I was recently headed to Starbucks. Shocker. My wife asked for some fancy Butterbeer Frappuccino or the like. Another shocker. I complained, as per the usual. But, I ordered.
The kind barista then told me, "Sir, we're out of 'x-type' of syrup. Would you like a refund or would you like us to make a different drink?"
From the barista's view, I had two options: Option #1: Get a refund. Option #2: Order a different drink.
All I had to do was think. I didn't think. I picked option #1. My wife ain't the barista in this story, brothers. If you're viewing from my wife's side, option #1 was NOT an option.
I got my refund and came home with my coffee in hand. I said nothing and the day went on.
Fast forward hours later when I texted my wife:
Oh, by the way, they didn’t have some fancy syrup for your drink. I just got a refund. But I did order it, I promise. I can show you the refund receipt.
Now, take a deep breath for a moment. Do you think showing the refund receipt helped my case?
No, exactly, the refund receipt meant nothing. I’m an idiot. End of story.
Now, I’ve had time to think about what went down. I went wrong on many levels. But, my biggest problem? I was NOT being an awesome husband. The moment my wife wanted a drink, I didn’t REALLY want to get it.
Despite my being an expert and all at how to be a godly husband and father (read: I'm not an expert.), my decisions reveal my heart. I went wrong before I ever left home.
Instead of imitating me and the frappuccino debacle, let's look at what awesome husbands do. Kent and I recently took an informal poll in which we asked wives (if you're reading this, we may have asked your wife!) this question:
What one or two things does your husband do that you find really helpful?
The top responses were as follows:
1. My husband prays for me.
2. My husband encourages me.
3. My husband grocery shops for me.
Consider this, what if you were to pray for your wife more, encourage your wife more, and do some grocery shopping? From here on out, my goal is to do what the awesome husband does.
1) The awesome husband prays for his wife.
We didn't ask follow-up questions. I'm unclear how wives know they're being prayed for. Hum.
- Maybe it's because the awesome husband is praying with his wife?
- Maybe it's just a feeling from the wife?
- Maybe it's the way the husband treats her?
2) The awesome husband encourages his wife.
I won't wax eloquent here. Let me give you my intentions and you hold me accountable. I’m going to call, text, send homing pigeon, something, that encourages my wife and tells her I'm thinking about her during the day. I'll work to make this not seem rehearsed. I'll be spontaneous.
Don't worry, my wife never reads my blog posts. I could put my bank number in here. : ) No joke, before writing this sentence, I chatted my wife:
I know you’re busy. Know I’m thinking about you. And I love you.
She immediately chatted back:
I love you.
Bam! Brothers, I can’t teach you how to live better than this. This is the end of my wisdom. : )
3) The awesome husband grocery shops.
Or vacuums...or cleans the house...walks the cat (insert awful chore here). Okay, imagine with me. Your morning and your day have went swimmingly. Now, all you have to do is go grocery shop. I'm only half kidding.
Here's my secret recipe. Trust me, my last name is Sanders. I know the secret recipe (Colonel Sanders? Get it? No? Nevermind.), just text your wife this (copy and paste if you want):
Babe, I’m headed home. Need anything?
If your wife is like mine, she’ll need something. Now, without complaining like me in the aforementioned story, get it and bring it home. Done. You’re ready to come home to a perfectly loving wife. You’re welcome. Send donation checks to Manhood Journey.
Seriously, think about it. A major part of being a godly dad is being a godly husband. If you fail to pray for your wife, fail to encourage her, and well, fail to ever do the grocery shopping, odds are good you're not on your way to being an awesome husband.
You can do this. We'll see you on aisle 7.
Sidenote: My caring, loving, beautiful wife never made a big deal of this incident. To my knowledge, she never looked at the refund receipt.
Ryan Sanders is the Director of Outreach at Manhood Journey. Ryan is married to Tonia and they have two daughters and one son. He lives in Reston, Virginia, serves at McLean Bible Church in Washington, DC and is a diehard Redskins fan. Learn more about Ryan here and follow him on Twitter @RyanSanders.
Manhood Journey originally partnered with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for The Ultimate Homeschool Dad blog post series (login required). Portions of this post came from that cool partnership.