I was one of those fortunate kids whose grandparents and parents set a great example of what marital fidelity looks like. I unwittingly learned a lot about love and commitment by watching the tender ways in which my grandfather expressed his love for my grandmother. And, my Dad’s example of loving my beautiful Mom filled our home with joy and a comforting stability.

The book of Proverbs (5:18-19) encourages men to be satisfied with their wives and to not seek satisfaction elsewhere. We must avoid the danger of comparing our wives to other women — the old “greener grass” syndrome.

One reason the grass appears to look greener on the other side is because we tend to value what we want more than what we have.

As for me, I prefer to water my own grass and to make my marriage the greenest and healthiest thing around. If I will be faithful to do that, then I will always live on the greenest side of the fence.

Comparing our wives to other women — whether real, digital, or imaginary — is a root cause of dissatisfaction and disillusionment in many marriages today. Our wives certainly deserve better than that. We owe it to our wives to honor our marriage vows in thought, word, and deed.

Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” I definitely found a good thing when I met and later married Cheryl. We have reached the 40-year milestone in our marriage.

Because we have continued to nourish our love for one another, we now look back on our wedding day as the day we loved each other the least.

More than a dozen years ago, I made a list of the things that I want to be able to tell Cheryl from my death-bed. My little list keeps me focused on our relationship and reminds me to make choices that will enable me to keep each item on my list. Making those good choices is the fertilizer that keeps my own grass healthy and green.

These are the things that I wrote down and shared with my wife:

10. I always spoke well of you to my family and friends.

9. I tried to express appreciation often and am sorry for the times I failed to do so.

8. I really did work hard at putting your interests above my own.

7. I never let the sun go down on my anger.

6. I would have laid down my life for you if faced with that option.

5. I always looked forward to seeing you and being with you at the end of the day.

4. I prayed for you daily.

3. I respected you.

2. I was completely faithful to you.

1. I loved you with all my heart.

If you are married (or getting married), I challenge you to do the same. Prayerfully consider making your own list and then bless your wife (or fiancé) by sharing it with her.

You’ll be amazed at how this simple exercise will bless your wife (or fiancé) and ensure that you always live on the greener side of the fence.

Omar Garcia
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