As husbands, we are all about pleasing our wives. Sometimes, this can be framed as the center of our existence. We are told to live to serve our wives. Unfortunately, our mindsets can sometimes drift towards the self. Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to please your wife. Our efforts tend to be mixed with expectations of favors returned, even if it’s just a smile or a kiss. We may massage her feet or cook dinner, claiming it’s out of love but truthfully anticipating something in exchange for our time. “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
Marriage is a Covenant
I hate to break it to you, men, but this isn’t serving. These favors don’t show love to your wife. It shows loving yourself. “Serving” your wife, claiming to sacrifice your time and needs for simple acts of grace and kindness, while having ulterior motives, can be considered just as sinful as ignoring her wants and needs. You do not love her if you’re expecting a thank you. You’re not serving her if there’s a transaction taking place. Marriage is a covenant. Our modern conceptions of such a concept create a contractual relationship. If you clean, I’ll do the yard work. If I take out the trash, you’ll do the dishes. Marriages that function as divided labor are not Biblical. Covenants in the Bible were almost always one-sided. If Israel kept God’s commandments, He would deliver them. If Israel followed the rules, then He would feed them. Again and again, Israel failed. Again and again, your wife will fail. And you will fail more often than your wife ever will. You will fail daily, from moment to moment. With failure guaranteed by all parties involved, how do we serve, how do we, as men, love our wives? It’s simpler than you could ever imagine.
How to Please Your Wife
When you wash the dishes and don’t like how you put them in the dishwasher, fix it. When you fold laundry, and they’re not organized correctly in the dresser, don’t complain. Fix it. When she asks you to pick up the kids from school, don’t complain. Pick them up. Then go home and cook dinner. And clean up after you’re done. Shower the kids. Tuck them into bed. Take everything off the shoulders of your wife that is heavy and carry it as your own. And if you fail, try again. And again. Huffing and puffing are not serving your wife. Complaining about small details that could be overlooked is not serving your wife. Gracefully and gently doing everything and anything asked of you, with kindness and eagerness, is loving your wife. You will fail at this. And that’s okay. Because you’ll forgive one another. You’ll wake up the next morning, sinful but redeemed, and you’ll go at it all over again, free and forgiven. The approval of our wives is not something we should seek. Neither should we pursue pleasure for ourselves when it comes to the favors and tasks we take on for our wives. Instead, we should lay down every moment of every day for them. We should die to ourselves and our wants and needs, loving them without any anticipation of anything. We should rest in the promises of Christ, knowing that we are free from sin, embracing that we are free to love our neighbors as ourselves. And who is your closest neighbor? The one who is falling asleep next to you every night. Author: William Gilbert For more UNCOMMEN blog articles, please visit our archives.