Living Selflessly with Your Wife

Living Selflessly with Your Wife

A godly husband enjoys the freedom and intimacy of the marriage relationship and relishes his wife as his dearest companion and closest friend. Though any marriage is at times difficult and though any relationship will at times demand effort and require work, he is committed to enjoying his wife and delighting in the unique joys and wonders of the marriage relationship.

Before I set fingers to keyboard, I asked my wife if I should write this article—one requested by Ligonier’s Tabletalk magazine. Before I so much as typed a single word, I asked her if I was at all qualified. She pondered this for a few moments and said, “Yes, I think you are.” I was grateful for her affirmation, yet we both had to acknowledge that many parts of the Christian life are easier to say than to do, easier to describe than to live out. And this one is no exception. It’s easy enough to plan and pledge and pray to live selflessly, but it’s difficult to actually do it moment by moment and day by day. That’s true even of living selflessly with the person in this world I love the most.

I have often pondered one of the strange paradoxes of the married life—that the person I love the most is the person I will sin against the most. Because of our proximity, because of our intimacy, because we have pledged to live our lives together “till death do us part,” I will have a lifetime of opportunities to love my wife but also to hurt her, to bless my wife but also to sin against her. Every day I will have the opportunity to live with her selflessly but also to battle the temptation to live with her selfishly.

God’s Word makes it clear that it is the responsibility of every husband to live with his wife in an understanding way—a way that shows her special honor (1 Peter 3:7). God makes it clear that while a husband is called to lead his wife, he is to lead in a way that is marked by love, not control, and that is shown in sacrifice, not dominance (Eph. 5:25–31). If a wife’s calling is to submit to her husband’s leadership and to show him honor, the husband’s calling is to lead in a way that makes it easy for her to follow and to love in a way that makes him worthy of her honor. It is to think more of her than of himself, to consider her good ahead of his own, to love her even at his own expense.

Read More

Scroll to top