Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 16 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cornelius and Cyprian
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

10 Commandments for husbands


Fizkes | Shutterstock

Tom Hoopes - published on 05/13/19

Since I couldn't improve on the original 10, I took a deeper look at those.

My wife, April, and I have been offering marriage preparation recently and it has me thinking of what makes a good husband. I brainstormed a list of “10 commandments for husbands” but discovered that the best advice was already there in the original Ten Commandments.

So I rewrote my list based on God’s list. (Note to April: Don’t laugh when you read these. I know I fall short on many of these, but I promise to work on them!)

1: Bring the family to Sunday Mass; call the family to evening Rosary.

The real first commandment is “I Am the Lord Your God, You Shall Not Have Other Gods Before Me.” But the truth is, unless we are actively seeking out God in our life and making an effort to meet him, we absolutely will have other gods in our lives.

For husbands, it’s an even greater danger. If our wife takes the lead in going to Mass and praying the Rosary, it won’t be long before our fragile egos make us feel like we’re being dragged along and start to resent it.

So be the spiritual leader. As I tell the guys in marriage preparation class: “If dad prays, everyone prays.”

2: Don’t be a hypocrite.

The second commandment is “You Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord Your God in Vain,” which means practicing the reverence for God that we preach.

Husbands have a lot of opportunities to practice what we preach.

We expect her to listen to us, so we should be expert listeners to her. We expect her to do a lot when she’s sick; so we should be something other than a helpless baby when we’re sick. We expect her to remember important things in our life, so we should remember hers. We expect her not to interrupt us; we shouldn’t interrupt her. I could go on, but it’s making me feel guilty.

3: Use work to earn more time with your wife.

…  rather than using work as an excuse to spend less time with her.

To “Keep Holy the Sabbath” means to avoid work on Sunday. But the lesson the commandment teaches is deeper. As St. John Paul put it, it teaches us that “work is for man, not man for work.”


Read more:
A lesson from Eden: We were made to work

4: Build your family relationships.

Speaking of St. John Paul II, he also said “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”

The fourth commandment — “Honor Your Father and Your Mother” — is therefore critically important. The closer our families, the stronger our society; the stronger our society, the brighter our future. So call your dad. Welcome your wife’s sister. Facebook message your mother-in-law. The future depends on it.

5: Take care of yourself for your wife and family.

There are many important applications of the fifth commandment, “You Shall Not Kill” but in a world where middle aged men suffer from high levels of anxiety, depression (even suicide), obesity, and heart problems, sometimes the man in the mirror is the one you may be killing.

Life will be hard for your wife and family if they lose you — so do your best to be there for them.


Read more:
Man gives up high-paying job to dedicate his life to the elderly (Video)

6: Be open to life.

“You Shall Not Commit Adultery,” says the sixth commandment. In your marriage vow, you promised three things: Fidelity, indissolubility and openness to life. The three are intimately linked — but the linchpin may be openness to life.

If you close off your sexual life to the possibility of children, then, for guys especially, it will quickly become focused on pleasure. If your sexual life is focused on pleasure, then it becomes less unifying. Your wife will feel used and start to resent it. Then you will resent her resentment, and the vicious circle will pull you apart. Don’t do it.

7: Don’t take advantage of your wife.

“You shall not steal,” says the seventh commandment.

If two men were partners starting a pizza business, and one of the men watched television as the other did the hard work of food preparation and clean-up — and balancing the registers and ordering supplies — it would quickly become obvious that one man was taking advantage of the other.

If anything, behaving like this is even worse in a marriage partnership.


Read more:
St. Paul’s married friends should be model for marriage ministry today, says Francis

8: Witness to the greatness of your wife.

“You Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Your Neighbor,” says the eighth commandment. That includes the neighbor who shares your bedroom.

You are the one person in her life who sees what she is truly worth, because you are the one person who dedicated your whole life to serving her. She has her faults, but she also has a unique beauty that only you have seen. Don’t tell people her faults. Tell them how great she is.

9: Ruthlessly eliminate any and all pornography.

“You Shall Not Covet Your Neighbor’s Wife,” says the ninth commandment. That includes not coveting porn stars.

Pornography is incredibly addictive and devastatingly destructive. Looking at it dumps feel-good chemicals into our brains that then demand more and more. Being addicted to it cuts you off from your family and turns your wife into a sex object.

Ironically, eliminating pornography entirely has precisely the opposite effect. The feel-good chemicals are all associated with your wife. She stops being an object and becomes the person you are most interested in pleasing. I could write a whole article just on that. (Wait. I did!)


Read more:
What’s the harm in pornography? A new documentary explores its effects

10: Keep (or keep to) the family budget.

“You Shall Not Covet Your Neighbor’s Possessions,” says the Tenth Commandment, and boy do we need to hear that as U.S. Credit card debt hits a record $870 billion.

Whether you do the books or your wife does, keeping to a budget is a gift to a family, funneling money to the things we need the most, not the things we covet the most.

Read more:
Investing the Catholic way


Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
Mychal Judge
John Burger
The priests of 9/11
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.