“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Good advice for building stronger marriages is found in this verse. Husbands should love their wives like Christ loves the church and gave his life for it. They should put their wife’s needs (Help with the house, the kids, the laundry, the cooking, etc.) ahead of their own needs every time. Wives need to know they are your top priority. This does not mean you need to be a lap dog and play fetch every time she raises her finger. It means that when you are sitting down and see or hear her struggling with a project you should volunteer to help her. Perhaps she will even tell you “No, I got this” yet expect you to do something to help anyways (even if it is to open the door or balance the object). If you do help her she will feel you read her mind and if you do not she may feel you really don’t care about her or her struggles. Her greatest need is to know you care about her above everything else (your job, relaxation, hobbies, friends and family). She needs to know that in your world, she is Number One and you are willing to put down everything else right now in order to meet her needs. Doing this shows her your love and respect for her in ways words cannot express.
Husbands need respect. They need to know that their wife considers them the Number One man in their world and that they believe God chose him for them. Husbands need to know they are “Good Enough” physically and emotionally to deserve their wife’s respect. Complaining about a husband’s inability to provide financial security shows your lack of trust in God who gave him the job he has and in your husband’s ability to seek a better job. It is unfortunate yet true that men who do not get this reinforcement of being good enough from their wives will quit trying. Husbands who do not get a sense of respect in their home will seek it out elsewhere.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”
Jesus demonstrated to us limitless love by giving even his own life so that we could be redeemed. This proves to all husbands everywhere that there is no way we could ever love our wives too much. Christ loves the church in such a way that he forgives us even when we fail and then repent. In this same way we should recognize that no one is perfect, everyone has and will again fail in some way and we all need to be forgiven (husbands and wives).
Ephesians 5:28-33 “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church–for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
When I perform a marriage I always add the words “for better or for worse, in sickness as well as in health, for richer or poorer; until death do we part”. Everyone knows life is filled with troubles and no one will live happily ever after without some troubles in their relationships. Let us all seek to nurture and care for our spouse’s (husbands and wives) needs (food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, spiritual leadership and emotional as well as physical fulfilment) and desires (a better car, house, furniture, TV, more time away alone together) in the best ways that we can. Let us all seek unity in the spirit and flesh. Never cease to date your spouse. It works well if you can set aside one evening a week for a “Date Night” for the rest of your life.
1 Corinthians 7:4-5 “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps 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.”
Here we find the original equal rights amendment. Wives do not have authority to withhold their bodies from their husbands and husbands equally do not have the right to withhold their bodies from their wives. Each is to regard themselves as united in the most sacred and intimate union that mankind can know while here on the earth. Satan will try to interfere in your relationship if you do not come together as husband and wife for extended periods of time without a prior agreement. Each should do their best to meet their spouse’s physical and emotional needs just as Christ seeks to meet the needs of his church and make provisions for it.