My biological father passed away from heart disease when he was 39 years old. I was six at the time, my brother was just over three, and my mom raised us for the next few years as a single parent. Just after I turned 10, my mom remarried. For the next 33 years, my mom and (step) dad were married until he passed away a few months ago from complications related to Alzheimer’s.
The last few years were really tough for my mom as my dad became almost entirely dependent on her for every need. She cleaned him up, cooked, did all the laundry, and pretty much everything else. She did it all without complaining or grumbling and rarely, if ever, received thanks from my dad. As I reflect back upon his life and their marriage, it’s easy to think this was a one-sided marriage where my mom gave, gave, and gave, and never received. In reality, however, she unconditionally gave because he loved her so well over their 33 years of marriage. He had his own honey do list and it was made up of six things. These are six things any husband should do for his wife.
1. He knew exactly what gift to give her.
When Christmas rolled around, my brother, Dad, and I opened up many presents. My mom, however, only got to open up the small gifts from my brother and me. That is until the very end of our present exchange. At that time, my dad pulled out a hidden gift and gave it to my mom. He always knew exactly what gift to give her.
- What is a gift that you know your wife wants? It doesn’t have to be expensive. Rather, show her you know and love her regardless of the cost of the gift.
2. My dad was “The Man” around the house!
No job was too small or too big for him. He cooked, cleaned, and did laundry. There never was an organization chart that delineated her jobs and his jobs. They both pitched in and did whatever it took, day in and day out. I’ve learned so much from my dad in how to serve my family around the house.
- What is one task that your wife detests doing around the house that you can do for her?
3. He made sure my brother and I respected his wife.
Yes, she was my mom before she was his wife, but he made sure my brother and I knew how to treat her. He taught us how to respect my mom by the ways we talked to her, responded to her, and obeyed what she told us to do.
- If you want to do something good for your wife, make sure she knows she’s loved, valued, and respected by your children
4. He valued her desires and interests.
My dad traveled for work, every week for decades. His idea of fun was not getting on a plane for more travel. On the other hand, my mom loves to travel. Even though another trip was the furthest thing from his desires, he still made travel with my mom a high priority.
5. He always provided for my mom and our family.
We never went on expensive vacations and didn’t eat out at fancy restaurants, but we never missed a meal, had a great roof over our heads, and always had whatever we needed. My dad provided for our family and always made sure my mom was provided and cared for. Even in tough seasons, my dad always showed a desire and intention to provide.
- You may be experiencing a difficult season. In the midst of that, what is one way you can show your wife that you desire to provide and take care of her?
6. He knew how to bring a smile to her face and make my mom laugh.
Growing up, I didn’t enjoy his sense of humor, but looking back I realize how much my dad made my mom laugh and smile. Whether it was the way he danced with his pinkies in the air or the practical jokes he played on her or others, my dad knew how to make my mom happy. And for that, I’m so grateful.
- What can you do to make your wife smile?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one kind thing you could do for someone?”