This list won’t be popular with many women. I understand that, and I understand why. But, my goal is a happy marriage, pleasing God and loving my husband. Here are ten ways I believe I can do that. I may regret many things in life, but loving my husband well won’t be one of them. So, here they are–ten things I won’t regret doing for my husband:
1. I won’t regret saying kind things about him. He’s my best friend, my perfect match, and my spiritual leader. When he’s annoying me, I shouldn’t call my mother or a friend and complain about him. I want him to make me look good when he speaks of me to others. I have to return the favor. When my day comes to an end, I can lie down peacefully knowing that I did nothing today to harm my husband’s reputation or make anyone think less of him. I didn’t betray him with cruel words or my skewed views of a situation we’re going through. I can have confidence that I said nothing that I wouldn’t want him to hear. I can know that I tried my hardest to promote his best qualities in my conversations with others.
2. I won’t regret taking care of him where I can. Is doing laundry my favorite activity? Of course not. Are there some days when I really don’t feel like cooking? Pretty much every day. But, these are tangible ways that I can show my husband that I respect him and that I am here to help him deal with the things in life that he doesn’t have time for or doesn’t want to do. I don’t want to do them either. This is true. But, when I choose to do them anyway, just because it helps my husband, I show him love. And, I am giving of myself. Laundry may not seem like a big sacrifice, but some days it really is. It’s a little way to put him first. And, in the course of a marriage, the little things end up being the big things.
3. I won’t regret being romantically involved with him. Even on the most tiring, dreadful, pull-my-hair-out kind of day, when I choose to love my husband in a way that speaks to him, I’m always glad that I did. It brings us closer, it reminds us that we’re on the same team, that we really do love each other, and that sometimes talking is over-rated. 🙂
4. I won’t regret backing him up in front of our children. I can’t say that there aren’t times when I disagree with the way my husband is handling something with the kids. I can’t even say that I never interrupt and speak my mind when I shouldn’t. But, on days when I bite my tongue and wait until we’re in private to talk to him about what he said that I wasn’t on board with, I am teaching my children that they are to respect and obey him. One of the biggest mistakes that parents make is undermining each others’ authority in front of our children. This is a sure way to teach our kids that they can manipulate us and that they don’t have to listen to us.
5. I won’t regret giving him some time alone. When we were first married, I expected us to spend every moment of our lives together. I wanted for us to go to bed at the same time, brush our teeth together, eat breakfast together, and everything else. Soon I learned that he was going to stay up until 2am every day, that brushing teeth together actually isn’t a very pleasant experience, and that he was not going to be a breakfast eater. It took him finally announcing one day that he needed some time to himself for me to back off and stop smothering him. He needs time to do things he enjoys, and unlike me, he doesn’t necessarily want to talk about every thought that comes into his head (although some days he does!). I found out that when I allowed him a little space, he was more fun to be around later. I had to give him some time to miss me!
6. I won’t regret praying for him. Men have a hard road to travel in this life. They have a lot of pressures, a lot of responsibilities, and a lot of decisions to make. I’m not saying women don’t have all of those things, too, but men carry heavy burdens. Who better to pray for my husband than his wife, who sees all of the ways that he sacrifices and works and stands between our family and the world? Praying for him is more than a nice thing to do. It’s essential to his well-being as a man of God. I need to constantly lift him up in prayer, asking God to show me how to help him carry his burdens, knowing that he is doing the same thing for me.
7. I won’t regret encouraging him. My husband has plenty of critics in this world. I shouldn’t be one of them. When he comes to me for encouragement, I shouldn’t use it as an opportunity to unload about all the things I see that he should be doing better. I should shower him with good words as much as possible. I should make him feel like I’m his biggest fan.
8. I won’t regret helping him fulfill his goals and dreams. When my husband calls on me to help him in his work or to listen to his ideas, or to move across the country, or to take a pay cut, I should be willing to accept the extra work or the changes to help him accomplish his goals. His goals are our family’s goals. And when I help him in big and small ways to accomplish something, I shouldn’t hold that over his head, reminding him how much I helped. I should help him humbly, and with a servant’s heart. I don’t want to look back and cringe because I was too afraid or too busy or too selfish to support him when he was reaching for a dream.
9. I won’t regret laughing with him. My friends, life is funny. And sometimes life is tragic. And in both instances it’s okay to laugh. I should be the kind of wife who finds humor in the little things, who can laugh at herself, and who doesn’t take life too seriously. After all, who wants to live with someone who is always frowning and pouting? Laughing together can ease so much tension, and in case you have forgotten, it’s still legal to have fun in marriage, even when life isn’t going all that great!
10. I won’t regret crying with him. Sometimes in marriage we get into these patterns of independence, where we get prideful and start trying to handle everything on our own. When we do this we rob ourselves of the greatest joys of marriage. I should be a safe place for my husband to cry. I should care when he is lonely, sad, worried, put down, ashamed, discouraged, or hopeless. I want to be the one that he turns to, so that together we can cry out to God and comfort each other, even in the worst of times, even in times that would separate many. I should strive to be the kind of wife that her husband runs to. The kind who is caring (not judging), comforting (not condemning), open (not shut off and cold).
I will make many mistakes through the years, but I will never regret doing these ten things for Chad. He does all of them and more for me. May we come to the end of our days together with few regrets, knowing that we did everything we could to love and cherish each other.
I was inspired to write this after reading Tim Challies’ 18 Things I Will Not Regret Doing With My Wife.