Learn How to Love Your Wife

If husbands want to have a better marriage, then they need to do a better job of loving their wives. Do not wait around for your wife to make a change that you could start.

The level of a man’s sacrifice for his wife determines the amount of security she feels in their marriage.

Since Adam’s passive refusal to get involved in the Garden’s temptation inadvertently led the first home towards sin (Gen. 3:6, 17), men have seemed unfortunately plagued with an inability to provide consistent leadership in marriage and parenting. Instead of being awed by their pioneering initiative, many wives feel disappointed by the lack of drive in their husbands for the things that matter most. Men are known for being driven by pathetic pursuits rather than godly goals. Instead of receiving a committed type of love from their husbands, wives unfortunately receive a passive kind of indifference – a lack of interest, concern, or sympathy for their needs.

Many marriages fail simply because husbands do not know how to love their wives.  

Due to our culture’s depiction of love, many men feel as if they cannot accomplish what their wives expect of them. An abstract, emotional disposition is hard for a man to provide or even understand. Love stories and love songs claim feelings to be the most accurate thermometer of love. With that explanation, most men feel unable to love a wife because many of them aren’t as naturally emotional as their wives. Instead of attempting to connect with their wives on an emotional level, they would much rather do something practical for them. Men are natural fixers but not natural lovers.  

Many men fail due to a tragic misunderstanding of what love truly is. Maybe love isn’t some fleeting emotion. If God himself is equated with love (1 John 4:8), it cannot be a wishy-washy emotion. It must be something more concrete. Your marriage will drastically change if you grasp the fact that the manliest of men to ever walk this earth was the greatest lover of them all.    

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Ephesians 5:25

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? What did he endure through his crucifixion? Did Jesus deserve that treatment? Embracing the undeserving punishment, he came with joy eagerly looking for that cross (Heb. 12:2). How could anyone intentionally move towards a tortuous execution device? What kind of rationale could he possess to do the unthinkable? He would gladly experience pain so that the one he loved didn’t have to endure it. That’s how husbands are supposed to love their wives.

The level of a man’s sacrifice for his wife determines the amount of security she feels in their marriage.

If you started loving your wife like Christ loved the Church, what would change? You would begin to realize that you are not dying to her but for her. You sacrifice. You pour yourself out. You love like Jesus – even when she doesn’t deserve it.  

Many men struggle with loving their wives because of their wives’ disrespect. Citing her actions as a justifier, a husband blames her for his inability and unwillingness to love her as is required. Would you like to apply that reasoning to your relationship with God? If Jesus dealt with us the way that many of us deal with our spouses, we would never have received love, forgiveness, or salvation. We would have been eternally condemned for our sins because of our inability to provide any worthiness in ourselves. 

Men will fail to love when they surrender to a feminized version of love. There’s nothing about a willing sacrifice on a rugged cross that should ever castrate a man. Love doesn’t weaken a man; it strengthens him. The greatest of men who ever lived was led like a lamb to the slaughter and did not even open his mouth (Is. 53:7). He endured horrific punishment due to an all-consuming love for his bride.  Jesus loved us while we were still unlovely (Rom. 5:8).

While the call for women to submit to their husbands is challenging, the standard for men to love their wives in the same manner that Jesus loved us is breathtakingly overwhelming. In our context, the charge to the women seems shocking. In the original audience, the command to the men was counter-cultural.  Men lived in their separate corners of the house and could not be disturbed. They had the right to do with their wives and children whatever they wanted to do. Paul’s charge for men to love their wives served as a provocatively shocking statement.

It still is today. If your marriage is to work, men must be like Christ.  Men – have your attitudes like Jesus (Phil. 2:5) by putting your wives’ needs ahead of your own (Phil. 2:3-4). Don’t be harsh with them (Col. 3:19). Live with them in an understanding way or God won’t even listen to your prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). Did you catch that?  If you don’t listen to your wife, God won’t listen to you! When our Heavenly Father entrusts his precious princesses into our loving care, he has serious expectations.

If you are still looking for a practical way to fight indifference and truly love your wife, let me give you a clear step – wash your wife in the water of the Word (Eph. 5:26). In Paul’s description of sanctification, he instructed husbands to point wives to the Word in the same way Jesus did for the church. That means you should learn the Word in your home so you can lead by the Word in your home. Live only by its principles. To do that, you must prioritize the Bible in your life.  

Your wife’s submission to you will be simple since you will be submitting to the Word. A wife’s submission to a biblical husband is merely a submission to the Bible. Men – you can’t lead others in the Word if you don’t know the Word. Lead by being led. Love by being loved.

What God has joined together, let no indifference separate.

More marriage resources

Let No Hobby Separate

Our hobbies can easily become our obsessions when we spend more thoughts, time, effort, and money on them than anything else. Learn to like your hobbies and love your spouse.

Let No Busyness Separate

Plan for a daily connection, a weekly date, and a yearly getaway for your marriage. If any or all of those three seem impossible to obtain, that reveals how great the need is.

Unfair Marital Frustration

If your spouse has hurt you, the issue must be addressed, but avoid showing frustration to one another for things other people have done. Don’t permit unfair marital frustration.

Don’t Let a Fox Separate Your Marriage

Every person needs to be aware of the little foxes scampering around his or her marriage. All marriages have specific minor issues that will turn into major issues if the couple refuses to address them.

This Marriage Should Have Never Worked

Even if you are in a bad marriage, I have often said that there is never a completely one-sided divorce.  Even if one party contributed 99% of the conflict, the other spouse hasn’t been perfect.   While I have counseled that logic for years, I have changed my mind recently regarding that claim.  After years…

Why I Didn’t Wait Until I Turned 99 to Write a Book on Marriage

Writing and releasing a book on marriage is a dangerous thing.  I suppose writing a book on anything is dangerous, but the topic of marriage is an especially bold topic to address.  As a minister, I have often heard people communicate disapproval for a “younger” pastor sharing wisdom on marriage.  What does he know about…