What Makes Marriage Work? Part II: 40 Things Husbands Should Stop Doing
By Lynn Cuellar - Family And Marriage Minister
God’s plan for marriage includes some distinct roles. He tells husbands that their role is to lead the family – and the way to do that is to behave in the way Jesus did. He loved us so much that He gave up His “rights” and became a servant to us. He gave himself up for us. That’s the kind of love men are called to have for their wives. I like the term “servant leader” to describe your role in making marriage work.
Challenge for today: Here is a fun list of “40 Things Husbands Should Stop Doing”. It’s from a fantastic family support site called Family Life (familylife.org). I really like each of the suggestions! Take a look, and pick 3 things you can work on this week. Have fun with it!
Things Husbands Should Stop Doing
Sometimes we need encouragement in our quest to step up and be the men God has called us to be. Sometimes we need information, and sometimes we need training. Sometimes we need a mentor—someone who will show us how to be godly men, how to love our wives as Christ loves the church.
And sometimes we need to know what we should stop doing. Sometimes we may even need someone to say, “Hey, stop acting like a jerk!”
That’s what this list is about. Of course, not all of these items apply to all men. But perhaps something here will hit home for you.
1. Stop acting like the battle is won in pursuing and getting to know your wife. Have fun together, just like you used to do before you walked down the aisle.
2. If your wife is a stay-at-home mom, stop treating her like her work during the day is somehow less strenuous or less important than yours.
3. Stop coming home from work and plopping in front of the television for the night, leaving your wife to bear the responsibility for everything else going on in the home.
4. Stop working so much. Find a healthy balance between work and family. Your wife would rather have you than a big house, nice car, etc.
5. Stop acting like you’re listening when you’re really watching TV.
6. Stop allowing the spiritual leadership of the family to default to your wife.
7. Stop being passive when it comes to disciplining and training your kids.
8. Stop saying you know and understand what your wife is saying or feeling when you haven’t even listened to what she has to say.
9. Stop being a closed book. Open up to your wife. Don’t be afraid to show emotion.
10. Stop allowing your role as leader in the home to be an excuse for selfish behavior. Don’t forget that a true leader also serves.
11. Stop dishonoring your wife by criticizing her in front of your children or in public.
12. When you wife irritates you, don’t answer right away. Instead count to 10 and remember that she is a gift from God.
13. Stop using your size and strength and anger to intimidate your wife and children.
14. Stop using the word “divorce” in your vocabulary.
15. Don’t shy away from difficult conversations with your wife.
16. Stop saying you’ll do something and then procrastinating.
17. Don’t purchase any major item without first discussing it with your wife.
18. It’s impossible not to notice beautiful women who pass by. But don’t allow your eyes to linger. (And if your wife is with you, don’t lie to her and say you didn’t see that woman. Just admit you looked.)
19. Stop thinking, I know more than my wife. You and your wife will each have more knowledge than the other in certain areas.
20. Don’t assume you know what your wife is thinking. Ask her how she is feeling and why.
21. When your wife tells you about a problem she’s having, don’t immediately try to solve it. She may just need you to listen to her.
22. Stop the sarcasm. You may be trying to sound funny, but you’re only cutting down your wife.
23. Stop treating your wife like a child. Remember that God has given her a wealth of experience and information that you need.
24. Stop acting like God and trying to control your wife.
25. Stop pointing out her mistakes and asking for explanations. Doing these things can make her feel like a failure.
26. Never casually or disrespectfully talk to other guys about sex with your wife.
27. Stop telling your wife that she is supposed to “submit” to you. If she is not following you, that means you’re not leading her as Christ loves the church.
28. Stop feeding your sexual desires from any source other than your wife.
29. Don’t be alone with any woman who is not your wife or related to you.
30. Stop discussing deep-level issues with a woman who is not your wife or related to you.
31. Stop deceiving your wife about your finances.
32. Don’t look up old girlfriends on Facebook.
33. Stop putting a number on how often you should enjoy sexual intimacy.
34. Stop acting as if you have a GPS programmed into your brain. Before you go somewhere with your wife, get the right address and find out how to get there. If you are lost, don’t hesitate to get directions—from your smartphone map, even from a person.
35. Don’t make fun of your wife to other guys.
36. Don’t allow guy-only activities (like playing golf, basketball, etc.) to rob you of leisure time with your wife and kids.
37. Stop expecting your wife to do all the housework.
38. Stop saying, “Honey … can you get the kids to be quiet?” when the kids are being monsters. Get up and go quiet them down yourself!
39. Stop putting all your stuff in the laundry basket and then acting as if you “did the laundry.”
40. Stop acting like picking up a gallon of milk is equal to the martyrdom of St. Stephen.