When I was doing my undergrad work at Liberty University, part of the required reading for one of the marriage and family courses was the popular book, Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. It’s a wonderful book and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Dr. Eggerichs uses the basic, yet profound, principles found the Bible to show how a man should love his wife. In the fifth chapter of Ephesians we read how a man should “love his wife as Christ loved the church,” and a women “shall respect” her husband. Yet, I believe love and respect are very similar and husbands and wives need both. If you have read Gary Chapman’s, The Five Love Languages,you know people have several ways of giving and receiving love. However, the following list will help husbands love their wives in a deeper way regardless of their love language.
Regardless of how you see your wife, she should be your prized possession. No, I’m not saying your wife is your property, but she must be the most valuable thing in your life. You must have eyes only for her and not get a crook in your neck taking a “double take” at a pretty girl passing by. A man loves his wife by never comparing her to an airbrushed supermodel or another beautiful woman. Men, you make your wife feel safe, adored and loved when your eyes are “monogamous.” Remember, your eyes are the gateway to your heart.
Meaningful, intimate communication is extremely difficult for most husbands. Yet, if a man can understand the typical wife’s need for communication may very well be as a powerful as his need need for sex, they may put forth greater effort. However, communication is far more than one person doing a bunch of talking. In his book,Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, John Maxwell describes how our deepest desire is to be truly known by someone else. The way you get to know your wife is to ask questions and then actively listen. He goes on to say, “Communication is the language of leadership.” I say it’s the language of a solid, loving marriage. Men, you show love to your wife when you turn off the phone, turn of the TV, and engage in meaningful, transparent, and truthful conversation.
When you have engaged in meaningful conversation you should be able to pick up on your wife’s goals and dreams. Although you may have dreams of your own, a husband will show love to his wife by making her dreams his priority. The “agape” type of love described in the Bible is putting other’s needs before your own. Men, when encourage your wife you become her biggest cheerleader, biggest fan. You stimulate growth and inspire her with courage; helping her to reach for her dreams regardless of her fear. A key role of a husband is to place his wife in such a position so that she may achieve her God-given potential.
For most men, their profession is a major part of their self-image. Good, bad, or in different, when a husband works hard to provide for his wife it communicates love. Jimmy Evans, with Marriage Today, states statistics show a women’s number one desire in marriage is to feel safe and secure. When a husband works hard, it communicates safety and security to his wife because she knows he’s doing all he can to provide for her. In contrast, a lazy husband communicates a totally opposite message.
I get it. Each household is different, and sometimes both spouse work full-time jobs. You are tired. She is tired. Yet, when a husband willing performs duties around the house that may have traditionally been left up to the wife, it communicates love. Gary Chapman calls this love language, “acts of service.” In homes where the wife manages the domestic duties, the husband should still be willing to jump in and help. Doing the dishes or folding laundry is a simple way to add value and show love to your wife. There may be a little reward in your future if you follow this practice.
Men, we have our priorities. But if we are to keep our eye on the prize, we must make our wives our number one priority. You career should line up number three behind your relationship with Christ, followed by your wife and family. A husband shows value in his wife and marriage when he makes her a consistent priority on his calendar. Men, don’t give your wife your left-overs. Give her the very best of yourself.
If you have been married for any length of time, you have probably forgotten the amount of energy you invested in winning your prize. Men are natural hunters and most guys are great at pursuing something desired. Sadly, when the desired object, in this case your wife, is obtained, we tend to get lazy. Men, you must develop a consistent and steady way of chasing after your bride. Pursuit equals passion, and when you passionately pursue your bride you communicate your love for her.
The Jimmy V Foundation has coin the phrase, “Never give up, never-ever give up.” Although the foundation’s focus is on cancer research and finding a cure, the phrase, “Never give up,” must apply to your feelings toward your wife. A husband shows love to his wife by believing in her, even when she struggles to believe in herself. Never give up on your wife. Bring out the best in her by build her up through your words, your actions and your respect. Let her know that your promise to her and your love for her is unconditional and unyielding. That will give her the confidence to take on the world knowing you are always there for her.