me wear real clothes?” And in the sweetest, most accepting and loving way, he told me that he loves it when I dress up.
So, out went the sweatpants.
This doesn’t mean that I absolutely can’t wear them, or he won’t think I’m cute when I do. But ladies, you’re all your husband (or fiance) will ever have. You’re the only woman he will ever love. Yours is the only body he will see, your outfits the only ones he will admire, and your person the only one he will ever be proud to introduce to all his friends and family. So make him look good! Dress to his taste, whatever style or appearance he likes best on you. And make him feel special by communicating through what you wear: “You are important enough for me to go through all the trouble of getting ready, even if you’re the only person I see.”
Rule #3: Cheer for His Team
I didn’t know the first thing about sports when Alex and I met, since I never grew up watching it. But even though I didn’t understand any of the sports lingo or recognize any big names, I saw that it is an important subject to Alex–so I studied it. I asked questions to understand the games and rules better. I looked up news on LeBron James’ decision to join the Cavs and shared it with Alex. I offer to watch games with him.
Find out something important to your man and show your interest in it. It could be anything: sports, outdoor activities, cars, guns, movies, books. Instead of rolling your eyes or resenting the time he puts into it, find a way to join in. Showing interest in what he is interested in equates to respect. Plus, it creates an opportunity to develop a hobby or interest together that you can invest in and make memories together.
Rule #2: Praise Him in Front of Other People
All men need respect from their women, no matter how old they are. And nothing creates a more awkward situation for everyone involved than the one in which the woman berates, chides, or belittles her husband to others right in front of him. I cringe every time I witness this awful interaction. This habit is a poison to the relationship, destroying the man’s confidence and image to others, not to mention the resentment it creates towards his wife (or fiance or girlfriend).
Ladies, please please please NEVER do this. EVER.
Your man deserves your respect–if you have a problem with him, PRAY ABOUT IT, and bring it up in private. Instead, praise him in front of others. I love praising Alex in front of other people. I can watch him out of the corner of my eye, standing up straighter and smiling at the admiring looks of others as I tell stories of his chivalry or talents. I don’t ever make things up, but I do choose what I bring up or the light I put him in when I talk about him. I’ll say, “Alex said something really impactful to me the other day,” or “I had that problem too! But Alex showed me how to fix it.” Praise = respect = love for men.
Rule #1: Let Him Lead
I was riding in the car with Alex about a month into our relationship, and as we approached a stop light, I became alarmed at the speed with which we approached the car in front of us, and I shouted “Babe, slow down!” He looked over after we stopped and said, “I am in control of the car, I knew what I was doing.”
Obviously, if you’re about to rear-end the car in front of you and your man isn’t paying attention, say something. But I’m a very independent and confident woman, and I caught myself giving him directions and opinions about which way to go all the time. I could tell it bothered him. So I stopped giving directions. I stopped telling him how to drive. I stopped forcing my opinion about which route or order of operations is better, and I let him make decisions instead. Once I stepped down, he has embraced that role and done an incredible job of leading.
Sometimes, we women can be very fast thinkers and talkers. Men are not as verbal as we are, and we can easily steamroll them. But men are smart, and if we stop for a moment and let them think, they will usually come to the correct conclusion. Even if you think you’re right, try saying, “But I trust you honey, let’s do it your way” and see what happens. He won’t always be right, but you will make him into Superman if you allow him to lead you and demonstrate your trust in his abilities.
As women, we have the incredible power to either crush our men into passivity, or elevate them into strong, vibrant leaders of our families. We send messages by how we dress, relate to them, and speak to them. How can you show your man he’s special to you? How can you praise him to others? How can you show him that what’s important to him is important to you? How can you let him lead? You have the power to motivate your man, encouraging and lifting him up to his full potential. Use it wisely!