Marriage is a like a garden. If you are a gardener and want to have a beautiful garden, you should work hard on your garden. Likewise, if you are a husband and do not invest time and energy in your marriage, you can’t expect to have a wonderful marriage. And as a garden needs constant care, so does marriage. Like a gardener, you as a husband should “water, fertilize, and weed” your marriage regularly in order to have a healthy marriage. Of course, there are many ways by which you can cultivate your marriage. Here are some:
1. Pray for your wife regularly. Pray also with her. Despite your busy schedule, set aside time for you and your wife to pray together.
2. Be the spiritual leader in your home. Find ways to point your wife and family to Christ. Ensure that your wife has time for personal devotions. Your goal is to have a gospel-centered home.
3. Provide for your family. Depending on your circumstance, as God enables you, give your best to meet the physical and material needs of your family.
4. Spend quality time with your wife. You may see each other every day but feel like you miss each other because you don’t really spend time together. Show genuine interest in listening to her.
5. Support your wife’s passion. Your wife may have different interests than you do, but learn to appreciate what is important to her.
6. Continue to court your wife. Take her out (without your children, if you have children). Plan a date that will make your wife feel so special.
7. Give your wife time to hang out with her girlfriends. Your wife also needs to spend time with her close friends.
8. Write a love letter to her (not just on Valentine’s Day). Send a short but loving and encouraging text or email to her during the day while you are at work.
9. Tell her “I love you” everyday. Yes, it’s wonderful to show her your love, but your wife wants to hear those “I love you” words, too.
10. Buy her something she enjoys, like flowers, chocolate, or whatever might bring a smile to her face. You don’t have to spend much. She will already appreciate your thoughts of love.
11. Affirm your wife with words. Appreciate her beauty, her gifts, and the many ways she cares for you and your family. Tell her the she is the most wonderful woman on earth. Don’t forget to always thank her when she prepares a meal for your family.
12. Offer your help with the household chores. Help with the dishes. Sweep the floor. If you have small children, assisting with the bedtime routine can help your wife as her patience with the children may be severely tried by this point.
13 Treat your wife as God treats you. God does not deal with us according to the multitude of our sins but according to His rich mercy. Your wife is not perfect; she has flaws and weaknesses, but so do you. Therefore, as God is gracious to you, so be gracious to her. When you are wrong, be humble enough to admit your mistake. When you sin, ask for forgiveness. When your wife sins, forgive her as God has forgiven you. Grow with her in God’s mercy and love.
Of course this list is by no means exhaustive. And every spouse and every marriage is unique. That’s why it’s important that you become a student of your wife; study to know her better and learn to understand her more.
In summary, we husbands are to love our own wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). You may say, “I can’t do that!” Well, I’m glad you admit it. You’re right. We can’t love our own wives as Christ loved His Church, for He loved her with perfect love. However, our inability to love as such should not discourage us to love our own wives with the love with which Jesus loved His Bride. Rather, it should cause us to humbly cry out to God for His help and grace to do what He has commanded us to do. Therefore, marriage is a sanctifying means by which a husband and wife can grow in God’s grace—the grace that enables them to love each other till death parts them.