Is there anything more annoying and beautiful than a group of men? The loudness, the bodily functions, the need to best each other! It’s somehow tribal and necessary for a man to have comrades and competitors all bunched up together and ready to trample the unsuspecting. Glorious.
But it’s your responsibility, Mister, to make sure your home is not overrun with Larrys and Daves and Ralphs. They may be great guys, but don’t let them overstay their welcome. If you do, your wife is going to start questioning where your loyalty lies. I promise.
Proverbs 20:6 says, “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?” Your wife is asking this question whether you can hear it or not!
The Apostle Peter, who took his wife on ministry trips (1 Cor. 9:5) said, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect” (1 Peter 3:7).
It’s all a matter of priority. Most of us men seem to get this whole thing the hard way, after the silent treatment or several arguments. Ultimately, you can choose whether this will be a source of great tension or a means to build intimacy by reinforcing personal loyalty. Here are some helpful ideas you can practice – starting today.
- Let your friends know that just dropping by isn’t going to cut it anymore. Make sure they call first.
- Communicate to everyone, especially your family, that your status has changed and there is no competition with your new wife when it comes to priority.
- Schedule a night (with your wife’s OK) to have the boys over. If you have masculine interests that are difficult for your wife to tolerate – like cranking up high-decibel music, hurling insults at refs on TV, or examining Jason’s newly bagged buck . . . with bullet holes – maybe you can host this event somewhere other than the living room.
- You could also encourage your wife to set a time to go out with her friends or have them over for a girls’ night. Hey, you could even be the cook or waiter for them! (She will most certainly turn your offer down, but you’ll get points for asking.)
- Whenever you make these social arrangements with your wife, remember two things: Make sure her agreement is totally voluntary, and check in with her once in a while to make sure she hasn’t changed her mind. Things can and do change.
If you have clueless friends, difficult family members, or intrusive in-laws – (like any of those could ever become a possibility!) – you may want to sit them down privately and explain the new lay of the land. It should go something like this: “I put my wife first in my house. This little chat is my idea, and I’d like you to have time to adjust so that I don’t ever have to embarrass you at a social function – because I will never take your side over my wife’s.”