// Jerry Weinzierl
SOME MARRIAGES are in desperate situations. No matter what a couple is going through, God can make any mess beautiful. My marriage is proof of that. If He can make mine good, He can do the same for anybody.
God can do anything! But it TAKES TWO PEOPLE AT THE SAME TIME WANTING TO SUBMIT TO THE WILL AND WORD OF GOD and to BE WILLING TO DO THE HARD WORK. And that's not common. To make our marriages work, we have to live what the Bible says about love.
God is love. We are never going to be more like God than when we walk in love (1 Cor. 13:13; 1 John 4:7–8). Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loves the church, giving Himself up for her (Eph. 5:25). MEN ARE NEVER GOING TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS THAN WHEN THEY LOVE THEIR WIVES.
I want to have a better marriage next year than I do this year. Do you? Husbands, here are six ways for this to happen in your marriage.
1) Focus on Her Needs
My life verse is Matthew 6:33 (NKJV), "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." If you live out this principle in your marriage, it will show love at a different level! Your needs will be abundantly met if you focus on your wife's needs first.
2) Build Her Self-Esteem
Women often think they're not good enough. Unfortunately, the enemy uses us men to reinforce that feeling because we often point out their faults and mistakes. Psalm 8:5 talks about being crowned with glory and honor. In the Hebrew language, this phrase is amazing. It's magnificence, excellence, and value. God has intrinsically created these in us. Rehearse this in your wife's ears, "Honey, you are the most important thing in my life. I love you. You are magnificent." Build into your wife what God says about her.
3) Celebrate Differences
We're not wired the same. Learn to celebrate each other's differences! God made us different for a reason. Listen to this carefully. A man needs sex to respond affectionately. Women need affection to respond sexually. Husbands say, "As soon as I get what I want, then I'll show her affection." No. That's not how God created us. God created a woman to be a receiver and a responder. They respond to us! Show your wife affection—not because you're looking for anything, but simply because you love her.
4) Live the Love
Love your wife with the language she speaks. My wife was not responding to the love I was showing because I was missing her love language. Hers is quality time. Mine is acts of service. I would love her with my language—shopping—when she wanted me to go for a walk with her.
5) Be Quick to Forgive
Learn to forgive each other. Husbands and wives have to learn to let go of the things they've done to each other. Live "born-again marriages" where old things have passed away and all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
6) Learn Mutual Submission
We love to quote Ephesians 5:22 about wives submitting to husbands. But verse 21 talks about "submitting yourselves one to another." Submission is not a demand from an overbearing husband. Submission is a response by a wife to a husband who loves her like Christ loves the Church.
Men, this is how we are to live. Our culture celebrates symbolism over substance. Many people celebrate Christmas without a Messiah and Easter without a blood-spattered cross. We give gifts of flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day but oftentimes it's just symbolism.
WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT WE'RE SAYING LINES UP WITH THE WAY WE'RE ACTING. Let's get some substance over the symbolism in our lives. We want our wives to see our growth and notice that something is different about us.
[Editor's Note: This article was adapted from Jerry Weinzierl's session on love and marriage at A Call to Arms 2016.]