“Each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
When a wife treats her husband with disrespect his automatic response is to treat her in an unloving way. But instead of withholding love until she “deserves it,” God commands husbands to love their wives regardless of what you feel the score is. Practically, how does one love his wife?
- By listening to her and respecting how she feels. The first evidence of real love from God’s point of view is “love is patient…” (1Corinthians 13:4) Men tend to withdraw when they are under stress, but women tend to talk it out. If she feels like you aren’t listening to her it gives the message that she’s not important to you. If she expresses frustration with you by saying, “you never…” or “you always…” it is not time to defend yourself because in your mind her accusation isn’t true. Men, we need to go deeper and recognize that it is true that she feels that way right now, and that her feelings need to be validated. Here’s the question our wives want us to ask, “Do you want me to just listen, or do you want a solution?”
- By talking to her. She needs to hear your feelings and not just a list of what you accomplished. God’s main reason for marriage was that spouses would not “be alone.” Consider that there is no greater loneliness than to be married and feel alone; at least single people have hope of finding someone to share life with. When you won’t open up to your wife she feels desperately alone with nowhere to turn. God gave you to her so she wouldn’t feel that way.
- By reconciling with her. Be willing to say these words: “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” Pride hides and ultimately divides; humility is willing to do the honorable thing even if it means death to self. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” Jesus died before anyone had responded to Him. Men of honor initiate reconciliation even when they don’t “feel” like it because it is what is best for their marriage and family.