“The spark is still there.” This is what my wife said to me as we observed my pastor and his wife at dinner one night. It seemed like this couple, married for over 20 years, had not lost a step. Our meal had not come, but we were subjected to observing their interactions while waiting. He would whisper in her ear and she would giggle. No other woman could take his attention away.
I had not seen a love between a man and a woman like this growing up, even among minorities. There are so many negative stories of Christian marriages that it becomes possible to question the point of marriage. But my wife and I picked up on some things from this couple. My pastor really enjoyed the company of his wife. They actually liked each other, and were each other’s best friend. It made me think about how I can better love and serve my wife.
- Dating – Ephesians 5:28-29, “Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.”This entails spending quality time with her, and honoring her. No other woman should have your attention. Do things that she likes, and seek to involve her in your activities. Just because you have her now, doesn’t mean your pursuit of her stops. Set aside time to do this. Love and cherish her. Pray that the Lord helps you to love her more and more daily.
- Listening – Consider her feelings and opinions. Guess what? You are not always right! Think about what she says. There are times when she will bring insight to something you may not even have thought of. She is important. Remember your wife is a fellow heir of the grace of life. Be understanding of her, because as Peter says “so that your prayers will not be hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7). Learn and study her. Know her likes and dislikes. Be a friend.
- Building – Read, discuss, and apply the Bible together. Pray regularly with your wife, seek regular church involvement, and serve with her. Wash her in the Word. How can your wife follow your example if you aren’t in the Word of God yourself? You want your wife to look more like Jesus. That is the goal and aim in marriage. This will also help you to grow spiritually together (Eph. 5:26).
- Edifying – Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”I’ve had moments where I would joke about my wife publicly, but not think at the time if it offended her. I made jokes until one day I realized no one else joked about their wives.” Seek to edify and encourage your wife with your words. Compliment her, and let her know how much of a blessing she is to you.
One of the beauties of marriage is you can look back over your life and see how God has both grown you and your spouse. You can look back over the trials, the victories, the pains, and the joys. Your wife is a precious jewel whom the Lord has given you to help you become more like Him. When you are tempted to get upset with your wife, remember she is a blessing!
We often forget that marriage and our relationships are used as tools to make us more like Christ. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). This is the key, to look to Christ’s example for the grace to spur us. Even though we will fall short, our wives help us to continuously make those strides.
Pray for marriages. Pray for men to be leaders of their homes. Pray that we think more about our spouses and less about ourselves. Pray for women to honor and respect their husbands. Let us all take heed and honor marriage (Heb. 13:4).