How to Respect Your Spouse

Mark Twain tells a sobering tale about exploring the Mississippi River he loved so much. After virtually memorizing the river's bends and navigating its waters with rapt admiration, he was chagrined to wake up one day and find that the river had lost much of its poetry. The mystery of that mighty waterway had been replaced with a boring predictability. He had literally loved his love out of that river.

Every marriage goes through this stage. An enrapturing love quiets down to a predictable routine. The mystery is replaced with an almost comical familiarity — the wife knows exactly how the husband will sit on the couch, the husband knows exactly how his wife will answer the phone.

A wife we know decided to get her husband golf clubs for his birthday. She went to a store and told the owner, "Here's the money for a set of clubs. My husband will ask me to come in here tomorrow night. He'll look over these clubs, then walk over to talk to me about it, then go back to the clubs and touch the ones he decides are the best option. At that point, I want you to walk up to him and say, 'Your wife already paid for these yesterday. Happy Birthday.'"

The clerk was suspicious, but he agreed to the plan.

The next day, our friend took her husband to a restaurant next door to the golf shop. After dinner, the husband (as predicted) pointed to the shop and said, "You mind if we just stop in there?"

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