Leading your wife, part 2
Now Paul comes to the command part of being a husband. He commands husbands to love their wives as their own flesh by nourishing them and cherishing them. He tells us to love our wives as our own bodies.
I know two things about you: you know your body and you are attentive to your body.
First, know your wife. Jesus proclaimed loudly, “I know my sheep.” Do you know your wife? Do you know her fears, her hopes, and her struggles? What was her life like growing up? What hardships has she endured? What events have formed her? What are her strengths and gifts? If you want to be a good husband, then become the world’s expert on your wife.
How does your wife interpret love? Does she need to hear encouraging words from you or does she respond more to touch? When you bring home unexpected gifts does she think, “How thoughtful,” or “How wasteful?” Does she love it when you do the household chores or would she rather do them? You can’t love your wife until you know her.
Second, nourish and cherish your wife the way you do your own body. What does that mean? You think about your body often. Right now, are you hungry? Does your head hurt? How are your allergies? You know how your body is doing; do you know how your wife is doing?
Nourish your wife the way you meet the needs of your body. When you are hungry you eat, when you are dirty you groom and when you are tired you rest.
Well, if you have gotten to know your wife and you are paying attention to her, then you know what she needs. Does she need time alone, your undivided attention, a listening ear or for you to actually finish the chores you promised to complete?
Then cherish your wife. Simply doing the right things will never be enough. You must do the right things for the right reasons. Love must be your motivation.
She is your prized possession. Treat her like it. If you know yourself at all, then you find it shocking your wife loves you. Respond to that love with joy. When she enters the room, turn away from the computer and greet her. When she comes home, meet her at the door. Do not let anything even appear to be more important to you than her.
If the pure and holy God of heaven sings and rejoices over you with gladness, then how much more should you rejoice over your wife? God commands you to take pleasure in your wife, and that command should be the easiest one you ever keep. (Proverbs 5:18-19)
But you say, what about leadership? Shouldn’t I be leading her somewhere? Just look in a mirror. A few years ago you were just a baby, but now you are a full-grown man. You did that. Just by cherishing and nourishing your body you grew up. If you go daily to the throne of grace, daily get to know your wife, meet her needs and cherish her, then I promise you will lead her to grow as well.