How much do you love your wife?
Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them.- Colossians 3:19
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband. – Ephesians 5:33
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; – Ephesians 5:25
I put these verses in the order I did for a reason. Looking at the first one, this would probably be the easiest command to follow– not to be bitter with our wives. This is probably something that a lot of husbands struggle with, though. It’s easy, in close quarters, to allow something to fester– something that’s probably trivial. If we’re not practicing Biblical forgiveness and we’re keeping a record of wrongs, we can easily become bitter. This is at the root, I believe, with the upsurge of divorces we are seeing among those that call themselves Christians.
But Paul doesn’t leave it there, he takes it up a notch. We are to love our wives as ourselves. Few of us would not care what we looked like or want to look like a snob while we’re out and about, and yet do we take the time to make sure that our wives look as radiant as they can? Do we provide for that? Do we take the time to see that they are properly nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually? Do we allow for the outlets that we have and enjoy?
In a home where the man works and the woman is with the children, the man gets a chance for adult conversation. He has the ability to get out of the house. Do we provide that for our wives, or expect them to be content with the same thing every day? Would we be content with that?
If Paul left it there, it would be a tall order, but he takes it further. We are not only to love our wives as ourselves, but we are to love her as Christ loved the church. He died a cruel death for the church. What we we do out of love for our wives? I can hear it now: “I get her flowers every once in a while.”
If we’re honest, I don’t think that we show our love or allow ourselves to love our wives in the kind of love that’s self sacrificing to the point of preferring someone over ourselves. Certainly we have times where we do this, and I believe that we would all rather take a bullet from a robber than have the wife or kids take it, but what do our every day actions say about how we feel about them– for what we think and do determine how we feel about someone.
Men, we need to realize that we have a responsibility to love our wives self-sacrificially and that means putting her first, looking out for her best interest. This is above the children, above our parents, and above ourselves. If we would do this, I believe we would have a stronger relationship and a stronger family for God.