It’s not very often I write a blog post specifically for men. It’s kinda strange but I’m actually super excited {and a little nervous} to share Gods marriage design with you as well!

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:25-33

Three times in this passage of Scripture God commands you as a husband to do something specific: love your wife.

While your wife is instructed to submit, you are instructed to love your wife. Not just kinda sorta love her, but love your wife as Christ loved the church. Paul does not tell you in this passage to rule over your wife. You are never told, “make sure your wife knows you’re in authority over her or show her who’s in charge.” Instead God tells you three times to love your wife.

Love her.

God’s command to love your wife involves more than just acting in love when you feel emotionally or physically close to your wife. God doesn't tell you to love your wife just when she is being affectionate and loving to you. He doesn't say to love your wife only when you feel she is deserving of it. And it doesn't say to withhold love when she's sassy {thank goodness}. God commands: cherish your wife. Have affection for your wife. Love her.

Guys, let your wife know how much she means to you. Tell her. Tell her over and over again. Write her a note to tell her and hide it in a place she'll find it. Believe me, she'll appreciate that more than you know. And she'll more than likely shed a few tears. Give her a big hug and kiss when you walk in the door after work. Just hold her in your arms. From a woman's perspective, this little act of kindness can wash away the negative things that happened during the day and change the tone of the evening. And I betcha this would also be a good step towards getting that smokin' hot marriage we all want!

How did Jesus ultimately show His love the church? He died to establish it. Wow... I know, right. Are you willing to do that? You are also to love your wife more than you love yourself. In reality, Christ is asking you to put your wife's needs before your own. What makes that difficult is our own selfish hearts. It doesn't help that you have the world in your ear, telling you that you are entitled to put your own needs first. And if you don't...well then you’re either a sissy, hen-pecked or really foolish.

Submission can't be forced, ever. Trying to control others (including your wife) is prideful, selfish and sinful. It doesn't honor God or others. And it certainly won't make for a very happy marriage. Being controlling isn't loving at all. If your wife isn't submitting, ask yourself "Am I loving my wife as Christ loved the church?” If the answer is no, then I’d say that is something you need to work on. Work on your part and don't worry about her part. Once your heart is in the right place, then the two of you can work on submission together.

A truly Christian marriage will mirror the relationship between Christ and his church. This mirroring will involve both the husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church, and the wife gladly submitting to her husband. The two elements, love and submission, are non-negotiable within the relationship. Both elements, love and submission are required for our marriages to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church.

So this week...guys, love on your wife. Hug her, kiss her, hold her, listen to her and just spend genuine quality time loving her.

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