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The Bible has a lot to say about loving one's spouse: General guiding principles: The relational principles written for all Christians in the "Love Chapter" should be held most dearly by married couples: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Following these simple rules helps to create a foundation of mutual love, concern, respect, sacrifice, and caring for each other. Take these to heart, apply them daily as you relate to your spouse, and you're off to a fantastic start. Heart attitude: The "submit" passage in Ephesians 5: 22-24 is well-known and often quoted for its instruction to wives to submit to their husbands, but the verses immediately following these make it clear that the right to be head of the home comes with a hefty responsibility for husbands to bear: Verses 25-33 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. The word for "love" used over and over again in this passage in the Greek is "agapaō." This is the same word used in many places in the Bible to describe giving oneself to another in generous, devotional, sacrificial love. It's the same word used in Matthew 22:37, which charges us, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." As for the wife, we see in Ephesians 5:33 that a woman is to respect her husband as she submits to him. It's one thing to submit, and it's another thing entirely to submit with a true attitude of love, honor and respect. Another interesting charge to women is found in Titus 2: 3b-5 "They [referring to the "older women"] are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love [emphasis mine] their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." The two words used here for loving one's husband and children are unique, not used anywhere else in the Bible. This should indicate to us that the kind of love a woman has to give to her husband is a fierce, constant, love like no other, and reserved only for him. This particular love word is "philandros," derived from 'philos' and 'aner'; in essence it means, "fond of man," i.e. affectionate as a wife; love their husbands. Physical relationship: The Bible strongly encourages a healthy sexual relationship between husbands and wives: 1 Corinthians 7: 3-5 "The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband... Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self control." I hope this helps.
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