Take a moment with me ladies to remember back to the early days of marriage. You loved to see your husband's face, hear his voice, and feel his touch. Just to be near him, hold his hand, or delight in a long sweet conversation. Laughing together, taking long walks, love notes, sweet phone calls and all the other gifts that let you know you were loved and cherished by each other.
No one had to tell you to delight and cherish him.
Let's fast forward ten years. Life happens. Days are busy. Many areas are calling for your time and attention. There are children to care for and love, homes to clean, bills to pay, meals to cook, piles of laundry and ministry work to be done. We are also a bit more aware of the faults of our husband and hopefully our own too.
Your husband married a sinner, and you married a sinner.
The amazing and beautiful part of that is that God forgives sinners and helps us to be more like Him. When we are in Christ, God uses our marriages to sanctify us and grow us more Christlike. One of those areas is growing us in love with God and each other.
In Titus 2:3-4 the older women are told to teach the younger women to love their husbands. The word for love in this verse is not agape (self-sacrificing) but phileo. Phileo love is a tender, affectionate and passionate kind of love. It is the love you would see between close friends.
The Lord knew women were good at sacrificial love. We are good to do his laundry, cook his meals and raise his children but the sad part is we can do that without even feeling tender affection for him. That is not the love the Bible calls us to when in Titus 2:3 we are to be taught by the older women to love our husbands.
What Does True Biblical Love For Our Husbands Look Like?
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13:34-35
As a Christian, I am commanded to love my husband just as I am commanded to love others. Love in this verse is agape love, and it is to be given where there is nothing given in return. It is a choice.
In the Excellent Wife, there is a great example of a wife who is angry at her husband and in the heat of an argument the doorbell rings. It is their pastor, and she answers the door so kindly and with a smile. She chooses to outwardly show kindness to her pastor (not sure what was going on on the inside) but the point being we can choose to show love when we want to.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The verses above in Corinthians apply to our marriages. I encourage you to memorize the above verses and speak them out loud to yourself often. Are you patient and kind to your husband? Are you rude? Do you insist on your own way? Are you resentful? These verses are the description of true biblical love not just to our friends and neighbors but our husbands. They are our closest neighbor.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:3-4
How Do We Put On Love?
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. ~ Colossians 3:12-14
“A wife, if she is very generous, may allow that her husband lives up to perhaps eighty percent of her expectations. There is always the other twenty percent hat she would like to change, and she may chip away at it for the whole of their married life without reducing it by very much. She may, on the other hand, simple decide to enjoy the eighty percent, and both of them will be happy.”
Ways to Put On Love:
Love endures all things – Love never gives up on anyone or quits. One helpful tip I heard and practiced when we were memorizing this passage in church was to take the word “love” out and put “Jesus” in the place of love. He is the ultimate example of what love is.
“Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not envy or boast; Jesus is not arrogant or rude. Jesus does not insist on His own way; Jesus is not irritable or resentful; Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The character of Christ is love and that character should be lived out in our marriages. The Holy Spirit desires us to be more Christlike. I pray we would want to see this love manifested in our marriages and carried over into our families. Ask the Lord today to help you put on His love in your marriage. Not love that is based on feelings but love that is based on the truth of God's Word.
It starts first with loving the Lord with your whole, heart, soul, and strength. This is impossible to do in your own strength you must be in Christ. You must be born again. Let me share the most important news you will ever hear – the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
“God is perfect and holy and He requires nothing less than His own perfection. But, we are not able to attain His holiness. He doesn't lie, cheat, or steal, but we do these things. Therefore, there's a judgment upon us because we have broken the Law of God, we have sinned by lying and cheating and stealing. This judgment is eternal damnation. However, God the Father loves us so much that He sent God the Son, Jesus, who died on the cross as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. He died on the cross and physically rose from the dead three days later. This proves that His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father. Therefore, if you want to receive what Jesus has done to remove the wrath of God the Father, then you must receive Him and His sacrifice by faith. Would you like to pray and ask Jesus to forgive your sins against God?” (source)