Ephesians 5:25 (GW)
25 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.
Long before there was the book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, the Holy Spirit was inspiring the Apostle Paul to write about the differences between men and women. Ephesians 5:33 (GW) 33 But every husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and wives should respect their husbands. Paul, writing by the power of the Holy Spirit, says that for a marriage to be successful, two things are needed. Husbands, love your wives. Wives, respect your husband. Since I am a man who is married, I will write about the man’s responsibility (not that I am the perfect husband, far from it).
How are we men to love our wives? as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. Pretty simple sounding, isn’t it? Yet, it is so hard to do. Jesus loves the church (the church is made up of the people, so that would be you and me) so much that He was willing to put aside His ego and rights on behalf of the church. Jesus, the creator and ruler of the universe, came to serve, not be served (Matthew 20:28). He humbled Himself to the point of death, even allowing Himself to be shamed for His bride, the church (Philippians 2:5-8).
Men, that is how we are to treat our wives. If we do this, our wives will feel loved. This how God describes His love for us. This is how we are to love our wives. When God created Adam and Eve, He created them to be different with different needs. Larry Stockstill in his book Model Man lists seven needs that a wife wants fulfilled in order for her to feel loved.
1) Financial security. A woman wants to know that the bills can be paid. She wants to know that groceries can be bought to feed the family. Sometimes sacrifices must be made on behalf of the kingdom of God. But we men must be not only be willing but also be the first to make the sacrifices of our wants when it comes to money in order to supply the needs of the family. Jesus sacrificed for our salvation; let’s be willing to sacrifice for our wives and families.
2) Companionship. A woman wants to be able to talk to her man about the deep and personal things she is thinking and going through. She doesn’t want her husband to solve all the problems; she wants him to listen and respond appropriately. Sympathize with your wife. Ask her questions about what she is saying. Don’t be quick to offer a solution. Put down the smartphone; turn off the tv; give her your full attention. Jesus promises to give us His full attention when we pray, so let’s treat our wives the same way.
3) Routine. A woman finds security in a set routine. If she has dinner ready at a certain time every night, be there at the table and encourage the rest of the family to join you. There is security in routine. God set up our lives according to routine. We live by the routine of the calendar, seasons, and even hours of the day. Yes, our God is also a God of surprises. A wife likes a good surprise, but she also finds comfort in routine.
4) Open Communication. This means that our wives should be able to share her frustrations and observation about us. Let’s be honest, men; we are not perfect (far from it). We want and need someone to speak truth into our lives. You wouldn’t want to go to work with a big glob of mustard on your face, would you? You would probably get upset with your wife if she knew you had that glob of mustard and said nothing about it. How much worse to let us men keep acting in a bad way! When God created Eve, He created her to be a helpmate. This means that she was to help Adam be a better man. Men, let us love our wives enough to let them love us by speaking truth into our lives without being afraid.
5) Honor. Your wife wants to feel that you honor her. Maybe that starts with just opening doors for her. But it also includes not speaking bad about her. Don’t complain about your wife to friends. Don’t put her down in public. Instead, build her up. Jesus could speak bad about us and our sin. Instead, He stands ready to speak on our behalf as our advocate and intercessor before the Father (1 John 2:1).
6) Trust. A wife wants to be able to trust her husband. Men, are we lying to our wives? Are we doing things behind her back? Can our wives trust us when we go out at night? Our whole relationship with God is based on trust. We trust God to fulfill His word. Shouldn’t our wives be able to do the same with us?
7) Protection. A woman wants to know that her man will protect her. Are you willing to take a bullet for your wife? Jesus is our Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep (John 10:11). Does your wife feel safe with you?
These are the seven needs that a wife has. How are you doing in these areas? Which area do you need to improve on? Be bold this week and take your wife for a walk and ask her which area you need to work on. (In doing this, you will actually be working on areas 2 & 4!)
P.S. Want to improve as a man of God? New Life can hold another class called Model Man using Larry Stockstill’s materials. Your wife will thank you!