marriage advice

The Simplest Yet Most Profound Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Received

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“Well, son, will she help you?” my dad asked me as he tightened a lug nut in his shop. All my life, my dad’s been an auto mechanic, which is why he’s good at making complicated things simple. He paused and looked over at me, waiting for my reply. I can hear the click of the torque wrench now almost 20 years since my dad asked me this question.

I was dating my now-wife and wondering if I should ask her to marry me. At the time, the marriage advice helped me see Tonia for who she is—a helper. Over the years, I’ve come back to this question many times. It not only helped me choose my wife wisely, but it also helps me be a better husband. Here’s the simplest marriage advice I’ve ever received.

My dad’s simple question about whether Tonia would help me turned into profound marriage advice. Yes, she helps me—but this taught me to ask a different question: Do I help her? I’ve used it a lot over the last 20 years. Here’s what it looks like.

Diving Into the Daily Grind

As husbands, we make big promises at the wedding, and we simply don’t realize the daily grind of marriage doesn’t look like that ordered ceremony. Maybe your house is different, but rarely does the table have place settings, catering, or a reception. No, marriage is more about the little moments each day that make up a life. Do you help your wife in the daily grind? It could be as simple as helping with the chores. You can help her in the daily grind to have peace and resolve just by being there when needed, being someone she can talk with, and being the one to laugh with.

Encouraging as Necessary

In many marriages, when one person is down, there isn’t a helper to encourage the other. As time goes on, we can become focused on individual pursuits and drift into thinking about ourselves more and encouraging our wives less. As a husband, are you being the chief encourager for your wife? Be the one who lifts her up when she’s down. You know her better than anyone, so you know what encourages her, what can cheer her up, what can boost her confidence. Make sure you listen and encourage her—not just about her big dreams, but by being there as a solid rock during seasons of struggle. If she needs encouragement in her career, encouragement to take a moment of quiet rest, or encouragement while you help her prepare for whatever she faces, give that to her.

A strong marriage isn’t built in one ceremony, or over a few days. A strong marriage takes years to build.

Sharpening Each Other

A strong marriage isn’t built in one ceremony, or over a few days. A strong marriage takes years to build. Sharpening each other is about couples holding each other accountable, providing each other feedback, and always seeking what’s best for each other. This might mean reminding your wife of that goal she had a few months back or about finishing that degree she started. The solid husband will look for opportunities to sharpen his wife to ensure that she’s becoming a better version of herself. It takes continual sharpening to have and keep a strong marriage.

Sound off: What’s the best marriage advice you’ve ever received? 

Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What’s the best marriage advice you’ve received?”