Husbands, love your wives and be gentle! The Greek text literally reads, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”  The Greek word translated as “do not be harsh” can also be translated as “do not make them cry!”  Now, your wife is going to cry some (maybe even a lot). I get that. And part of being gentle with her is letting her do that without trying to fix the problem. (Took me a long time to learn that.) 

But let me just talk to you guys man-to-man for a minute. I know you can take it so I’m going to give this to you straight: If you are always upsetting your wife by your words or actions, you are doing something wrong! You are called to love her. And being the head of your wife means you have a lot of responsibility. Paul tells husbands in Ephesians that they are to love their wives as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25). Take that in for a moment. You know what that means? It means you should be sacrificing for her.  

For me that means re-watching the first 5 seasons of Downton Abbey with my wife so we can really enjoy season 6. (Lord, command what you will, but give what you command.) Or going grocery shopping with my wife once a month and sharing a slice of pizza at Sam’s Club. Those things matter to her. Sacrifice means I’m thinking about her needs and her desires. I care about things like what my wife drives and the clothes she wears and the home she lives in and her desire to get away with her girlfriends when it gets cold in Northwest Indiana. It also means that I am willing to make sacrifices for the most important thing in her life, and that is her spiritual progress. Listen guys, you make whatever sacrifices you must to be sure she is in church, in community, and connected with Christ.

Obviously everything I do for her and every sacrifice I make is good I should do out of concern for my wife. But Scripture tells me that my concern for her will also bless me. It’s like taking care of my own body (Eph. 5:28).

Men, we must love our wives and avoid doing things that upset them. Whatever those things are—yelling at her, manipulating her, belittling her, embarrassing her. We should never do these things. We must please the Lord in how we treat our wives.