A Surrendered Heart: So…What Does Your Husband Do?

Welcome to A Surrendered Heart: A Wife’s Journey to Love the Jesus Way. I will be sharing my thoughts here each Thursday during this 6-week class, offering printable journal pages for you to pray through on your own time, and providing discussion questions for us to talk though together. How will this work? Simply click on the “Leave a Comment” button on each post to add your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions to the discussion. If you are a newsletter subscriber, please click through to this post on my website to add your comments to the discussion to be read by everyone. I look forward to hearing what you have to say! God be praised for the gift of marriage and for allowing us to grow in Him.

Read Lesson 1: Why I Married This Guy

Surrendered Heart Lesson 2

It’s too easy to park my brain and heart on all that my husband isn’t doing, forgets to do, doesn’t notice needs to be done, or hasn’t yet gotten around to. The list: it can become long. I’ve told him, I’ve encouraged him, I’ve made suggestions, and I’ve downright nagged. He still doesn’t do everything he needs to do.

I mean everything I need him to do.

I mean everything I want him to do.

I mean everything that would make my ideal world of idealism completely ideal. If he could maybe just work within my time table. Perhaps he could be a little bit more like the perfect guy I envision.

Yes. That’s what I want. A perfect guy. Like the ones in the books and movies (written by women). {bonks self on head}

I know I’m being unreasonable. But sometimes my heart doesn’t care. I want what I want when I want it and if I try even just a little bit, I can turn those wants into absolute needs – and then suddenly all I can think about is all that my husband isn’t doing. All he hasn’t gotten around to. All he forgot was on his my urgent to-do list. These are real things – the work we need our husbands to do for us – just like the work he needs us to do for him. I’m not discounting the list – I’m gently squeezing the heart. What seeps out? Joy or dispair?

I’ve heard it suggested that wives would benefit from thinking about and appreciating everything her husband does do – instead of focusing on all that he doesn’t. I mean really, if we were making lists, how many bullet points could I write about all I need to do but don’t get around to in a day? Goodness – the list would be long. If my husband read my “didn’t get done” list to me night after night – ignoring and not appreciating everything I did do in a day? I’d curl up in a ball and cry.

My husband is tougher than that. But how many times have I read him the “I need you to do” list without even acknowledging and appreciating all of the “thank you so much for doing” list? It’s okay to have requests. It’s okay to need him to get work done around the house. It’s even okay to want some emotional needs to be met by your guy. It’s just not okay to be unappreciative and to focus our hearts on our husband’s imperfections so that we become discontent and disrespectful.

So. What does my husband do?

I’m so glad you asked. But before I tell you, I want you to remember something. My guy is mine. Your guy is yours. Don’t let what my husband does add more to your list of what your husband doesn’t do. Your husband is good at doing some things that never crosses my husband’s mind and vice versa. One of the quickest ways a wife can become discontent with her husband is to compare him to someone else and think, “Why can’t my husband be more like that?” That’s messed up and we both know it.

Now me first, then you.  What does my husband do?

  • He reads the Bible to our family at breakfast
  • He does our taxes (I barf just reading that word)
  • He coaches our sons’ soccer teams
  • He leads our family in scripture memory time and discusses the scriptures so they reach both head and heart
  • He does dozens of repairs around our home

The rest of that list I am writing on my own for my own heart (see printable below). That’s the point. My own heart needs to be constantly reminded of all my husband does because when my heart dwells there, the “all he doesn’t do” focus fizzles away just like all other unhealthy thoughts fizzle away when Christ takes over.

Scripture to Consider

I’ve included two verses for us to focus on today, and I encourage you to read them within their contexts as you listen to what God has to teach you. Consider what your eyes are seeing when you look at your husband and think about what he does. Are your eyes fixed on Jesus, filling you with light (which makes you radiant)? Or are you instead focusing on the temporary, which is full of this life’s frustrations?

Luke 1134
Download the Fix our Eyes Printable Here

Print the following “What He Does” page to add to your Surrender Your Heart journal. Ask God to reveal truth to you. What does your husband do? Spend time reflecting, then fill the page. Next time you’re tempted to dwell on what your husband doesn’t do – have a heart check. Surrender your heart to let God win the battle of the mind!

What He Does 450

 Download the What He Does Printable Here

God will reveal to you what is important enough to ask of your husband. Pray. Surrender. Listen. Obey.

My experience has been vividly clear when practicing this. When I’m focused on what my husband doesn’t do I find myself frustrated, discontent, and ugly-hearted. When I instead look with appreciation at all he is doing, well…let the beaming begin. (You have been beaming, right?)

Up For Discussion…Share With Us

  • What does your husband do? (Go on, brag a little.)
  • What do you notice each time you “fix your eyes on Jesus” compared to the times you are focused on earthly desires?
  • How can you stop yourself from heading down a path of discontentment when your husband fails to live up to your expectations?

Comments

  1. Margaret says

    It is sad. I did not appreciate all he did until he became ill and our sons and I had to start doing things.

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    Laura Reply:

    That is certainly a reality check, isn’t it? I’m thankful you and your sons have been able to pick up the slack. That is a blessing!

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  2. Jennifer says

    Thanks for this wonderful reminder Laura! My husband goes to work every day to provide for our family, so I am able to stay home with our 3 children….what a blessing!

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    Laura Reply:

    That in and of itself is a huge blessing!

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  3. Tracie says

    Hi Laura! My husband does all the yard work, and as much car repair as possible (he was a mechanic). He also goes to work every day to provide for us. He puts the kids to bed and prays over them every night he is in town. He is also in charge of teaching the kids how to ride bikes (she says as she hyper-ventilated just picturing her precious babies wobbling on two wheels).
    One thing he told me early on in our marriage was to NEVER give him a “honey-do” list. So I never have. He would much rather discuss what needs to be done with me. It has worked for us, and we always know when we haven’t discussed our plans (once one of the bathrooms got cleaned twice, he, he he!).

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    Laura Reply:

    What my bathrooms wouldn’t give to be cleaned once, much less twice right now! :) :)

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  4. says

    My husband takes out the garbage every Tuesday ( without him my house would probably be a dump! )
    But most of all he ALWAYS listens to me, even when I am just complaining about life in general. I appreciate this so much you cannot even imagine.
    Never in a million I would have imagined to find such a perfect person for me…

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    Laura Reply:

    Isn’t it amazing that we can picture what kind of guy we want, then God gives him to us even better?! :)

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  5. Traci says

    Hi Laura….Thank you for this reminder. It is important for us all to look at what our husbands do. Sometimes its easy to “overlook” what they do during the day while they are “at work”. My husband works on his feet for 12 hours a day 5 days a week. Hes a mechanic. This has taken a toll on his back and hands. He then comes home and chops, splits and stacks wood all year long for us to heat our house in the winter. He reads two daily devotions to me every night. Counsels with 2 young men once a week. Attends prayer meeting at church every Wednesday night. Helps with the youth group and also leads worship every Sunday morning. On top of all of that he will try to help me by doing whatever dishes he sees needs to be done before he goes to work in the morning. Plus all of the little honey dos I add on top. Hes is a wonderful Godly husband and I thank God for him every day. Thank you for reminding me to look at what he DOES do….

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    Laura Reply:

    Beautiful. It sounds like he is a super hard worker. “working for the Lord and not for men…” :)

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  6. Amanda says

    My husband:
    – cleans up, washes dishes and loads the dishwasher after dinner while I tackle some things I couldn’t earlier in the day with two littles.
    – takes care of the finances with ease and likes doing it.
    – loves to bathe the kids. Hearing the giggles and pretend play always makes me smile.
    – takes care of the grass and weed whacking
    And so so so much more that I’ll reflect on this week.
    ~Every time I fix my eyes on Jesus I extend more grace. I savor what we have TODAY. Because it could be gone TOMORROW. I have a more grateful heart.
    ~I remind myself that None are righteous. No, not one. And I meditate on this quote:
    “He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it.” – Charles Spurgeon
    Man, I love that quote! Hits me to my core!

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    Laura Reply:

    Oh wow, that is a wonderful quote. I’m so glad you shared it!

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    Amy Reply:

    Thank you for sharing that quote. I needed to hear that!

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  7. Tiffany says

    We homeschool and my husband has always taught the History, Science and Geography. The whole first year after our 4th was born, he gave me a break and did ALL the school. Yep, he’s a keeper!

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    Laura Reply:

    Wow, the entire school year. That’s awesome! My husband has stepped in to do more schooling with our kids too as I’ve become busier with website work. It’s so great to be teammates in this!

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  8. Jacqueline says

    My husband and I have been married for 8 years now and its amazing when you stop comparing yourself to others. I am thankful that I have been set free from comparing myself and worrying about what others think. My husband works hard for our family and for a couple of years, I didn’t think it was good enough (that’s hard to say). He has never complained about working but, boy, did I. The Lord has done a mighty work in my heart and I am content with were we are. He has made me a better wife and a thankful one, at that:)
    The things that don’t bother me anymore: when the grass needs to be mowed (if my neighbors care that much they can come mow it!), we have TONS of wood that is chopped up for our wood stove and our yard is always pretty messy in the back because he is consistently chopping wood and I have let go that we don’t have the perfect manicured yard. My husband works 8-7 everyday and I am just thankful we have a house to live in and a beautiful area in the country for our children to play:)

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    Laura Reply:

    I love that you say that the Lord has done a mighty work on your heart. He has done (and continues to do) the same for me and I am so grateful.

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  9. mrs.p says

    where to I begin. Well off the top of my head. hes my rock. (not been very good last 2 yrs with our families-not him and me) he goes to work everyday to support us. Everything I break or start he finishes(few yrs ago I had carpet in the living and dining room he went to work and he came back and the carpet was gone and he put a wood floor in)Makes it a priority to go to church on wednesday and sundays. Supports my decision even if he doesn’t agree with it. makes sure his family needs are met even if that means he goes without

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    Laura Reply:

    He sounds like a very giving person. :)

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  10. Suzanne says

    My husband is active duty Air Force while I stay home with our three children. I am thankfully everyday for this! But, I do forget the small things he does everyday like help clean up after dinner, take the trash out, etc. Thank you for helping me to remember!

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    Laura Reply:

    It’s easy to forget the small things (which are really big things, we just don’t often realize it). I’m working on remembering this too. :)

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  11. Joy says

    One thing that I have always been thankful for is that despite the problems my husband and I may have between each other, he is very good to my quirky family. He treats the quirky and the “normal” just the same. He works hard for our family. Our children know their dad loves them.
    When I look to Jesus and spend time with Him my thinking that I am justified in bitter attitudes diminishes and is replaced with grateful attitudes. God is so good!

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    Laura Reply:

    It really is amazing how spending time with Jesus puts everything in perspective and really changes our attitudes. I’m so thankful God is so patient with me as I have to shift my focus back to Him so often.

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  12. Amy-Joy says

    My husband always makes sure there is petrol (gas!) in my car. I think I’ve only had to fill it once or twice myself since getting married 5 years ago. Once when he was working away for a few weeks, halfway through his trip there was a knock on the door – he’d arranged for his friend to come take and fill my car for me. It makes me feel very taken care of.

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    Laura Reply:

    THAT is so sweet (his sending his friend over to fill the car for you). Did you just melt?

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  13. Jocy says

    I love these posts, i’m very excited to find out what’s next. Thank you for helping us/me focus on our wonderful husbands. My husband takes care of the yard, i have never mown the lawn (7 years), he does the vacuumming, he takes care of our 4 children so i can go grocery shopping alone or have some time with a friend, etc. he does his best to be the best father and husband we can have :) i’m very thankful for him.
    When i fix my eyes on Jesus, there’s a smile in my face and outpourin of love, everything is great!
    When my husband ‘doesn’t do’ what i ‘want’ him to do, i tthink if what i’m asking him is really that important, most of the time is not, meaning is something that can wait or i could just easily do it, by doing this i have learn to keep things in harmony, it took some time to figure out, but i try. Remembering to keep my eyes on Jesus will help :)

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    Laura Reply:

    When my kids were little, going to the grocery store by myself was a HUGE treat. How good of your husband to do this for you. :)

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  14. Priscilla W says

    What a gentle (in my face) reminder…so timely. THANK YOU!

    Mine has reminded me that I’m ‘his’ helpmeet…instead of him being my helpmeet.

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  15. Kris says

    What does my husband do – as I think . . .what a lot I could mention – the short list version:
    1. He is a keeper of the faith and encourages when my faith is struggling.
    2. Every night he will get up and check our 8 year old who is on peritoneal kidney dialysis – if the machine needs adjusting or just to check not once or twice, but just to check . . . my husband is a living donor kidney transplant recipient and so completely understands what our son has going on in his life. They have some great talks about this process.
    3. Helps homeschool by teaching 1/2 of the subjects for each of our two sons most days and if I have to work teaches first and second grade. He taught 6 weeks of kindergarten, including cutting and pasting, last year while I was living in ICU with our oldest.
    4. He dries and puts away the dishes while I wash them. We have great conversations.
    5. He cooks and excellently prepares most of the meat dishes for our meals.

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  16. Laura S says

    In all the years we’ve used a printer, I think I have only changed the ink cartridges once. This is a little bitty thing, but it reminds me that there are probably many other little things that add up to a whole lot of love. I love my hubby!

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  17. Pam says

    My husband has a good job so that I can stay home with our two little boys, and what a joy that is. He reads Bible stories the boys, talks to them about God and prays with us as a family. He is so rock solid in his faith.

    He does all our yard work, does so many repairs around the house, takes out the trash, finishes washing the dishes each night that I didn’t have time for, watches the boys so I can go grocery shopping by myself, fills my car with gas, keeps up with all our car maintenance , gets up with the boys on some Saturday mornings so I can sleep an extra hour, pays the bills. Wow! That makes me tired just reading that list! I could go on but I’ll stop there.

    Thank you for helping us stop and remember all these wonderful things about our husbands. It’s also such a blessing to see what other women have to say about their husbands.

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  18. Laura says

    My husband puts our family first, before work, ministry, self, even the house. He regularly takes time off work to go on field trips with us, he took half a day last week to join us at the zoo, he watches kids so I can take one to the doctor, he spends time with the kids and we have a simple yard rather than a fabulously landscaped yard like our neighbor….he puts us first!

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  19. Alena says

    there isn’t enough pen and ink to tell of all my Prince does for me and our seven children. I am truly thankful to God for such an amazing leader. He teaches us God’s word, helps with homeschool and house chores, keeps up with the yard and car repairs, is an amazing listener and encourager, and makes me feel beautiful…..like my worth is far more than precious rubies. God has truly blessed me! I am so undeserving of him!!!

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  20. Kristin says

    It is very hard to focus on anything in your post because I’m being bombarded by advertisements, as I’m reading about husband’s and Jesus I’ve got an ad flashing on my screen for a dating website. I have been visiting your site for some time and was pleased with the way it used to be.

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