A loving man is not anxious to impress.
Men thrive on admiration. In fact, “men will do almost anything to gain the admiration of others. They will literally search for someone to love and respect them.”
If my identity is tied up with
how much my wife openly admires me,
pressuring her to be less than honest
in her evaluations of me,
I am not loving her with a Messiah-like love.
My wife and I have a system in place in which she, through a series of hand signals, tells me how I am doing when I am speaking in public. It really does feel great when I look at her and she gives the sign that I did great. In those moments I feel good about myself, affirmed by the most important person in my life, and confident.
But at other times her honesty has cost her.
When I am struggling through a presentation and she (out of her love for me and her desire for me to do my best) tells me I am not doing well I have at times taken my disappointment out on her. “You don’t appreciate me” “I’d like to see you get up there on a couple hours sleep and speak” or “Can’t you ever tell me that I am doing good?”
I guess I expected her to lie and to give me a false sense of value, importance, or accomplishment. What good is this?
God doesn’t reject us when we don’t praise him. He’s interested only in what comes honestly from our hearts.
We need to learn to appreciate our wives’ honesty and give them the platform to feel completely safe in their critique of us as men and husbands. God has blessed us with our wives to perform this function.
A loving, secure, and godly man will:
- Give his wife the right to express truth and reality without fear of response
- Appreciate her honesty knowing that it will make him better
- Affirm her and thank her for her desire to see him have real success
 Gary Smalley, For Better or For Best, p.104.