Indulge is a good word with a bad reputation.
verb, in·dulge \in-ˈdəlj\
1: to allow (yourself) to have or do something as a special pleasure
2: to allow (someone) to have or do something even though it may not be proper, healthy, appropriate, etc.
3: to patiently allow (someone) to do or say something
Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary
It’s that second definition that causes trouble. We don’t indulge in what is ungodly—there’s no good in that. However, there’s no harm in “patiently allowing someone to say or do something”, or allowing yourself or someone else “to have or do something as a special pleasure.”
Let me give you a little example.
I lovelovelove the flowers that come up in the yard every Spring—from the little violets to the daffodils to the random crocus and iris. They are little surprises. And, this year, because we had almost no snow, there were many, many surprises!
When it came time to mow the lawn (the Saxophone Player has decided to undertake this himself this year, kudos to him), guess what he did? He indulged his crazy wife’s passion for wildflowers. He mowed right around those mystery plants that had popped up in the middle of the yard, just because I thought they might be flowers. Well, yesterday, one of them bloomed!
It didn’t cost Doug any money or much effort to indulge my curiosity, but it did bring me great joy to see those flowers today. I just kept thinking about how sweet my husband was to do that for me, and it got me thinking of other ways he has indulged my whims. I felt so grateful for him.
Gentlemen, I challenge you: indulge her!
Think about something she’s talked about that you didn’t really pay much attention to at first. Maybe, she’s talked about going on a picnic, or she’s concerned about your health and wants you to see a doctor, or she’s always wanted a blue front door. Maybe, she really wants a flowerbed outside her kitchen window (me, last year), or needs a few minutes to finish her blog post, before starting supper (me, right now). Why not indulge her a little?
Afterall, fellas, don’t you indulge in her? You indulge in her beauty, in her womanhood, in her devotion, in her forgiveness, in her mercy, in her prayers, in her faithfulness, in her patience—and, on and on!
“What is your petition, Queen Esther? What do you wish? Whatever it is, I will give it to you, even if it is half of my kingdom!” (Esther 7:1, TLB)
Her husband had no idea what she would ask of him, but he had determined to indulge her, whatever she asked. He indulged her persistence, he indulged her inquiries, he indulged her invitations, and finally he indulged her deepest concerns and convictions.
The beauty of this story, though, is that his indulging her was ultimately for his own good. He came out the winner.
Even from this distance, I can hear the naysayers. I can hear the men who are talking to their screen right now, saying, “Oh, yeah? Well, what about Eve? Adam indulged her request, and look what happened there!” Remember what I said up top: we do not indulge what is ungodly. Adam knew not to take of that fruit.
Let’s get back to Ahasuerus and Esther. Read the Book of Esther for yourself, if you think I’m wrong. There are other biblical examples I could share, but I really think Esther and her king are the ultimate proof of my theory: indulging your wife makes a better life!
- Indulge her whimsy.
- Indulge her imagination.
- Indulge her curiousity.
- Indulge her concerns.
- Indulge her talents.
- Indulge her passions.
- Indulge her preferences.
At least, a little. It doesn’t have to cost you much, but it will pay off big dividends for you in the end. Trust me. You’ll be glad you did. Make it a habit, and you can make history, too.