This article, 25 Ways to Express Love to Your Wife, is one Doug originally wrote for his blog, All Truth Is God’s Truth. It has been so popular there that we decided to include it on our family website, as well. To read the original post, follow this link. For a printer-friendly version of the full list, click here. For a printable, one-page summary, click here.

Any husband who faithfully follows all the suggestions on this list will make it very easy and natural for his wife to respect him. A happy marriage takes a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth the effort!

The key to a successful marriage is putting your spouse’s needs ahead of your own. Here are 25 practical suggestions gleaned from 25 years of happy marriage.

  1. Listen
    To be truly heard is the longing of every human heart, and your wife is no exception. It sounds simple, but listening can be harder than it seems with so many distractions around us and within us. Set aside some time every day to look into your wife’s eyes and really listen to what she has to say. You may be surprised at what you hear. (James 1:19, Matthew 11:15)
  2. Communicate
    Don’t make her guess what you are thinking or feeling.
  3. Sing Her Praises
    Shamelessly brag about her good qualities and quietly pray about her bad ones. Her reputation is your reputation. (Proverbs 31:28-29)
  4. Pray For Her and With Her
    Praying on your wife’s behalf not only enlists the help of the Almighty, but also puts her and her needs at the forefront of your heart and mind, right where they belong. Praying alongside your wife will strengthen your relationship like nothing else. Studies show that couples who regularly pray together stay together, enjoying a 1% divorce rate compared to the usual rate of 50% or more. (Philippians 4:6; Matthew 18:19)
  5. Value Her Individuality
    Your wife is wonderfully unique. Don’t compare her to your mom, or your ex-wife, or your old girlfriend. Your mom may make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, but unfavorable comparisons won’t win you brownie points.
  6. Put the Seat Down
    Perpetually raised toilet seats are a pet peeve of wives everywhere. And while you’re at it, tidy up a bit. A little consideration goes a long way. (Philippians 2:4)
  7. Throw Your Dirty Clothes in the Hamper
    It’s likely just a few steps from wherever you are dropping them anyway. Make this a habit, and it will let your wife know your don’t consider her your personal maid.
  8. Turn Off the T.V.
    Lay aside the video games, pocket the iPhone, and shut off the computer, as well. It is staggering how many hours we waste gazing at some sort of screen instead of interacting with the real people in our lives. Consciously set limits on your tube-time, whatever form it takes. Use the time saved to invest in your marriage: take a walk with your wife or play a board game together instead. (Psalm 90:12)
  9. Loosen the Purse Strings
    We all have to keep an eye on our budget, but an occasional splurge can be well worth it. Seemingly frivolous things like flowers, jewelry, and overpriced restaurants let her know that she is more valuable to you than a number in your bank account.
  10. Practice Servant-Leadership
    All organizations have a hierarchy. It’s impossible to function without one, but being a leader isn’t the same as being a dictator. The best role model is Jesus Christ, not Joseph Stalin. Jesus washed his disciples feet and then died on their behalf. It’s a challenge to exercise authority while maintaining a spirit of humility, but that is what being a godly leader entails. (Matthew 20:28, Philippians 2:1-8; Mark 9:35)
  11. Remember that Intimacy’s a Two-Way Street
    Unfortunately, men are notoriously selfish in the bedroom, yet are dumbfounded when their wives are less than enthusiastic in this arena. Make this area of your relationship as pleasurable for her as it is for you and it will pay huge dividends. It may mean washing the dishes or helping with the kids, so that she has energy left at the end of the day. It may mean cuddling and candlelight, so that she can relax and let the worries on her mind drift away. If you aren’t sure where to begin, just ask her, and then listen. (1 Corinthians 7:3)
  12. Give Her Time to Herself
    Everyone needs an occasional break to rest and recharge, and this is especially important for a wife who is at home all day with young children. Yet it’s very easy to neglect this legitimate need unless you regularly and intentionally schedule time for it. (Luke 5:16)
  13. Set Aside Couple Time
    Soak in the tub together each evening or go on a date night once a week — whatever gets the two of you alone on a regular basis. (Genesis 2:24-25)
  14. Be Careful with Female Friendships
    We all have friends and colleagues of the opposite sex, but tread cautiously. Not all affairs are physical ones. Honoring your marriage vows means remaining faithful in thought and word as well as in deed. (Matthew 5:27-28)
  15. Use Good Hygiene
    It is amazing how meticulous guys can be prior to marriage in their attempts to impress a girl, but once they walk down the aisle, all bets are off. Clean up a little; I promise it won’t kill you.
  16. Limit the Gross Stuff
    Few women find burping and farting nearly as hilarious as the typical guy does. Good manners are always a win. (Ephesians 5:4)
  17. Be Patient
    In whatever way this applies to you and your situation, apply it. (1 Corinthians 13:4, Proverbs 14:29)
  18. Cherish Her Children
    A mother’s bond to her children runs immeasurably deep. When you invest time or energy in them, you are investing in her as well. Kindness to them counts as kindness to her. (Malachi 4:6)
  19. Choose Her Over Hobbies and Buddies
    Invariably there will come times in your relationship when you will be forced to choose between your wife and something else that you enjoy. Always choose her.
  20. Provide for Her Needs
    This is so much more than just putting food on the table. It is all-encompassing. Whether it is physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, you name it — do your best to provide. Sometimes life’s circumstances hinder us in one area, but we can compensate in another area. Often the effort is as important as the outcome. (Galatians 6:2)
  21. Dial Down the Anger
    Your caveman instincts are handy on the battlefield, but horrible for a happy home life. Every outburst or flare-up is a relationship setback. To go forward, the first step is to stop going backwards. Learn to control your temper or it will control you, your marriage, and every other aspect of your life. Just because your wife puts up with it and your co-workers tolerate it, doesn’t make your short fuse an asset. Do whatever it takes to gain victory in this all-important struggle that has haunted man since Cain slew Abel. (Ecclesiastes 7:9, Ephesians 4:31)
  22. Cut Out the Condescension
    If you have been blessed with a quick wit, you can either be the life of the party or a pain in the neck depending on the circumstances. Condescension is anger’s younger brother. It isn’t as loud or as dramatic, but it can be equally hurtful and all the more so for its subtlety. Lay off the snide remarks, the sarcasm, and the belittling. Speak to your wife in the same way that you would speak to a respected colleague. She is, after all, your partner in the most valuable investment of your life — your family.(, (Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 3:19)
  23. Actively Seek Your Wife’s Insights
    Value her input and give it a preferential place in your decision-making process. (Proverbs 19:20; 12:15)
  24. Learn to Forgive
    Freely forgive your wife’s past, present, and future offenses. Forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel and at the heart of every meaningful relationship. (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
  25. Verbally Express Your Love
    There are lots of ways to show your love, but women still like to hear it spoken.

Obviously no list is comprehensive, and one size certainly doesn’t fit all, but hopefully this one will prompt you to compile a list of your own, tailor-made for your own wife. For any women reading this blog, you may be interested to know that my wife has published a similar list entitled 25 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Also, for those who have requested printable versions of these articles, you’ll find the list for wives here and the one for husbands here, with an option to print either article in its entirety or as a one-page summary.


  1. I really am appreciative of accidentally running on to this today. It’s like God is speaking very loudly to me! My wife and I have been having a hard time lately. After 25 years of marriage.this really helps put things in to perspective. Thank you so much! I will use the tool’s that you have displayed!

    1. I’m sorry to hear you two have been having a rough time lately, but am glad you found something helpful here.

  2. Intimacy is a two way street. So is sex. Remember her need to sleep will sometimes override his desire for sex. If his needs are being met the majoroty of the time, the occasional ‘no’ is perfectly acceptable.

      1. Sometimes a 20 minute nap won’t do it. I can’t actually fall asleep in 20 minutes during the day and it takes me longer than that at night. No, sometimes ‘no, can we postpone it until tomorrow, or when I’m just not exhausted?’ is the only way to go. If you can manage to actually make your mind and body fall asleep and feel refreshed in just 20 minutes then good for you. I can’t and as Jill says, sometimes her need for sleep (sleep, not 20 minutes of trying and failing to nap) is more important than his need for sex. My husband agrees with me and has always understood this. He does get the sex he needs too!

        1. As long as you are both looking out for the other’s needs, Fiona, that’s the important thing. The details don’t matter nearly as much as the big picture.

  3. Congratulations on keeping your marriage alive and happy for nearly three decades. Thank y’all for the inspiring words.

  4. 18. Cherish Her Children. I am guessing “her” children are not yours then.

    Also, after reading his list and your list and the comments here I am wondering what century you people are in. I’m glad I live in the 21st century and my relationship is nothing like the backwards misogynist crap you espouse.

    1. My husband wrote that article, Claire. We’ve been married almost 28 years and have had twelve children together, so my children definitely belong to him, too, and vice versa.

      Of course, that is not the case with every marriage, which explains why he chose to word #18 as he did.

      Also, I can assure you that we do indeed reside in the 21st Century… we just brought our old-fashioned ideals along with us when we entered it. 🙂

  5. this is the way my king is realy trying and so far he is the best much blesing as u save marriage institituion.

    1. When you click on the Facebook button below the post, it just “likes” it on Facebook. If you want to “share” it on your wall (or a friend’s wall), you can copy the following url, then paste it as a status update, and the link will automatically come up along with it. Thanks for asking, Japheth. Sorry I don’t have a one-click answer for you. Here’s that url you’ll need to copy and paste –>

  6. Read ‘Love and Respect’… Be sure to confirm biblical content… Focus-fist worthy… Remember prayer is always more powerful than imagined, if daily and with intimate adoration (hallowing). See my web. BP

  7. I don’t know where to begin, but my marriage needs help, urgent! This is something I have never done before. I’m writing to total strangers yet I beg for your prayers to regain the love of my wife. I printed the list and I will follow it best I can. I’m putting it all in the hands of the Lord now. Thanks.

    1. In God’s hands is the safest place to keep it. I’m praying for your marriage today, that God will give you wisdom as you try to win back your wife and that whatever issues led to the estrangement will be addressed and resolved. Blessings on both of you!

  8. Glad you mentioned that Tina. I used to be chastised for my lack of patience. There again I only waited 26 years for the locks on the wardrobe doors to be replaced before he decided to replace me with another model because I could not cope with the way he wanted to live his life. Those locks were the first item that was ever added to a honey do list that eventually reached 5 single spaced 12 pt word-processed pages. No wonder that when I screamed at God to get me unstuck so that I could serve Him better that the first item on His agenda was to get me out of that marriage even though He had to carry me out kicking and screaming.

  9. I think it would be nice if you included, husbands please fix the things your wives request in a timely manner. It is hard to keep up with all the responsiblities of running a home when repairs and upkeep are not done. Remember the home is a reflection of your wife. So please include this as number 26. Thanks. Tina

    1. The best way my wife has motivated me to do home repairs is to just do it herself. She had excellent intentions but I had to step in to make sure it was done just right. I told her not to worry about it and that I would take care of it.

      Clever girl.

      1. My husband does the same thing over here whenever I fall behind on the laundry. He’s pretty clever, too.

  10. Thank you so much for the helpful marriage advice! As a newlywed (eight months today!), I really want to get started on the right path. 🙂

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