Early in my NFL career, I had the honor of playing with Jon Kitna, Josh McCown, and Mike Furrey. All of them were warriors on the field, as competitive as they come. Dirt, sweat, blood, and determination filled our practices, which is normal in the National Football League. However, there was one thing uniquely different about playing with these guys. Until then, I had never been around men who would fight like crazy on the field and then love and care for their wives in such a powerful way.
Have you ever thought about how a husband should treat his wife? There has been a lot written about what real men do. I can tell you this: Real men love their wives. I learned that from Jon, Josh, Mike, and the Detroit Lions’ team chaplain Dave Wilson. From them, I learned these 5 ways real men treat their wives.
1. With Tenderness
This shows up in the little things. It’s responding with words of kindness when she’s having a tough day. It’s sitting on the couch together and rubbing her feet without her asking. Being tender means discerning how she is feeling and treating her with gentleness and compassion.
Question: How can you show your wife more tenderness today?
2. With Self-SacrificeIt takes a strong man to put his own needs and desires aside for his wife.
Marriage is about giving more than receiving. Your main motivation in marriage needs to be loving your wife as deeply and as consistently as possible, no matter what. It takes a strong man to put his own needs and desires aside for his wife. Our natural tendency is selfishness and we must overcome that willfully in our everyday decisions.
Question: How often do you sacrifice your self-interest for your wife?
3. With Praise
One thing I often paid attention to with those teammates was how they talked about their wives. They would never belittle or speak negatively about them. I kept waiting for it, but it never came. They always expressed how thankful, blessed, and fortunate they were to have their wives. We need to give our wives praise, not only directly to them, but as we talk about them to others, even to our “boys.”
Question: When is the last time you told someone else how beautiful you think your wife is, how fortunate you are to have her, or what a great mom she is?
4. With Honesty
Our wives need to feel the freedom to be honest with us. We need to be open and willing to receive criticism from our wives so we can improve. Lions chaplain Dave Wilson asks his wife every quarter what he can do better as a husband. It gives his wife the space to be honest with him. Crave this kind of honesty from your wife because it gives you insight into her mind.
Question: Do you give your wife space to be honest with you?
5. With Loyalty
We need to be devoted exclusively to our wives. Loyalty takes intention, discipline, and commitment. Clearly, we need to have boundaries in our relationships with females. But we also need to be loyal in our thoughts. Do you let images of other women capture your imagination? Be disciplined in how you think and your actions will show it.
Question: How loyal are you to your wife in your thoughts?
Sound off: How can you improve on the five ways mentioned above?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it takes to love someone well?”