Husbands, do you want to know how to improve your marriage? Do you want to get the most out of your relationship with your wife? Do what I did.
I made my bed.
Not the world-changing marriage advice you expected. But stay with me.
I’ve always been someone that likes things the way I like them. I expect a lot out of others. I find fault when people don’t do things the way I want them done, or the way I would do them myself.
My family winds up walking on eggshells around me. They wait for me to tell them what they did wrong, or failed to do.
I know, it’s awful.
Yesterday morning I was getting ready for work and saw the rumpled pile of blankets on the bed. That old familiar feeling of disappointment crept in. Why can’t she make the bed when she gets up? Doesn’t she see how important it is to keep things tidy?
Then I heard the voice of my priest.
How to improve your marriage in one step
My priest is a grandfatherly Italian from upstate New York. He has made it his mission to help me overcome my sinful pride. He uses a time-honored technique – busting my chops.
I didn’t literally hear his voice like a message from on high. I had my own thought, but heard it in his voice. And as clear as day, my thought came out in his voice:
“If you want your bed made, go make it.”
It doesn’t always work this way, but in this moment I was made aware of my pride. On a week in which we commemorate the Publican and the Pharisee, I made a mental note of my wife’s shortcomings. And, by extension, my own supposed superiority.
I stopped what I was doing and made the bed.
Please believe that I’m no guide to a successful marriage. If anything I’m a master class in what not to do. But if you want to know how to improve your marriage, it’s simple.
Improve yourself. Don’t work on your spouse’s imperfections. Work on your own.
Christian men love to bring up Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In this letter he entreats women to “submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
We are not always as keen to mention the following passage:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Men, be a servant leader in your household. Don’t find fault or cajole. Don’t employ the sarcasm we men use to keep each other in check. Make your words like honey and humble yourself. Don’t make her feel stupid, especially for agreeing to marry you.
Show Christ’s love in front of your children, too. Every action of yours determines the way your sons will treat their wives one day. Every deed will determine what kind of man your daughter marries.
Be selfless and merciful. Be longsuffering and forgiving. Don’t hold a grudge while expecting forgiveness from above.
Pray for me today that I will be merciful to my family, and reflect the great mercy I am shown.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to go make the bed.
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