My young son used to bring me beautiful flowers (aka weeds) accompanied with a tight squeeze and a precious, “I wuv you, Mommy!” When he got a bit older, he learned to cook breakfast and he willingly vacuumed the floor. I would praise him (and myself a little bit) saying, “You’re going to be such a good husband someday.”
Now that I’ve logged in the miles that come with raising a son and almost 30 years of being married, I can assure you that, while I can’t imagine complaining about my husband bringing me flowers, cooking or vacuuming, I know full well it takes much more than those things to be a good husband. Sure, those can be signs that he loves me but they are merely the makings of a good human.
Social media has so many of us convinced that if our husbands only brought me flowers like her husband does we could rest easy in their love and faithfulness. If our husbands would offer to cook a meal every once in a while, he would certainly climb up a rung on the “good husband” ladder. If we raise our sons to know how to use a vacuum and load the dishwasher, then he, indeed, will one day be the best husband ever!
Moms, we must raise our boys to be good men but we also need to raise them to be good husbands.
Years ago, my husband and I were introduced to the 5 Love Languages. My primary love language is Acts of Service. To feel loved, I don’t need a hug, I don’t need to be told, “I love you.” I don’t need a gift and I don’t need much of your time. I feel loved when my husband changes the burnt out light bulbs. But the truth is, I would feel loved if anyone changed my burnt out light bulbs. Speaking someone’s love language makes you a loving person, it is not the making of a good husband.
So, what makes a good husband? I’m glad you asked. Here is what I believe we need to be reminded of as we’re raising our sons.
What makes a good husband is their ability to be:
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 1 John 4:15-16 NIV
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 NIV
Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 NIV
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 NIV
The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12 NIV
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.John 15:12 NIV
For wisdom will enter your heart,and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Proverbs 2:10 NIV
When I first met the man I would later marry, one of the things that I found attractive about him were his hands. They were (and still are) worker’s hands. I was raised to highly value a strong work ethic. I could tell by the car grease stains that he knew how to work hard and he wasn’t afraid to do it.
Working the land and providing for his family are in a man’s DNA. It goes all the way back to Adam when God put him in the garden to care for it. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15 (NIV)
Over the course of our marriage, my husband’s God-given DNA motivated him to be a hard worker and an excellent provider. But through challenges that stretched outside of financial provision, we discovered that, while respectable, a solid work ethic isn’t what a good husband is made of.
Make no mistake, I imagine there’s not a wife out there who would complain about receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers or her husband cooking dinner or vacuuming the living room. But as we raise our sons, let’s focus more on what goes into their heart than what they do with their hands.
What makes a good husband is not as much about the work of his hands but the work in his heart.
For the record, my young son is now a fully-grown man. He’s both an excellent provider and a very good husband in all of the right ways. He’s also a pretty great cook and can maneuver a vacuum cleaner like a pro.
Andrea Stunz has been a Christ-follower from the age of seven. She is the loyal wife to one, loving mom to three amazing adult children, grateful mother-in-law and ridiculously proud grandmother. A well-traveled Texan, having lived in Brazil, Asia, and the UK, Andrea finds joy in her family, grace in her friends, beauty in a story, purpose in the sunrise, wonder in her travels, and hope in Colossians 1:17. Andrea longs to encourage others by sharing stories because “a story worth living is a story worth sharing”. Find more from her at AndreaStunz.com.