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Summary: Why does the Bible so often command men to love? Maybe because love doesn’t come naturally to many of us; we have to be told to.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them . . .

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

When Paul wrote to the Ephesian church he laid the weight of responsibility on much thicker. With nine verses he explained how a husband should love his wife, even as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her. Here Paul gives one sentence for the husbandly responsibilities and one for the fatherly. Simple commands, one positive and two negative: Love your wife, Don’t be harsh and Don’t embitter (or exasperate) your children. Simple, right?

Why does the Bible so often command men to love? Maybe because love doesn’t come naturally to many of us; we have to be told to.

What does it mean to love? Maybe most women don’t have to be told.

If you love someone, your day isn’t complete unless you’ve heard that voice, and shared with the beloved your struggles and thoughts and concerns. You want to share every beauty, every epiphany, every event, and if possible every moment with the beloved. When you love, every celebration, and sweet fragrance reminds you of the beloved. No important decision seems right unless it has been discussed, and the beloved’s thoughts incorporated, into the choice.

I would guess you may think I’m talking about human romantic love. I am. But I can’t help but think with every line that any man who has a healthy relationship with his LORD understand what love is. If you love the LORD you want him to be a part of every thought, every breath, every decision, every hope and dream and idea and problem. God is there at the beginning of the day-the day isn’t finished until you’ve shared with him your deepest concerns and joys. A man who loves God wholeheartedly knows how to love his wife.

And any biblical definition of love would be incomplete without the consideration of v. 14- “above all these virtues, put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity”. The word there for perfect unity is the same root of a single word Jesus cried out from the cross “Tetelosthai!”, It is finished. He could have just as easily said “it is mature!” or “it is complete!” or simply “Perfect!”

Gentleman, if you want to be mature, if you want to be a leader, if you want your wife to be perfect, all you have to do is love as Jesus loved, even to the point, if necessary, of giving his life on the cross. This is perfect love.

One more thought-

I know some wives read yesterday’s devotional & thought “Ya. As soon as my husband starts loving me as Christ loves the Church I’ll know how to bring myself under his authority”. Or, Gentleman, maybe you’re thinking, “How can I love a woman who has disrespected and hurt me?”

Consider God’s love, as Paul said to the Church at Rome:

Herein is the love of God manifested, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5). God loved us while we were not his, and showed his love by dying.

A real man doesn’t make excuses. He accomplishes the mission given him, no matter what it takes. Here’s your mission:

Love your wife. Raise your kids gently and wisely.

Prayer for Husbands

Father,

Teach me to love as you have loved me. Empower me to love and correct and nurture my children as you have done for me.

Let the love we share become the love I share with my family.

In the name of Jesus, who set the standard for love and real manhood

Amen.

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