Post written by Raymund Tamayo
God’s Word says that we as husbands must love our wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it (Ephesians 5:25).
This is one command that we should strive to be excellent of. To be excellent is to be an improving copy of our perfect pattern, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Biblical love is given and received from God’s love. It is only through a knowledge and gratitude of God’s great love toward us that we can begin to love someone unconditionally and enduringly.
Christ’s love for us is both perfect and undeserved. This is the kind of love we should also give our wives.
1. Prefer her over yourself. Every time, in big and small ways. The best seat in a plane or movie house, let her have it. When there’s only one life vest left in a sinking ship, give it to her. I’m not kidding. A Spirit-filled husband loves his wife not for what she can do for him, but for what he can do for her. He gives a love that knows no tyranny, only sacrifice.
2. Show interest in her interests. In other words, know her. Know her more. Know her strengths and weaknesses. Know her talents and help her develop them. Be involved in her interests. Do things together. Talk about what she likes about anything and be genuine.
3. Encourage her with words of appreciation. And often. Some husbands, after being married for many years, begin to forget praising or admiring their wives. They say “action speaks louder than words”. That’s correct, but words also matter. Be humble and learn how to commend others, especially your wife.
4. Brighten her day with an unexpected gift. It could be anything: a love letter, flowers, or even just a note. My favorite to give my wife are poems.
5. Spend time with her having fun (what she enjoys). Even when you didn’t like or know dancing, if she wants to, dance with her. Be humble and don’t be afraid to look silly. If she wants to have a movie marathon of High School Musical, don’t just be with her, be genuine and have authentic fun. If you really love her, don’t you want to find out what she likes and why she liked it?
6. Spend time listening with interest to her concerns. Some husbands, because of being too focused on work, never give time to sit down and listen to the concerns of their wives. They feel that they are privileged and that their wives should have taken cared of everything in their home. That should not be the case. You are the leader of the house, the protector, the caregiver. Spend time listening to her household or career concerns, or on any other worry, while showing companionship, giving her encouragement from God’s Word, and helping her find a solution, all in that order (trust me on this).
7. Help her when she looks as if she needs it. Don’t wait to be asked. As husbands, we should be sensitive to the needs of our wives. Don’t just listen to the words being said, but more importantly, pay extra special attention to her body languages and facial expressions. You will learn a lot more from them.
8. Do chivalrous things to let her know how special she is. Open doors, wipe off benches before she sits, pull out chairs, be the last one to ride the jeepney, and the first one to get off and reach her hand while going down. We shouldn’t stop doing these things after marriage.
9. Show her nonsexual affection. Read her a poem or a book. Sing to her. If you can play a guitar, do it while singing. Cook her a meal. From time to time, hold her cheeks and whisper how much you love her. Remember, marriage is not all about sex.
10. Seek to please and satisfy her during sexual intimacy. As what I said in #1, prefer her over yourself, even in making love. Her satisfaction comes first before yours. Be sensitive and gentle to her needs. If you are clueless on what to do, be humble and ask her lovingly. Show genuine eagerness in pleasing her.
11. Confront her sin in love, pray with her about it, and encourage change. Nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes. You make mistakes, and so is your wife. Be patient, but do not tolerate. Real love pursues the perfection of the one beloved. As Christ wants to sanctify us and perfect us in His love, a husband should also advance the personal growth of his wife. As Christ loves the church and is committed to removing all its blemishes so He can present her in all her glory and beauty to Himself, we should also strive to bring about the perfection of our wives, gently and lovingly.
12. Lead her spiritually. Pray with her. Study and read Scripture with her. See to it that she’s serving and using her spiritual gifts within the church. You are God’s appointed spiritual head of your family. It’s on your shoulders to lead your wife closer to God. Be a living example of Christlikeness.
Regardless of your wife’s response, you are called to love her as Christ loved the church, sacrificially, unconditionally. One day you will answer to God for how you have – or have not – loved your wife.
We want to be God’s instrument for building up our wives, and not burn her out into obscurity and insignificance. The way to do that is to sacrifice ourselves and be willing to be in loving, genuine involvement in our wife’s life.
It is our responsibility as husbands to help the woman that God brought in our lives become mature in His ways.
It is God-appointed, not a mediocre task or accountability. So love your wife sacrificially, the same as Christ loved the church, and let her bloom as God planned.