There is a longing within the heart of every woman to experience a love that touches the deepest parts of her being. She wants to know a love that makes her feel secure, free, inspired, accepted, rescued, and adored. When she experiences that kind of love, her heart comes alive. That kind of love and so much more exists within the heart of God for her. Jesus expressed the heart, desire, and love of God for man and woman on the cross. As a woman intimately experiences the depths of that love, her heart can be set free to love in the same way. For a wife this becomes the source of her passion as she loves her husband.
22 Wives, yield to your husbands, as you do to the Lord, 23 because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. And he is the Savior of the body, which is the church. 24 As the church yields to Christ, so you wives should yield to your husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:22-24 New Century Version
31 The Scripture says, “So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.” 32 That secret is very important—I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 But each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:31-33 New Century Version
The marriage relationship can be one of the most powerful pictures of the relationship between Christ and His bride. The husband demonstrates the overflowing, initiating, and one-way love of God. Love, truth, mercy, grace all flow from Him without need for anything in return. He is and needs nothing for what He gives. He delights in what giving and loving. The grace-driven husband pictures the heart and actions of Christ for the one he loves.
The grace-driven wife has an equally powerful role in demonstrating the wonder of God in her marriage. She pictures the joy of receiving grace. By design, women have a greater capacity for demonstrating this love than men. As she experiences the unfathomable depths of God’s love for her in Christ, she can express that love to the one she has been made one with. She will yield and love her husband as she does to the Lord. As a grace-driven wife, she can love like this:
- She can overflow with gratefulness because of what she is receiving from God
The wife that is experiencing the grace of God in forgiveness and knowing she has been made righteous by Him through faith has a powerful capacity to love. The more she receives the more she can give. She has been made beautiful by Him and as a result, she overflows with gratefulness. This becomes a powerful force in her marriage. With her deepest needs met, she can love her husband without expectation for him to meet those needs. She is free to be grateful instead of demanding. She can be appreciative instead of complaining. She can love from a full heart.
- She is passionate about reminding her husband of who he is in Christ
Jesus said that the one who experiences life in Him will have ignited within are wellspring of that life. A wife that is experiencing love is filled with desire to love. She knows the wonder of being free and wants others to know that same freedom. She is most passionate about her husband knowing that freedom. She knows where he struggles, what he fears, and what he tells few others. She knows when he needs to be encouraged and she overwhelms him with her words of hope, love, and praise.
- She is driven to help her husband know how much he is admired, respected, and appreciated
The book of Proverbs in Scripture says that one of the most distasteful things a wife can do is to complain. It says that a wife that is demanding, critical, and ungrateful is like a dripping faucet! A wife whose heart is filled from God however is free to express the kind of love that truly ignites the heart of a man. A man’s heart thrives on admiration, respect, and appreciation. He runs to it. He relishes in it. He inhabits praises that come to him. The grace-driven wife gives admiration, respect, and appreciation not because of what her husband has done, but because of what she has experienced in Christ. She gives what is needed from what she receives in her own heart.
- She is able to serve and give herself away without expectation of return
The purest demonstration of love is one that is given with no demands. Love that comes with expectation of getting something in return is not sincere. Love that is withheld until it gets what it wants is not love. The most beautiful love from a man or a woman is one-way love without demands or expectation. The grace-driven wife sets her husband free having to do anything to earn or payback her love.
- She is free to help her husband experience the ecstatic heights of being loved
The intimacy of heart and body is one of the delights of married love. The wife that is free in heart from fear, guilt, expectation, and comparison is able to extravagantly give herself to the enjoyment of intimacy. She is also free and passionate about helping her husband experience unimaginable heights of that intimacy. It is not a duty, it is her delight. She finds joy in receiving delight and in bringing delight.
- She avoids complaining and criticism because they hinder her husband from being free
With overflowing love in her heart, the grace-driven wife considers all she says and does in relating to her husband. She knows that what breaks his heart most are words of complaint and criticism. She eliminates sarcasm, insults, and condemnation from her vocabulary and tone. She does so not out of fear, not out of what benefit it may bring her, or not out of duty for God. She delights in the rearrangement of her vocabulary. She delights in speaking words of love.
- She can freely expose her heart
Many women struggle with completely opening their heart to their husband and sometimes rightfully so. A grace-driven wife’s trust however is not based on the strengths of her husband. She has found her identity in the One who will never leave her, forsake her, or condemn her. Because she trusts Him and rests confidently in who she is in Him, she can take risks to open her heart to her husband. She can talk about her hurts, fears, longings, and questions without fear. She can express her joys and delights because she ultimately knows she has found a space of grace in Christ.
Find out what a Grace-Driven Husband looks like here: Grace-Driven Husband