The DNA of a Good Husband…?

I am a big fan of magazines.

I can’t tell you how much money I have spent on Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, SLAM, GQ (depending on the cover) and Time. So much information…so many articles. Awesome sauce.

Last week, I picked up a copy of Esquire magazine because it had a cool music section and Mr. Kevin Flynn, a.k.a Jeff Bridges was on the cover (If you have yet to see Tron: Legacy, you need to. Pure eye candy). While I was looking through it, I saw an interesting article that prompted me to buy the magazine, bring it home and underline stuff. It’s title? “Hitched: A Man’s Guide to Getting and Being Married.” In it, various authors give their thoughts on why men still choose to marry someone though divorce rates are high and doing the “let’s just live together” movement is booming large. The article is broken into the following sections:

– Meeting the wife: Initial relationship building, marriage and kids
– The Middle Years: A Philosophy of Fighting
– When A Marriage Ends: Dealing with the ramifications of divorce, remarriage, etc.

The article also has a quiz on if you are a good husband or not (of course it’s according to Esquire status so it’s kinda funny, kinda gross and not indicative of whether you are or aren’t good at the ‘job’) and some little quotes from people who have been married for YEARS on how to make a marriage last. Here are some of them:

– “She cleans, I cook. It works.” Herb Burton, married 52 years to Sylvia
– “Hilary tells me that women say that they need three husbands in their lifetimes. As a young woman, they need an adventurer. As a mother, they need a father to their children. And as an older woman, they need a companion, a steady type of guy. If you can fill those roles over the course of decades, you’re in luck.” Paul Wexler, married 40 years to Hilary.
– “Everything’s negotiable. There’s no black and white. You can’t draw a line in the sand, because the sand moves.” Dick Tressel, married 40 years to Connie.

Some cool truth there, i think. And you know what I notice even more? The numbers. 40…52…that’s amazing.

So I got to thinking: What is the DNA or recipe for a good husband? If the perfect husband could be constructed (and I know it’s impossible but for the sake of the blog post, please keep that arguementative voice to one’s self) what would it look like? Is it simply, “love God and that’s it?” Is it “adventure and romance?” Is it “know the signs, don’t be selfish?” Is it all of the above?

You see, I’m going on 6 years in September, one beautiful girl at the age of two and other bundle on the way. I have a steady job, a sliver of maturity, a have a relationship with Jesus, good morals and fashion sense. But it that all that it takes? I’m not the greatest at listening or noticing things (check out Becca’s blog for proof at http://beccachase.wordpress.com) but I clean a lot, even at weird hours. I misread eye contact (and every married man knows what I mean…yup. Exactly.) but love shopping for wifey…don’t know why I’m adding this in but hopefully it give context.

If I had to put myself on a HUSBAND scale of one to ten (one being “How did that guy even get out of the nursery??” and ten being “What? Jesus got married and coaches little league?? Amazing!”) it really varies. There are days when I know I am untouchable. Then there are days when I know that work came first, or TV, or the iPad, or even Eliana. I’m still learning and I am very thankful for patience that is shown my way, even when the scale is tipping towards the one. But still…what makes a husband good? And a follow up question, what makes a marriage last?

So, I need your help both ladies and gentlemen! In your estimation, what makes a good husband? If you’re married and a dude, what do you think you need to be awesome? If you’re a lady and married, what about your husband do you love? If you’re single, what do you want to be (men) or desire and expect (ladies). Comments and thoughts are encouraged here (so is subscribing…but that’s a whole other story) so post them away.

One last story: At Ellie’s daycare, there is a lady who literally walks with joy. It’s amazing because it’s not annoying but rather infectious. On certain days when I am there, her husband comes to pick her up. And when they see each other, you can feel their sparks. It’s amazing. Whether they say nothing or gab away, they love each other. She is his everything. They are still newlyweds but love each other like they have been married for years. And to know her story of how their love came about makes me smile even bigger. He’s her hero (apart from Jesus).

I like that. I wonder what he’s doing right.

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19 thoughts on “The DNA of a Good Husband…?

  1. The biggest thing that I believe works in favor of me as the husband is open communication. Talking about as much as we can to get a sense of how each others day went, what expectations there are of me when I get home, who’s turn it is to bathe the kids, everything. I feel that in having this open line, we are able to better process the information we need to know instead of hoping to guess as body language and eye contact. I share the ups and downs of the day, how bad my afternoon coffee tasted, about an uplifting phone call I receive, frustrations of ministry, love for people on and on. If it weren’t for communication lines being held open, our last 9 years would have been a huge struggle. Thankfully they have been amazing.

    And it never hurst to clean, even at weird hours.

  2. I don’t know about what really makes a good husband that I will leave for the other gender to define. I can tell you that it should be close to what I wrote about my wife in my blog http://5dailythanks.blogspot.com/2011/04/day-147-to-my-wife.html . Each party needs to give 100% and we all must realize that God has to be the main factor. There are not two but three in every marriage. God is the creator and originator of all things including Love (aka Christ his Son who died for us). So I turn to him for advice and find that he said, ” No greater lover is there than a man lay down his life for a friend.” which he did for the world. So to express Love, you must first know Love (aka Christ). The closer our relationship with him the more Love will emanate from us. The more we become like him the better for all our relationships. So by extension true Love is limitless and inclusive of laying everything down including ones life for the other. Therefore a good spouse would be one with a tight relationship with God and follows Christ example of Love even until death. Hence the words β€œuntil death do us part.”

    • Thanks for reading and replying Ed. Good thoughts. Question: Does one only need a loving relationship with God to be a good husband or does the relationship with God act as the foundation or base for everything else (adventure, romance, companionship, etc.)? Not saying you’re right or wrong or even “showing my card” and sharing my opinion here. Just asking a question…

      • God is the foundation, we still need to choose to Love others. The exercise of being with God and the source of love will continue to fill the empty cup. We still need to choose to pour it out as Paul says. I guess one could still love the Lord and ignore everyone else but I doubt that being changed daily by that experience could exist in the same place. I know that for myself the more in tune with him I am the more sensitive to others I become. When I am far from God it affects all of the relationships I have. For example one of the last things I did this morning was hold my wife while she slept and prayed for her, now that was an experience. It was the first time I ever did that, but I felt compelled. You see she is a gift from God, so by Loving her I also Love God. Thanks for the question it brought me new insight.

  3. great post. great question. i am not married. and i am definitely immature in the area. i have nothing to offer here but am pumped to take away this question and form for myself my expectations and desires, of course, without putting a box around them. its cool to think about, especially as the older you get as a single person, the more a slight interest in any guy pushes this envelope. thanks C.

  4. Me I’m single but I think a lot of it has to do with where your heart is and whether or not it is lined up with God. I think its your spiritual life and the amount of food(God’s word) you are receiving which causes you to receive fullness in your life. That being said, with respect to marriage, the guy I want to be is the one who has his heart lined up with God and with the spiritual aspect of my life being the foundation. That way if I fail or if the relationship is failing in areas of social, emotional, or physical areas of the relationship, I have something to fall back on. I would want to have a marraige where I am Christ like and she is like the church, which is exactly how it should be in my opinion.

    • Awesome to know you read the blog, Niels. We miss you a lot back here in Toronto. I love how you see your relationship with God as the foundation to your marriage and your net when you fail or fall. Question: Who’s marriage do you see around you now that you admire? What about it makes you say, “I wanna be like dat!”?

      • I have a bunch of friends which are married but the thing I admire is the fun they have and the laughter and joy that I see at the beginning of their marriage. Ultimately I don’t really admire anyONE marriage, I think what I admire more is what I have been taught about it through the church. However what I admire even more is what God says about marriage. I don’t want to be like the husbands I see in church, not to say they’re not doing it right. I want to have my heart lined up with God so that I can do the best that I can. As cliche as that is, I really mean that. As well, great blog Chris, I enjoy reading it cause I see it popping up on my facebook news feed!

      • … In addition to me not wanting to be like the husbands I see in church, what I meant there was that I do not want be who they are. The husbands in my church I assume are doing a good job, I hope. I want to be Niels but let God guide me to be myself through Him in the marriage.

  5. Beautiful blog from all of you. I am single but these are my thoughts on marriage:

    Marriage is about sticking with the person through thick and thin. There will be the good times, as well as the bad times; but in the end the point would be to love each other and God. Do not give up on each other when things get rough and treat each other as he/she would want to be treated. Grow together as a couple, do not stop learning from each other and God, with stopping the growth in the relationship; the relationship will die. Think of growth in the sense of a plant that needs water, soil and sun. Our relationships need trust, love, compassion, and understanding. The main things to any relationship is treating each other as you would want to be treated and LOVE our God with all our soul, mind and body.

    • Thanks for the encouraging note, Almerinda.
      Sticking it out require both patience and perseverance! That is major need and I’m glad you pointed it out! All good stuff! The recipe grows!!!

  6. Nice !!!

    Is it safe to say …. a good recipe for a good husband is a good wife? Now would I get beat up by the ladies that have a bad husband? πŸ™‚ If they ask you just let them know that I am just guessing here and I wouldn’t know better :).

    Anyways… seeing many friends and relatives that are married and running a family under their wings it opens my eyes to how a good husband/wife should be. I feel that communication and understanding of each others strengths and weaknesses is really important. Not to understand them to over power the other, but to love them even when they are at their weakest! Love is unconditional, and we should learn to love the person for who they are and be willing to work it out …now matter what it might be.

    This is what I believe that we all married/non-married should look at in times of trouble and in times of joy in relationships…. and understand the LOVE.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

    So yes …everyone has work to do, but we should be thankful to those that really love and carry their lives with us even with our downfalls. I believe its also something we learn and adjust to make relationships to work! If we can’t learn and adjust, then its hard to live with other ppl than yourself πŸ™‚

    DNA check … are we moving towards Christ’s DNA, His Likeness, and do we have Him as the head of the house? This plays a big factor. πŸ™‚

    –Raki

    • Well said, Raki! Understanding is huge!!! Knowing their story, what they’ve overcome, what God is doing and knowing how to communicate that is huge too!

  7. I’m not married but your post is very intriguing! I’m obviously not an expert (not even close) but my parents have always been great role models for me. I’m reminded of two things:

    1. My dad had to give up his old habits like smoking, drinking, even his career to marry my mom. He had to give up his career a second time to be a father to my brother and I. This was done before he even knew God. What really shines to me about my dad and his relationship with my mom, is that now he recognizes that my mom’s life is not his to keep but rather to take care of until the day she goes home to Christ. He reminds us daily that our lives belong to Christ, and when we remember that, we cherish each others lives even more so. Once we do that, love/understanding/patience/kindness/hope/etc. come naturally because Christ is our foundation, and everything comes as an expression of that faith. Now, it took a while for me to understand this and for my dad to get to this point but its been wonderful.

    2. My dad wants to buy a BMW. I think its a ridiculous idea. So I asked my mom, “Mom, why are you letting dad buy a BMW, its an luxury that we don’t need!” And she replied, “Well, your dad also needs to live out his childhood dreams, own his dream car.” Throughout their 27 years of marriage they’ve always been there to support each other, but at the same time, correct each other/refine each other. That balance of support but loving redirection/correction/constructive criticism.

    Ephesians 5: 25-32

    No matter how many fights, or how many arguments, my parents always present one other/regard each other as blameless and without stain because love and forgiveness.

    Thanks for sharing! I want to go hug my parents now ha ha.

    • These are inspiring and awesome examples. Even cooler that I know your dad and mom. Thank you so much for sharing this with me and for leaving this on my wall so that others can see it and be inspired too!

  8. I’m not single but I’m not married either. To be honest, what I think makes a good husband is his knowledge of himself and his wife as individuals and THEN as a couple. A man who knows his strengths, flaws and all in-between and knows how his wife reacts to them is great. Knowing your wife also helps you to please your wife, surprise her and keep the warm fuzzies that often disappear amongst the years alive. Not that any relationship depends on those but if your wife knows you know her (which is a process over a life time) there is always a fondness and appreciation in the relationship. It works vice-versa too I guess. Knowing each other as a couple is also great because then you see how things work together between the two of you on a relational level. The only other thing I can think of is time management.If you put food on the table for your wife and kid but don’t give them time, none of it matters. Making TIME for your wife and even putting aside things that may be important to you, shows the priority she takes in your life. The more your wife knows you love her through action, the better.

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