“Fish on!”

I woke up this morning thinking what a great day it would be to go fishing! The salmon are running in the local rivers and I could be in the water within thirty minutes. I rolled out of bed and could feel the excitement and the thrill of fighting a fish. I visualized reeling in a trophy-sized salmon.

I found myself in the garage inspecting my rod and reel, collecting the necessary weights, hooks, and assorted tackle—then I remembered the “check engine oil” light in Debby’s van was lit. And one of the tires has a slow leak. And I started a mini-remodel project on our back deck that is un-finished.

Decision time. Do I spend the last available day of my vacation on the water pursuing my hobby, or do I take care of the necessities of life and fix these annoying problems?

Decision made. Oil changed—check.

And now I sit at the tire store as they inspect and repair a slow leak. From here, I’ll spend the rest of the morning working in the yard, mowing and trimming to prepare for the winter season. Then I’ll drive the final nail in the deck…literally.

Now, I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong to pursue our hobbies and have fun or that as men we should always sacrifice what we want to do for our family. We all need some time to pursue our hobbies and ‘blow off some steam.’

What I am saying is that we should seize the opportunistic moments from time to time to do the little things that must be done around the house, and honor our wives in the process.

In the same amount of time that I would spend on the river in search of the elusive king salmon—and maybe walk away empty-handed—I can knock out four, five, or more projects that have been piling up around the house.

In our marriage mentoring, I have talked to numerous women who are frustrated with their husbands because he always seems to be focused on the “big things” and often ignores the “little things.”

It’s so easy to allow these little things to pile up with the “I’ll get to it later” attitude. I’ll admit, the oil light has been on for several weeks now and I’ve already put air in the leaky tire twice. So don’t think I’m pointing the finger at all you other guys…I’m with you. I do this to from time to time.

So where do you begin?  It’s easier than you think to do something nice for your wife and to make her feel loved. Here are a few suggestions of “little things” you can do that will require a nominal investment of your time and resources.

  1. Do a load of laundry
  2. Volunteer to wash the dishes and clean the kitchen after a meal
  3. Walk through the house and gather up all the scattered shoes and put them away. (I gathered over 25 pairs when I did this last week!!!)
  4. Keep the gas tank in her vehicle at least half full all the time—one less thing for her to worry about
  5. Cook dinner, or bring home her favorite take-out meal
  6. Clean the bathroom
  7. Do the grocery shopping
  8. Change all the burned out light bulbs in the house – if your house is like mine you’ll be shocked at how many are out when you actually look!
  9. Make the bed in the morning, while she’s in the shower
  10. Prepare a lunch for her (if she works) and for the kids (if applicable)

By the way, just do these things quietly. Don’t announce your intentions or point out what you have done. That takes away the value of your gift of service and then it becomes self-serving.

Even if she doesn’t notice some of these acts, do them on the sly. Don’t do them with any expectation of a payback or recognition. Do them out of love and appreciation for her.

I have found that when I can relieve my wife of some of the household duties, she is more energetic and relaxed, and it lowers the overall household stress.

So I challenge you men, find something to do today to make your wife feel special and loved. And then make a habit of doing more “little things” for her. You’ll be amazed at the results of a few little acts of service and kindness!

Gotta run…they just called my name. Tire fixed. Check!

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