Keith Wishum: After you say, ‘I do’
When Larry and Susan’s barn burned down, Susan called the insurance company. She explained to the agent, “We had that barn insured for 50,000 and I want my money.”
Her agent replied, “Wait a minute, Susan. It doesn’t work quite like that. We’ll determine the value of the old barn and provide you with a new one of comparable worth.”
After a long silence. Susan finally sighed, “In that case, I’d like to cancel the policy on my husband.”
Husbands, what are you worth to your wives? Would you like to increase your value?
Proverbs 3 tells us that God’s wisdom holds the key for us to live long and prosperous lives. Part of that wisdom includes guidance on how to keep your honey happy. (And you already know: “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”)
How do we make our wives happy? Love them. Simple enough, but also so very important. “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up,” we’re told in Proverbs 30:21. One of those four earth-shaking calamities is: “an unloved woman who is married” (v. 23).
Loving your wife is not just a matter of muttering the words. God tells us to “Love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). To make sure we don’t miss the point, God put the instructions another way. “Husbands” he says, “ought to love their wives as their own bodies” (5:28). Just as we make sure we’re comfortable and content, we should sacrifice ourselves to do the same for our wives.
Loving our wives really is much more than a matter of words. But the words also matter. Not only should we whisper words of love to our wives, but we should also sing her praises in public. “Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate,” Proverbs 31:31 advises.
Be quick to praise the good traits of your wife. (If nothing else, she was kind enough to marry you!) If you can’t remember the last time your wife heard you bragging on her to your friends, then it’s been too long.
You don’t have to love your wife. You don’t have to give yourself up for her or praise her. You only have to do those things for your wife if you want to keep her.
Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church of Christ, Americus.