“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).
As a father, I would go to any length to ensure my children’s stability and safeguard their wellbeing, as I am sure almost every other dad would happily do. Perhaps the most significant instrument at a father’s disposal to accomplish this goal might be surprising, although crucial—to simply love your child’s mother. That is, to deliberately love and demonstrate that you love your wife.
Children are born into the home as small packages of human innocence and resilience. However, as they grow, they develop discernment and judgment concerning life in general, and especially regarding their father’s actions and motives.
The understanding, interaction, and connection of children with their earthly father will translate into their concept of their Heavenly Father. They can discover their relationship with God through the model of their relationship with their earthly father. This is one of the reasons every father is designed to demonstrate the nature of God.
Therefore, for children to unequivocally know that their father loves their mother will significantly impact their emotional stability, and security and will also affect every other dimension of their lives, including their walk with God.
It is a significant flaw to love your child while neglecting to love your child’s mother properly. Such an omission sends conflicting messages to the heart and mind of your child and can raise concerns such as, “Is this the way God loves?” or “What is wrong with Mommy?” or “Will Daddy stop loving me if I’m too bad or when I am older?”
Ephesians 5:25—“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”—lists several characteristics of the quality of love that every father should have for his wife:
- Husbands are to love their wives authentically. You certainly ought to be in love with your wife, but you must also possess an authentic love for your wife. Unlike what is depicted in romance movies, Christ demonstrated authentic, genuine love toward His church by loving her in spite of her imperfections, faults, and disobedience.
- Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially. Christ loves the church and gave Himself for it, not because of what the church does for Him but because a genuine and authentic love is sacrificial. As a husband, you must be willing to give your life for your wife, and not just in a single event (as in the case of actual death) but every day and as a way of life. You verbalized your commitment once during your wedding ceremony; in marriage, you now have the opportunity to demonstrate those vows every day. This kind of love means that self-sacrifice ought to be the norm rather than the exception. You will have to sacrifice your time, entertainment, friendships, and sometimes even your career to properly love your wife.
- Husbands are to love their wives purposefully. Christ’s love for the church makes the church pure “with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26). Christ’s goal is to make her the perfect bride. Similarly, the husband’s love for his wife ought to make her better as well. Your love for your wife ought to draw her closer to the Lord, developing her character and calling so that she may fulfill God’s plan for her life.
Your children should be able to observe you deliberately taking the time to cultivate a happy home and loving their mother in these ways. Just as you brush your teeth every day, you must love your wife day by day, and in the same way you love and care for your own body.
A fourth-grade girl once wrote about her father in these words: “He treats my mom very nicely, which makes me feel wanted.” Do your children see you loving their mother with an unending and unconditional love?
The demonstration of your love for your wife will convince your children that the foundation of their life (your marriage covenant) is not going to waver or crumble. When Dad loves Mom, all is well in the universe.
To Think and Pray About…
- How wonderful that Christ shows His love for the church in giving Himself for her—and what a challenge to husbands to show such love to their wives!
- If I am to demonstrate Christlike love to the mother of my children, in what three practical areas might I need to work hard?
- “Lord, help me have the sacrificial spirit that will put my wife and family above my own needs!”
This chapter was written by Pastor Billy Ingram.
Taken from “The Extraordinary Father”. CLICK HERE for more details about the book.