The verse below seems so straight-forward and true that at first it seems to warrant very little discussion. I doubt you would find very many people even among atheists who would openly disagree with Paul’s command to husbands:
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them (Colossians 3:19 NIV).
If you ask any stranger whether or not a man should love his wife, the answer would invariably be “yes.” And yet, the fact is that many both in secular and even some in Christian society simply do not love their wives. They may think that they love their wives, but their version of love is not the Biblical version of love. Most secular husbands think that love should be conditional, that they should love their wives only as long as their wives love them back, and as long as they draw personal benefit from it. But the Biblical concept of love is sacrificial and unconditional love. That means that a man needs to sacrifice his own interests for his wife whether she deserves it or not.
Men are natural leaders. They generally have more dominant, aggressive personalities than woman and can be very stubborn. The Bible confirms that men are supposed to be the leader in the home (see verse 18). Unfortunately, most husbands use their leadership role to get what they want, But godly husbands will deny themselves and use their leadership role to do what is best for their wives and family. Here are some typical ways in which American husbands often fail in loving their wives.
Attitude. The verse above warns a husband not to be “harsh” with his wife. Unfortunately, many men are mean to their wives all the time. They argue with them, criticize them, and tell their friends about how stupid their wives are. This is very wrong and will do immense damage to your relationship with your wife. Shower your wife with grace, not hatred, when she makes a mistake.
Time. If you truly love your wife you will spend time with her. Keep a healthy limit on the amount of time you spend alone or with your guy friends.
Lust. All married men lust after other women. It’s in our DNA. But we must fight it and consciously keep bringing our focus back to our wife and to her physical body. Your wife wants to be desired by you, and us husbands need to make a decision to develop a habit of physical intimacy with our wives:
May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? (Proverbs 5:18-20)
Money. One way to tell if a man truly loves his wife is by how much money he spends on himself. A lot of men bribe their wives with Jewelry, expensive dates, only so that they feel justified in spending even more money on themselves. Too many men waste their family’s finances on expensive toys that they don’t need.