5 Ways for Husbands to Sacrificially Serve Their Wives

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Ephesians 5 is perhaps one of the most argued about scriptures in terms of male/female relationships. Arguments over who is in charge, what submission means, who owes who what, whether or not it is even relevant to modern matrimony, and all manner of other junk dominate the landscape of popular discussion of this passage. Interestingly, much of the discussion centers around a philosophical assumption regarding our rights in the marital setting. The question of who is owed what and what are my rights demonstrates something significant about how the discussion is being engaged. Namely, that the discussion is missing the point of Paul’s words. Paul isn’t talking about what each spouse is due. He is explaining how imitating Christ looks in the context of marriage. I’d love it if my wife submitted me, always treated me with respect, and had Proverbs 31 tattooed on her soul, but that is between her and Jesus. My job, and the job of every husband, is to love their wives like Christ loved the church and to prepare her to be presented to God as a pure, spotless individuals.

The specific meaning of this phrase cannot be missed. I cannot look at my wife as a subject, or someone who owes me something. Instead, I need to love and serve her sacrificially. I need to give of myself, selflessly and set aside my own desires for her benefit. Jesus washed his disciples feet to demonstrate the lowness of our attitude of service. In addition, he died for the church. As husbands, our job is to serve and to aid our spouse in spiritual growth. We are to help our wives become Christlike. If we spend time concerning over her responsibilities and what she owes us, we cannot fulfill this directive. Such thinking runs counter to it. This raises an important question of how do we follow through with this in a concrete way. I, like most men, like “to do” lists and concrete directives. Its easy to act when we know what we are supposed to do. Here are 5 things I have come up with for selflessly serving our wives:

Maintain our own spiritual health. The reality is that this is a humanly impossible task. People are naturally self-centered and selfish. Giving of self is not gonna be our strength for the long term. God understands this and makes a way for us through his Holy Spirit working in our lives. This is not instant, it requires spiritual growth. A decent place to start is reading about Jesus and talking to God. We must grow if we are to love and lead our wives.

Lead spiritually. Leading spiritually begins with praying for our wives. This is a daily task that prepares us to sacrificially love them. Worshipping with our wives is another important part. Far too often I see wives who bring their kids to church while husbands sleep in on Sundays. Leading spiritual growth in the family requires participation in the spiritual practices. A final component worth implementing is leading the spiritual development of the family through study, discussion, and family prayer.

Doing chores, without ulterior motives. Finding things that need to be done and doing them is service. Changing toilet paper rolls, doing laundry, bathing kids, or any other chore efforts are concrete shows of love and grace. It’s important that as these are taken on, it is with a heart of service and not in an effort to receive a reward. I cannot tell you how many men I have spoken with, who are frustrated when they do dishes, vacuum, or undertake any other household chore only to be angered when their wives don’t amorously reward them for their efforts. I’ll admit that I am guilty of this too. Serving selflessly means not seeking reward. Its a gift, not a job done in search of a reward. Wives aren’t stupid, they generally see through these ploys. Further, it ruins the blessing we bestow in our act of service. Selfless is the watchword here.

Giving them time away. It is easy for wives to feel overwhelmed by the constant demands that are made of them. This is particularly the case when kids arrive, because their demands on mommy’s attention can be nearly constant. I’ve found that one of the best acts of service I undertake is letting my wife nap or spend time to herself. Taking the kids to the park or out for an evening is one way. There are all sorts of others, like taking care of chores so she has no pressing concerns or planning time away from the house.

Courting her. After marriage it is so easy to stop romancing our wives. We don’t need to convince her to marry us, so we stop buying flowers, taking her out for dinner, talking for hours, listening to her share her feelings, hugging, kissing, holding hands, etc. There are many ways to demonstrate affectionate attention that show her how important she is to you. There is a caveat here. If these things are always done with selfish motives and in an effort to get her to reciprocate physically, it will ruin the whole thing. I’m not saying that sex isn’t important to marriage. Rather, that selflessly serving is just that. Shifting service and affection from being a gift we give to a commodity we trade is sort of the antithesis of Christlike behavior.

This is a brief list. It is by no means all encompassing. Its purpose is to get your brain moving in the direction of how to serve. The biggest key is doing it with right motive, which is a product of prayer and the Holy Spirit working in us.

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19 thoughts on “5 Ways for Husbands to Sacrificially Serve Their Wives

  1. This is a wonderful way to remind us of the relationship between God, husband, and wife. profdj

    Liked by 1 person

    • patchingcracks says:

      Thanks for commenting and for reading. It’s really difficult to remember unless we are constantly focused on our mission and destination. I think it’s a struggle for every husband.

      Like

  2. Heather says:

    Namely, that the discussion is missing the point of Paul’s words. Paul isn’t talking about what each spouse is due. He is explaining how imitating Christ looks in the context of marriage.

    It is refreshing to read this.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Codi says:

    Your 5 ideas of serving are awesome! Thanks for sharing your wisdom on the matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this! This a down-to-earth view for all to read. Very well done!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • patchingcracks says:

      Thanks for commenting. I was aiming for a very practical application, so I appreciate you saying so.

      Like

  5. Eliza says:

    The first two ways to demonstrate love are what any godly wife wants of her husband. Your reminder, from God’s Word, that husbands are meant to assist their wives in Christ likeness was especially encouraging. When we, as husband and wives, do what God has commanded in His Word we are blessed and a blessing to others, even if there are and will be challenges to our obedience. God bless you:) Thank you for visiting my blog:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • patchingcracks says:

      I totally agree with you about the first two, they are the most important and often the most neglected. I enjoyed your blog and appreciate you visiting and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Trevor says:

    #3 – I find that my problem is “seeing” what she sees. She can see something that needs done, and it won’t register with me until she points it out. I’m trying to look through her eyes.

    Like

    • patchingcracks says:

      I have the same problem. I have been trying to be really intentional about asking or watching her for things that need to be done regularly.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post! Thanks for sharing the word.

    Be A Blessing!

    LaTrice

    Liked by 1 person

  8. DJ Camstar says:

    In a relationship that is characterized by love and respect, there is no room for thoughtless, harsh words. Think of the example that Jesus Christ set in this regard. Jesus never used insulting speech with his disciples. Even on the last night of his life on earth when his apostles were arguing over who among them was the greatest, the Son of God did not scold them. (Luke 22:24-27) “Husbands,” admonishes the Bible, “continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and delivered up himself for it.

    Like

    • patchingcracks says:

      Agreed completely. That’s a pretty tough task for fallen people. I think thats why prayer is so important a part of marriage.

      Like

  9. The True Light! says:

    This is such good advice.

    TTL

    Like

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