Lesson #1 – Real men are committed from Day One for the long haul. There are no other options once a man says, “I do,” because he vowed to “forsake all others” and a man’s word is his bond. My word is my bond.
Lesson #2 – Even if I am freaked out by them, too, I still need to kill cockroaches if my wife asks me to. Courage is doing the right thing despite my fears.
Lesson #3 – My wife wants a husband who is strong. In fact, she wants someone who is strong enough to listen rather than lash out during an argument, to say sorry when he has truly done something wrong, and to show emotions and feelings other than anger and rage. Ultimately, the more I set aside my own pride to meet her needs the stronger she sees me.
Lesson #4 – Headship is NOT a dictatorship when practiced in the context of striving to live a life like Jesus Christ whose style of servant leadership. So many men get this wrong thinking headship means “Being the king of the castle, and what I says goes!” What woman wants to have a man like that in her life for the rest of her life? If I have to use guilt, or pull the “Submission” card, I’m not leading the way Christ led at all.
Lesson #5 – I do not need to be perfect, just perfectly willing to be the best man I can be for my wife and family. I don’t attend marriage conferences because my wife asked, or begged, me to attend. I attend them with a pen in hand, an open heart, and the Holy Spirit by my side so I come out with an improvement plan for myself. My wife deserves my best effort.
Lesson #6 – Praising my wife in front of my kids is important to model for them how to praise their spouses when they grow up.
Lesson #7 – Praising my wife in front of my kids also impresses the heck out of my wife. It reminds me every day of what a wonderful woman she is. My wife has given me her love, her heart, her devotion, her trust & faithfulness, and her youth. The LEAST I can do is to give her praise as publicly, and privately, as possible.
Lesson #8 – When I was in business for myself, I had a bad habit of treating my clients and customers better than I treated my own wife. Today, my priorities of relationships are in this order, (1) God, (2) my wife, (3) my kids, (4) everyone else.
Lesson #9 – YOLO (You Only Live Once). Many people use YOLO as a reason, or justification, to have affairs or get divorced. I have thought about death, and I would rather live one very good life with Olivia than try to cram multiple shallow ones into this precious life.
Lesson #10 – Stay connected. I don’t want quality time with my wife. I want to spend QUANTITY TIME with her. I have the luxury of having Fridays off from work. That is our day together while the kids are gone. We could get a lot errands done if we divide and conquer, or I could go hiking, camping, or some other hobby I’d like to do, but I cherish these days we spend together. It’s like having our own special, secret life together no one else gets to be a part of. I like washing dishes with her because we get to talk while the kids avoid the kitchen out of fear that we will put them to work.
Lesson #11 – A lot of folks have congratulated us for staying married for 11 years saying, “Eleven years is a long time.” I smile to myself as I realize that these past eleven years have only been the beginning of what God has in store for our marriage. I may as well make the best of every moment of it. After all, YOLO!
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