Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Eph 5:25)
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1Pe 3:7)
There is a growing problem among young men today. Pornography is so available that a large majority of men are not able to love a real woman, even physically. A young woman is simply an object, whose sole purpose of existing is to cater to a man’s whims and moods. A real woman is to be understood and loved, and this is too much to ask for today’s young man.
It is easier to drop out of reality, turn on the screen and love a fantasy, which is simply another word for loving yourself.
This is not love.
Men have become perpetual children, demanding and petulant. A woman is seen as an impersonal collection of various body parts, designed to be used until she has no more to give – and then discarded.
A child demands sex; a man longs for intimacy. A child refuses to give anything; a man gives his heart.
So the streets and the clubs and the bars are filled with children, demanding satisfaction, searching for their next toy to use and destroy.
Some young men seek marriage, but are unwilling to give their heart. They play with a woman’s heart until they “find the right one” and then they inadvertently “fall in love” – Cupid’s next victims. But a victim of Cupid is a victim, not a man. He was not strong enough to choose a wife; he was not strong enough to love the one he chose. He simply allowed the currents of desire to carry him this way and that. He falls in love. He falls out of love. He leaves behind him the wreckage of broken and hurting young women who were naïve enough to believe him when he said, “I love you”.
This also is not love.
The question that I have for you is this: Are you strong enough to love a woman?
Are you strong enough to love your wife as Christ loved the church?
Are you strong enough to live with her with understanding; or do you simply wish to never be inconvenienced, smashing the vessel of her heart on the floor like a cantankerous child?
Are you strong enough to protect her heart? To never do anything that would damage her reputation?
Would you rather die yourself than do the least thing to damage the soul of the one you love?
Are you strong enough to ask forgiveness? Courageous enough to call her lovingly to repentance?
Are you bold enough to reconcile?
Are you strong enough to turn off the television and listen to her?
Do you understand her fears, her desires, her longings? Do you have the courage to hear her?
Do you have the courage to open up your heart to her?
Do you have the courage to talk to her about your fears, your desires and your longings?
Do you have the courage to admit that it is not good for you to be alone?
A child desires a mother. A man seeks a wife.
A mother is a tremendous blessing for a child. She nurtures, feeds, cleans, bathes and provides for the child’s every need.
But a mother is not a wife.
Are you strong enough to leave your mother and your father and cleave to your wife?
It is a great calling – but most are not strong enough, courageous enough or man enough to take a wife.
It is easier to turn on the computer and fantasize about pixels of ink, rather than love a woman, so most choose the fantasy.
They do not know that it is for their life.
But a woman desires a man.
A man is strong enough to give himself for his wife. He demands nothing; gives everything.
He is strong enough to make her place in his heart safe; he is strong enough to win her heart and trustworthy enough to keep it.
He is courageous enough to hear the question “What are you thinking?” and actually understand it and answer it.
He is courageous enough to hold her in his arms and wipe away her tears.
He is strong enough to see when she is at her end, and cook a meal, do the dishes, watch the kids, clean the house and still have enough left to hold her and pray for her and know the right things to say.
He is strong enough to understand her, without resentment, bitterness, impatience or rage. If he is a man, the understanding will come in time.
He is strong enough to forsake all others and cleave unto his wife.
He doesn’t whine and complain when there is dust on the windowsill or dinner is late – these are the actions of a child, not a man.
He has nothing to prove; he will not hide behind a façade of bluster and words; he never has to be the “man of the house” nor the “king of the castle”.
He is strong enough to take the lowest place; be the servant of all; wash the dirty feet himself.
For he is strong enough to know that being a leader doesn’t mean being the boss.
A child tells everyone what to do. A man leads the way by being the servant of all.
A man is strong enough to set his wife as a seal upon his heart, as a seal upon his arm:
For a man knows that love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. (Sol 8:6)
A man is strong enough to keep the flame going; bold enough to never play with a woman’s heart; courageous enough to never use a woman as a toy to be discarded at whim.
A man is one who trusts the Lord with his whole heart. He therefore does not seek proof of his manhood on the earth, for it is safe with his Lord.
The man who trusts the Lord is ready for a wife; for a man who trusts the Lord has nothing to prove to anyone.
Only then he is ready to love a woman.