When Percy Sledge or Michael Bolton begin to sing “When a Man Loves a Woman” the ladies swoon and scream. And if you as a husband love your wife that way, she’s likely to respond in a similar fashion.
That song, still heard 50 years after it first came out, speaks to something deep in the hearts of human beings, something God put there, something that differentiates a successful marriage from a non-successful one. Regardless of how hard the enemy tries to distort and complicate it, loving your woman well will keep her heart close to yours and make your relationship intimate and strong. That’s something of what it means to love your wife like Christ.
Let’s get the objections out of the way right now. Life is complicated, and human beings are broken. God has given your wife free will also, and she has the option to refuse your love. Women can cause men enormous pain (the song implies that too), and your needs are important. I have some very strong things to say to women who behave badly toward their husbands.
But as a man God has gifted you with the responsibility and the power to be as Christ to your wife. Nothing happens – spiritually, emotionally, or sexually – until you step up. It’s vulnerable, scary, and perhaps overwhelming, but that’s what God has called you to do.