Husbands Love Your Wives

by Jerry Krummrich

Good men can be thoughtful, caring, providing husbands. Good men can be generous, kind-hearted, buy birthday cards and take wives on “dates” to show appreciation. But godly men know that their wives’ spiritual needs are especially important, strive to meet them and are diligently a part of their wives’ lives of faith and hope.

Romans 5:1-2 applies as a goal: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” NKJV. Do we as men believe this? Do we as godly men believe that ministering this truth to our wives is the essence of godly love?

We need to admit up front in this article that the natural man will never take these words and thoughts seriously. He cannot and needs to have a saving relation with Jesus Christ. The natural man may attend church, be happily married, have a spiritually weak or strong wife, but he will never submit to God, honor God and exhibit godly love unless he is born again. We also need to face up to the fact that all men (especially the writer) should acknowledge their desperate need for the divine influence of God to strive for the goal of godly love. But we need not be ashamed of God’s standard.

A Plea For Compelling Love
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus; that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:14-15, NKJV.

So why do we start such a subject with a Gospel message passage? Surely it teaches us of love when it depicts sacrifice and selflessness. We should recall that 1 Corinthians 13 beautifully portrays selfless love and directly applies to husbands loving wives. And Ephesians 5 ministers to us that husbands are to love wives as Christ loved the church – what love could be more sacrificial?

But today we want to expressly make a plea for husbands to be whole-hearted men of God, living lives of faith, reflecting and ministering contentment and satisfaction in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ to their wives that they might be filled with peace and rest in Him. This is godly compelling Gospel love stirred by strength of desire and action in husbands to love their wives emphatically, consciously seeking to build them up in the faith with words drawing attention to the all sufficient grace of God, a love that operates from the heart and mind of a man saturated with the message of the cross in all of life’s affairs, a love that knows it must and shall have the power of God to assist and prevail. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” 1 Corinthians 1:18, NKJV. Nothing less will suffice.

We referred to Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” The next verse states “that He might sanctify and cleanse her…”NKJV (emphases added). If we are to love like Christ loved then we will have the same end in view towards our wives.

Some women are very godly. Glory. Husbands should be very thankful. But a godly woman will be a biblical woman and desire a leader, protector and encourager to whom she gratefully submits. 1 Peter chapter 3 discusses husbands and wives and the passage concludes: “Husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life” I Peter 3:7, NKJV (emphases added). So how does a husband, with the help of God, see to it that he and his wife are heirs together of the grace of life? What does this look like?

We should build our wives up in the faith. The eminently respected Southern Baptist preacher, Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) was known as a courageous, conservative, bible-preaching man desiring to draw all to the love of Christ. He once related that early in his marriage he and his wife lost an infant baby from sudden crib death. Naturally he and his wife were smitten with grief.

Being a pastor but also being a man subject to attacks upon his and his wife’s faith, he went to the scriptures for consolation and reminders that God was good and ever present and our great comforter. God sustained him; drew his affection to his redeemer, Jesus Christ, and his perfect work on our behalf and he in turn sustained his wife in faith. His testimony was that this life experience allowed him and especially his wife to be encouragers to others suffering misery or grief throughout their long ministry together as a couple.

Paul testified to us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed (be) the God and Father or our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity) and mercies and the God (Who is the source) of every consolation and comfort and encouragement; who consoles and comforts and encourages us in every trouble (calamity and affliction) so that we may be able also to console (comfort and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the consolation (comfort and encouragement) with which we ourselves are consoled and comforted and encouraged by God” Amplified Bible.

No earthly calamities such as illnesses, family trials, bereavements, finances, or personal relationships should frustrate our peace and comfort from God; nor should any earthly victory or success compete with our consolation from God. Husbands will need to remind themselves and their wives of the power and value of the blood that was shed to secure our comfort often during life. This is living by faith and building up our wives and sustaining them in the faith.

We need to remind ourselves that we men are not equipped to assist our wives to prosper on the sufficiency of God’s love unless we first are completely satisfied in Him. That is really the crux of this written exhortation (definition – encouraging others to commendable conduct); has God’s love compelled us to live for Him and does that translate into us no longer living for ourselves? Does that make us the husbands we should be? We do this by force of our personal gratitude, and do it for God’s glory, not to be merely judged as good husbands.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was recognized as a great early American theologian, promoting wholehearted “religious affection,” powerfully preaching salvation from a real hell and trusting in a sovereign God. Edwards died an untimely death due to complications from a smallpox vaccination. His last words to friends were, “Trust in God and ye need not fear.”

His wife Sarah informed her daughter with these words, “My very dear child! What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod and lay our hands upon our mouths! The Lord had done it. He has made me adore his goodness that we had him so long. But my God lives; and he has my heart. O what a legacy my husband and your father, has left us! We are all given to God; and there I am, and love to be. Your ever affectionate mother, Sarah Edwards” (Sereno Dwight, Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards, in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 1 Edinburgh Banner of truth, 1974, xxi).

How would our wives respond to our untimely deaths? Would she humbly and peacefully acknowledge a God who was sovereign to her; whose will she bowed to in love and to whom she knew was a wonderful sovereign to her husband? Would she really know this about us from lives lived to the glory of our Creator and really believe about us that we trusted our souls to God, had no fear of death and encouraged others to trust likewise? Will our lives be a legacy to our wives abiding faith?

It is Well With My Soul
“When peace like a river attendeth my way; when sorrow like sea billows role…It is well with my soul.” Many of us are familiar with this hymn, It is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford (1828-1888). Do we recall the history of its writing following an unfathomable personal loss of his 4 daughters at sea? Could we say, “It is well with my soul,” if that happened to us.

What about Spafford’s wife Anna, rescued from the sea to learn all her children had perished? Naturally in despair, yet accounts state she admitted someday she would know why God allowed the tragedy and that she recalled words from a friend that it is easy to be grateful and good when you have much, but to take care that we be not fair-weather friends to God.

How would our wives respond? Indefinite despair, inconsolable grief, or comfort in despair stemming from a close personal relationship with our Savior. And what role would we have played in her eventual comfort (or lack of comfort). Would she know it was “well with our souls” based upon our response? What about before such a tragic event? Would she believe, based upon our daily lives that we love our God in fair weather and in storms of life?

Spafford supposedly drew from the words of the Shunammite woman (2 Kings Chapter 4) whose son lay dead, but yet she responded to both her husband and Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, “All is well.” Evidence and circumstances were not regarded. She had unnatural faith in God and his servant Elisha which governed her outlook.

Would to God our wives can have such strong yet childlike faith. Would to God we would be on our knees praying for that end and pleading with God to make us men of such faith and trust that we had an assurance we were leading our wives to greater trust, or maintaining the faith God had given them. 1 Peter, chapter 1 verses 3-9 encourages us greatly and instills in us proper appreciation for our faith, depicted as our inheritance that “does not fade away” even though we may be “grieved by various trials.”

We need to remind ourselves that wives are weaker vessels, more prone to rupture during various trials. We need to uphold our and their faith, that it be genuine and precious, “more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ….receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” If we assist our wives to be satisfied with what Christ has done for us, no matter what, we are demonstrating godly love.

So What About Our Children?
Can we love our wives apart from any energy spent to raise children? Is it not the responsibility of both parents to love and wisely raise children? Yes, but we men should take particular responsibility in view of these verses from Proverbs – “A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him.” “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Proverbs 17:25 and 29:15, NKJV, emphases added).

Not letting our wives suffer shame and endeavoring that our wives do not experience bitterness is our job. And what is the worst kind of foolishness – not acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! Any father who is not vitally concerned about and is not lovingly imparting genuine wisdom and faith in the promises of God, and compelling his son or daughter to give their life to Jesus and experience eternal life does not love his wife, or his children! He is not striving to spare his wife bitterness and grief. His priorities are worldly. He is obviously carnal and not capable of receiving this message. (Wives, the reciprocal is just as true!)

Helpful Example
An example of a husband not being the example God would have us to be is Lot. “But wait a minute,” you say, “it was Lot’s wife who disobeyed the angels instructions/command, looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.” Correct, but what kind of example was Lot during their marriage? He was worldly and greedy in business relation with Abraham. And he obviously could have been stronger morally than to offer his daughters to wicked men lusting for sexual relations.

He openly debated with angels in the presence of his wife when they urged “Escape for your life. Do not look behind you or stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” Genesis 19:17, NKJV. His not taking the command of God seriously and arguing to go to Zoar in the plain did not minister obedience or godly fear to his wife and she perished.

What about us? Men (or women) are we engaged and aware that our lives and actions have eternal consequences for our mates/loved ones? There is a hell! This article could be titled “Parents – Love Your Children.” We could change a few words and make this apply to ministering Jesus Christ to our children that they come to know Him and not go to hell and have the same goal of living by faith that we are espousing should they ever have the privilege to marry a wife (or husband).

Husbands- Instruct Your Wives
1 Corinthians 14:35 says, regarding women “If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home” ESV. How does this work in our homes? Has God worked in us to have caused and is He causing us to seek Him for knowledge and wisdom? Have we invested our energies seeking God? Can we guide our wives biblically? Can we answer their questions biblically? Do they desire to learn God’s ways? Do they care to ask us? Do they have confidence in us?

Have they ever seen us humbled and anguishing to know God’s ways, reading our bibles and praying? Have we instilled by demonstration a concern that God’s ways be the ways of our family? Do our wives see men who fear God enough to want to honor Him? Are we leading our wives to where they want to honor God as we do? The answer to these questions should be, “Yes – to the best of my ability” and our prayer should be “God I desperately need you to help me that this be truer every day. I see my need. I see my family’s need. God help us.”

There may come a time when our wives need us greatly for emotional support. Do they believe we can be tenderhearted and sensitive; and trust our advice and encouragement even when biblical viewpoints may seem to lack expected sentiment. We need to be careful to tread lightly here, brothers, to deal with our wives emotions very gently.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13, NKJV. We need Christ’s strength to help us be tender as well as strong to assist our wives and to bear our own grief manly and godly. Can we present the love of God so they are secure in Him alone? Can we prayerfully support our wives in their faith? We will need God, brothers.

How Well Are We Doing?
We should get the point by now. We should obviously be maturing, becoming less worldly, more biblical, more God-fearing men, but how does this work out in real life in our homes? Our wives should be doing likewise, and naturally praying more and going to more prayer meetings.

Sure, but these are outward signs. How are our wives faring in their inner selves? Does she laugh a lot? That is simple enough. Do we men sense that our wives are happy and free? Is she content? Is her happiness solid and does her freedom stem from peace with God? (Go back and read again Romans 5:1-2.)

Proverbs 31:10-31 depicts a virtuous woman. Verses 25-26 declare, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Does this stem from her “resting each moment in the crucified?” as the old hymn asks. Does her peace and solid contentment lead her to sacrifice for others and be selfless and not care too much about little things?

Does she willingly make decisions regarding children that convincingly show she is concerned with raising them godly and not according to worldly values? Is she willing to assist you confront rebellion and disciple her children biblically? Do you and she share a vision and passion for contended godly children? Do you rest, seeing that her inner self is in harmony with Paul’s description of young women loving their husbands and children? “Be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” Titus 2:4-5, ESV.

Do you and she mutually embrace an intent to sacrificially give family finances to the church so that the many with less may be helped materially and/or spiritually? Are you both blessed with a “cheerful giver” approach to life? Does she trust you to love her, trust her and forgive her (when necessary) in a biblical, peaceable fashion? Do you and your wife communicate routinely and openly concerning family values and priorities? Do you share a humble yet confident hope that God is honored by your godly love for each other?

What an awesome humble blessing to be able to answer, yes. We need God to help us. Thank God for His Grace.

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