God has called husbands to love their wives in the same way Christ loved the Church. That is, with a sacrificial love (Ephesians 5:25). But God has also called husbands to love their wives with a sanctifying love (Ephesians 5:26). Husbands should care deeply about the spiritual health and maturity of their wives. But what does that look like, practically speaking?
Here are a few ways that you and your wife can grow in the Lord.
- Read the Bible together. By all means, read the Bible on your own, but try to find times to do this together. This affords both of you accountability and opens the door for discussion.
- Pray (both together and individually). The Bible says “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That means, make prayer a way of life. Never stop interceding on behalf your wife. But you should also have times where you pray together. My wife and I always pray before bed. It is non-negotiable. The key is to find a time that works for you.
- Suggest attending a bible study with your wife. Maybe you have never attended a weekly or monthly bible study before. This might surprise her, but great – go ahead and surprise her!
- Lead in family worship. Remember, you are the head and spiritual leader of the home (1 Corinthians 11:3). When a husband steps up and takes responsibility for family worship (devotions), it is a huge encouragement to his wife. Paul writes, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Don’t try to pass this off to someone else (your wife, the Sunday School teacher, the Christian school, etc.). This is your responsibility. Take it seriously.
- Turn off the TV at night (or your mobile device). If you are watching too much TV, it can really harm your marriage. I’m not saying don’t watch TV at all, but I am saying be careful. You can waste a lot of time just watching programs that are not edifying to your soul, nor are they glorifying to God.
- Periodically check in with your wife. Ask you wife how she is doing – emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. Let her know that you care. One of the simplest ways that you can show love to your wife is by showing an interest. How are you doing honey? How is your walk with the Lord? How can I pray for you? These questions send a message to your wife that she matters to you.
- Be honest with your wife. If you are struggling, admit it. Rather than trying to put on a front and make it seem like you have it all together, ask for prayer. If there is anyone who knows you, it is your wife. She sees you every day. She knows your strengths, she knows your weaknesses, you might as well be honest with her. This will foster relational transparency and will serve to strengthen your marriage.
- Set a godly example. Strive to be the man God has called you to be. Paul told Timothy, “set the believers an example in speech, conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:11). Husband, live a life that is worthy of imitation. As your wife sees you grow in the Lord, it will encourage her and bring her joy.
In summary, every Christian husband should have a vested interest in the growth and spiritual maturity of his wife. Even if you are a new Christian, you can still show leadership. You can pray for your wife, encourage church attendance and bible study involvement, and you can certainly turn the TV off at night. You don’t have to be a spiritual giant to do those things.
Pray that God will help you be the leader He has called you to be. And remember, the goal is holiness and Christian maturity (Eph. 1:4) in the lives of both you and your spouse.