One of the primary jobs of a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25ff). This responsibility is critical for any Christian husband to follow. Yet many men do not put this truth into action in proper, practical ways as they live out their marriages.
Agape love is sacrificial love. This love is played out in little things each day. My wife describes it as “penny deposits into the bank account of love/trust.” Regular deposits made in the normal, routine, daily happenings of marital life tend to accumulate compound interest, and in the long run will yield great dividends.
With this in mind, here are five ways a Christian husband must learn to love his wife.
Take Spiritual Leadership in the Home
God has created the home to function in certain ways that will both bring him great glory and provide tremendous joy in the marriage. One key aspect of this is biblical leadership in the home.
Husband, your wife shouldn’t have to insist on things like going to church each week or leading the family in worship. It is your responsibility to set the spiritual tone of your home. Lead your family in worship; be actively involved in shepherding the hearts of your children. A godly wife craves your spiritual leadership.
Ephesians 5:25 flows out of a Spirit-controlled life (Eph 5:18) and reflects the mutual submission we are to have with one another in marriage (Eph 5:21). Submission carries the aroma of humility, but this is not the kind of humility where you just cow-tow to whatever your wife says or wants. It is the kind of humility that leads humbly and faithfully without being a chauvinist pig, a dictatorial monster, or a royal jerk.
Admit when you are wrong and confess that to God and your wife. Listen to her advice, as you do not have a corner on wisdom. While you are the leader in the home, you have a partner who is your specially-suited helper.
Clothe yourselves with humility (1 Pet 5:5) or face the opposition of God . . . and your wife. Humility leads graciously; it loves joyfully; it lives faithfully. You do not exist for your own pleasure, but for the pleasure of God first, then for the pleasure of your wife.
Converse With Your Wife
There is no good reason why this should not happen well in a Christian marriage. You can converse digitally through texts, emails, Facebook messages, and other ways. Those are simple deposits into the love bank of your marriage, but they are not the primary form of communication.
We must converse personally as well. While digital communication is helpful, nothing can replace the face-to-face conversations you have with your wife. Talk about your day. Your wife wants to know about it. Talk about your dreams and desires. Talk about your struggles. Also, listen to her talk with you—without the TV on or the phone in front of your face. Engage with her in conversation, and give her your full attention.
Invest in Your Marriage
We invest in things which we believe to be of value. There is no more valuable human relationship to invest in than your relationship with your wife! Period!
Investing your time, your money, and your energy into your wife is a godly thing to do. This is what God has called you to do. While spending time with other people is obviously important as well, no one is more important than your wife.
Invest in her life by taking her out on dates, buying her flowers for no reason other than you love her. Plan an overnight getaway. Go on walks. Verbally affirm her. Support her in her goals. This kind of investment is vital to the overall health of your marriage.
Do the Dishes
I remember reading a saying in the kitchen of my friend when I was in high school. It read, “I love a man with dishpan hands.” I have never forgotten that.
This is not the only thing to be willing to help out with around the house, but it represents many others. Learn to cook some basic meals. Clean the bathroom. Vacuum the house. Household chores are not the sole responsibility of the wife. The husband lives in the house as well and should contribute to its maintenance. Your wife is most likely just as tired as you are at the end of a busy day. However, many hands make light work, and make for a more loving relationship.
These are just a few ways to show love. There are many more. Husband, love your wife. Flesh that out in the daily happenings of your home and marriage. If you do, God will be honored, and your marriage will be strengthened.