Recently, I ran across a piece on social media regarding the 30 Rules for Godly Women to follow with regard to themselves and their husbands: https://jadinbest.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/the-30-rules-of-a-godly-women
Some of the comments about the piece were interesting to say the least but for the most part the women who commented were in agreement with the piece. But it made me wonder if the same thing existed for Husbands and those who desired to be husbands in the future. It is ironic how easy it is to find things to empower ladies to be better women, wives and mothers but there are very few things that do the same for guys to be better men, husbands and fathers.
It goes without saying the being or becoming a husband is one of the greatest challenges we will ever face on this earth. Unfortunately, there is no pocket guide or app that tells us when we are going well or messing up as husbands. It is very much a trial by fire – you say “I Do” and then you are in it learning as you go. Sure you can lean other married men for their example and advice, but ultimately it comes down to what works best for you and your marriage. However, the following are many things to consider as you embark (or continue to) on the journey of marriage:
- Adore her like no man has ever adored her. She needs this to feed the woman she ultimately wants to be. She needs to feel comfortable in your adoration for her.
- Don’t raise your voice at her. She is not your child, pet or anything else to be commanded. Your job is not to tear her down verbally. You can make your point in a normal voice – yelling will only push her in a way that she won’t always respond appropriately. The man who desires a peace filled home must be the example of that – even when he is upset.
- Don’t hit her. She is not a football player or a punching bag. (No one should have to come to your house because you put your hands on her. She may stay but your relationship and reputation as a man will never be the same if you take it there).
- Never be too busy to give her the attention she desires. More expressly, make sure she knows that she has your attention regularly. No woman desires to be in a relationship/marriage where she feels lonely or is begging for you to spend some time with her. She prefers your presence over your presents.
- Don’t compare her to any woman you knew before her. This includes but is not limited to: your mother, grandmothers, aunts, sister, ex-girlfriends, and platonic female friends. She is not them and will not be happy if you make any comparison (regardless of how light it may be) to them. Your marriage to her will not prosper if you spend unnecessary time comparing her to other women.
- Your friends should like her and she should like them. They can have conversations but be careful of allowing your friends to be “too friendly” with her. Your marriage has a line and it should not be crossed.
- Be a good listener. She will talk. A lot. To you. She will expect you to respond. Giving her a generic response in a deep soothing voice will not always work. She will probably know when you are “Morgan Freemaning” her.
- Submission is not about her bowing down to you as the head of the household. It runs much deeper than that. She will submit to the idea that nothing is more important to her than her marriage – provided you are doing the same thing in deed. This is not about being “whipped”. This is about the foundation of your marriage being more than a punchline.
- Sharing facets of your relationship/marriage with those who are close to you is a dubious proposition at best. Keep intimate details between you and her. You can infer or imply without emptying the private vault of your relationship.
- Don’t associate with guys who have nothing good to say about marriage. You need positive energy from outside sources to survive the highs and lows of married life.
- When she is right, acknowledge it. When you are wrong, acknowledge it. When you are right, throwing it in her face offers nothing positive. Stay away from that behavior (even if you think she “deserves” it).
- Ego is counterproductive in marriage. Get over yourself and get to heart of the issue. Men don’t have ego – males do and it usually comes out at the wrong time. Check your ego at the door. You’ll get a lot further in your relationship if you do.
- A lazy man doesn’t exist. Men work. Men provide. Men are present. You will turn her off if you’re lazy. You’ll never hear a wife complain about how hard working her husband is
- Limit the number of single female friends you have – especially if they’re not mutually shared with your wife (or wife to be). In case you don’t know, the more single female friends you have, the more likely the potential for drama.
- Keeping a spare tire is strongly discouraged. They serve no long term purpose in your marriage.
- This should go without saying but cheating is a no-no. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t be okay with your wife doing. Ultimately, it comes down to doing what your marriage can handle.
- There will be moments that you will question whether or not you should be married. That is not uncommon. But those questions don’t give you the permission to temporarily act as if you’re not married. You are married and no “Hall Pass” or “Frustrations from the wife” changes that fact.
- She is your wife. She is not your maid. She is your helpmate. She is not your slave. Don’t ever lose sight of that. You can clean the house, do laundry and cook meals too.
- No happily married woman will stay that way for long if she feels like a single parent. When your children are sick, stay up with them. Be 100% committed to being a responsible and present parent.
- Don’t ever stop dating her. Marriage is not a license to quit courting or romancing her. Surprises are allowed.
- Your sex life will change as the years go by. Whether it changes for the good or worse is totally up to you. Keep finding ways to turn her on. Don’t get complacent and think that it’s her job only to keep the romantic sparks alive.
- Love your mother; be in love with your wife. Don’t ever confuse the two.
- The little things will matter the most. This is not to understate the big things. They are important but it is about the lasting stuff. The Saturdays spent having breakfast and talking. The walks together around the neighborhood. The times you walk up behind her and just kiss her on the cheek.
- Don’t use other people’s relationship as the barometer for yours. You don’t always know the idiosyncrasies of that relationship, so to compare yours to it is unfair. However, there are facets of people’s relationship you can use to make yours fresh and renewed. If you both notice something you like about a particular relationship, discuss it and see if it is something you both mutually want to do.
- Encourage her. Support her. Edify her. Don’t be the sole reason why she doesn’t achieve or pursue her personal goals and desires.
- Laughter is essential. Don’t be so serious in your marriage to her that you forget to make her laugh. The couple that laughs together can live together.
- Evolve. Individually and as a couple. Where you start is not where you should desire to finish.
- Share your spiritual sides with each other. If you pray singularly, that is fine. Pray together in good times and especially in tough times.
- Be thankful for her every day. Don’t take her for granted. Don’t take your marriage for granted. If you are thankful for her, act like it. Show it.
- Spend every day of your marriage chasing the relationship you want ten years from now.
Obviously guys, there are more but you get the general idea. There is no sense in having expectations of her in your marriage if we have none for ourselves. As stated earlier, there is no challenge greater to man than being/becoming a husband. Particularly if you desire to be good at it and have a wife who is happy with you. My hope is that this letter is somehow a help to you.