Seems like a strange title I know. I can hear you saying now “what you do mean ACTIVELY love my wife? I LOVE my wife, isn’t that enough?”
Ok, here’s what I mean. So I’ve been married a little over 12 years now. I still adore my wife, and am thankful every day that God gave her to me to be my partner in this life. But sometimes after being married for several years, us men can start to “pursue new challenges” in a way that takes our attention from our bride, and puts it on other things. After all, we got her to marry us, she thinks we’re pretty great, and we get to spend our lives together now, what could be better?!
Turns out if you ask her, quite a bit.
Remember when you were first married, and you were always thinking of ways that you could make her smile? Ways to convince her that you couldn’t imagine your life without her, or figure out a way to show her how much you desired her, and couldn’t get enough of her?
Yeah, me too. What happened to those days?
Somehow the love notes, the long talks about your hopes and dreams, the uninterrupted intimate times together, the quiet – most of it got traded in for things like running kids to ballet practice, working 3 jobs, responsibilies at the church, and trying to figure out how to make the family budget actually work that month.
It’s life. And most times “life” isn’t romantic on it’s own.
Sometimes it makes you end up feeling more like “business partners” or “household managers” than a married couple.
So what then? Do we just give up? Do we just succumb to the craziness and convince ourselves “that’s just how it is now, so get used to it”?
We could. In fact, it seems so much easier to do that some days. Just like the adage we always joke about that “you don’t have to worry about working out anymore, because you’re married”, we can look at “building our marriage muscles” the same way. “We don’t have to court her anymore, because we’re married now”, right?
What God has called us husbands to do in Eph 5:25-27 when He says – “Husbands, LOVE YOUR WIVES just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” – doesn’t seem like a “oh well, I guess it’s just the stage we’re in” kind of love to me at all!
That sounds like an ACTIVE kind of love! A love that is always LOOKING for a way to love her better.
Here’s what I find myself doing, even without realizing it at times; I’ll start practicing “RE-active love”. If she’s showing me signs of affection, I’ll show her affection back. If she’s doing fun little romantic things, I’ll catch on and do those things back. But what would happen if we as husbands LOVED ALL OUT, no matter how our wives were treating us at that given moment? What if we didn’t take into account their mood, or what they’ve done for us lately, or if they’re crabby at that moment, or if they’ve had sex with us in the last couple of days? How would that look? Could we do it?
So here the challenge I’m laying before you, for both myself, and you, the reader of this post: LOVE YOUR WIFE ALL OUT NO MATTER WHAT.
When I get to heaven and God asks me how I loved his daughter, do I really want to have to say “well, I loved her pretty well most of the time, as long as it was going good. Some days I didn’t love her well because she was out of sorts, but hey, if I grade on a curve, I did ok I guess.”
Yeah, no thanks.
I want to say something like “Lord I ACTIVELY loved the woman you gave me, to the BEST of my ability! There were days I failed, and came up short, but I always got back up and started again!”
Come on men! Let’s up our game a little! Let’s quit settling for “it’s good enough for marriage”! Learn to speak your wife’s love language, whatever that is, and speak it WELL!
Lean over when you’re sitting with her on the couch and surprise her with a kiss on the neck like you used to. Make her feel adored.
Bring her home her favorite chocolate or coffee, just because you want to see her smile. Because you love her smile.
Ask her how her day was, even if you’re tired, and are having a hard time wrapping your head around listening to her tell you about her day in detail. Because you love her.
Love her sacrificially. LIKE YOU MEAN IT.
It’s too easy to find yourself on “cruise control”, not realizing you have been on the same boring road in your marriage for the past 5 years.
She’s the mate that God has given you to care for, cherish, and love, through good times, through bad times, through sickness, and health, through mood swings, and imperfections, through pregnancy, through miscarriage, through lack of sexual desire, through menopause, through old age – we could go on and on here. Whatever the “issue” may be that you’re allowing yourself to use as an excuse – it comes up sounding pretty hollow when you compare it to Christ’s love for you.
So come on MEN! Let’s not love her with a worldly kind of love, that only loves when we’re getting something back in return. Let’s love her with a Godly sort of love, where our love for her is unconditional, and the volume of our love isn’t based on her perceived performance, or the way we happen to feel about her right then.
LOOK for ways to bless her. LOOK for ways to encourage her. LOOK for ways to ACTIVELY love her.
Because she’s your WIFE, and she’s so worth it.