The Bible says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22) and “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD“ (Proverbs 19:14)
Your bride is God’s gift to you. “She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10) or any other treasure.
• Always treat her like God’s gift.
• Never allow any earthly thing —not a job, not a ministry, not a football game, not another friendship—to take priority over her.
As unlikely as it may seem today, you will have disagreements. Some of them might be loud. But the song of Solomon refers to “little foxes“ that ruin the vineyards (See: Song of Solomon 2:15).
Don’t Ignore Disagreements
I urge you not to ignore even the smallest disagreements, because left alone, they can wreak havoc on a marriage.
• Keep short accounts with your bride.
• Never walk away while she is crying.
– Never lay a hand on her except in love;
• and “Do not let the sun go down while you are angry“ (Ephesians 4:26).
It would probably be best if you don’t try to get inside her head; you’ll just get lost in all the twists and turns in there (it’s not like a man’s head). Instead, concentrate on getting into her heart; try to feel what she’s feeling when she’s feeling it, and you’ll probably end up understanding her much better.
• Simply observe what pleases her and what irritates her and work tirelessly to increase the former and decrease the latter.
Rejoice and Love
The Bible also instructs you to “rejoice in the wife of your youth“ (Proverbs 5:18).
• Revel in her. Bask in her smile. Delight in her laughter.
• Spend time with her. Pray with her.
– Soak up her words.
• Keep dating her after the wedding.
• Kiss her often —and long.
– Say, “I love you” every day of your life.
• Try never to miss an opportunity to tell her she’s beautiful.
• Do whatever it takes to remember her birthday and your anniversary.
– Save as much money as you can, but never cut corners on gifts …or lingerie!
• Ask her for forgiveness when you need it, and ask her for advice even when you don’t need it.
I charge you also with words from the book of Malachi: “Guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth” (Malachi 2:15).
Make Sure You:
• Build hedges around your marriage.
• Set boundaries that will guard your heart and preserve your integrity and ensure that you never break faith with the wife of your youth.
And finally, remember that the biblical model for a husband is a man who willingly died for His Bride. So I charge you to do as the Bible says and love your wife “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her“ (Ephesians 5:25).
• Love her.
– Give yourself up for her.
• Lay down your life —day after day —for her.
Strive always to be the man she deserves, and you’ll be amazed at how she remains exactly what you desire.
This article was written by Bob Hostetler and can be found, along with others, in the book, For Better, For Worse, which is filled with true life testimonies (written by different authors) compiled and edited by Marlene Bagnull, published by Christian Publications, Inc. Unfortunately, this book is no longer in print. If you can obtain a copy, it would be worth your while to read it.
— ALSO —
There’s also an article titled “Happily Ever After” (posted on the web site for Today’s Christian Woman) that might give you a bit more insight into the mind of a wife, given by Jill Killiam as she was anticipating the marriage of her oldest son. She drew from her own 24 plus years of experience. Here are a few of the pieces of advice she gave:
• Praising your wife in front of other people does wonders for her self-esteem.
• Criticizing your wife in front of others, even in jest, is always a bad idea. Always.
– Sometimes, she doesn’t want you to solve the problem. She just wants you to listen. I know, I don’t understand it either.
• Credit card debt is a monster. Don’t fall for it, even for the short term.
• Live on less than you make. In fact, learn to live on one income. Swim against the tide.
– Laughing together is even better for you than exercising together.
All good advice.
And then here’s a link to a web site where you can find some great advice. It’s tailored just for you. Please glean through it and see what you can use from it:
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.