Husband, Love Your Wife.
God: the Basis of Marriage: "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet (just right) for him. And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said [to God], This [new relationship between God and man] is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" Gen 2:18,22-24
Not all marriages are made in heaven, but all marriages are sealed before God in heaven.
One Husband + One Wife = One Flesh (For One Lifetime)
Sin: the Trouble in Marriage: "Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [to control] shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule [as a despot] over thee." Gen 3:16
Our "bent" is to give in, and give up.
Christ: the Power in Marriage: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philip. 4:13
We have the example of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the long-suffering of the Father. The reason our homes are not what they should be is because we are not what we should be. The reason we are not what we should be is because we have problems with the heart (and I don't mean your wife's heart either!!). The heart must be changed, before the mind and body change. If you change from the outside in, you haven't changed, you have just conformed. If you change from the inside out, you have been changed/made "new" by the Spirit of God!
The Two Forgotten Aspects of Marriage:
#1. It is hard work! "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." John 9:4
Hard work, first because we do not perceive it as work, and, second because it goes against our sin-nature! It is interesting that we have been taught that the way to get ahead in this world is to work, while in the spiritual realm we expect things to just happen with very little effort.
#2. It is spiritual work! "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." John 17:4
You are the undershepherd of Christ to your wife, therefore you are accountable to God. "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." 1 Cor. 11:3
With accountability comes authority. Though you are the "court of last resort," a lot of deliberation (between husband and wife) should be carried out before the decision is handed down! Remember, the "head" only has authority to lead, not to drive. You cannot make a wife do anything, you can only lead her to want to do something. Your example is Christ, and you are your wife's example.
Love, the Glue of Marriage:
The Steps of Love:
#1. You saw her and you lusted after her. This is the Greek word Eros (not found in the Bible), and means self-satisfying love. This is an activity of your flesh.
#2. You learned about her and you committed yourself to her. This is the Greek word Phileo, and means selfless love. This is the love of two people with the same goals, interests, and direction. This is an activity of your soul.
#3. You have forsaken all others, and have entered into a lifelong marriage covenant with her and with God. Now God commands, "husbands love your wives." This is the Greek word Agape, and means self-sacrificing love. This is an activity of the Holy Spirit having control of your spirit.
It is the continuing execution/ combination of these three loves which are the responsibility of the husband toward his wife. "Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love." Prov. 5:18-19
Of self-satisfying love. As a male, you are stimulated by sight. (As a female, she is stimulated by touch.) Therefore, you are going to be tempted to lust, so God gave you a wife to lust after! When you lust after your wife, she feels wanted and desired. When you kiss/touch (not rape) her ("conversationally" as well as sexually), she feels wanted and desired, and she is motivated to make herself more desirable. Note the "circle" effect.
Of selfless love. Wives want to know that their husbands are committed to them. You prove your commitment by your attitude toward her and her needs. You prove your commitment by your disinterest in every other woman. Marriage is sharing a life together, and wives want that affirmation of sharing common goals, desires, and direction. They don't necessarily want to be in charge, but they do want to be included in decisions that affect them. They want to be listened to, not just heard.
Of self-sacrificing love. This can only be accomplished in direct proportion to the Holy Spirit's control over your life. It is the sacrificing of what you want for what she wants, within the limits of your role as undershepherd. Strangely (for who can know them), when you offer to sacrifice, they are often satisfied by the offer instead of the act! But this can also mean listening to conversations you are not really interested in, going places you wouldn't choose, getting excited about things that don't interest you, doing things you would rather not do, etc., etc., all for her sake. Whether you like it or not, she and her contentment is your responsibility.
What Your Wife Wants!
#1. She Wants Security.
a. She wants to know that you are committed to her and her alone. She wants you to say, "I love you," and mean it! She wants you to affirm her in the presence of others.
b. She wants to know that you are her protector. Even if you never have to go "toe-to- toe" with some dude, you better make sure she thinks you would!
c. She wants to know that you are her provider. God never intended for the wife to bear the financial responsibilities for the family. It is the husband's responsibility to be the breadwinner, except in unusual situations, and that short-term. It is the husband's responsibility to control the finances in the home, setting a budget, and making sure the wife's needs are met first. The wife is to be sheltered from financial difficulties that would undermine her security, and yet she is to be included in all budgeting and spending decisions ("checks and balances").
The Bible says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife..." The man leaves, but the woman only transfers from one provider to another. Think of the insecurity a woman must feel!
#2. She Wants Affection.
a. She wants passing pats on the behind, kisses on the cheek, arms around the waist, holding hands in public, hugs and kisses (do you remember "ooxx”)!
b. She wants unexpected gifts during unexpected times at unexpected places. She also wants some gifts that are not practical for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
c. She wants lingering love, not short term sex. She wants affection before, and cuddling after. It is the husband's responsibility to meet her physical needs. When you do, she will meet yours.
#3. She Wants Compliments.
a. On the way she looks, on the things she does, on the effort she puts forth. You be first to compliment your wife—not some other man.
#4. She Wants Honesty and Openness.
a. God seems to have made women more sensitive to liars and lies. Perhaps because God made them dependent on you, they need to know that you are honest and open with them.
b. She wants to know where you are, what you are doing, and what time you will be home.
#5. She Wants Conversation.
a. She wants you to want to spend time with her (and to do it), even when you do nothing.
b. She wants you to listen to her, and to join into the conversation (which proves you are listening and not just "hearing").
c. She wants you to help with the solutions to her problems, fears, anxieties. She wants to know you care about what she thinks, and what she is going through.
#6. She Wants You Committed to Your Family.
a. She wants you to fulfill your role as the leader in the home.
b. She wants you to take an active role in the rearing of the children.
c. She wants you to take an active interest in the welfare of the children. Though you might not be the children's father, you are to be the children's dad! .
Husband, love (agape) your wife!
Self-satisfying love (lust) is an emotion. It comes and goes.
Selfless love is an intellectual attachment. It is the "common ground" of marriage.
Self-sacrificing love is an act of your will. It is the "stuff" that Godly marriages are made of.
A lasting, fulfilling marriage is built upon self-sacrificing love, because feelings always follow actions. Even if you don't "feel like it," do it anyway! Self-sacrificing love toward your wife is commanded by Christ, and is proof of your salvation and discipleship.
Husband, love (agape) your wife!
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