Husbands, Remember to Love Your Wives

Husbands are forgetful. I know this for three reasons: 1.) I’m a husband…, 2.) I’m forgetful…, and 3.) Every other husband I know is forgetful. 

I just left my doctor’s office and the lady who checked me out at the counter asked if I knew my kids’ birthdays. “Yes, I have three…” And before I could go any further she said, in disgust, “Apparently my husband can’t remember such things…” I’m glad I missed the phone conversation she’d had with him just before I walked up, and I felt relieved to be leaving before she resumed it. 

Here’s the problem I fall into, and into which I see so many other men fall. We forget to remember things. Like birthdays. And anniversaries. And which night next week is our kid’s school program, and that school pictures are on Tuesday, and that our wife likes to receive random good gifts and periodic signs of our affection.

We get into the routine of surviving, of protecting and providing for our families because we love and cherish them. But we forget to show them how much they are loved and cherished by remembering the little, not-so-important-but-actually-quite-important little things.

Still with me?

Paul wrote this timeless piece of instruction for husbands, “Husbands… love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word” (Ephesians 5:25-26 NLT). 

Really Paul? We need a reminder to love our wives? Doesn’t this come with the territory? Isn’t it automatic and assumed? Of course I love her, or I wouldn’t have married her. Or I might not stay married to her. 

But we are guys. We are men. So yes, we need this basic, simple reminder: love your wives

Love them by remembering what is important to them. By remembering what blesses them, what encourages them, what builds them up in their faith. Remember what makes them feel more confident about themselves, more cherished, more valuable to us and to the world around them. Remember how precious she is to God and how sweet a gift she is to us from him. 

Remembering these things is essential because, as men, we only act on things we’re currently, actively thinking about. Remembering to love our wives is the essential pre-requisite to showing love to our wives. 

My wife is precious. She’s sweet. She’s an awesome wife who encourages an undeserving me, cares well for our children even when they don’t have the maturity or capacity to appreciate her tireless work, and who leads and encourages others in our circles of friends. She’s a giver of good things, of wisdom, of compassion, and of love. And because she’s a gift to me from God, and because she gives such amazing gifts to me from her heart, I’m motivated to want to remember to show her love.

I want to remember to show her love so that she’ll always know, and never forget, and never have to question that she means the world to me. So how do I do this?

Every month I remind myself to pay the mortgage and the taxes. How much more important to remind myself to set aside time each and every day to dwell on her beauty and her worth and to think about what I’m going to do today, tonight, tomorrow, and a few months from now to convince her that she has a husband who really, really loves her.

Husbands, don’t forget to love your wives. She’s a gift from God, and is therefore of immense value to you and worthy of your intentional efforts and affection. I think a good goal in remembering to love her is to endeavor that she never has the chance to forget, herself, how much she is loved by her hustand, or by her Savior, King Jesus.

100% of Christians Are Commanded to Love People

Eugene Cho shared this startling statistic at Q Commons… “100% of Christians are commanded to love their neighbors.”

It’s so easy to love the lovable people, especially when they love us first, or are at least quick to love us back.

For example, don’t you just love this little baby?


You didn’t really even have to think about it, did you? You might’ve even audibly said, “Aww… how precious…”

But love, by definition, doesn’t show favoritism or partiality. It doesn’t pick winners and leave others in the cold.

Jesus gave us two of the most challenging commands we will ever attempt to obey. First, he said, “Love your neighbor” (see Matthew 22:37-39). And he went on to define “neighbor” as including people who are totally unlike us with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

As if that isn’t hard enough, Jesus took his challenge a step further. He also said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). The unlovable. The ones we don’t like to be around. Love them all!

So far, we all agree. What’s so difficult about this commandment? Let me give you a test.


That’s Jacob Pauda. A couple of days ago he was arrested for taking cocaine and violently beating up his pregnant girlfriend. Here’s the news story. Do you love Mr. Pauda?

Or how about this one?

Those are members of ISIS from Syria. The fact that you’re even reading a Christian blog right now means these guys would kill you in the name of their god if they had the chance. And in the training camp where they prepare for jihad, they also train and brainwash kids to do the same. Do you love these guys?

We know we ought to love our family, our friends, and the people we go to church with. And we might embrace the hard reality of loving our grumpy neighbor or the politicians of the opposing party, but terrorists? Drug-abusing, spouse-abusing gang members with skeletons tattooed on their faces? Surely Jesus didn’t mean them. There must be limits to our love, right?

I’m not arguing that we should always trust people, or that people shouldn’t be punished for crime, or even that war isn’t sometimes necessary to spare the lives of other innocent people. But our acts of punishment, or even self-defense, should probably be a little more difficult for us to stomach in light of the kind of love with which Jesus has loved us, and Jacob Pauda, and those who fight for ISIS, and whatever presidential candidate you dislike the most.

A love that embraces people capable of such evil is downright radical. Maybe even crazy! But it’s not impossible.

When the early church leader, Stephen, was being stoned to death by the cronies of a terrorist named Saul, he asked God to find it in his heart to save and forgive them.

When Elizabeth Elliot heard that her husband, John, along with four of his fellow missionaries had been murdered by members of the Huaorani tribe of Ecuador, she vowed to go back and reach them with the gospel, which she did.

When Jesus was nailed to a cross by Roman soldiers to satisfy the demands of the Jewish leaders to “crucify him,” he spoke to God on their behalf and asked the Father to “forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

We have no idea what dark and painful secrets are hiding behind the skeleton tattoo in the heart of Jacob Pauda, or the atrocities witnessed and deception offered to terrorists. What we do know is this – Jesus loves them. Jesus died for them.

I wish I knew who said this, because it’s someone much smarter than me, but somewhere I heard, “You could never hate anyone if you could just know their story.” It’s possible for you to love your neighbors as well as your enemies, perceived or real.

You can love Muslims. You can love gay people. You can love the elderly. It’s possible to love the immigrant and the refugee. You can love criminals, liars, and rapists. You can love the one who stole so much from you, who won’t stop bullying you, and the one who abandoned you.

It’s not easy. It’s very hard. It’s complicated, and messy, and it sometimes takes a long time to figure out how to set things right. And everyone has to be held accountable for their choices and their actions whether we love them or not. But it’s still possible to find a way to love, to forgive, to desire the spiritual freedom of others who don’t deserve it.

As I write this, everyone is angry. We’re angry at our political leaders. We’re angry at those running for office trying to replace the political leaders with whom we’re angry. And we’re angry at all the people supporting or denouncing the people we support who are angry at the same people we are. Such is earth. Such is humanity, devoid of God’s powerful presence.

But when you’re a sinner, like me – unlovable, like I’ve been too many times – and you encounter a God who loves you so much he will send his Son from heaven to die for you, to save you, and to adopt you into his own forever family… once your life has been radically changed and your eternal trajectory altered by that kind of love and that kind of grace, suddenly loving unlovable people is personal, and maybe slightly less difficult.

Do you know just how loved you are? Maybe, before trying to love terrorists, we should just start there. You really are loved to pieces by the One whom our sins betrayed. You’ve messed up. You’ve blown it too many times. But God knows your story. He knows where you came from and he wants to take you to heaven in spite of all of it.

Sermon Video: Oh, How He Loves Us

Yes, God loves you. But what does that mean? Most people think God might love them but that he’s just mostly disappointed with them. But that’s not the story of the Bible. The Bible is the story of God pursuing a relationship with you because he really does love you. Deeply. He MADE you so he could love you! And he loves you no matter what your past looks like.

Sermon Video: How to Find True Love

Is it possible to discover and recognize real, true love in a world full of counterfeits? Absolutely! God has made his love known through his Son, Jesus. And he describes his love in his Word, the Bible. In this message, Pastor Brandon Cox shares some big principles about love and how to find it.

How to Love and Motivate People by Affirming Them

Want to change the whole world with small, bite-sized steps? Affirm people. We’re starving for it. We live in a highly critical age when civility has been replaced with sharp-tongued sarcasm. We celebrate witty criticism far more than we celebrate affirmation, but affirming people is a missing ingredient to deeper relationships, mutual emotional healing, and basically, a better world all the way around.

You can most likely identify with what it feels like to live in a vacuum of praise, where affirmation is hard to come by. Statistically (and hopefully you’re an exception), you probably grew up lacking genuine affirmation from Mom and/or Dad. You’ve probably worked in an atmosphere were correction was far more plentiful than congratulations on a job well done, especially when the “performance review” rolls around. And you may have even been labeled a rebel or a juvenile delinquent by teachers, school administrators, or even the local police.

Let me clarify, first of all, what affirmation is not.

  • Affirmation isn’t empty flattery – words with no foundation in truth.
  • Affirmation isn’t appeasement or agreement, especially with actual error.
  • Affirmation isn’t saying words without action, but saying words plus action.

In other words, correction isn’t always bad. Criticism can be very valuable, especially when coming from friends and family who are seeking our best interests. And all of us need to face our faults now and then so we can work on our habits and patterns for a healthier life. But almost nothing is more powerful to change our direction than affirmation.

Continue reading How to Love and Motivate People by Affirming Them

Rainbows, Flags, and the Immeasurable Love and Grace of God. Yes, #LoveWins

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in American culture. As one guy on Facebook put it, “My newsfeed looks like the confederate army declared war on a Skittles factory.” We’ve certainly seen a lot of flags and rainbows. And rainbow flags, of course.

Not because you haven’t heard, but for the sake of context, the Supreme Court of the United States did indeed make a history-altering decision on Friday, June 26, 2015, declaring that states could no longer ban same-sex couples from civil marriage.

Then the internet blew up. People were happy. And angry. And confused about whether they should be happy or angry. In the middle of it all, President Barack Obama tweeted using the hashtag #LoveWins and millions followed suit. The White House was lit up with rainbow-colored lights, as were Niagara Falls, Cinderella’s Castle, the Empire State Building, and many, many, maaaany social profile photos.

As leprechauns scurried around in utter confusion and unicorns danced with glee, I couldn’t help but reflect on the ancient history of the rainbow, going all the way back to the story where it made its scriptural debut. Long before the rainbow flag became the symbol of the gay pride movement (1978, to be exact), God used the rainbow to communicate that #LoveWins to a primitive family desperately in need of reassurance.

Continue reading Rainbows, Flags, and the Immeasurable Love and Grace of God. Yes, #LoveWins

True Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

True love – God’s kind of love – is both possible and impossible at the same time. It’s possible to love people the way God does when we’re living under His truth and grace and in His power. We know this because He commands us to love and defines it for us in explicit terms, and He never commands us to do that which He will not also enable us to do.

Then again, there are aspects of love that seem so far beyond reach. In particular, real love includes the ability to truly, completely forgive a person to the degree that we never, ever remind them of their former faults again. “Love keeps no record of being wronged,” the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:5. In other words, real love really forgives, not just temporarily, but forever.

We humans continually demonstrate our utter failure to truly forgive, and resentment is a toxin that poisons even the strongest of relational bonds. We claim the right to hold grudges and justify our record-keeping ability on the basis of what seems fair and just. But the God of justice and truth has gone first in this area.

God, who alone has every right not to forgive us for our rebellion against Him, has set the ultimate example, justifying us and declaring us not guilty by transferring the record of our wrongs to Jesus on the cross. And once we’ve accepted His payment and turned to Him in complete trust, He expunges our records and promises that “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12 NLT)

Real, true, unconditional God-like love does the same for others. Real love doesn’t remind someone of their past or flaunt their weaknesses before them. Real love lets it go. This doesn’t mean allowing abuse without accountability. It simply means that we yield our right to be vindicated for the good of the guilty, and ultimately for our own good too.

Who do you need to love and to forgive?