Recently, I blogged about things that husbands should never say to wives and things that wives should never say to husbands. They were follow-ups to some very popular posts in recent years on 10 things and 10 more things that wives and husbands (plus 10 more for husbands too) want to hear from each other.
As I looked at writing this post, I came across a good article posted by our friends at FamilyLife, “40 Things Husbands Should Stop Doing.” I picked these seven from the list and added some of my own thoughts:
1. Stop dishonoring your wife by criticizing her in front of your children or in public. You may think you’re being clever or funny, but it’s not helpful to your marriage or honorable to your wife to criticize her, especially in front of others. Your kids need to see you modeling how to be supportive and complimentary, not critical, of your wife.
2. Stop comparing your wife to other women. Saying something like, “Why can’t you be more like Karen?” is demeaning and devaluing to your wife. She is created with immeasurable value and worth. Cherish and honor your wife for who she is, not for what she does or doesn’t do.
3. 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. It’s in our nature as men to want to fix things. So when my wife, Susan, tells me about something, instead of jumping in to fix it, I often ask her something like, “Do you want me just to listen or do you want my input on how to deal with it?”
4. Stop trying to control your wife. This one has been a struggle for me, especially in our early years in our marriage. I wanted Susan to be more like me … to think, behave and do things just like me. But when I saw her becoming more like me, I didn’t always like it. So I’ve learned to let go of the reigns and let Susan be the woman, wife and mother God created her to be.
5. Stop being passive when it comes to disciplining and training your kids. Parenting is a team effort and is not just mom’s job. Be actively involved with your wife in disciplining your children and in training them up to walk in truth and love.
6. Don’t be alone with any woman who is not your wife or related to you. I’ve always had a personal policy not to travel with, have lunch or meet with any other woman alone. To do otherwise would only invite temptation into my life.
7. Stop feeding your sexual desires from any source other than your wife. Whether it’s flirting with other woman or dabbling with pornography, avoid anything that could take your mind, heart or body away from your wife. Treat your sexual relationship with your spouse as something to be protected, not just enjoyed.
What are some other things you think husbands should stop doing? Sound off, graciously, in the comments section below.
Coming Friday: 7 Things Wives Should Stop Doing
Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit markmerrill.com.