A Husband’s Love
One of the most touching remarks about a woman’s basic needs was spoken by Jacob’s unloved wife Leah. Upon giving birth to her firstborn son, she said, “surely now my husband will love me” (Gen. 29:32). What Leah yearned for is actually the birthright of every wife, that is, to be loved by her husband. No believing wife with a believing husband should ever feel compelled to say about this subject, “surely now…”
According to the Bible, a husband’s love is not measured out, based on his wife’s performance. It is a constant anchor in a covenant relationship, expressed in word and deed.
It is an easy thing to love someone on your wedding day. In the first bloom of marriage, who cannot obey the wise man and “rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18)? But honeymoons give way to anniversaries, and children’s birthdays soon supersede them both. Over time, expensive weddings can not mask cheap marriages. And over time, husbands can forget what God says about loving their wives.
A husband must leave and cleave (Genesis 2:24), but it is much more than merely sticking with the marriage arrangement. In fact, God has so defined a husband’s love that we husbands should squirm uncomfortably when we read it.
Elkanah claimed to treat Hannah better than ten sons would treat her (1 Samuel 1:8). But neither Elkanah, nor Abraham, nor Peter are our models as husbands. Our model is how Jesus (the husband) loves the church (His bride).
Paul insists that we love our wives as our own bodies - as ourselves. It is a self-sacrificing love, independent of her response and attitude, that many men are just not willing to give (Ephesians 5:25ff).
Look closely at how you treat your wife. If the words “nourish and cherish” don’t come to mind, perhaps you need to repent. Perhaps most of us should!