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.

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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.

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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.

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