Maybe you are married, unmarried, remarried, once married, or want to be married.  For anyone out there interested in how to love a wife, I want to give you some advice today.  Not because I’m an expert, but because I’m learning.  My wife has endured a man trying to learn how to truly love her for almost 8 years now.  In fact, today marks our 14th dating anniversary (a practice we still haven’t gotten tired of)!

As we are waiting on bambino #3 any day now, I am constantly reminding myself that these children won’t always be here.  Our marriage must be built on more than a partnership to raise children, pay bills, or engage with a certain group of people.  She comes before children.  She comes before my job.  She comes before my hobbies.

Do you really want to know how to love your wife?  Are you interested in discovering what she truly needs?  It’s very simple in theory, difficult in application.  I can give it to you in one picture:

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.t28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,30 because we are members of his body.31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.In this passage, what is the husband expected to do?

What should that accomplish in his wife?  The illustration that God chose to use in His Word to show how husbands should love their wives is how Christ loved the church. He gave Himself up for her. In an attempt to make her holy, He died for her. If you ever wanted to know how to love your wife, look no further than how Jesus showed His love for you.

How did Jesus love you?  How much did he endure at his crucifixion?  Did Christ deserve that treatment?  If you started loving your wife like Christ loved the church, what would change?

You might be saying, “But my wife has changed…she doesn’t show me any respect…we fell out of love…”

Let me remind you that “God’s calling for you as a husband was not to marry the woman you love, but to love the woman you married” (The Resolution, p. 91).

Wherever you are today, if you are trying to make your marriage work, do your part and attempt to love your wife the way Jesus loves his church.  She is worth every bit of it.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.