Husbands, what are we really called to be for our wives? Provider? Protector? Partner? Maybe another word that starts with the letter ‘p’? Reading those words I feel as if the answer is yes to each one. Yet, there is one higher calling than all others for us toward our wives….
It is to be loving. If we can be loving then all of the other adjectives will naturally fall into place. How do we truly know what loving our wife looks like?
Who has defined love for you? Where did you get your understanding of love? This is why so many people think they’ll just “know love” when they find it. Instead, what they find is lust. Then over time the lustful things that were so intoxicated are now not worth the hassle. It’s an expectation issue. Husbands need to move past their expectations of and from their wives and turn their eyes a little more to the mirror. Your marriage isn’t rising or falling on what she’s doing but what you are doing. Love your wife well and it’s almost foolproof to have a great marriage. Let’s take a look at what that plan is.
For this, we need to turn to the Bible. Here is Ephesians 5 verses 23 and 25.
“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior… Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.”
We see three things that every husband must know about loving their wife.
BE THE HEAD
To start, let’s take away the caveman, macho man, domineering perspective that many will immediately be drawn to with this idea. It’s not a forceful, dictatorship position within the relationship. If that’s the perspective, or worse, the reality, then you’re doing it wrong! It’s meaning the husband should be the head “of” the relationship not “over” the relationship. The idea is that the husband needs to lead the way in working with his wife as you navigate this life together, not informing your wife. To be intentional about conversation so that both individuals in the marriage come together as one in making decisions and knowing the current environment in which you share. Remember, marriage is sharing life 100/100, not 50/50.
LOVE FROM THE HEART
If we are to have a right relationship with our wife, it must first come with the right understanding of love. Love is not something we create. Neither is it some mystical force that pulls us together and could dissipate if we don’t create the right atmosphere of romance or give in to each others demands. You must decide on what the proper definition of love is. In this Biblical example the word for love is “agape” in Greek. This is not a man-made love but a God-given love. Therefore, you can only have this kind of love if you know God. It’s literally God’s love given to you to share with your wife. That’s so much better than a love you can create! What greater gift to give than the highest form of love. All you have to do is pass it on. In fact, it says to “agape” your wife 4x in chapter 5 alone. So it’s kind of a big deal. Here’s the bottom line.
“The more in-tune husbands are with God’s love, the better they can pass on His love to their wife.”
MAKE YOURSELF SECOND
Looking back at verse 25 it says to love “as Christ loved” and do what He did, which is that he “gave himself up for her.” The plan is to give up yourself for her. Put her first. Does she deserve the nicer car, the nicer clothes, the extra sleep, the larger amount of tv time? The answer is, it does’t matter. It’s not about her deserving any of it. It’s about your love for her. When we tie our love, or at least our expression of love, to what she deserves or has earned, then it’s not love. Happiness and love become a bargaining chip to get what we want.
“The enemy of marriage is self-centeredness.”
Remember, woman came from the rib of a man. Not the foot to be walked on or the head to be ruled over but from the side of a man to be equal, from under the arm to be protected and from near to the heart to be loved. ~ Matthew Henry