Both spouses have a specific biblical role in the marriage. While the wife is told that she is supposed to submit to and respect her husband, the husband is commanded to love his wife. Listen here as I explain what that means.
#FlashbackFriday Originally posted October 9, 2012.
Men, have you ever thought about what you wife’s greatest need is in a relationship with you? I would like to know how she would answer you. I wonder if she would mention that she needs to be listened to more and understood better. Maybe she would point out that she desires more attention to what she is doing that cannot be interrupted. I wonder if she might tell you that she really would like for you to care about what she cares about more. I’m not sure what she might say, but I have heard so many different answers; yet at the same time most of the answers are very similar. So let me share with you what I believe is the answer that we need to focus on.
Before I give you the one word answer, I want to show you how we get to that answer.
The Bible uses four primary words in Ephesians 5 and I Peter 3 telling husbands how to treat their wives. The first of those words is Love.
Ephesians 5:25 (NASB)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
The word that is used in this verse translated “Love” is the word that describes God’s love. This means that the love is to seek the best in the recipient of the love and is also seen as being sacrificial and unconditional in how it is presented. So I want you to think for a moment about how you love your wife. Do you seek the best in your wife? Are you sacrificial in your love? Is your love unconditional or do you expect your wife to earn or maintain your love?
The second word that is used in Ephesian 5 is Nourish.
Ephesians 5:28-29 (NASB)
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
The word for nourish deals with feeding to bring to maturity. This word primarily used describing the parent relationship with their child, but here it is suggesting that the husband is to provide for and protect his wife. When we nourish our wives, they will flourish in all they do. I ask husbands if their wives are better off because they are married to them. If not, then how can the husband improve on that aspect of the relationship.
The third word is Cherish. This word means to warm and foster with tender care. The only other place this word is used in all of scripture is in I Thes. 2:7 where Paul is talking about a mother nursing her baby. How does that baby feel in his momma’s arms? How is that momma looking at her child? I realize that the relationship between a momma nursing her child is unique. I believe that our wives need to feel that they are special to us and that they are treated with tender compassion. I won’t ask a question here; I’ll just make a statement concerning the need that is addressed here. When we yell at our wives, they will not feel cherished. They need us to be gentle with them.
The final word is the word that we looked at yesterday and that is Understanding. I will not go into more detail on that principle but if you have not read yesterday’s post, look down the page and find Understanding Your Wife.
Now that you have all four words – Love, Nourish, Cherish, and Understand – let me give you the one word answer to the original question. SECURITY!!
There are several aspects of security in your relationship with your wife. I just want to mention different areas of security that your wife needs. At a later date, I will address them at length.
Now, gentlemen, how are you doing in the area of providing security for your wife? If we want our wives to be happy and fulfilled in our marriages, their need of security has to be met!
Bradley D. Watson, BCBT Directed Path Ministries
After spending more than 25 years on church staffs, God has allowed me to take the experiences and knowledge that I gained to develop a Biblical Counseling ministry. The basis of this ministry is to allow God’s Word to shine on the main issues in peoples’ lives in order to bring His resolutions to problems.
“I just don’t understand you at all. You are controlled by your emotions and I think that’s crazy!”
“You are as emotional as a stump!”
“You never care about what I care about. You are just selfish and only care about yourself.”
Have you ever heard statements like these? Or have you ever said anything like these?
Too many times in my practice I have heard these statements or something very similar. People make these type of statements out of frustration, aggravation, and anger. They are trying to communicate the emotional differences between the husband and the wife. Obviously, the differences are vast. Generally speaking, women are more emotional than men while men are more logical or analytical. Most of the time women are more relational than men while men are more competitive. (again generally speaking) Men like action while women like romance. I could go on about the differences between men and women because as I said they are vast. But this is not to point out the differences, but it is to show the need for empathy in marriage.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB95)
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Empathy is very difficult for many people and yet it is the deepest form of understanding there is. While sympathy says “I care about you,” empathy says “I care with you.” In a marriage relationship, caring with your spouse about the different issues in life is paramount for the relationship to grow and thrive. In our marriage, we never want to feel that we are just surviving. One way for that to happen is to feel that our spouse is being empathetic.
How can we become empathetic?
When we learn to empathize with our spouse, our relationship will grow in its intimacy. Emotional intimacy is a level of intimacy that can and will affect all other levels of intimacy. Empathy can be learned by anyone if the time and effort is put forth.
Valentine’s Day is approaching very quickly. If you walk into any store, you will see hearts, balloons, flowers, and lots of the colors red and pink. Merchants are attempting to get us to spend money on our spouse, girl-friend, or boy-friend to celebrate a “day of love.” Florists will have more orders for flowers than any other day of the year, except maybe Mother’s Day. More cards are sold than any other card than Christmas cards and Mother’s Day cards. Gifts of all sorts are bought while hotel rooms are rented well in advance for the little get-a-way around Valentine’s Day. Now, am I against such spending? NO WAY!!! I will buy the cards and maybe even the flowers or a gift. I will want to go out on a date or maybe I might fix a romantic dinner for two at my house. The plans are still in the works, I promise. You will have to wait and see what I decide to do and then only if I decide to write about it will you actually know what happens at my house for a Valentine’s Day celebration.
The reason that I bring up all the hype of Valentine’s Day is that many times we want to shower our loved ones with gifts on just special occasions, but we do not want to show love on an everyday occurrence. Let me ask you a simple question, “What does love look like to you?” Another way of wording the same question would be, “What are your expectations in your love relationship?” The question I think is a simple one to ask, but the answer might be much more complex. Gary Chapman wrote a book a number of years ago entitled, The Five Love Languages. He has since written about teenagers, children, and even now about apologies. We all have different ways of saying “I love you.” I personally think that every married couple should read that book, but this writing today is not to be centered on how we say “I love you,” but rather what are we saying when we say “I love you.”
The Bible uses a word in the original language that most people have heard that we translate as love and that word is αγαπε (agape). Agape love is the love that describes God, God’s relationship with man, Man’s relationship with God, and Man’s relationship with his wife. The love is a love that is totally unconditional and selfless. It is a self-sacrificial love that is given actually in spite of the fact the recipient does not necessarily deserve to be loved in such a way. Agape love is not earned or deserved, it is given.
With those thoughts on the word LOVE, how would you describe your love for your spouse today? Would you say that your love is sacrificial or selfless? Or would you have to say that your love is selfishly motivated? I am not trying to accuse anyone with these questions. I am attempting to cause you to focus on your relationship with your spouse from a Biblical perspective, which in turn will enable your relationship to go the distance. Unconditional love can stand the test of time. Every one of us will change over the years. Age catches up to us in all kinds of different ways. Some of us have put on a pound or two extra, (maybe a lot more than that) while some of us have lost our hair. Some people’s hair has changed colors while others have changed the color of their hair. Eye-sights change, hearing changes, as well as even some personalities will change. With all of the changing that takes place over the course of a lifetime, there needs to be a foundation that the relationship is built on in order for it to maintain a sense of stability and that foundation has to be Αγαπε Love!
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NASB)
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails;
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