4 things every husband desires from his wife.

4 things every husband desires from his wife. March 19, 2014

This post is Part One in a two-part series on desires in marriage. You can read Part Two, “4 things every wife desires from her husband” by clicking here. For ongoing encouragement, please connect with me on twitter and subscribe to our email list.

My wife, Ashley, is my favorite person on earth. Seriously. In fact, I often feel badly for other men, because I know that I’ve already married the world’s coolest woman, so no matter who they marry, she couldn’t possibly be “the coolest!”

I believe every man should feel this way about his wife. Every husband desires to feel this way about his wife. I know that I feel this way about mine! I want to take just a minute to highlight a few of the countless reasons why I’m so thankful for my wife. I hope that her example can encourage and inspire improvements in your own marriage.


Ashley and me on our wedding day (5/19/01). She still looks the same but I look a lot older!

Every marriage is different, because every person is different, but I’m convinced that most husbands desire these attributes in their wives. Here are four of the trillion reasons why Ashley is Awesome:

1. She creates an inviting atmosphere in our home.

Husbands and wives both have unique responsibilities in the home, but God specifically gave women a powerful influence over the “tone” of the home. Ashley is a gifted Interior Designer, so our home is beautiful, but the real beauty of our home is in the encouraging and inviting atmosphere she creates. She fills our home with music whether she’s humming Praise Songs from church or belting broadway-style Tunes from Disney’s “Frozen.” Because of her, our home is a place I hate to leave and a place I can’t wait to get back to when I’m away!

To read God’s definition of a “Trophy Wife,” check out this passage from the Bible on “The Wife of Noble Character” from Proverbs 31.

2. She is an encourager (even when I don’t deserve it).

Ashley is an encourager, and because of her perpetual encouragement, it makes me feel like I can take on any challenge. As husbands, when we know our wives respect us and believe in us, it brings out the best in us! When she does need to offer constructive criticism, she does it in a loving and helpful way and she never airs my dirty laundry to her friends or on facebook for the world to see.

3. She works hard which challenges me to work hard.

Ashley is the hardest-working person I know. She gets up early and stays up late to make sure that her health, her household and her many other obligations are met with excellence. She is disciplined, focused and resourceful. She’s also a GREAT MOM (which requires a lot of work), and her work with the kids challenges me to be a better Dad.

4. Her beauty comes from within. 

I think she’s the prettiest woman on earth and she makes great effort to look her best (which I obviously appreciate), but that’s NOT the kind of beauty I’m talking about here. Real beauty comes from a heart filled with integrity, compassion, selflessness and grace. She’s got all that! I pray that my sons grow up a marry a girl like their Mom.

For more resources to strengthen your marriage, check out our newest book, Marriage Minute: Quick & Simple Ways to Build a Divorce-Proof Relationship which is now also available on iTunes for instant download on iPhones, iPads and all Apple devices.

Also, check out our new video series on building stronger sexual intimacy with your spouse.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Amy

    I really think Ashley is also lucky to have a husband that notices the things she does and the person she is.

  • Mike

    This article is right on. I am in a situation where this is non-existence, partly because of my failure to love my wife unconditionally. I miss my best friend….. Love your practical articles, and your way of getting right to the point.

    May God bless you and your wife as you reach out to serve Him by serving others.

  • honey babes

    It would be great to be all that kind of a wife.It is way too hard to be like your wife if you started your marriage in a wrong way…if i may label it.How could ube an encourager if youre full of anger?

    How can you make the house a home when you are dead tired of taking care of all the chores and the kids and finances?How can i be beautiful inside out if you dont feel loved and appreciated?

  • Jackie Fann

    This was a really good article. 🙂

    Many Blessings to you both.

  • Ode

    God bless you both

  • Valerie

    Oh my…your right…every man should feel this way about his wife. I wish my husband did. What on earth would make a man who has a wife who attempts to contribute to their marriage in the ways your wife does, not appreciate or even recognize the effort that is being put forth?

  • To read this makes me look at young people in such a different way. I was married for 43yrs to the same man and never felt this kind of love. For a man to express his love in this way it has touched my heart. How she must feel to know his love and feelings. It’s priceless. Thank you both for sharing such an amazing feeling of love for each other. It takes both to compliment that kind of love.



  • Scott Sunday

    That’s awesome Dave!

  • This is a beautiful message. I’m sure many other women (like myself) are inspired to do things well like Ashley does. The encouragement one is my favourite!

  • Leticia

    beautifully said

  • Nanette Powell

    just great!! im 55 married 11 yrs seperated 4… i hoped Godly men would have imparted a fraction of what u exppresed!!

    i REJOICE with you!!!!!

  • Tumie Martha Gomotsang

    How I wish my marriage could grow and strengthen just like yours! My husband and I have been married for 5 years. We’ve had some ups and downs most of the times but I always pray God to give us power and strength to overcome this spirit of anger and bitterness amongst us. Most of the quarrels erupt because of not enough money in most cases so please be with us in prayer that God blesses us with promotions at work so that we can live better. We love each other so much that we don’t want to stay away from each at any time. Thank you.

  • Thanks for the in site 🙂

  • Don’t forget sex.

  • lisa prior

    That is beautiful ,Dave .. it is the way that we all deserve to be loved . Just wish my husband loved me that way !

  • Greg

    Dude, get involved in your marriage and home. The atmosphere in your home is just as much your responsibility as it is hers.

  • Socal mommy of 2

    I too have had the same problems in my marriage, and one of the biggest lightbulbs for me, was when I realized that we weren’t fighting about the actual money, we were fighting because we needed better communication. Promotions may come, and your financial situation may improve, but it’s the improvement in communication with your spouse that will enhance your marriage the most.

  • veronica lynn

    It is never too late to begin again. Every day is a fresh start for every marriage. Whatever good decisions you are making, keep making them every day, regardless if circumstances or whether or not you feel successful.

    Whatever you do not like about your marriage, be the change you want to see in your marriage. For this, I recommend the Love Dare book.

    Above all, follow Matthew 6:33- as you seek Christ first, He will make sure all the rest adds up.


  • veronica lynn

    Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University helped my husband and me get on the same page. And that is saying a lot because we were POLAR opposites when it comes to managing money.

    Dave helped us recognize the value in both our points of view and taught us how to function as a team.

    I highly recommend him.


  • Kim

    Very sweet. I wish my husband felt that way about me, if he does he wouldn’t tell me. It’s nice to see a man tell others including his wife his feelings. Blessings on you and your marriage.

  • maria munatswa

    Very powerful

  • Becka

    You’re right. That husband is very much a contributor to the atmosphere of the home. This is one of the first posts from Dave that I’ve ever read so I don’t know for sure, but I’d imagine his wife stays at home with their children during the day. That’s how my home was growing up and how my husband and I have things right now. The fact of the matter is, in these situations, the wife is home more. She is there all day with the kids doing the laundry, the dishes, making dinner, stopping fights, teaching the kids about sharing, making sure the beds are made, and maybe working in her flower beds to make them beautiful. Most of these tasks feel endless and menial, making it hard to stay uplifted and make the home a happy place (at least for me. I hate laundry…I’m never finished with it). By the time the husband gets home, she has already set the mood for the day. He can definitely add or detract from what is already there, whether every one is happy and getting along or Mom is grouchy and the kids are yelling at each other and beating each other up. But I think the point Dave was making is that she is there more. She has the opportunity to set the feeling and mood way before Dad gets home.

  • Brittany Vollmer

    This article seriously makes me wish I was a better wife. We both work and I feel like our relationship can fall through the cracks sometimes. I complain to much I know that. I really wish to be a wonderful wife like that 🙂 my husband is amazing and I wish to show him that in every way possible. Been married for a year now so we are just starting off.

  • Another list…





    Just herself

    One with him

    Better half


  • Melinda Denton

    For all of you who say you don’t have this kind of marriage – Start with YOU! Fix those things in your first and it a guaranteed fix for your spouse. I promise! I really like to recommend “The Love Dare” or you can watch “Fireproof” It’s not overnight and it’s not perfect buy you WILL see positive changes in your marriage. My God bless all of your marriages, because He wants to!

  • Keith

    So very true I could not have said it better.

  • Honey Bee

    You guys are blessed my marriage did last I’m now divorce. He has remarried I pray that god allows me to find a man that wants to love me unconditional

  • Dave Poppleton

    There are no guarantees in the efforts you put into your relationship. What I cans say, and someone already pointed this out. Is that it starts with fixing yourself.

    – working on being mentally healthy. Breaking down the walls you spent all your life creating. To me, It’s the cause of your fears or anxiety in communication, self worth, etc.

    – being charitable. In the bible, charity is pure love. Selfless love.

    Something was shared to me about being the companion we all want to be. I feel that if this is followed, regardless of what the other spouse recognizes in what you do. You will feel good about your efforts in the relationship and hopefully you become the example to light a spark to encourage your significant other to be better.

    Don’t S.T.A.R.V.E. the love of your life! If you have, change it now!

    Safe- help the other person feel safe around you. Emotionally, and physically in all things.

    Trust – Put your trust in the other person. If you don’t trust him/her… fix it!

    Acknowledge – begin to recognize the little things as well as the big things he/she does daily.

    Respect – follow the golden rule!

    Validation – your significant other has value. Acknowledge their worth whenever possible.

    Encourage- this life is hard enough. You have a loved on that you are committed to. Give them wings to fly.

    Dedicated- show the other person you are committed to the relationship. The person you are with is the ONLY person you should be looking at, having dates with, sending love notes, being intimate with, etc.

    Sorry for this being so long. But it’s something I have to share.

  • j jones

    I wish my husband felt like that about me. The emotional connection that I had is leaving and that I do not want. We have been married for almost 10 years and we are in this circle. I pray it gets better and then we back at the same point. I am tired of it. I love him and I will not say that he is the best husband in the world. What I will say is I know that he has tje potential of being the best husband in the world. Thanks for the encouraging words……God is able to do!!!!!!

  • Nina

    This is a great article but to those reading it please note that the author has the gift of writing and being able to express his self verbally. Your spouse may not have that gift and may show it other ways. So if your thinking to yourself, “I wish my husband would say these things” or “I wish my wife would do those things”, you may need take the time to pray and reflect on your relationship because you’re probably too focused on what’s going wrong (or not going the way you want them to go) that you’re overlooking or devaluing the things that they doing right.

  • Olivia

    I’m sorry but my husband and I both laughed at the first. It’s neither solely the man nor the woman’s responsibility to make the atmosphere in the home. It doesn’t matter how hard a woman tries to make a specific atmosphere or visa versa because that home is OUR/THEIR home.

    Why is the article title “everything a man wants from his wife” and some how you speak for all men?

    This article is all about YOU and what YOU want in a woman. Have you ever thought that some men doesn’t want a “home” wife? ( not that there is a single thing wrong with being a stay at home mom, it’s a tough job and it rarely gets the recognition it deserves)

    My husband stays home and I work. Why? Because WE wanted it that way

    I could and maybe should say more about how misogynistic this article sounds but I won’t.

  • mark

    I too have a wonderful wife with many qualities that often go unappreciated and taken for granted alot. I truly need to recognize these faults and start showing and doing more to complete our marriage as partners. She never complains and I feel her frustration. Really good wake up call for me. I am a blessed man and I know we were connected through the Lord now if he could kick me from behind to do my part in this can keep our flame burning. Aloha and Mahalo

  • mark

    Thank you for your post. My wife would of posted her comments as you.

  • mara brinegar

    You are loved, and appreciated by God. He sees everything. He knows your heart unlike anyone else. Be secure that you are HIS child that HE loves past your sins, anger, hurt, and tears. He forgives us and gives us Grace everyday even though we sin everyday. Like we are made new in the Lord, we can make marriages New! You married this person. You made a lifelong commitment to them. Now the day to day things may get out of whack but we communicate kind and encouraging words to get them back. One of my favorite books, the 5 love languages, teaches us how to love our spouse in their language. It is also for children as well. Be encouraged. Love on them, and then let them love and encourage you.

  • Raquel

    I can appreciate this article but I feel like it doesn’t give value to your wife as a person. This entire article is written from a perspective of what she does for you. You place her value in what she does for you, not in her as a person. She takes care of you, she works hard for your kids, she encourages you, she makes a home for you. What of her individuality and personality?? Her decorating skills are more important than her strength, intelligence, or passion?? What about, my wife teaches me new things and I gain a different perspective on life?? A partnership is supposed to be that exactly…a partnership. I hope you encourage her to value herself because she is intrinsically valuable and that you support her in following her dreams and not just in supporting yours.

  • Doug Wilhoite

    Very good advice Dave. I’ve been married for 2 weeks now and I will continue to check your posts. They have been helpful so far.

  • High School sweetheart

    We have been married 27 year June. As high school sweethearts we were made for each other,& at one point & time had the PERFECT MARRIAGE…Oneday he started sneaking behind my back,by himself,to drink a little but turned into a big prob. We almost lost our marriage & i lost all respect for him,we are trying to work things out because i know we couldnt do without each other & it wouldnt work for us to be with anyone else,no one will be what we see in each other. Happy to hear you have a great relationship & praying we work all things out. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story!

  • She’s lucky to have husband who notices and respects her effort! God bless ya both!

  • Aimee Sue

    You start by realizing that your husband is a human being and human beings are going to let you down. You have to look toward God’s love for you which is the only perfect love. He loves you no matter what! Mommy days are tiring and messy, but God sees you as His beautiful creation! He asks you to let Him use you to show your husband love. It may take years and prayer, but there is awesome power in prayer!!!

  • Michelle Byford

    yes, it is sometimes very hard to do “your part”, when you don’t feel appreciated. The one this that helped me, as I went through a “God’s Plan for Women”. The leader said something that I will always remember….It is our responsibility to be the wife and mother GOD wants us to be, even when our husband is not being the husband or father God wants him to be. Uuugg, right? The two books that helped my marriage more than any other are, The Five Love Languages and His Needs, Her Needs….and if you can get him to read them as well, all the better. God Bless!!!

  • Karen Ramos

    I feel very blessed that my husband feels this way about me! There’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t tell me how much he loves me and how lucky he is to have me as his wife! And I feel the same about him! We’ve been together since I was 16 married at 18 and just celebrated our 10 year anniversary this past November in cancun!

  • Tracy

    what a wonderful article. My husband and I have been together for 8 years (married almost 2). We have a great relationship although we have had our ups and Downs. I have learned that no matter what he does to look at the positive side of it. He appreciates the things I do and tells me often but I have really had to work on doing the same for him.

  • Sheila Ridley

    Thankful to have a husband who appreciates me and shows it constantly

  • Alice

    I would just once to have his undivided attention. TV is the ruination of all relationships. It has been ages since we have had a meaningful conversation. Sometimes I hate that TV,swere ever invented.

  • Karina

    God loves me so much and healing me from past wounds. I choose to walk in love and I choose to forgive myself and see my husband in God’s eyes. Please pray our marriage that it will overcome this first year. I love my husband so much.

  • Zsanett Spitzer

    What may be a perfectly good wife in your eyes may not be a good wife in another mans eyes! Just so you know everyone has different standards and different qualities in a person! For example my partner doesn’t give a damn if I keep a house organized, decorated etc. that’s not a priority for him at all. There are more important things in life then interior decorating for example. Does your wife eat meat of dead murdered animals for example, if so she would be a horrible person in some other husbands eyes! Just saying, don’t generalize like that!

  • Isaac Shaw

    Idk about that work hard one. Your wife working hard shouldn’t challenge you as the leader and man to work hard you should just want to do it. Even if she doesnt work hard your goal should be too. Personally my goal is to get my wife as far away from hard work as possible.

  • Tera W

    I try everyday to do those thing… and my husband really try to do his part… we might not always get it right.. but we love trying as much as we love each other.. we are a young couple… but we are determined to be an old couple no matter how hard it is

  • Kristin

    Amy….you are EXACTLY right on not every man notices the things their wife’s do to keep a happy home its a full time job 24/7 but us women somehow manage to do what we do….and I have to add that I absolutely love every minute of it…

  • Carrie Burton

    It is NOT a woman’s DESTINY to be in charge of the home, marriage is a partnership, it should be equal. Create an inviting home, what makes a home inviting are the people within! How very lovely that your wife is talented at Decorating, but I doubt when God made woman, he said “thy name is woman, thou shalt decorate”, Man and woman were made FOR each other. A healthy marriage is built on trust, and communication, not just the wife.

  • Please

    With all due respect I do not think it is a wife’s job nor obligation to make the house inviting WITHOUT YOUR HELP. If anything that job is best for whoever (regardless of gender) spends most time at home.

  • Hope

    I have to say I was in a horrible relationship at one time and I continued to do my best for my kids, my kids father and myself . I went to school full time, worked full time and still managed to take said ex to and from school, to and from work and support him even when he didn’t support me. That’s just who I am as a person and I refused to let somebody else change the person I was just because I didn’t like they way they treated me! The fact that I continued to be my usual giving , selfless self during those times is what got me through those times. We eventually separated and years later I met a man that does appreciate all I do. But that is NOT why I do those things… I do them to keep me happy 🙂 and in return you make others happy !

  • Bright

    Please I wish people can stop judging this article and appreciate Dave Wills for helping to build homes…cos whether u like it or not,God is using him to heal relationships.. So please anyone who has ill feelings about the articles does NOT have to comment…it has never been mandatory…

  • ann

    I agree with a lot said, but in reality there are many women doing all of these things who see no benefit. Especially the working hard. Women work much harder than most men, especially in the home. Only a man can watch a woman cook dinner, eat it, then get up and go lay down and watch tv while she cleans up. She is always going.

  • been there done that

    It’s not mysoginistic if that’s their choice. When I was a stay at home mom my mood often set the atmosphere for when my husband came home.

    If you don’t like the article then move on and read something else.

  • Angela Mccarroll

    So a good wife is one who looks the same as she did 15 years ago, keeps a perfect house, never complains, and always finds a way to look great?

    Neither my husband or I are as fit as we would like and as I have a full time career outside of the home, our beautiful home is rarely if ever “magazine ready” and shows the impact of two young, carefree kids who have toys all over the house that don’t get picked up before bed time.

    So, according to your title, my husband is just destined to be lacking in these crucial elements and has no choice but to feel shorted, unfairly missing what all good Christian men should have. Please. Can we ever rid our Christ-centered homes of these man-made expectations on women? We are told to respect our husbands, no matter what, even when their choices and behaviors are less than admirable. Is it too much to ask to be valued and appreciated for me, not for how I, or my house, looks?

  • dave willis

    Angela, you make some valid points, but the post was entitled “4 things men desire from their wives” not “4 things that define a woman’s self worth”. Your value and worth are limitless and unconditional. This post was in no way intended to make anyone feel that their value or significance is defined by performance in any way. With that being said, being aware of our spouse’s desires and working to meet those desires will always enrich a marriage.

  • Tricia

    Yes I agree with this but I have done everything in my power to love honor and respect my husband. Help with furthering education full time job, stay at home mom. I could go on and on. My husband still left and said he wasn’t happy after 20 years. So I’m a little bitter, and tired. I feel used up. He has gone on with his life and we have only been seperated for a month. But life will go on. I have the bills and thank god I have my beatiful children.

  • Yvonne

    I would love to live in a home like that as well. However, it sounds like your wife has to do majority of the “work” to maintain the home. It sounds wonderful, but I do not believe it is sustainable by most women who work outside the home. At some point, one has to feel if I do majority of the work by myself and it is expected not appreciated then I might as well do it all by myself with one less person ( husband who thinks anything he has to do outside the home is far more important) in the household. I have asked for more help from my husband and it falls on death ears or he makes excuses to justify his actions based on his parents relationship. What do you do to help your wife?

  • Alexandra


    I don’t think Dave is devaluing any traits. He is simply pointing out what makes an inviting home and marriage. He mentioned her talent for interior decorating, but also said that was not the most important part of the inviting home. It is the way she fills it with happiness and positivity (humming and singing). That is part of WHO she is, not what she is doing for him. He also talked about her work ethic; discipline and resourcefulness. Again, those are her character traits that he admires. She inspires him. Intelligence does not make a good marriage and lack of education/intellectual ability will not ruin one. It’s about the basics.

  • you do have it right, only my new wife is the best thing this side of heaven above!!! She is truly the reason I get up each and every day…. With out her I wouldn’t be here today. She is why I’m able to tell you all this, I would be long off this place you all call earth, she saved me from myself!!!! Thank you Mary Beth….. You know I will love you forever…..

  • Heather

    I love how most who read this translated the house’s atmosphere into what it looks like. An atmosphere is what someone smells when they walk in the door, what they hear before they even set their eyes on someone, recieving a hug and kiss when they notice you’re home. You don’t have to run around like a crazy person picking up your child’s toys and making sure everything is clean to have an inviting atmosphere.

  • She sounds like a . Proverbs 31 woman! As I read the book on proverbs 31 woman by Donna Partrow.

  • Rose

    Amy hit the nail on the head with her comment. I can honestly say to God and to myself that I have consistently done all 4 of these things for the past 26 years YET my efforts go unnoticed by my husband quite often. Not always but more times than not. I am a big advocate of positive reinforcement so it really smarts to not have my hard work even mentioned quite often. He is, however, a God loving man, and a great father, and step father. After all these years I’d rather live with him than without him. Yes. I have given that a great deal of thought through prayer.

  • Rodric Tracy

    Just Beautiful.

  • John Taylor


    I loved your post and am saddened by the disgruntle and discouraged post. I’ve been in a combative relationship and know the frustration and hurt. That was a marriage without Christ and alot of baggage from both of us.

    My current marriage to Debra is first of all Christ centered and both of us went to premarital counseling before we got married. We both encourage each other and resolve any issues before they become destructive. A marriage should bring out the best in each of us regardless of or imperfections. Proverbs 31 is perfection from God’s eyes as well as His plan and purpose. A man’s role is to love and prefer his wife above his own life, to protect, provide and adore her. Again neither one of us are perfect yet we press on towards the goal of our calling. So press on, give grace and mercy as well as compassion before the enemy devides and destroys what He has brought together.

  • Kristin

    What a beautiful & eloquent tribute to your wife! Even if it blessed no one else, I’m sure it was an incredible encouragement to her to receive your exhortation. It was an encouragement to me as well to continue pouring into my husband and family so that their lives and home can be filled with joy and Christ’s love. Thanks for the great ideas!

  • Leah Bliss

    video games too