The Biggest Mistake of My Marriage
We’ve all made big mistakes in our marriage, but for me, there was none quite as costly as the BIG one I made very early on…
One day as my wife was ironing my shirt, I realized that she wasn’t exactly doing it the way I wanted it done. (Disclaimer, the following has been edited for content and rated “S” for stupidity!) So, without giving it any thought, I declared, “Um, that’s not really the way my mom ironed my shirts.” BIG. Mistake.
With that, she gently sat the iron down and politely said, “Well, you certainly won’t have to worry about that anymore. You can iron your own shirts from now till Kingdom come.” She “sweetly” smiled and walked away.
Well, we’ve been married for 15 years now and careful, scientific calculation reveals that thus far I have spent 312.8 hours behind an ironing board! If only I could take back that statement! I’m not even joking – one comment cost me 312 hours that I could have spent doing some very important things like playing golf. Or napping. Or doing some research for a blog about forgiveness that my wife obviously needs to read! Wait…I just did it again, didn’t I?
As you can see, I’m no marriage expert. But I do want to share several pointers that I’ve learned along the way. Husbands – hopefully these will keep you from a few stupid mistakes in your marriage relationship.
Love your wife as Christ loved the church. The Bible says that, “husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus was a servant, and as husbands we must learn to serve our wives.It’s great to protect and provide for our spouses, but we also must take on the role of servant, just like Jesus did, and serve our wives. Recently, my wife spent the day shopping with some friends. While she was gone, I planted a small vegetable garden as a surprise for her. She never asked me to and it wasn’t on the honey-do-list. I simply overheard her tell someone she would like to have one. So, I made a mental note to serve her in this way. Guys, serving your wife is not just for her birthday and Mother’s Day!
Celebrate your wife’s strengths more than you point out her weaknesses. We are so quick to point out the weaknesses in those we love. I encourage you to love your spouse more for the things they do right than despise them for the things they do wrong! Point out your wife’s strengths and offer compliments freely and often!
Honor your wife by giving her your time. I’m convinced that the greatest gift you can offer your wife and children is your time. It’s the most valuable thing that you have in your life. I’m pretty bad at bringing my work home. I’ll sit at the kitchen table working away, feeling pretty good about the fact that I’m home with my family. The problem is, they have my body, but they don’t have my attention. I’ve actually found it better to stay in the office an extra 30 minutes to get the work done than try to come home early and work once I get there. When I’m at work, I’m working. When I’m home, I’m a husband and I’m a father. If you work from home, you really need to set aside your work time and family time and refuse to mix the two.
Discover your wife’s language of love and speak it. Gary Chapman identified five different types of love languages in his best selling book. Understanding that my wife’s language of love is very different from mine actually strengthened my marriage in a major way. What love language does your spouse respond to? Acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation or physical touch? Whatever the language of love your spouse responds to, figure it out and speak it often! For more info about The Five Love Languages, visit http://www.5lovelanguages.com.
Simply put, stop acting like an idiot! The bottom line is we don’t always use the gift of common sense. Treat your wife with kindness. She’s a gift; treat her with the care and respect that she deserves. Speak kind words and offer affirmation to her. Build her up instead of tearing her down. Honor her publicly and privately. Set boundaries in your marriage and honor them. Listen more than you speak. Control your tongue and your temper. Building a strong healthy marriage really isn’t rocket science. It takes work, time, prayer and effort, but it’s not impossible!
Guys, what are some other lessons in marriage that you’ve learned along the way?
Ladies, what would you add to the list?