My daughter said something the other day that helped me forgive myself for much of the grief I have caused my wife and kids over the years. She said, "Knowing what you do now, would you say and do those things again?" And, of course, I would not. Then she said, "See, you are growing to be more Christ-like, aren't you!?" She amazes me; sometimes with her wisdom, and sometimes with her stupidity.
To all the men out there (and the women who want to copy this and give it to their "significant other), I would like to share what God has shown me about how to be a Godly husband. In Ephesians 5:25, Paul wrote, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it." Husbands, I want you to think about how Jesus spoke to those He loved. Do you think He ever said hurtful things to them? Can you picture Him "lording it over them?" Ironic, isn't it! The Lord, the Creator of the Universe, humbled Himself and became a servant, rather than demanding submission (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; Phil. 2:3-8)!
I can hear all the husbands out there saying, "Well, if my wife would submit herself to me, like the Word tells her to (Eph. 5:22-24), it would be easy to love her as Christ loved the Church!" That may actually be true, but would the love you have be the same kind of love Christ has for you? NO! Your love would be conditional; Christ's love for you is unconditional! I believe that if we love our wives unconditionally, we will be fulfilling our wedding vows; remember the "for better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness or in health" thingy?
And just in case you husbands think all it takes to love your wives is to guard you words, you are sadly mistaken. You need to guard your actions AND your attitude; I guarantee you that she knows what you are thinking, that is, your motives. You see, the very fact that you have motives for saying or doing something, indicates you want to manipulate her. No, you should love her in both word and deed because that is how Christ loved, the far from perfect, you! "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
Until you love her like Christ loved you, you are really only loving yourself!