In Love that Lasts Gary and Betsy Riccucci offer practical insight for husbands and wives. Gary encourages husbands to love their wives as Christ loves them: graciously, sacrificially, redemptively, with understanding, and with honor. For now, we want to focus on what it looks like for husbands to love their wives redemptively:
To love my wife redemptively means I should desire to see my wife being continually transformed into an increasingly beautiful bride, just as Christ desires this for the Church. These questions can point us in that direction:
- Do I faithfully pray for her, that Jesus Christ might be glorified in her and that she might know his love and grace?
- Do I love her enough to confront and correct her sin, especially recurrent patterns of sin, and then patiently and consistently lead her into fruitful and liberating repentance?
- Do I wash her with the water of God’s Word (Ephesians 5:25-27), or do I compromise her growth in godliness because my pride, selfishness, or fear keeps me from this God-given responsibility?
- Do I lead her into active involvement and service in our local church?
- Do I constantly remind her of the gospel of grace and of God’s active goodness on our behalf?
Wives: Often times fear, disappointment, or pride make it difficult for you to think about or behave toward your husband with respect. Don't despair. There is grace for us. There are three ways we can respect our husbands. In thought, word, and deed. Here are some questions to consider as we work towards this:
- Am I more aware of my husband’s deficiencies or his strengths?
- Am I more inclined to criticize my husband (whether verbally or in my heart) or commend him?
- Have I failed to express respect for my husband because I’m so concerned about a particular area of sin in his life?
- What thoughts spring to my mind when I think of my husband?
- Do these thoughts honor my husband?
- How do I speak to my husband when we are alone?
- How do I speak to him in public?
- How do I speak of him to others?
- Do I show respect to my husband through my actions? How so?
- Do I freely display affection for him through appropriate physical contact (depending on the circumstances)?
- Do I listen intently when he is speaking, whether in private or in public?
- Or do my deeds communicate a lack of respect, inattentiveness, or even indifference . . . like interrupting him, looking elsewhere when he’s talking, or forgetting to get to things he’s asked me to do?
Let me encourage you to take the time to sit down and think about all your husband’s godly qualities. Write down what you respect, admire,and appreciate in your husband, or things you appreciate that he does for you and your family. Think also about the routine ways you benefit from your husband in regular day-to-day, week-to-week life. Consider putting some of your thoughts into a letter of love and gratitude and giving it to him to read on his own.
Click here to learn more about Love that Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace by Gary and Betsy Ricucci.