"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" - Ephesians 5:25
"In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." - Ephesians 5:28
Christ loved the church by being an awesome teacher, counselor and friend through the Disciples/Apostles - even unto death. Many of the Disciples, if not all, met a more than unpleasant ending to their life (beheadings, crucifixions, etc...) This is the kind of love/life that God expects the husband to know they are signing to in the beginning and continue displaying through the marriage. Not that you are going to be literally crucified or beheaded, but you need to know without the shadow of a doubt that you would take the bullet for her, jump in front of the vehicle coming at her - whatever analogy works for you. Up until that point husbands, all of us married men need to daily find another facet of love to express to our wife - that is what Jesus did for the church and continues to do. (Ephesians 5:25)
Most men try to take care of their bodies. At first the health care might be fun because men are enjoying a sport they are involved in. Then they might get physically active because they desire to look physically attractive to a possible mate. Finally, there might be health issues that need addressing so men exercise. The point is most men take care of their bodies pretty well, so as a starting point at least put that much energy into your marriage. (Ephesians 5:28)
Those men who have self-respect can attest to a healthy dose of "loving himself". If a man has his head screwed on straight or works under the power of common sense and if a man lives by the grace of God, observing his life as God views it, then he is on the way to loving his wife in the proper manner. A proper view of himself will bleed over into the proper view and care of his wife and others. (Ephesians 5:33)
Paul must have seen the same issue in the church at Colosse. Look what he wrote.
"Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." - Colossians 3:19
Sounds strikingly similar to the previous verses I just mentioned. I like the inclusion of the word "harsh". This word in the Greek is pikraino and it means to turn sour, make bitter; embittered. I have heard too many cases where the husband, knowing the "buttons" of the wife, pushed those "buttons". I have heard the reverse too, just to be fair. However, men - be the gentleman and you begin first and get this out of your mindset and personality. The second "harsh" or bitter words raises it's ugly head - crush it. Find a healthier way to communicate your thoughts.
Ah! Peter gets into the act. Here is what he has to say.
"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." - 1 Peter 3:7
Read this verse in REVERSE. "So that nothing will hinder your prayers, husbands be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life."
Wow! Anytime I see the words "so that" - my attention level goes up a couple of notches. Plus, if you place that phrase at the beginning of the sentence you really have an eye catcher. I sure don't want anything to hinder my prayers. According to this statement, there evidently are things that can hinder our prayers. We see evidence of this in Daniel 10:12-13 also. So, I don't know 'bout you fellas but I am going to strive to be more considerate and respectful toward my wife. I desire my prayers to be answered and peace in my home. I strongly encourage you to do the same!
I think a lot of the problems within marriages could be dealt with or at least made a dent in if the man would just be a man and make the first step toward the woman. I hear too often of couples playing the waiting game after being in a disagreement. Men, just respectfully get it resolved and do it before going to bed. That spirit of tension and separation is not something you want hanging over you for any length of time. Plus, if she observes you making the first real move or effort to coming together on an issue, then there could be some added benefits to that as well (wink, wink). Warning! It must be sincere! Women's "fake-o-meter" was built by God, so don't try to "get one over on the Mrs."!
Just Love Her.