In the beginning we make all kinds of promises to get their attention. We say that we will climb the highest mountains, swim the deepest oceans, and overcome all other obstacles in order to win their love, but then what? Once all that energy is spent to reel in their big catch some men consider their work done, and choose to sit back and cruise. For those couples life settles into a dull routine. The honeymoon eventually ends and the real world begins with a relentless barrage of work schedules, dirty diapers, and bills that need to be paid. They begin to drift apart and their love grows cold, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
God designed the marriage relationship to be so much more than that. Of all the things that God made He only said that one thing was not good; for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Adam’s wife was designed to complete and fulfill him, and he was to do the same for her. In the garden this would have come very naturally for them, but in our sin-soaked world it doesn’t because our own selfish desires get in the way. This sabotages what should be the most encouraging and satisfying human relationship we have.
The problem is that the promises made while in pursuit are forgotten, yet men still expect their needs to be taken care of by their wives. A man’s failure to intentionally engage in his wife’s life will cause their marriage to become a passionless relationship where they more resemble roommates than lovers. Many become strangers sharing a house, or they just give up and go their separate ways.
The solution is to die. That’s right, you heard me. Here’s how Paul put it in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” He sets Jesus’ love for the church as our standard. His love is a love of sacrifice, one that went to the most extreme measure in order to secure the church as His bride. Unlike us, though, His love never changes or fades. No matter what we do His love will always remain consistent and complete. That should be the standard against which we measure our love for our wives.
In order to do this, men, we must be willing to die to ourselves. Here death is a picture of sacrifice. We are ready and willing to sacrifice when it comes to providing and protecting, but are we ready to sacrifice when it is time to listen and give of our time? The temptation is to sink into the recliner and relax at the end of the day with something to drink in one hand and a remote in the other, but our wives need and deserve our time. The love that Paul is talking about is one that will happily decide to engage and invest in their lives instead of feeding our own needs. It is willing to shut the T.V. off and listen to and talk to our wives. We have such a short amount of time to share with them and invest in them. Don’t let it slip by. Take advantage of every opportunity to remind yourself that she is worth dying for. In the end you will gain far more than you will ever give up.