Having a great time learning from Ted Cunningham at the marriage conference at FBC Rogers.
Since it is Valentine’s Day week, we should take a second and review some instructions from Paul on how husbands are to love your wives.
Please add to this discussion in the comments and help your brothers out.
There is no “if your wife” qualification in these statements from Paul (quoted below).
Husbands, we are called to love our wives the same way Christ loved the church. That’s a big deal. Christ gave His life for the church. He didn’t just die on the cross for the church, He gave His life to and for the church.
What does that mean? It means that in life Christ nurtured the church through the Word and deeds with grace, truth and love. Even when He was rejected by His own (John 1).
If your wife doesn’t do her part, that is no reason not to do your part.
- Love your wife even when you don’t feel loved
- Love your wife when you are stressed at work
- Love your wife when neither of you have time to clean the house
- Love your wife when you get home from work and still need to mow the grass
- Love your wife when Ramen noodles or Totino’s pizza is what’s for dinner
- Love your wife when the finances are not in order
Love does not mean you always give in to her every request. It just means that you are kind and understanding and explain your reasoning when you sometimes don’t agree. And you do apologize or change your mind when she points out a flaw or an error in your reasoning. Even is she doesn’t reciprocate, you lead by example.
Your wife wants your attention when she speaks. Practice active communication techniques. Just as you do at work, show respect in your communications. I am not perfect on this either, so don’t think I’m pretending like I’ve achieved perfection on this. I fail at it.
Here is the main point, you lead by example. Be an example to your wife, to your sons and to your daughters. Show them what it means to be a husband living on Biblical principles.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.
Ephesians 5:25, 28-30 NASB
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NASB
Valentine’s day is a highly commercialized day filled with overly compelled expressions of love. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to receive those highly suggested and semi-heartfelt gifts from your spouse or significant other. I’m joking, but sometimes if feels true.
One thing that is important about Valentine’s Day is that it reminds us to show love. Yet, one act on one day of the year is not sufficient.
Many men have a difficult time showing the love that they feel in their heart.
Let me admit that many times I don’t hit the mark for showing love the way my wife and kids need to see it. Although, I do try purposefully to do so. I love my wife and kids and nothing will change that. But, if they don’t know I love them it can strain our relationship and cause feelings of insecurity in them, even if it is only sub-consciously.
Men, we have to show love consistently. And we must do it in a way that can feel really uncomfortable for us sometimes. You know what I mean, I’m talking about mooshy-gooshy affection stuff that we don’t always feel like doing.
Here are some examples of how to show love and it doesn’t cost any money to do it:
- Hug your kids and say “I love you”
- Hug your wife and say “I love you”, long hugs that mean something
- Hug your wife in front of your kids until the kids make gagging noises
- Actively listen to your wife and kids (That means looking at them and engaging in the conversation)
- Occasionally watch that movie with your wife that you really don’t want to watch
- Hold hands with your wife in public, she is your bride
- things like the above list that are not always comfortable for you
Here are some examples that are not necessarily showing love, these are things that you just need to help do sometimes:
- Wash the dishes
- Wash the kid’s clothes
- Hang up the kid’s clothes
- Clean some part of the house
- things like the above that are not related to showing affection
Over my 16 years of marriage I’ve had to learn this, and I am still learning. One of the books that I read to help me better understand my gaps in showing love and how to understand what my wife needs is Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerich. I would encourage all of my readers husband or wife to read this book. It will help you better understand your spouse’s emotional needs.
February is a great time to start a new marriage study with your wife, this is one way to take the lead in spiritual growth in your marriage and be actively engaged in relational growth with you wife.
Below is my affiliate link to the book. There are also workbooks and digital versions. I hope you take the time to read this book with your spouse even if you have been married for a few years. I went through this book after my wife and I had been married for four years.