The apostle Paul writes this word to both the church in Ephesus (Eph 5:25) and the church at Colossae (Col 5:19). How many married Christian men will read this scripture, nod their heads and smile, affirming in their hearts that they do love their wives? After all, as a husband they work hard to provide for the family, they are home most evenings to be with the family, they maintain the yard on the weekends, attend a church service with their family, and complete a list of “honey-do’s” on a regular basis. If this were enough, why is divorce in the church at an all-time high?
Paul gives all husbands a command, not a suggestion, regarding their spouses. It is a behavior pattern based on faith that should be practiced at all times. It is not an easy task. In fact, for any married man this will be one of the most challenging scriptures in their walk with the Lord. So what does this command really mean? A Christian author and psychologist, Dr. Larry Crabb, in his book “The Marriage Builder” talks about loving wives through ministry. He says, “Men should serve their wives selflessly, in such a manner that they would have a greater revelation of the person of Jesus Christ.” So the journey begins. How do I serve my wife in ministry? The answer will be different for each man, but the joy is the journey of discovery. Treat your wife as you would treat yourself. Think of the eternal consequences: in ministry you have a chance to disciple your wife and bring her closer to the Lord. No man has greater love than this, than he lay down his life for his friend (wife). Can you think of anything more rewarding?
In his book, “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted,” Dr. Gary Chapman also discusses the concept of loving your spouse. His foundation goes back to 1 Corinthians 13 and the principles of Christian charity. With our wives, we should be patient and kind (helpful) in all matters. How many times have we failed in this area? And we will fail again, but without despair let us seek the Lord and ask Him to guide us and teach us on a daily basis. We should not demand our way in a controlling spirit as we men are prone to do. How nice it would be if we displayed a positive attitude toward problems. Has any woman been edified by foul language and critical attitudes? We can practice humility, confessing mistakes and errors we make, avoiding the arrogance and pride of the secular man. Be slow to anger as the apostle James admonishes. If any of us have a vault in our heart that contains the hurts our spouses have inflicted on us, let us empty that vault (and keep it empty!). Give all of these hurts to the Lord or else a cancer of bitterness will begin to grow. Love our wives when they are their worst. Love our wives when they cheat on us. Love our wives when they desert us. Love our wives when they are unlovable. Any man can love a woman who loves him. Did not Christ love us when we were yet sinners? Husbands, are we not to be the representation of Christ to our wives? Fulfill the Great Commission in your home first and know that you have made a difference in eternity.