Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her That is a strong statement coming down to us today from the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul and it is just as timely today as it was then. What manner of love is this and from where does it come? What does it look like and how should we as Christians express this love on a day to day basis?
My wife ( Mindy Kay ) and I have been married for just over eight years and so far it has been a wild, tumultuous, and wonderful ride. She has tolerated my stubbornly inconsiderate attitudes from before "I do" through our marriage's " formative" years and loved me in spite of my obvious sins. Most women I know love their men this way and I am most thankful for it in our marriage, but often we as men have to be especially attentive to how to love our wives.
The above Scripture is not a request, a question, or a suggestion but rather a command from God and what He expects from us in the expression of our love to the woman He has placed in our lives. With all her faults, and hers are probably fewer than yours, the command remains to LOVE your wives. When the children have run her ragged and her frustration are directed at you, LOVE her. When she is tired, depressed, anxious, or just generally contrary, LOVE your wife the way Christ loved the Church. If they are a Godly woman love them unconditionally and if they are far from the Lord love them for who God can and will mold them to be. If they are believers praise God for a faithful helpmate and if not pray that conviction will come from the Lord and through your good conduct the Holy Spirit will draw them to Himself.
Above all, through all, and to end all LOVE your wives men and sacrificially show the love of Christ to them.
How do we do this? Here are some things that I have found ( and most I am still working on ) that helps:
1. Listen to them-Really listen and don't play act
2. Pray for and with them-open up in front of them and take your cares together to the Lord
3. Clear the table after meals and do the dishes-Perform an act of unsolicited service
4. Fold your own clothes occasionally-She is not your maid Finish the honey-do list-Do the expected things that make life easier
5. Do an unexpected act of appreciation-Buy a card, send flowers, or give her time away from the kids
Father I thank you for faithful Fathers and Husbands that want to grow closer to you and in doing so their wives and families. Give us the grace we need to face the challenges we all will encounter and help us to love our wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.
Luther Stapleton, Randleman NC
Christian, Husband, and Father who also authors Living In Grace