I read an article recently that touched me deeply; it also prompted me to try to be a more demonstrative husband. That of which I was reminded I would like to pass along to others who may need a little nudge as well.
A delightful Christian lady in another state wrote an excellent article in which she discussed the fact that many men have a difficult time verbally expressing their emotions. She quoted the well-known quip of the wife who complained to her husband that he never told her that he loved her, and she wanted to hear that. He is reputed to have said, “I told you I loved you when we got married; if I ever change my mind, I’ll let you know.”
She commented that she was not complaining about her own mate; she declared that he was attentive to her emotional needs. But she related an incident that occurred in an entirely “non-romantic” setting that moved her more deeply than a dozen “I love yous” might have done.
One day they were in an auto store, and he wanted to look at tires. As she tagged along, he went directly to the rack that contained Michelin, Steel-belted, Radial tires.They looked like just any other tires to her—round and black! She asked him, perhaps with some degree of consternation: “Why are you buying the most expensive tires in the whole store?”
“Honey,” he replied, “these are for your car. I want the safest tires available for your car.” She related how deeply those rather matter-of-fact words penetrated her heart. The dear lady said that her husband could have said, “I love you” ten times that day, and it would not have meant as much to her as, “Honey, these are for your car.”
My father’s side of my family was never very affectionate outwardly. They loved one another (I never remember a family feud), but when they came together on special occasions, they just shook hands. My dad did the same to me; it was the “Jackson” way.
When my sweet wife and I married, I had to learn to be more demonstrative. For years Betty nicknamed me “Kawlijah,” after the “wooden Indian” who “never said a word” in Hank Williams song of that title. I am far from perfect now, but I’ve learned to do better.
I do not understand men who treat their wives so indifferently, much less those who deliberately wound them with insulting words or actually assault them physically. And some men of this temperament profess to be Christians!
They are not remotely so. Such men do not deserve a godly wife; they haven’t the faintest concept of Paul’s admonition: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it.” Later the apostle said that a husband should love his wife “as his own body” (Ephesians 5:25-29). If some husbands treated their own bodies no better than they do their wives, what emaciated wretches they would be.
Many a woman who has been mistreated by her husband eventually has had her fill and, in weakness, seeks a new man whom she believes will treat her lovingly — even though perhaps she had no scriptural right to marry (Matthew 19:9).
The forsaken husband then imagines he is justified in finding himself another woman. What about that situation? He has no more right to another wife than if he had been an adulterer. Husbands need to let their wives feel loved—both in word and deed.