A few weeks ago, one of my friends got together a group of men to celebrate his son’s 15-year-old birthday in a unique way. He requested that all of us come prepared to speak into this young man’s life. I was encouraged by the words of each of these godly men, but what Jason Short shared was particularly helpful. A father of five, Jason gave advice about marriage and family—things to think about and prepare for now.

This is great advice for all the 15-year-olds out there, a helpful template for all the parents out there, and a much needed reminder to all the husbands out there!

How to honor your future wife:

  • Honor your future wife now by honoring all women and treating them with respect and dignity and by being a gentleman.
  • Respect your mother, and speak highly of her to your friends and girlfriends.
  • Don’t date just for fun.
  • Honor girls now by refusing to join in disrespectful banter that will occur with your friends.
  • Assume that your girlfriend may be someone else’s future wife.
  • Remember that your girlfriend is someone’s daughter and sister.
  • Look for a wife, not a girlfriend.
  • Treat girls the way you want guys to treat your sisters.

How to be a happy husband (Start practicing most of these now!):

  • Work hard, but put your presence with your wife and family ahead of your career goals.
  • Pursue God together.
  • Be her friend.
  • Do the dishes.
  • Learn how to have conflict.
  • Love in the midst of conflict.
  • Develop the skill to resolve conflict with compassion.
  • Apologize (and don’t expect an apology).
  • Laugh at your own jokes.
  • Seek out wisdom from older husbands.
  • Lay down your life for your family.
  • Take road trips.
  • Demand respect for your wife, not from your wife.
  • Laugh at her jokes.
  • Be empathetic.
  • Throw parties and enjoy your friends together.
  • Seek her input and insight.
  • Watch your favorite comedies together over and over and over until the lines become part of everyday conversations.
  • Listen to her.
  • Learn how to cook.
  • Never ever sleep on the couch. If necessary, sleep on the floor outside the bedroom door.
  • Learn how to be wrong with patience and how to be right with humility.
  • Eat together every day.
  • Have an open door.
  • Get away together whenever you can.
  • Find friends whose company you both enjoy.
  • Serve other people together.
  • Bring home flowers.
  • Eat everything she cooks.
  • Say, “I love you” before you fall asleep.
  • Leave room in your budget for generosity.
  • Under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Display affection and say, “I love you” in front of your kids.
  • Be on her side.