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LEAD HER: By that, I mean a husband who leads and a wife who follows. A Christ-reflecting husband gives the stability and direction of a spiritual leader.

NEED HER: By that, I mean a husband who expresses to his wife how much he needs her and a wife who responds. A Christ-reflecting husband tells his wife she is meeting vital needs in his life and work that no other woman can meet. Certainly, an emotionally flat, chronically dull marriage signals the need for positive steps toward building intimacy, injecting new life into the relationship. Recently I read of a young husband who said within a note of despair, “My wife and I have already lost touch with each other.” It was a graphic description of their lack of intimacy, for to experience intimacy is to touch — emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

CHERISH HER: By that, I mean a husband who cherishes his wife and a wife who recognizes it. A Christ reflecting husband allows his wife to see and hear that he cherishes her and delights in her as a person. Here are some of the strands that make up the bond of intimacy between a husband and wife. They are given in no particular order, and you may have others of your own to add. A Biblical marriage as described and designed by God has physical touching of an affectionate nature; there will also be honest and vulnerably shared feelings; this leads to increased closeness and open communication and honesty; in the process of discussion there will be intellectual agreement on major issues; which fosters spiritual harmony; which encourages sensitive appreciation of your mate’s physical and emotional responses; this strengthens the discovery of similar values held; so that there can be even more imparted secrets; which leads to a life long delight in a helper God designed to hare all of your life in whom you have a genuine understanding of their goals, plans, desires, feeling, and fears!

PROTECT HER: A Christ-reflecting husband shows that he understands his wife by protecting her in areas of limitations.

NOTICE HER: A Christ-reflecting husband enjoys setting quality time aside for intimate conversation with his wife so she knows that he is aware of her presence even when his mind is on other matters.

SACRIFICE FOR HER: A Christ-reflecting husband is willing to serve his wife in encouraging and regular ways.

FEED HER: A Christ reflecting husband can be heard reading the Word of God to his wife. He is the one who initiates God’s Word into the cycle of daily life.

LOVE HER: A Christ-reflecting husband understands that one of the most vital aspects of marriage is intimacy. And that is the key to the great joy of married life which is sex. Always remember that sex is beautiful and godly because the Lord designed it, commanded it, and blesses it. The Lord even inspired Solomon to use sexual terms to help us understand the beauty of Christ’s love for His Bride. If you have a wrong view of marital sexual relationships you will have an unsatisfying marriage, an unfruitful personal life, and an unfulfilled family. A passage to understand how to really love your wife is: “When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken” (Deuteronomy 24:5). This is often called the “newlywed verse.” Note the “cheer up,” which means “discover how to please her.” It is essential to remember that marital dullness is not confined to middle and later years; indeed it can and does occur in the first year of marriage and sometimes sadly, it stays that way.

So, when your life is done, and you look back on those last few weeks or months that you have before cancer, or heart or respiratory problems overtake you – will you regret these days of your marriage and family?

Will you be saddened at what you neglected when you remember these days?

Will you be saddened at what your legacy through your family has become when you see what your children are doing?

Or will these have been the greatest years of your life?