Christ commands husbands to love their wives in the same way that He loves His church.
A. A husband's love is gentle.
Love is never harsh (1 Cor. 13:4-5). Jesus is gentle with the Church and is the example of how a husband must be gentle with his wife.
"Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him … He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory" (Matt. 12:18-20).
Jesus is gentle with us. A bruised reed is so fragile that a slight wind will break it. Some men are so rough that they knock the bark off of a tree. But Jesus is so gentle that he will not break a bruised reed. Some men are so rough that they would knock a candle off of the table. But the touch of Jesus would not disturb or put out a smoking candle. Jesus is the husband's example of gentleness.
"Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them" (Col. 3:19). Husbands must be kind, patient, gentle, understanding, and tender with wives. Sandpaper is a rough paper to use on wood, not people. Physically, a man must avoid scratching his wife's face with his whiskers. Emotionally, he must avoid sanding her feelings with his words, looks, or actions! God created a woman's skin softer than a man's skin, and He created her emotions softer than the feelings of a man. A woman's tender feelings enable her to be a good mother. So a husband must be very gentle with his wife, or he will hurt her feelings.
There are times when a husband will become angry. This is normal. Still, when he is angry, a husband must control himself and remain gentle. It is not wrong to become angry. But it is wrong to be rude, even during anger. Husbands (and wives) should avoid going to bed angry (Eph. 4:26-27). They should conquer anger quickly, as they would quickly put out a dangerous fire with water. Both spouses should forgive each other by the time they go to bed, whether they agree or not.
A husband should be polite and thoughtful. He should show respect for his wife by being a gentleman. He should do such things as open doors for his wife, carry things for her, and help her with the housework.
The Bible tells husbands to "be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner" (1 Pet. 3:7). A husband should discern that God gave men broad shoulders and narrow hips, but He gave women narrow shoulders and broad hips. In most cases, women are weaker physically than men. So men should use their broad shoulders to do the hardest work and carry the heaviest things (1 Pet. 3:7).
Men need to remember that women are often kinder and speak more softly than men. A husband must avoid ignoring the soft words of his wife. To ignore someone shows a lack of respect and honor.
God created a husband to fulfill the needs of his wife—including her needs that are physical,
emotional, or sexual.
"The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Cor. 7:3-5).
The Scripture is speaking about normal needs for sex within marriage. Sex is for both the husband and wife to enjoy. A husband should fulfill the sexual needs of his wife. He should discern that sex is not just something for him to enjoy. He should learn to please his wife in the bedroom but also in other rooms of the house by helping with her work load. The husband should help his wife feel loved, valuable, appreciated, respected, secure, and fulfilled.
Husbands should speak and receive the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). If your wife is your best friend, and she should be, then you will grow to open your life to her. All of us have struggles throughout life. We need to feel free to talk about our faults and concerns. "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed"(James 5:16). No human knows a husband better than his wife knows him.
Some husbands hide things from their wives yet reveal these things to their parents and friends. A wife is designed by God to help her husband by listening and making suggestions. It is foolish for a man to reject such help to protect his male pride. Blessed is the man who learns to talk heart to heart with his wife.
A Swahili proverb says, Haraka, haraka, haina baraka. A rough translation is: An attitude of hurry, hurry brings no blessings. Jesus is patient with us. He does not push, push, push. He is content when we walk with Him at a peaceful pace. He does not scold us when we are a little slow.
One pastor noticed that his love for his wife changed as the years went by. In the beginning, he treated her like a queen. He was kind and patient. He opened the door for her to enter the house. He carried the biggest part of the load and let her walk beside him. He waited patiently while she brushed her hair to make it look just right. But as so often happens, his love began to grow colder, one degree at a time. One day he realized that he was treating her like a slave instead of a queen. He expected her to carry, cook, and clean. He did not help, and he did not say thank you. When it was time to go somewhere, he was not patient. If she was not ready, he yelled at her. Then, one wonderful day, the Holy Spirit spoke to him from the book of Revelation. "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first" (Rev. 2:4-5). From that day on, he practiced being the husband God wanted him to be.
Conflict comes to every marriage. Storms are a part of life outside and inside the home. But biblical love perseveres. A husband must practice using love, patience, prayer, communication, and skills to solve problems in marriage. God has a solution for every problem. But couples who do not agree on a solution will struggle with the same conflicts throughout their married life. There are numerous verses in the Bible that speak about good communication (Prov. 13:3; 15:1; 21:9, 19; 25:8, 23-24; 29:20; Gal. 5:15; Col. 4:6). From time to time, review these verses from the Bible. A husband's love causes him to persevere in communication and to keep on discussing a problem until the couple finds a solution.
All of us need to feel appreciated. Words like "thank you" encourage us. They help our self esteem and make us feel valuable. No one should give false praise but, sincere praise is a blessing. Both husbands and wives feel good about themselves when people praise them. If you criticize your wife then do it privately. Also, mix criticism with praise; one spoonful of criticism with nine spoonfuls of praise!
In public, say something good about your wife to her parents, children, or friends. In time, she will hear about it and hold her head up with joy. Publicly saying gracious things about her strengthens her good qualities. It causes her to want to live up to the good things you say about her. In private, a husband should tell his wife that he loves her and why he loves her.
God created us with a need to be appreciated. Praise brings out the best in all of us. One of the greatest needs in wives, husbands, and children is the need to be praised.