Editor's note: This article was originally published on Tim Parson's blog. It has been republished here with permission.
Honoring my wife is a life-long commitment. There are days that are easier than others … but it's important that I strive to honor her in some way, every day. Here are eight ways to honor your wife for a lifetime:
1. Talk to her
Don't just talk at her. Talk to her and with her. Share your life with her — your hopes and dreams. Tell her how beautiful she is and how much you love her, often. Carve out some time every day to turn off the TV, put away your cell phone, and just talk with her.
2. Save the best of you for her
I'm tired when I get home from work. I'm even more tired after I've played with my kids and we've put them to bed. But, regardless, she needs and deserves the best of me. Don't spend everything you have at work. Don't exhaust all the energy you have left with your kids. Give her the best. And that can be in the morning too!
3. Keep your eyes on her
Guys are visual creatures. It's easy for us to check out the girl with the low-cut shirt on at work, or tune in to the Miss America pageant in hopes to catch a glimpse of the swimsuit competition. Don't. The only woman you should be checking out or looking at in this way is your wife. And, guys, she sees the glances that you try to hide when you're together. She needs to know that she is the only one for you — in every way — especially physically.
4. Be consistent in your behavior
When your wife isn't around, you should act the same as you do when she is by your side. Most importantly, how we act when we're talking with another woman. In other words, would you compliment her like that if your wife were there? Would you touch her hand like that if your wife were there? Would you talk about that subject if your wife were there? Would you share that detail of your life if your wife were there? Be consistent in how you act and behave, especially when your wife isn't there.
5. Support her dreams
It can be easy to be selfish and make it all about you. And, as guys, this is especially difficult for us. But, if you're talking to her as I outline above, you're going to uncover her hopes and dreams for her life. You should be her biggest cheerleader. Support her with everything you have and all that you are.
Once again, this should be done when she's there and when she's not. And, the best way to do this is through a third-party affirmation. This is when you're talking to someone with your wife right there and you say "Let me tell you about how amazing my wife is …" or "Did you know that my wife is an amazing writer …" and so on. But, you definitely want to be sure that you're speaking highly of her when she's not around – especially when you're talking to another woman.
7. Handle conflict fairly
Fights and disagreements are going to happen. And, you're going to be tempted to go for the low blow and say something that will really hurt her deep. Don't do it. Fight fair. Don't bring up things that you know are hot buttons for her and don't use manipulation to win an argument. And, don't be afraid to be wrong … or to give in. It's really OK to lose a fight to your wife. And, if you're communicating regularly on a deep level, conflict is much easier to resolve.
8. Give her full access to your life
Lastly, she should have full access to every area of your life — Facebook, cell phone, email, etc. This shows that you have nothing to hide and it builds an unbelievable level of trust with her (and it keeps you accountable). And, don't wait on her to ask you. Be proactive. Give her your passwords today and take a step to full transparency.
Will you get with your wife tonight and go down this list together to make sure you're on the same page? And, if you're a wife, will you LOVINGLY share this with your husband?
Tim is a talented speaker, writer and coach who has worked in various industries including hospitality, retail, higher education and the non-profit sector. He is currently a pastor and has a heart to help people lead better: at work and at home. Tim is married to the love of his life, Consuela, and they have 4 children.