Loving your wife, is your primary responsibility as a husband. When God tells you to love your wife, He simply means you should exhibit His very nature to her because He is love (1 John 4:8). That means whatever love will do, however it is shown, whatever it endures, must come natural to you through your conscious efforts. We are told love is patient, kind, etc (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). We are told love covers all errors (1 Peter 4:8), we are told there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18), we are told whoever does not love, does not know God, among others. It’s true that it is difficult to love in the energy of the flesh, that is why God has made His grace available for you to do so with ease. It is God’s love that drew you to Him, therefore your love should do the same for your wife (and children); it is what makes all the difference in the home. My father in law, Dr David Oyedepo once said that if the husband truly accepts the responsibility to love his wife as commanded, there will be nothing like crisis in any home. That is so true. The love you demonstrate to your wife has so much power to change her for good and bring out the best in her. Anytime you are reminded of your duty, find strength in the fact that you are simply demonstrating God’s nature. Single? Be ready to that same nature without reservation. Married? Keep doing your part and she will come around. If all has been well, as you keep loving, things will only get better.Please know that everything required of you to bring out the best in your wife and have a stable family life is wrapped up in that simple, yet profound word: love!
She will do him [her husband] good and not evil all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:12). As a wife, please endeavour to do good everyday to your husband; the good you do is actually seed for your life. We as women, are so hospitable and nurturing, we can love on strangers, do good to others in the faith and to other members of our family but sometimes we get so used to our hubby’s that we don’t go the extra mile for them. If anybody is getting our best, it should begin with the physical head of our homes. Please don’t forget to do good to him. You sow so close to home when you do him good. The edifying words you say, the acts of kindness towards him, your tolerance of his imperfections and much else will enrich your family life and make your marriage stronger than ever. Don’t allow your feelings to take over your actions with him. The bible reminds us that even when they are not of the the faith, they can be easily won over by our conversation and conduct (1 Peter 3:1). Also, know that it will rub off on your children too and they will showcase the fruit of the good (or bad) you do. So, as you can see, the effects are wider than you can think. Make up your mind to do good to him always, reminding yourself that as you do so, you are ultimately doing it to God and He will reward you abundantly.
The primary purpose of naming a person or an object is to identify them. You can identify something by what/how it is or what it does (i.e. purpose). A description of what/how could be an adjective like beautiful, wonderful, glorious, bad, poor, lazy, etc. When you name something by its purpose, you are simply indicating the role it plays and its value. In fact, a name is simply a prophecy of what will be. If you take a cue from how God named Jesus in Isaiah 9:6, it was prophetically by who He is and His purpose. We are told “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”. Jesus was everything our heavenly Father said He would be. When you order food in a restaurant, you name what you desire and you get it. For instance, you might ask for noodles that is plain boiled, stewed in sauce or fried, and you get it. The same goes, when you order any material item online or from a store. Jesus was ‘named to order’. His purpose was to be a counsellor and a wonderful counsellor. He was a prince and specifically the Prince of Peace. Every time you speak about yourself, your spouse, your children and your family, order what you want to see. Your tongue has the prophetic power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). It can create and it can destroy. Particularly when you speak to or about your children, say what you want to see. I am not an advocate for raising your voice at your children but if you must, call them what you want them to be and not undesirable words. If you really must tell people about your children, tell them about someone who has a bright future, and not of someone who should be condemned. No mater what stage of life they may be in right now, name them to order; and do it every single day. If you are are grandparent, do the same for your grand babies. And please, if you don’t have anything positive to say openly, then stay quiet till you do. Name your child to order. Even when others may say something negative about them; don’t just sit there, use your mouth to order what you want to see. Speak the positive; it will reverse the negative and establish exactly what you speak.
One of the major causes of crisis in marriages is PRIDE. The bible tells us in Proverbs 13:10 – “Pride only breeds quarrels” and quarrels affect the communication in the home and only hinders the intimacy a husband and wife should experience. Having the “I am always right” or “I am better than him/her” mind-set is absolutely destructive in any home. If you allow pride to take over your being, and destroy your home, that is a way of tearing down your home with your own hands. As the husband, you may be the head of the home, however, your wife must be given room to voice her opinions and her opinions should be respected even when they are different from yours. You must make allowances for differences. See it as a privilege, and not a right to be instituded as the leader of the family. Even when opinions differ, they don’t need to divide you, if you want your spouse to see it from your perspective, your approach is key. As a wife, don’t be so arrogant that you cannot respect or submit to your husband. It doesn’t matter if you make more money or have more degrees or you just don’t want to be answerable to any man. Instead, ask God for the grace to do so and He would release it upon you freely. Remember, “it is the proud that he knows from afar off” (Psalm 138:6). So if your pride separates you from God, how can He help you? He is the one who created marriage and should be your ultimate source of help to make your marriage a picture of His intentions. Pride is that one should not be proud of – prune it away from your heart and your home, before it prunes you away from your home.
I often like to tell those who are yet to get married that when it comes to marriage, preparation is EVERYTHING! You cannot look at someone and say, “he will make a great husband” or “she will make a great wife”. It’s impossible. Why? Because anything you and I want to become, requires our preparation. For that person to indeed be a great husband or wife, he or she must be prepared for such a role. Their character, their mind-set, their attitude, etc must be framed appropriately if the aim is to have a positive outcome.
It is true that we all want to be good spouses but the desire alone is not enough, we must gather the information required for the role we are to play and study up on it, watch others who have been proven in it, and then apply it in our own lives. When I talk to couples that are in courtship about this, I advise them to read, listen to messages, get counselling, filling themselves with what it takes to have a peaceful home but for some reason, it seems like such a burden to them. Some tell me “its too much work”, others say, “there is no need for it” and even more say “oh our love will get us through anything”.
If you see the building of your home as work you will rather not do, you are already heading down the wrong path. Yes, love will play its part but remember that it is by wisdom that a house is built…. and by KNOWLEDGE its rooms are filled with rare and precious treasures (Proverbs 24:3). So, while love is a major requirement, it is not the only requirement. A bulk of what I know now and apply in my marriage was gotten before marriage. When my husband and I were in courtship, because we talked so much about a peaceful home, we spent a lot of time gathering so much information, applying it as much as possible in our relationship then and talking about how we will apply it in our marriage.
Marriage was not yet a reality but we invested into preparing for it as though our lives depended on it (it actually did). I remember, people used to tell us we were taking it too seriously ad I thank God that we actually took it very seriously because if we relaxed then, we will be experiencing unnecessary headaches in our home today. So as a single gentleman or lady, diligently invest in preparing yourself adequately. It’s true that we still learn a lot of new things in marriage however it helps to be able to draw from what you gather before marriage when you need it. Please note that a restful home is dependent on how prepared you are to maintain it, and NOBODY can do it for you but you!
Some books I recommend specifically for getting married, are:
1. How to Get Married – David Ibiyeomie
2. Getting Ready For Marriage – Jerry D. Hardin
3. Things I wish I’d Known Before We Got Married – Gary Chapman
4. How To Choose A Life Partner – Bimbo Odukoya