Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Ephesians 5:33).
The above verse clearly identified the needs of both wife and husband in marriage. Let’s talk about it briefly. Understanding the needs of your husband or wife will help deal with conflicts that arise when those needs are not met.
The basic need of the wives is love. The basic need of the husband is respect. The husband’s main responsibility before God is to show Agape love to his wife. The wife’s main responsibility is to show respect to her husband.
In Ephesians 5, Paul compares the husband and wife relationship to the relationship we as the church has to Jesus. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
This Agape love is a love of action, not feeling. Husbands are to show by their actions that they love their wives. Wives need to her I love you frequently and then need to see I love you demonstrated in practical ways. Helping with the dishes, the laundry, house cleaning, and taking care of the kids so the wife can have some free time can be tangible expressions of love.
Agape love is unconditional and self-sacrificial. Agape love expresses itself regardless of the response for it is unconditional. Agape love puts itself last because it is self-sacrificing.
Nowhere in the New Testament is the wife commanded to Agape her husband with the unconditional, self-sacrificing love. Once in Titus 2 the wives are commanded to love their husbands, but the word for love there is the Greek Word Phileo (friendship) and not Agape. But the wife is commanded in verse 33 above to respect her husband.
Husbands need to hear words of encouragement like: You did a great job with…or I think you’re the best at…or I like the way you…A man needs the affirmation that his wife values him and what he does for the family. And that’s the major responsibility of the wife.
If the husband will unconditionally love his wife, regardless of her response, she will begin to flourish! When her love need is met by God first and then by her husband, she will thrive. Ask yourself, Does my wife by my words and actions feel that I love her no matter what? Husband, if you can’t answer with a clear YES to this, make some changes. Ask yourself, What can I do to practically show my wife that I love her? Start today to finds practical ways to show your wife that you love her. And, do it every day. Remember that love is something that you do, and not always something that you feel! And husband, remember that love and sex are two different things!
And wife, begin today to encourage your husband. It’s a deep need he has. Ask yourself, does my conversation with my husband criticize him or build him up? When is the last time you gave your husband a compliment? Start today to make a practice of finding some way to encourage your man. If you do, you’ll see some amazing changes.
Let’s believe God today for our marriages to be strengthened by the Father. And husbands, love your wives. Wives, respect or encourage your husband!