What might be a surprising way to love your wife?

While in Grand Cayman last week for our 15 year (early) anniversary trip, we had an amazing time with great discussions throughout the week.  One particular conversation came from this question I try to ask regularly, but had not for quite some time.  The question was, “What is something practical I can do to make you feel loved and appreciated by me?”  Husbands, are you ready for the first thing out of her mouth?

“Be mindful of the little things you do day to day so that they do not undo what I have spent all day working on.” 

Huh??  That’s right guys.  No..bring me flowers.  No…leave surprising romantic cards.  No…take me out on a date regularly.  The answer above was the surprising first thing out of her mouth.  I inquired more.  She explained how she spends so much time cleaning and picking up after the kids throughout the day only for them to continue to destroy it. 

So, she helped me understand the discouragement she feels if I come home for dinner and the first thing I do is carelessly sit all my stuff on the table she had already cleaned 5 times that day.  She helped me realize when I do those things it communicates to her I have not been mindful at all of what she has done to try and keep our house a warm, picked up, restful place.  She was right.  The point was rammed home when she said, “It would be like me sitting down at the end of the day and erasing a page of your sermon, because what I saw you were working on did not look important.  Ouch.  She had made her point.

My wife would admit I have grown to be faithful in bringing flowers, cards of encouragement, and date nights out, which she appreciates very much, but what I had failed to realize is how that card of encouragement is less meaningful if in the process of giving her the card I throw my books and bag with sweaty clothes on the dinner table with a complete disregard for her efforts throughout the day. 

The lesson to learn, gentlemen, is to make sure we are not making efforts to love our wives and in the process doing something else to make them feel unappreciated.  It would be similar to taking our wives on a date and picking a fight with her.  Or bringing her flowers and making an ugly comment about where she chose to place them in the house.

Therefore, I come back from vacation hopefully a wiser man and more grateful than ever of the precious woman I married almost 15 years ago.  Those obvious, creative, and romantic ways and efforts to love our wives are good and we should be making a habit of them in our marriages.  But, do not miss the little things.  Just because they may not matter much to us, does not mean they do not really matter to our wives who spend most of their day working to serve and care for us and our children.

So, brothers, ask the question this week…if you dare.  Then, continue to ask the question as her answer may change over the years as you move into different seasons of life.  You might stumble upon a very surprising way to love your wife you never knew or had dismissed as insignificant.  Although it may be a surprise, trust me you will still want to know…if you really want to know how to love your wife in ways that makes her feel loved and appreciated.

Ladies, you have my permission to sent this post to your husband to nudge a conversation that is possibly long overdue.

Posted in Home and Family
13 comments on “What might be a surprising way to love your wife?
  1. Uri Brito says:

    Brian, this is exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks for this. Her comment about ripping a page off your sermon was particularly striking.

  2. Sam Bierig says:

    Great words of wisdom! A (specifically) helpful question to ask my wife of two years. We recently had a huge setback in our marriage when we lost our house in the tornadoes of a few weeks ago. It is our practice to have a date night every monday night. Due to the hecktic’ness of our schedules since the tornado last Monday i sensed that my wife and i needed to get out alone and have dinner and just spend some time alone. BUt she was being crushed by all of her responsibilities. I wanted to lead her well on whether to sabbath or work! A older faithful brother and pastor told me to ask her this specific question, “Mallory, what would be the biggest blessing to you rightnow/today? Would it be to try to catch you up on the mountains of work, or forget about the mountains till tomorrow and enjoy an evening free of the difficulties?” I believe the key word in that question was “blessing.” I want to be a blessing to my wife everyday and throughout her life. Great words Brian!

  3. paula says:

    Yes, or coming to his work and misplacing all his work related equipment, etc.

    and i would add to take it upon himself to get this through the kids’ heads as well so that she doesnt have to fight with him.

  4. paula says:

    Oops, typo, sorry. You can just edit my post if you like. Should be “fight with them.”

  5. Mine would love a feet massage :) she answered! How did I not guess that for being bless and gifted by God to share my life with a wonderful lovely God fearing nurse. Thank you for the wisdom.

  6. Roby Reyes says:

    Thanks for such a great post!
    I translated it into spanish and published it at http://www.varonilmente.blogspot.com
    God will do the rest.

  7. Dovey says:

    It sounds nice, but I kind of disagree – with the wife. I’m a wife. I think it shows greater love and respect for him if he is allowed to put his things where he wishes. If he wants to move them, he can, but not because he was nagged and shamed into it.
    The wife simply sounded whiny to me. I appreciate the help around here too, but I have quit making it a deal breaker. I spent years making this an issue. All it got me was a scared husband. Now we are friends and he can put his things in his house anywhere he wants to.
    All she got was her way and he is now just another one of her kids. It seems kind of emasculating to me. She sounded imperious and he seems like he slunk away with his tail between his legs. He has his sermon still intact and safe from her vengeful clutches – this time.

    • Christina says:

      I must say it is very obvious Ms. Dovey does not know the “wife” and the “husband” referred to in this blog, but I do. I would like to say that I, as a pastor’s wife, am so grateful for Brian’s leadership in teaching my husband so much about caring for God’s people and his own family. PRAISE GOD there are men who care about what they are communicating to their wives on a daily basis and wives who are brave enough and feel safe enough to share with their husband’s things that could be different. I think everyone is entitled to her own opinion, so here is mine. I think that Ms. Dovey can do whatever she would like with her own husband but I feel she is missing the whole point of the post. Husbands are to live with their wives in an understanding way—how are they to do that unless they study and know her? I am so thankful for the “whinning wife” as she is actually a very caring woman who cares well for her husband and children with little complaint!

    • briancroft says:

      Thanks for your honest reply, but it appears you missed the spirit of the post. Allow me to respectfully clarify. My wife never nagged me about this issue and has never made this a “deal breaker.” That was precisely why it was a “surprise” when I asked the question. In fact, in the midst of all the ways she selflessly serves me every day, allowing me to put things where I wanted was one of those. She had no intention to change me in this way, nor was she carrying any kind of grudge. But, remember the post was about me as her husband seeking, “how I could make her feel loved and appreciated by me.” This was her honest reply, which I wanted, but be assured she did nothing to manipulate this moment.

      This post was only to demostrate the many ways my wife is gracious to me, and often times to a level I do not realize like I should. I trust your husband experiences the same grace and love from you as I do from my wife. Thanks for writing and weighing in on the discussion.

  8. Renju Philip says:

    For those who are not married, this applies to our relationship with ones mother… while she cleans and keep every thing ready. We many times disregard the same…. :)

    Thanks for such a nice post

    Prayers
    Renju

  9. Paula says:

    Yikes. That’s pretty amazing sounding vitriol toward that wife who simply responded honestly to her husband’s honest question.

    I didn’t see what you saw at all. In fact, the husband who leaves his stuff wherever he wants, because he can, already IS acting like one of the kids.

  10. Geary Lutz says:

    Thanks for this post, brother! This post sounds like an echo, because my wife and I have just had this conversation within the past month or so and these exact things came up! Praise God for patient wives who endure our inconsiderateness! I pray that God will continue to grow me in this area of being considerate to my wife’s needs and what will make her feel appreciated. Thanks again!

  11. Annie B. says:

    Your wife just articulated very well something I FEEL daily, but have never been able to put into words! Instead of communicating it clearly like your wife did, the annoyance leaks out sideways as I’m frustrated about something…but not exactly sure what. Thanks for helping me IDENTIFY what that frustration often is!

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