“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” wrote the apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:25). And, ladies, that’s a lot of love—enough, I think you’d agree, to keep any woman happy!
A young man came to his pastor and said that he was afraid he was drifting into idolatry and displeasing the Lord. “I’m afraid I love my wife too much,” he said. “I am putting her on too high a level and God is not pleased.”
“Do you love her more than Christ loved the church?” asked the pastor.
“I don’t think so,” he replied.
“Well, that is your limit. You cannot get beyond that.”
I like the instructions the Bible gives for husbands regarding the needs of their wives, for the advice was far ahead of its time in a society where women were treated like property and had few rights of their own. In Colossians 3:19, Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”
Note that in this simple verse Paul outlines two important needs that women have: first, to be loved—I mean, really loved; and, second, they crave gentleness. Actually, those two characteristics come from God Himself. Who is more loving and gentle with us than God is! When a husband is loving and gentle with his wife, he is really mirroring the character of God.
As a man, you may not think gentleness is very masculine. But if you ask a woman, she will quickly tell you it is. Nothing turns off a woman so much as harshness, and conversely, nothing touches her heart so quickly as gentleness. Loving gentleness to a woman represents strength under control, as you reach out to meet her needs.
Yes, men, you don’t need to worry about loving your wife too much—unless you love her more than Christ loved the church. As Solomon said, “Rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18).
What does gentleness look like to you?