Loving Your Spouse the Right Way – God’s Way!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Many years ago, I tried investing in the stock market. If I were to be perfectly honest, I really didn’t know what I was doing. Oh, I understood the mechanics of how to invest, but didn’t really have the financial understanding of a company’s value and balance sheet and the kinds of things that are necessary to know for prudent investing. That made investing in the stock market in my case, more like gambling. You don’t invest in a company simply because you like their toothpaste. There are many other factors to understand. After getting burned pretty badly, I had two choices, get out and stay out or take the time to learn what I was doing. Renee wanted me to get out of investing on my own and I agreed. Our investing today is through a financial adviser. 

Marriage can be very similar. I mean how hard are the mechanics? Get married, have a honeymoon and move into your new dwelling together. For way too many people, that’s about as far as their thinking has gone prior to marrying. Marriage is anything but simply coming home with your marriage partner. That’s why God through His Word tells us, “Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them (your wives) according to knowledge…” (1 Peter 3:7) This of course applies both ways.

Guys, the word knowledge here is referring to taking the time to know and understand your wife. Understand what love means to her. Does it just mean sex? Of course not but some men act like it does. What are the things that contribute to helping your wife feel loved? Does it mean spending more quality time with her? Does it mean helping her around the house and with the kids? Does it mean sweet touches of affection such as a card or note or flowers? Does it mean that she desires the recurring affirmation of respect and sweet words of your great love for her? And of course the daily confirmation that she is absolutely beautiful to you? (The answer to that one is absolutely yes and always!) Does it mean touches of affection? A pleasant greeting in the morning with a kiss (brush your teeth first.) Or a back rub (that doesn’t have to finish with sex?) Or a warm embrace when you come home leaving the day’s work behind you—asking her how hers was and actually listening? Or holding her hand when you’re out for a walk or walking through the shopping mall? These are all expressions of love to most women and each of them contribute and deposit feelings or love in her love bank? Some of these are more important to her than others. It is your job to learn which ones are the most important. 

This is learning to live with your wife according to knowledge. It’s not complicated. It’s simply paying attention and then consistently executing what you’ve learned. It can help produce great results and leave her bragging to others what a great husband you are!

Take out a piece of paper and a pen and scribble a note saying, “I was thanking God for such a precious wife as you this morning.” Go tape it to a mirror. Now, how hard is that? How much does that cost? How long does it take to write? How much value does it bring to your marriage? Far more than you could imagine. And if you haven’t figured out which of those touches of love your wife most appreciates, asking her is the best way to find out and take note of.

Of course this all applies in reverse to women toward their husbands. Learn what He loves and learn to avoid what he hates or provokes him. Learn to adapt to what is important to him just as he should learn to adapt to what is important to you. This is learning to dwell with your spouse according to knowledge.

Does the effort this takes reap benefits for you? Absolutely! It can be like planting a garden or remodeling the house. It has to be intentional with great attention to details. Definitely hard work, yet incredibly wonderful results to enjoy and that last! This in an honoring love—a love that seeks to learn how to bless your spouse. And that ultimately helps keep your prayers from being hindered and sets you up to receive the promises of God’s blessing upon your life. 1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.“ 

Honoring your spouse with the touches of love that matters to and blesses them, becomes a shock absorber and love in the love bank that helps absorb the bumps that marriages experience in their path of life.  The little foxes spoil the vine but simple, intentional, little touches of love make your vine healthy and your marriage strong!

And one last note, if you’re not married, learning what most blesses people in the ways I mentioned earlier, will enhance any relationship!

1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV)  “Love never fails…”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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