Can Leftovers Kill Your Marriage? 6 Ways to Mix It up!

I love leftovers. As a busy wife, any time I can cook once and eat twice, it's a good day. 

Sometimes I'll cook a double portion of the meal I've planned and simply serve it again the next day. My family calls that "reruns." We share the opinion that lasagna is always better the second day.

Other times I'll cook extra of the meat I'm serving and use it in another dish the following day. Since meat is often the meal component that takes the longest to cook and involves the most preparation, having the basis of a second meal ready before I begin saves time and energy. For example, I might cook a whole chicken in the crock pot and have "roasted" chicken on Monday, then use the leftover chicken in an enchilada casserole on Tuesday. Planning for and using leftovers can help save time, effort, and money, and are usually a great idea,

There's one place, however, we should NEVER serve leftovers -

In our marriages.

We're all guilty of it.

We'll go out of our way to do something thoughtful and creative for a friend's birthday, but put minimal thought into a celebration for our husbands.

We're careful to speak words of encouragement and affirmation to our children, because we all know how important it is that they have good self-esteem, but we seldom express to our spouses the good qualities we see in them.

We enthusiastically thank those at church who serve faithfully week after week, but we take for granted our husband's faithful provision and care for us for so many years.

You get the point.

Our marriages are the second most important relationship we have in our lives. (God comes first, children third). But sometimes we neglect, short-change, and take our husbands for granted. We give them the leftovers of our time, energy, and creativity.

Single women, you're not exempt from this application. Though you might not be married to a man, you are married to the Lord, and can be guilty of some of the same neglect of Him! My points above and below also apply to you :)

Here are

6 Alternatives to Leftovers

1. Every day, look intentionally until you find one character quality, action, or kindness in your husband and speak it aloud. Words are powerful. Use them often to build your husband up instead of tearing him down. "John, you were very patient with Matthew when you showed him how to fix his bicycle today. You're a terrific dad."

2.  Praise him in the presence of someone else. Imagine his delight when he "catches you" bragging on him to your girlfriend.

3.  Plan to do something thoughtful and personal for him this week. It might mean picking up his favorite candy bar as you go through the checkout line, or fixing his favorite meal for dinner. Maybe it's scheduling a date night to do something he really enjoys or making time to just sit together after dinner.

4.  Go to bed when he does instead of waiting until you are exhausted.

5.  Ask his opinion on something, and really listen to his answers. We are often so self-sufficient we fail to avail ourselves of one of the greatest sources of wisdom available.

6. No matter what you're doing, even if you're on the phone, stop when he walks in the door.  Take a moment to greet him with a hug, kiss, and a smile. Make him feel like it matters that he comes home. In the morning, send him off with a hug & a kiss. 

Psychology Today lists greeting each other with a hug at the end of the day one of the top 10 things happy couples do. "Our skin has a memory of 'good touch' (loved), 'bad touch' (abused) and 'no touch' (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the 'good touch,' which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world."*

This list is not exhaustive. I'd love to hear YOUR ideas for how to love and serve your husband. As we honor our husbands, we invest in one of the most important relationships of our lives, one that is deserving, yet often neglected.

Leave a comment below to share with us one idea for giving our husbands something other than leftovers. I'd love to hear your thoughts!


You want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you.

If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.

Delivered by FeedBurner

Hungry for God is on Facebook! Will you take a moment and LIKE my page? CLICK HERE to help HFG share 5-minute devotions.




  1. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Out of the blue from time to time tell your husband "have I told you lately just how extraordinarily lucky I am to have you for my husband, friend, etc..." or sometimes I tell him how much I appreciate him going to work everyday to support our family. Words of appreciation go a long way.

  2. Absolutely! I love your word choices, "extraordinarily lucky" is WAY more powerful. "Life and death are in the power of the tongue." Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Anonymous7:29 PM

    My husband prides himself in being able to fix anything. I often tell him that his talents never cease to amaze me.(44 yrs) Another thing I do is if he offers & wants to help me with something, I let him, then thank him even though I already know how and I KNOW I can do it a lot faster.

  4. One thing I try to remember to do is interrupt the boring routines of life by giving him a hug and telling him how much I love him or how handsome he looks.
    This is a great post, Lori. Thanks for sharing it on B&BB. I encourage you to also share it on Marital Mondays Blog Hop on The Alabaster Jar blog (
    I ask blessings on your week, your work, and you walk with the Lord.

  5. One of the things I do is act goofy (which I am pretty good at doing) and kiss him all over his face or something like that to get him to laugh. Then we're both rewarded...he knows how much I love him and gets a good belly laugh and I feel good because I've made him feel good! :)

    1. Yes, Mindy, so many times we lose the element of playfulness in our marriages, and they get all stuffy and dull. Good for you -- keep it up!

  6. love this! i need the encouragement :-)

  7. This is an excellent post. I just found your blog. Would you consider contributing this (and other posts) on my "eoa" Wednesday link-up? This is the kind of exhortation I want more of!! Blessings to you!

  8. Thank you for posting this and linking-up!! Keep up the great work :)

  9. This kind of information is worth everyone's attention. Where can one read more?