If you’re married, you’re called to love your wife as christ loved the church. Why? Well, because God says so. And, you should want your marriage to be a picture of the Gospel. It is the key for having a joyful marriage.

Kent recently sat down with Brad Rhoads, founder of Grace Marriage. I’ve taken notes for you while watching the full interview from Father On Purpose. In this post, we’ll show you what you can do today to delight your wife, bring glory to God, and ensure your marriage is being built on the right foundation.


“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,…In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself…However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” —Ephesians 5:25,28,33



What’s it mean to love your wife as christ loved the church? We ask, “What’s the biggest challenge facing you as a dad right now?” all of the time. Dads don’t seem to hold back. To give you an idea, dads have told us…

  • “My kids take up so much time and energy from my wife that she has none left for me at the end of most days…a bit of resentment toward my kids”
  • “My wife thinks I should have never had a kid. She thinks I am selfish and not a good parent.”
  • “Earning my children’s honor, in light of the fact that their mother, my wife, does not show me honor as her husband.”

Many dads struggle with their marriage. We’ve had thousands of dads answer this question. Hundreds of the answers are like the ones above. It’s why we talked last week about how to love your wife.

When I read comments from dads like the ones above, I’m grateful for their honesty. But my heart breaks for these guys. Why? I think they’re serving the wrong thing. Read the responses again. Don’t they seem a tad on the selfish side?

Let’s talk about what Kent and Brad talk about related to how you are called to love your wife as christ loved the church. After reading this post, come back to your own thoughts and the dads’ comments above and tell me if we’re really doing this whole thing right.

What follows are three ways we can love our wives as Christ loved the church. I’m privy to lots of good quotes in my work with Mr. Kent Evans. There’s one in particular that I love and is super fitting to frame up this post. Kent often shares a quote from a friend of his about how us guys will serve our wives out of “Duty, devotion, or delight”. I love this idea.

Love your wife as christ loved the church: in duty.

Think about it: Jesus died on the cross and the Father does not hold your sins against you. You are totally sent free to thrive.

What does this mean? You have a duty to love your wife as christ love the church. This means you don’t hold your wife’s sins against her. She’s not perfect. She’ll still sin in life. Your wife will say something to you that she probably shouldn’t. She’ll withdrawal. She’ll do a lot of different things. As will you.

I know this news comes as a shock to you! But, you understand that God pursued you while you were an enemy of Him. While you and I were dead in our sin—God came and got you. Your sins aren’t held against you. Don’t hold her sins against her.

I love how Brad talks about this. In your mind, you should be going to rescue your wife. Your thoughts become, “I’m gonna go get her.” I’m not going to withdrawal and give some consequence for the wrongdoing. I’m going to pursue. I’m going to move in. I’m going to go to war for her. I’m going to give to my wife what God has given to me and put the gospel on display.

I love how Brad says it in his interview with Kent, “As a Christian, you respond to struggle with pursuit, with grace, with kindness, not with consequence or with coldness.” Boom. That’s the sound of a truth bomb going off. Do you hear it?

Love your wife as christ loved the church: in devotion.

Kent points out—if you have access to the full interview—go watch it! Basically, the idea that marriage is a 50-50 proposition is not valid. Marriage is you putting on display what it looks like to give your life to another person. It’s showing a watching world how to die to yourself.

What do you give up for your life? What do you lay down? Take time to write that down. Brad shares in the full interview about when he first came to Christ. He was asked, “What do you give up for your life?” He says, “I couldn’t think of anything. I didn’t intentionally sacrifice anything.” But, then he points out, when he figured this piece out and starting sacrificing for his wife—his marriage came alive. When you devote yourself fully to God and your wife—God gets the glory—and you get life. I’ll take that!

Love your wife as christ loved the church: in delight.

Remember, Christ delights in us. We’re His son. He looks at us and is pleased. He’s amazed. He delights in us. Proverbs 5 says, “…be intoxicated…” You are to delight in your wife. Let your wife know that no one in the world is more impressed and enamored with her than you.

Brad points out: this means you notice her. You compliment her. You open her door. You treat her as amazing. You show the world what it looks like to be delighted in by how you delight in your bride. Wow. I can’t say I honestly think about this daily. I need to.

Brad trains thousands of couples.  In the full interview, Kent asks him, “Where are you seeing marriages miss the gospel?”

Brad replies, “Prioritization.” The husband doesn’t give the wife the first fruits of his time, creative energy, resources, and finances. Doesn’t this sound like the dads’ replies above? Does it sound like you?

Brad points out, “If anything other than Jesus comes ahead of your spouse, your marriage will slowly die.”

What are ways we need to practice what we preach here? Think about how you might give the first-fruits of your life to your wife:

  • creative energy: maybe you can plan a night out and take care of child care and everything? Yes, I’m talking to myself here too!
  • serve in some way: what chore does your wife hate? Consider doing that chore for her this week.
  • tonight at bed-time, pray for your wife.

When we do this stuff, guys, it’s not so we “create a good marriage,” “get more sex,” “set a good example for our kids.” Sure, these are all great things. But never forget it’s a picture of the gospel. It’s difficult to share the gospel outside of your home if the gospel isn’t’ being shared inside of your home—in the way you treat your spouse.

If your marriage is an institution to only bring you pleasure, to make your life better, to give you companionship, to make you feel better about yourself—it will break down and God will not get glory. If you realize your marriage is an opportunity to put Jesus Christ on display in how you love and lay your life down for another human—it will thrive, God will get the glory and you’ll come alive.

Read the dads’ replies about their biggest challenges again. Do they sound like guys serving their wives out of duty, devotion, or delight?

  • “My kids take up so much time and energy from my wife that she has none left for me at the end of most days…a bit of resentment toward my kids”
  • “My wife thinks I should have never had a kid. She thinks I am selfish and not a good parent.”
  • “Earning my children’s honor, in light of the fact that their mother, my wife, does not show me honor as her husband.”

You can serve your wife out of duty, devotion, or delight. There will be seasons of life. But, each way will require you to serve God and your wife and think less and less of yourself.

I thank God for Brad and Kent’s pouring into our lives with these interviews over at Father On Purpose. If you aren’t a member yet—you’re missing out. May God give you the grace and wisdom to love your wife as Christ loved the church.




Love your wife as christ loved the church: the mission

Mission 1: Take five (5) minutes and write down all the ways Jesus has demonstrated His love for you (gifts He has given you, salvation, laying down His life, and so on.) Then write down some ways you can demonstrate Christ-like love for your wife. Then, pick one thing on the list you can do this week. Thank us later!

Mission 2: Become a member of Father On Purpose. Not ready to become a member yet? Would you share this week’s video snippet on facebook and on twitter?

Like this post and want to write for Manhood Journey? Email Ryan Sanders your post and he’ll either not reply because your idea is that bad—or he’ll assign you a deadline.