Many women ask this question “Why doesn’t my husband love me anymore?” sometime after they get married. But you will never get the answers you seek until you first understand that you are asking the wrong question.
The question you are really asking is “Why doesn’t my husband show me affection anymore?”
You may be scratching your head now – maybe you are thinking something like “Affection and love are the same thing! – if you love someone you are affectionate towards them!”
But that is not actually true. There are many ways that a person can love someone and many ways that a person can show love toward someone.
The four types of Biblical love
Storge Love is the instinctual family love that a parent has for a child, a child has for a parent and a sibling has for their other siblings. You don’t choose to love your blood – it is hardwired into you by God. Now that does not mean you are always fond of your blood, but deep down you love them and will do things for them because they are your blood.
Agape Love is a love based in choice. It is when we choose to love someone not because of instinct or because of feelings that this person by their actions or their attributes generate in us. We agape love someone because we have made a commitment to perform certain acts of love toward this person.
Phileo Love is a love based in friendship or affection depending on its context.
In the sense that it is commanded toward our brothers and sisters in Christ along with agape love it is a call to be friendly and kind toward our brethren.
But there is a second sense of phileo that is a conditional type of love. Affection comes from this type of phileo love and it is feelings of affection in response to the actions or attributes of the person who is the object of affection.
Phileo love can actually be joined with family love – philostorgos to indicate a special fondness for a family member in response to the attributes or actions of that family member.
Eros Love is really a specific sexual type of phileo love and in Greek literature outside the Bible phileo love and eros love would be used interchangeably to talk about the feelings between two lovers. It is a sexual love that is in direct response to sexual attraction. While eros love is never mentioned in the New Testament, it is fully demonstrated throughout the entire book of the Song of Solomon.
The difference between Agape love and Phileo love demonstrated in God’s love
“For God so loved [agape] the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV)
Before the foundation of the world God unconditionally committed to love his future creation in mankind. He knew that man would fall into sin and need a savior and he planned to send his Son as the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. This is a demonstration of God’s agape love – his love based on his choice and in his will, not in his emotion.
But God’s phileo love (his affectionate love)is a love that is in direct response to our love and actions toward him.
“For the Father himself loveth[Phileo] you, because ye have loved[Phileo] me, and have believed that I came out from God.” – John 16:27 (KJV)
So we see here in John 16:27 that God the Father’s affectionate love toward his disciples was in response to their affection for Christ and the actions of belief toward him.
So it is absolutely Biblically correct to say that in one way God loves all mankind (agape) but in another way his love is only in response to our loving acts toward him (phileo).
Another way of stating this Biblical truth about love is that God loves all people but he is not affectionate toward all people because not everyone acts in love toward him.
So as a woman if you want your husband to be more affectionate or are wondering why he is not as affectionate as he once was you must first accept this simple truth:
The affectionate type of love you are seeking from your husband is a feelings based and conditional love that is directly in response to your actions toward him.
So the next question you might ask is “What did I do toward him before when he used to be affectionate toward me?”
Measuring WHY your husband shows affection now against WHY he did in the early relationship phase is a mistake
Often women try to look back at the conditions of their relationship when they were dating, engaged and or perhaps newlyweds.
“I didn’t have to do a thing to get his affection when we were dating. He said affectionate things to me all the time. He did affectionate things for me all the time. He loved me just for being me.” – This or something like it is what you might be thinking.
Yes when you were dating, engaged or perhaps even newlyweds he made all these grand gestures and statements of affection for you. He may have seemed to worship the very ground you walked on and you did not have to do a thing to get this affection – it seemed like unconditional love.
But this was not agape unconditional love as much as you want to believe it was. It was phileo love – feelings based love.
Ladies since we know that phileo love in the context of a romantic relationship between a man and woman is a responsive love – what was your husband responding to? What generated his phileo love for you and the corresponding acts of affection that came with it?
For most men the initial spark of his phileo love was probably based in his eros love(a type of phileo love) when he initially saw you and was sexually attracted to you.
So literally you did not have to do a thing for him to fall in phileo love with you at first sight!
Then after he got to know you, liked your personality and he found things in common with you then his phileo love for you grew in anticipation of a future permanent relationship. Again you may have done little to nothing to fuel this love. It was simply your attributes (physical and personality) and the possibility of a future permanent relationship that fueled is his feelings of affection for you.
But these conditions no longer exist.
Whether you have been married 6 months, 6 years or 16 years you may never be able to get your husband to show you the kind of affection he did in your early relationship simply based on your physical attributes and your personality.
Measuring HOW your husband shows affection now against HOW he did in the early relationship phase is also a mistake
Not only do many women falsely measure the conditions for WHY their husband showed them affection in their early relationship but the next big mistake is in comparing HOW he showed affection in the newness phase of their relationship.
How your husband showed you affection in the early days of your relationship cannot be the measure by which you judge his affection after your relationship moved out of that newness phase. In most relationships that was temporary insanity on the part of the man. Does the phrase “I am crazy for you!” ring any bells?
Many women live their whole lives in the past – longing for the days when their husbands first met them and adored them and lavished all kinds of affection on them. Basically they are living and longing for something that was temporary. Women also do this even with their bodies living in the past of what their body used to look like and never coming to an acceptance of the natural aging process.
As a woman you will never find happiness and contentment in your marriage until you accept that as relationships mature and as your body matures things change.
In fact is its because of this longing for the past that some women get drastic cosmetic surgeries as they age and they divorce their husbands longing for the thrills of adoration and affection they experienced during their early relationship with their husband.
But you know what they find? Not long after they are married again to a new man the affection and feelings of the relationship when it was brand new go away. This is one of the main reasons that almost 70 percent of divorces today are filed by women. They continually seeking a type of affection that is temporary and does not last.
Your husband may still have phileo love for you but you don’t recognize it
The truth is that most men when they move out of the newness phase of a relationship and regain their sanity go back to normal male operations. Men are not as naturally affectionate as women are. Even the way that men show affection is often very different than women.
While many men verbally communicate their feelings of affection during the newness phase of a relationship this is NOT the norm of how men operate.
While women primarily communicate their feelings with words, men on the other hand primarily communicate their feelings with actions. This is something that for most women does not compute – but it is a fact. The rare women who come to accept this fact in many cases end up having happier marriages and they typically don’t have the unmet expectations that other women do.
Let me just stop here and say I am not saying it is right for a man to never tell his wife that he loves her. Men need to do that. Men need to tell their wives and children that they love them on a regular basis. It takes intentionality and it takes men coming out of their comfort zone, but it needs to happen.
Ok back to you ladies. So perhaps your husband was showing you affection through his actions and you did not notice it. Maybe it was those times he saw you were overwhelmed and went and did a couple loads of laundry. Maybe it was when he stepped in the kitchen and did the dishes. Maybe it was that night he came home from work and saw that you were overwhelmed and took you and the kids out to dinner. There are so many things like this that men do each and every day that in their minds are acts of affection toward their wives but these things go unnoticed by many women.
He only touches me when he wants sex!
Most men are typically not physically affectionate unless they want sex. It is hardwired into men. Are there exceptions where men are more emotional and/or touchy without it turning into sex? Yes. But these men are rare.
For most men the equation goes like this:
Physical affection = Time to have sex
I realize as a woman you might hate this. Many women complain about this. Some wives eventually figure out this equation and stop giving their husband physical affection because they know where it will lead (and this is very wrong by the way).
“Why can’t he touch me or I touch him without it every time having to turn into us having to have sex? I feel so used.” – This is a thought that may have crossed your mind as it has the minds of millions of women before you.
Let me try and convey this truth in a way that will make sense to you as a woman.
For you verbal communication, emotional connection and words of affection may or may NOT lead to you having a desire to have sex with your husband. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. Sometimes you just want to talk, cuddle up and then go to sleep together – no sex is needed.
But imagine on one of those occasions where your husband was talking with you and you were emotionally connecting with him and then that caused you to have a strong a desire to have sex with him. He massages your neck and shoulders which just turns you on more. Then he just stops and moves on to something else or if you are in bed he kisses you goodnight and rolls over and goes to sleep. How frustrated would you be at that point with your desire burning red hot?
Now take that feeling of frustration and realize that for a lot of men EVERY time there is any kind of physical affection (hugs, cuddling, kissing, you sit on his lap…etc.) he is instantly turned on and ready to go. What happens for you on occasion and takes time to build happens to him in EVERY intimate touch between the two of you.
In fact you may have done nothing at all and not even touched him but just from him having a sexual thought he might be hot for you so he comes over and starts touching you.
In either case, whether you initiated the physical affection or he did asking men to separate physical affection with their wife from sex is a very difficult thing for a man to do- it feels unnatural to a man to separate these two things when it comes to his wife.
I am not saying it is impossible for a man not to have sex with his wife every time they have an intimate touch or embrace. Many men practice restraint in this way all the time. I am not even saying that men should not practice a little restraint in this area. But the key phrase is “a little”. A married man most of the time should be able to act on his desires to have sex with his wife. If that is every day, or every other day then so be it.
And on those occasions when your husband does show you affection without going for sex as women you need to realize how much your husband is sacrificing when he does this. He is literally resisting every fiber of his being telling him to have sex. And no it is NOT selfishness on his part – it is by the design of God.
“Well just because it is hard for men to do, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it!”
There are a great deal of people (even men who beat themselves up for the approval of women) that think men just need to be “civilized” and “reprogrammed”. Men need to be “more verbal and vulnerable with their emotions like women and they need to tone down the physical side of their sexual natures and embrace a more emotional sexual nature like that of a woman”. In short – men just need to be more like women and we would have better marriages.
There are a lot of marriage books, even Christian marriage books that are teaching this today. Very few will come right out and say men need to be more like women in their approach to relationships, but most of them simply reword this and do it in a more subtle way. But make no mistake this false teaching is being heavily propagated in marriage counseling books and sessions across America.
To that every man in this world should say “BOLGANA”! Especially Christian men who know that God created men and women with distinct and very different natures for his purposes and his design.
No my friends – what is called for is not for men to become more like women, but rather what God calls for is for us to UNDERSTAND and ACCEPT the differences in our male and female natures.
So if you realize that your husband does in fact show you signs of affection you were not seeing as signs of affection then this is what you must do. You must learn to accept the way he now shows you affection rather than longing for the days when your relationship was new and he was in crazy mode. People who are stuck in the past can never move forward.
But what if there are truly are no signs of affection that you can see? How do you go about creating the conditions that might lead to rekindling his affection for you?
5 Changes you can make that might rekindle your husband’s phileo love for you
You used to be able to win your husband’s affection based on your good looks and personality alone. Basically you had do next nothing to get his affection but breathe and be his girlfriend. But once a relationship moves past the new phase your actions toward him now become the basis for his phileo love for you rather than your physical attributes and personality alone.
Respect your husband
Do you find yourself constantly questioning and fighting with your husband? Do you speak disrespectfully to him especially in front of others? Do you find yourself criticizing him and telling him where you think he fails or could do better on a regular basis? All of these behaviors can make a man feel disrespected and will definitely kill his phileo love and affection toward you.
If you have body acceptance issues – deal with them
Many women whether it is just a year or so, or several years after marriage begin to have body acceptance issues. They may gain some weight before or after having children. They may develop lose skin or cellulite. They long for the days when they had smooth skin over 100 percent of their body and no rolls and no defects.
But let me tell you a secret ladies – most men do NOT care about these imperfections in their wife’s bodies. That is why a famous song says that a man loves his woman’s “perfect imperfections”. If you have body acceptance issues this will greatly affect every area of your marriage. It will affect the next three things we will address regarding how you dress, how you undress and how you give your body to your husband.
Those next areas we will discuss are absolutely critical to instilling genuine affection in your husband toward you.
How you dress matters
As I said many times previously your physical attributes will not win his affection on their own. However that does not mean they are not still a vital part of generating phileo love in your husband. Are you wearing sweats and big tee shirts all the time? Get clothes that flatter your figure. Get your hair done and if you need makeup then put it on. Dress to impress your husband!
How you undress matters
Has your lingerie been collecting dust for months or even years? Get it out, wash it and put it on for your man. Women don’t realize how important lingerie is to most men – when you present your body to your husband in lingerie it is like holding up a sign that says “I am yours”.
How you give your husband your body matters
Even if you don’t sexually deny your husband – are you enthusiastic about sex with him? Do you find yourself swatting his hands away on a regular basis? Do you have all kinds of restricted areas on your body? Like “you can touch here, but not there”. Do you make your husband have sex in the dark?
Putting all kinds of restrictions on how, where and when your husband can touch and see your body is a sure fire way to kill your husband’s phileo love and affection for you.
Ladies let me say one last thing here on freely and willingly giving your body to your husband which is a requirement by God (I Corinthians 7:4) of both men and women in a marriage. This is going to be a blunt statement but it must be said.
Just spreading your legs does not fulfill the requirement to give your husband your body.
Your entire body, from head to toe belongs to your husband. That means if your husband wants to touch your butt he can touch your butt. If he wants to come up behind you in the kitchen and cup your breasts in his hands that is his right given to him by God. It is not right for you to limit sexual activity with your husband to his penis and your vagina. I warned you that I was going to be blunt – and I was!
Now should men exercise sensitivity in this area toward their wives? Absolutely! Men should be sensitive to things like time and place. A man cupping his wife’s breasts in the kitchen may be ok when no one is around but he should not be grabbing her breasts when they have company. Also men should take into account that there are certain times of the month where areas of a woman’s body may be more sensitive. When trying out new sexual things in the bedroom this should also be approached with sensitivity and gentleness.
If you as a wife need to move your husbands hands away for legitimate reasons – this should always be done in gentleness and with kind words to him that let him know your body still belongs to him, but this is just not the time and place.
Maybe your husband loves you dearly but he is simply not showing it in ways he did when you were first dating. If he never tells you he loves you then maybe gently and respectfully approach this with him. Don’t condemn him, and acknowledge that you know how hard it is for him as a man to verbally express his feelings – but you need to hear those magic words “I love you” and so will your kids. Maybe he never compliments you what you cook or what you wear and you need to hear that. Just gently let him know that little compliments will go a long way in making you feel loved.
But if your husband does tell you that he loves and does give you compliments but you want grander acts and words of affection because you are living in the past when you were first dated then it might be you that needs to make a change and accept how you husband shows you affection now verses how he showed you affection then.
Perhaps you realize that yes you are getting zero signs of affection from him and you are not doing those 5 things I mentioned earlier to generate affectionate love in your husband. If you are not then you need to get on it.
It’s may take some hard mental changes for you to do those 5 things. But in the end it will be worth it when reap the affection that you have sown in your husband’s heart by doing these things.
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” – II Corinthians 9:6 (KJV)
34 thoughts on “Why doesn’t my husband love me anymore?”
I think, unfortunately, a lot of the issues discussed here are known by women (and men), but many times it boils down to “You do it first.”. One party is not willing to take the necessary steps to rekindle that affection because they are angry and hurt and feel the other should take the first steps.
I think a lot of women feel that their husbands don’t do enough to show their affection and, because of this, stop showing admiration towards their husbands themselves. Even if their husband brings it to their attention the general consensus is “You start first!”. This is not only a natural reaction (by both sexes), but one that is pushed by a lot of modern churches that continually push the concept that men should be consistently and constantly woo’ing their wives. Trust me, it was a lot of work getting her to marry me, and now you are telling me that I need to go through all that again EVERY DAY? It’s no wonder so many men seemingly give up. Between work, house work, kids, other obligations and wife it can seem like a no-win situation if men feel like they must win their wives love every day or take her out for a date every weekend.
Remember, ladies, your husbands LOVE you every day. That’s why they get up before the sun and go to work in freezing/scorching weather or in places where they don’t like people and people don’t like them. Affection, unfortunately, gets put on the back burner of the mind, but it is surprisingly simple for wives to bring to the forefront without complaining or nagging. Simply be lovely! Throw on a little of the ‘girlfriend experience’ and, though it may not happen right away, he will eventually find himself wondering what he can do for you, since you are now constantly on his mind. Also, be accepting of the affection he shows you. If he only takes you out once for the month, be appreciative. Maybe he has a lot on his mind and little in his pocket, but does what he can.
I have been sick this week and feel like my post isn’t making much sense, but I will post it anyway.
This is a fabulous post, and I also think that SnapperTrx was onto something with the whole ‘you go first’ idea. If I might re-phrase the original question one more time, I might switch it to “why doesn’t he make me feel loved anymore”. A thought that I had (that has been immensely helpful for me and Tobias) is to learn the 5 love languages and order them for your SO. Like most things, we discovered that our love languages were practically in opposite order with each person’s main language being the other person’s last. Finding ways to harp on the most important love language will go a long ways towards making the other person feel loved. For Tobias, all he needs is to give me a hug or cuddle during a movie, etc. I don’t mind hearing all about why he loves me, or gifts, or what not, but I don’t need those to feel loved. For him, if i get a card or something cheap and hide it in the apartment for him to stumble upon, he loves it. However, while it’s important to learn to speak a spouse’s love language, it’s also important to identify when the other person is showing love through their’s. I can’t help but hug Tobias when I’m feeling extra affectionate towards him and he can’t turn down inexpensive gifts he sees while out at the store. It has helped both of us to link those actions with expressions of love from the other person. A common mistake people make is assume that a strong sexual desire is the same as having physical touch be their love language, and those two should be separated.
I think it also helps ladies to remember what their goal here is. Is their goal to check off ‘had sex’ on their to-do list? To make themselves feel sexy and desirable? To convince their husbands to show more love? Or is their focus more on their husbands and how they can best meet their sexual needs so he lives a sexually fulfilled life. If a husband loves lingerie, it will be natural for a husband-focused wife (which in this instance really is focusing on God, too) to invest in some nice lingerie and utilize it. Similarly, if a husband loves his wife’s boobs or enjoys daily sex, than that should become natural for a wife who is focused on her husband. This was a crucial thing for me to learn early on in my marriage because my husband does not require daily sex and is not immediately turned on by things like kissing, cuddling, etc. (they do work, but generally require him to be at least a little in the mood first). One of my coworkers talked about how she liked to cut her husband off from sex routinely cuz “it’s fun to watch him squirm”. While that seemed wrong to me, I could understand the desire to watch someone be so sexually attracted to you they could hardly stand it. I told Tobias (tearfully) that evening that I couldn’t understand why it seemed like he was less attracted to me than the other man was to his wife, when I was trying to do the right thing and she was blatantly sinning. He told me that he (Tobias) acted like a sexually fulfilled man while the other man acted like somebody who was never sexually fulfilled and as a result was constantly grasping for whatever did or did not come his way. That one conversation really helped me and i haven’t struggled with that since (it is unusual for an issue like that to be resolved entirely in one conversation). Instead of thinking “my husband is not as desperate for me” i was able to think “my husband is sexually fulfilled and satisfied by and with me”. Some women might have the opposite problem that I did, but regardless, I think keeping the focus on ensuring your husband is sexually fulfilled is good.
I disagree anna. Nothing would show lve to le more than my wife initiating by getting on her knees in front of me with a big smile on her face. I ve asked several times. Its never once happened 20 years. Believe me she knows the way to show me love is emptying my $alls and filling my belly. She is a typical christian women… She has a feminist bent.
I guess I am one of the rare husbands. I love to do all kinds of physical nonsexual things with my wife as well as have sex. My wife passively allows me to hug her and kiss her. She prefers that I do not touch her, but she allows it. She is also passive sexually (now that we are past our problem of no sex, from a couple months ago). She is not interested in sex and is unenthusiastic but allows me to have her. She would not have sex if I did not ask for it and she has never initiated sex with me. This is not a complaint as it is better now that it has ever been in over two years of marriage including our honeymoon. We had sex one time, the whole second year of our marriage though I must have asked over one hundred times. Now I get scheduled sex twice a week and it is much better than no sex at all. I could have sex at least once a day.
I am also very attracted to dresses/skirts and lingerie. She never wears any of that despite me asking her to do that many times. She refuses to wear the lingerie she bought for our wedding night in Hawaii, since the night of our wedding. Her underwear is plain and cotton. Even in anticipation of sex, she will not change into anything sexy.
I desire to have long make-out sessions with deep kisses and she is not interested though she may give in to that and passively be part of it. I am not even asking for sex to be connected to these make out sessions, though that would be nice.
We have a garage and she will not even go to the back seat with me while the car is in the garage with the garage door closed.
We could have so much fun and passion but she is not interested. It is sad to think about what we could have and that it is missed by me.
No you are in the norm. What youve described is so normal there is a term…. AWALT. All Women Are Like That. The rare outliers or the ones who are true christian women (follow the commands of the bible and not their heart), but they are the exception and not the rule.
On many womens blogs and christian blogs you will read that its your fault no matter what you do or say.
I and many others have kids and will stick it out. if i didnt have kids i would have been gone in a flash. Your situation is not unique. Women say and men do. Women complain and men comply. Believe what women do not what they say.
My theory goes back to the garden. Women deceive themselves and others and then they deny. They rationalize what they do/did is not sin. Men rationalize why they do/did the sin. This is where women ars weaker. Youll hear pastors make it sound as if they are only physically weaker or that they are just soft hearted and therefore weaker. Women are just as cold hearted and calculated as men, its just that the christian community chooses to ignore this because they have bought into the lie and they know who typically controls the purse strings and makes the decision on church attendance. Thus they pander to the females… Uh christian feminist or simply the female imperative.
You are not so rare, actually. I would bet good money that most husbands enjoy non-sexual activities with their wives. I mean, what were you doing while you were dating? A lot of non-sexual activities, no doubt. The problem you have is a common one, though. Husbands who enthusiastically participate in their wives non-sexual activities, but who’s enthusiasm is not returned during sexual activities. Husbands who enthusiastically participate in a day of hiking, biking or shopping are met with sighs, eye-rolls and “can we just get this over with” later in the bedroom. It’s frustrating for men because we are put in an awkward position. We need sexual release, but now we feel bad because the wife just doesn’t seem to enjoy it, and at the same time we are angry because there’s no real fun in “starfish sex” (you know, where she just lays there, very inactive, and just lets you do your thing).
I wish I had something to recommend to you beyond the typical lift weights, eat right, generate passive dread, but if your wife is that cold I really don’t even know if that would work. And since men have almost zero leverage against their wives nowadays, beyond the previous prescription, you may be stuck.
Then again, you’d be surprised how women react when they see another woman eyeballing their man.
A few points of amplification, a woman who is dating exists in a completely different state than a wife. A wife has made vows, been made one with her husband by God, has been released from her father’s care and that care is transferred to her husband, she is no longer perused as a perspective wife, but now is to fulfill the duties of a wife. Likewise a man shifts his goals toward the woman from a hunter to taking dominion, and protecting and providing for his family. Both the state of the husband and wife are fundamentally changed, the two have become one. Neither should expect that their approach to one another will not reflect that change, the desire to be perpetually perused can be avoidance of duty and acceptance of the new state of existence.
Part of that new existence is that another has sexual authority over your body. Men are wired to be constantly seeking sex, they can make babies every day of the month, whereas women have cycles of sexual interest and fertility. The female is vulnerable when pregnant and during the nursing years so she is programmed to seek able protectors and faithful providers. Once she is married she must stop seeking and stop fearing whether her husband is able to protect her or faithful to provide for her. There is no fitness testing allowed in her vows, she has already given authority of her body to the authority of her home. Both men and women should be taught to appreciate the innate differences of the sexes. Men should be taught to demonstrate their leadership and competency. Wives should be taught to respond positively to even the most modest demonstration of masculinity in her husband. When she responds positively the masculine traits increase.
Sexually speaking, when a woman responds passionately she will receive more affection. Men are always sexual so affection will always have a sexual component, but a man who is dazzled in bed will be more likely to postpone the coitus for a very long cycle of foreplay that may start with teasing language or a simple kiss. That kiss as he goes out the door to go to work is a down payment on a future one-flesh encounter. A wife may be sick and a husband will sit by her side and care for her in part because of gratitude for sex in the past and sex in the future. That has no affect on his general desire for her welfare he is loving her in both agape and philo with the constant eros riding shotgun. When a wife fails to respond to her husband’s sexual advances she is making it more difficult for him to philo her inspite of his choice to agape her.
A note to wives. It is not just your hand swatting that is killing affection, but making your self unattractive, (both physically and emotionally) being dispassionate in bed, failure to touch him sexually. If you avoid passionately touching his penis you are in his mind eviscerating his manhood. You are insulting him and even if you spread your legs you may still be hurting him at a deep emotional level. The marriage will suffer, affection will wane and every other stress will be amplified. Your husband will still agape you, but you have shut off the faucet to eros and phileo.
I’m not sure what we’re disagreeing on Jeff. There is definitely nothing wrong with the desire you discussed. Love languages are not meant to replace basic needs. This is part of why sex is separate from the love language of physical touch. If my husband hugged and cuddled with me a lot but refused to let me eat or sleep, of course that would not work. In the same way, if your wife speaks your love languages well but refuses to have sex with you in any meaningful way, that wouldn’t work either. So my point wasn’t that love languages were a way around fulfilling needs like sex, but that they could help somebody focus their attention. If my husband were to buy me expensive jewelry every single week, that would not mean as much to me as it does when he initiates hugs, or hand-holding, or just comes and stands near me in public. He in turn might be upset and feel like weekly jewelry just wasn’t enough for me and I would never be satisfied and nothing would ever be good enough. Love languages are a way for people to focus on a particular love language rather than feeling like they have to master all of them (and being confused as to why that’s not working).
I actually this is really not “You do it first” issue. I believe it is a matter of the world simply getting things backwards as it does many times.
As I said in this post, God’s agape love is unconditional. But his phileo love, his affectionate love , his emotional love for us to very much dependent on and in reaction to our loving acts toward him.
In all commands to husbands God calls men to agape love their wives, there is no command of Scripture for men to phileo love their wives. While women the one and ONLY place in all of Scripture that God calls women to love their husbands it is with phileo love.
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands[philandros], to love their children” – philandros is a very specific and special type of affectionate love between a wife and her husband. This word was put on tombstones of wives if they were considered a good and loving wife – and literally it meant “a lover of her husband”
In all the other instances were men are told to agape love their wives – in this same passages women are commanded to submit to and obey their husbands.
I don’t think it was some oversight that God told men to agape love their wives and told women to phileo love their husbands. The reason is that God knows that men are creatures of duty and action(which is at the core of agape love). God knows that women are creatures of feeling(emotion) so this is why he told them to phileo love their husbands. A woman when she resists her sinful nature is capable of showing empathy and affection toward her husband even if he is not as affectionate toward her as she would like. It is simply sinful pride that stops most women from showing their husbands the affectionate love that God commands them to. And women disobey this command to their own disadvantage because if they did as God said and “went first” in showing the affection then their husband would most likely respond in some type of affection(maybe not in all the ways they want though).
Based on all the witness of Scripture I believe this is the Biblical formula for the different types of love in marriage:
A husband unconditionally agape loves his wife(is kind to her, compassionate to her, provides for her physical needs, knows her(talks to her and spends time with her) and honors her as his wife.
A wife is to unconditionally reverence(respect) her husband’s position as her authority and master(Ephesians 5:33 & I Peter 3:5-6).
A husband and wife are both to unconditionally give their spouses power over their body for the purposes of sex(I Corinthians 7:4) but in most marriages it is not men that have issues fulfilling this command to fully give one’s body, but rather this is something that a woman’s sin nature gives her great difficulty in fulfilling.
I believe that if a husband does toward his wife what God requires him to do with a good heart and good attitude and wife does what tells her to do toward her husband with a good heart and good attitude then men will have a natural phileo love(affectionate love) response as God naturally responds in affectionate love to us when we obey his commands and love him as we should.
In summary – If a wife does what it required of God toward her husband then he will do what is not required and show her affectionate(phileo) love in response.
Hosea 2:14 speaks of God and his wife Israel when it writes “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”
Many Churches and Christian books have built false doctrines on this passage saying that God wants men to be continually woo’ing and winning their wives. But they ignore everything else God did toward his wife Israel.
Here is what we see in Scripture
1. God warns Israel that he will discipline her if she does not obey his commands and remain faithful to him.
2. Israel rebels against God.
3. God disciplines Israel by allowing her to attacked by her enemies(first level discipline)
4. God disciplines Israel by allowing her to conquered by and enslaved by her enemies(second level discipline)
5. God issues a final tender plea to Israel trying to persuade her to come back to him and will forgive all her harlotry.
6. God finally divorces Israel when she refuses his final attempt to give her a chance to repent.
Many of these false teachings in churches ignore points 3 and 4 and pretend that God did item 5 first and this is how husbands should regularly be with their wives.
I know this first hand as my first wife cheated on me twice and I had a divorce support group(run by a different church than I regularly attended) using this passage from Hosea to tell me I had to keep forgiving me my wife and that I needed to win her back like God did with Israel. That was perversion of what was happening their in Scripture and ignores the discipline of God and the eventual divorce of Israel.
“A thought that I had (that has been immensely helpful for me and Tobias) is to learn the 5 love languages and order them for your SO…
However, while it’s important to learn to speak a spouse’s love language, it’s also important to identify when the other person is showing love through their’s.”
I think the Five Love language book(and all the books inspired by it) have a good concept of studying your spouse to see what things make them feel loved. But as you pointed out it is also important to recognize when the other spouse is trying to show you love in their own way.
I have heard of some couples that have abused the Five love languages concepts and refuse to receive love from their spouse other than the particular ways they wish to receive it. For instance some men push themselves to do things like hugging their wives more(even if they are not touchy) but they would have a very hard time with the words of affirmation or praise.
Even if you take one like words of affirmation and praise this one really get’s abused sometimes. For instance maybe a wife makes a dinner and her husband intentionally says “Dinner was great babe” thinking he has given her words of affirmation. But she wants him to say things like “you are the best cook in the world and I would never want to eat anybody else’s cooking, there is nothing you make that I do not like”. She wants him to brag to his friends and family in front of them how great she is at various things. Those are not words of affirmation – those are words of flattery.
Some men are able to use big flattering words naturally while others are not. Many men do not have the gift of flattery and women simply have to accept this.
In the same way for men – some men wish their wives would “talk dirty” to them although I think that is bad phrase as it gives credence to the false teaching that sex is dirty. I prefer to translate “talking dirty” as “talking sexy”. Like when a woman whispers to her husband or texts him “when you get home I want to take your ______ and do _________ and this ______________.” Some women simply don’t have the gift and ability to this – even if they could do the actions themselves they can’t bring themselves to speak in these ways.
But as men if our wife is willing to freely give us her body but she can’t always talk and act they we want(in a sexy way) we have to accept that and not act like she is not trying to love us in the best way she can.
So we while we should try and speak our spouses love language, we also have to accept that our spouse may not be able to speak all our love languages or not in the way we wish they would. We have to see that they are trying to love us in other ways.
BGR, that is a very good point. I think good communication can help here as very few couples (if any) magically know exactly what to do/say to make their spouse happy at the beginning of a marriage. But I think people need to see the heart of the person communicating love (or trying to!) and accept that for what it is. It is much easier to show love to a person who is thankful and appreciative of efforts rather than someone who is grouchy and silent unless they get exactly what they were looking for.
I understand what you are saying, and I agree, I was merely commenting on the fact that, many times, when we hear of husbands or wives that are not getting or showing a lot of affection in their relationships, the response is “well if he/she would just…”. Instead of doing what we are commanded we want to show love and affection as a responsive action, rather than a proactive action.
Maybe someone can clear something up for me. Men need sex, yes? Men will seek to get sex because they are driven to do so (prostitutes, one night stands), yes? Married men state having sex with their wives is showing them they do love them. Why would a wife feel loved from sex knowing her husband needs sex and knowing men seek sex with women they obviously don’t love?
What are you misunderstanding is just because men are far more capable of separating sex from emotions(and the relational status of the person they are having sex with) does not mean men cannot also experience great emotional pleasure from having sex with a woman they truly care about and love.
Basically it goes like this for most men:
Masturbation – pleasurable, gives relief
Sex with a stranger – much more pleasurable because the physical and chemical connections
Sex with your girlfriend/wife – most pleasurable sex(emotional and physical) when she is happily interacting
If a girlfriend/wife is having sex with a bad attitude most men would rather masturbate or have sex with a stranger.
Now I don’t say any of this to say that having sex with prostitutes, strangers or girlfriends is right for a Christian because it is definitely not. I am just trying to put in perspective for you how sex with a man’s wife is different than with a prostitute or one night stands.
December, I agree with BGR, but I’d add that for most women, their husbands having sex with them is probably not the way they will feel the most loved. I think they can see the act of sex as their husband loving them and try to feel loved through that (as I elaborated on above), but men will also be wise to show love to their wives in other ways. I’m sure BGR would agree with this.
It might just be me, but I get a lot of happiness from knowing that my husband is attracted to me and enjoys me sexually. I honestly cannot understand why a woman would have a problem with her husband touching her butt/boob (time and a place for everything of course). My parents did not intend to raise me this way, but I definitely walked away with the concept that sex was dirty (and actively fought against that idea even though it was quite pervasive). Even then, I still wanted a man to enjoy my body and to be turned on by it even if the act itself grossed me out a little bit. I know there are plenty of women who don’t enjoy that and I’m not trying to deny that, I just don’t understand it. For women like me who dont’ struggle with this, it might be easier to tie sex into love a little more easily.
We as men must be honest with the fact that for most women while they may enjoy sex this is not the primary way they feel loved unlike for us it is critical part(but certainly not the only part) of how we feel loved. This means we definitely need to show our wives love outside the context of sex so we can make it easier for them to accept the act of sex from us as an act of love.
This really goes back to the love language discussion we were having and I totally get that physical touch(not sexual) and sex are different things. But the point that we both agreed on is that we need to also accept how our spouse shows love even if we do not interpret is as showing love.
What most women do not realize is God actually designed sex to be a mutually pleasurable event for both the man and the woman. God hardwired a man to seek a woman’s pleasure in sex. When a man stimulates a woman’s breasts, her clitoris and other areas of her body during sex this was meant to release oxytocin and dopamine throughout a woman’s body. But women can block this pleasure God meant them to receive when they listen to their sin nature which tells them “what did he do to earn this” or 1000 other things go through there minds. They literally deny themselves the pleasure God meant for them to have and an experience that is meant to draw a couple closer together by their own prideful thoughts.
“Maybe someone can clear something up for me. Men need sex, yes? Men will seek to get sex because they are driven to do so (prostitutes, one night stands), yes? Married men state having sex with their wives is showing them they do love them. Why would a wife feel loved from sex knowing her husband needs sex and knowing men seek sex with women they obviously don’t love?”
Women need money? They will seek money because they are driven to do so,(prostitution, sugar daddies) yes? Married women state that getting money from their husbands is showing them they do love them. Why would a husband feel loved from providing knowing his wife need money and knowing women seek money from men they obviously don’t love?
Agape is willful action not provoking feelings. If feelings are exalted to the rule of life an conduct, then the vows and duties of agape love are subject to phileo conditions and it is no longer agape love. Agape love acts despite feelings. If a wife does not feel loved and then refuses to agape her husband based on her feelings she has disavowed her wifely obligation and turned her husband over to be tempted by Satan. She is negotiating her price for her affection and is acting the part of the prostitute with feelings as the currency exchanged for sex.
Anna I agree. I guess my question is more towards men who say things like “I have sex with you, obviously I love you.” I’ve seen that similar mentality all over different blogs and comments. I agree that you obviously want your husband to find you attractive and this is probably where men and women are completely different because I don’t view my husband’s attraction to me as him loving me.
I don’t think men feel loved providing for their family. And I’m not saying women shouldn’t have sex when they don’t feel loved. But I can personally tell you that I feel used if my husband hasn’t bothered talking to me or doesn’t want to “deal” with foreplay (physical not chore play). Also bgr pointed out that women are to Phileo love not agape.
You say a woman’s entire body belongs to her husband, but in a previous post you say a woman doesn’t have to have anal sex. Doesn’t that reasoning apply to anal sex as well?
I’ll add a couple things to your post. My husband dislikes females who accessorize, wear high heels and dresses. Why? He views them as high maintenance in every sense of the word. We live in the Midwest and men thinking like that is common. Also my husband hates lingerie. He thinks it’s expensive and it “gets in the way” of what he wants.
All of my Christian friends, including myself who struggle with feeling loved struggle because of the duties you listed. Our husbands don’t want to spend time with us, they don’t want to talk with us, they don’t want foreplay and often they finish and we don’t.
I asked my husband if he could take a vacation day to go garage sale shopping for our kids clothes. He has three weeks of vacation a year. I wanted to go to a large city to find better clothes and am not good at driving in cities. He said no because he didn’t want to “waste” his vacation time on me. That was probably one of the most hurtful things he has ever said
Thank you for your clarification – now I understand much better what you were trying to ask.
Absolutely we as husbands must talk with and spend time with our wives(I Peter 3:7). I think in this arena of husband spending time with his wife there are typically two extremes:
1. A husband thinks he has to spend NO time with his wife.
2. A wife thinks that her husbands free time after work belongs to her and she will give him back the time she does not want. Basically this is where men have to constantly ask their wives for permission to engage in their hobbies or do other things with their free time.
The Biblical truth is that we as husbands and fathers(not our wives and children) are the stewards of the time God has given us. But God requires that we set aside some of our time(at our discretion) to spend with our wives and children.
From what you said about the shopping at garage sales – I have actually done that with my wife. And no it is not one my favorite activities but I have done it when she asked me nicely. For me my big thing is how my wife asks me, if she asks in a demanding way or a complaining way I will likely say no. If she asks in a kind a respectful way for me to do something like this – even something I don’t like to do I will most likely do it.
Now I don’t say all this to say I am a choir boy and I have never hurt my wife by finding something she wanted to do be stupid or a waste of time. It has happened. Sometimes we as men can be insensitive in these areas and only realize later what we did.
But I say all that to say I can completely understand why you may have hurt feelings over such an incident with your husband.
I have no doubt that in the same way women can be selfish by withholding their bodies men can be selfish to by not trying to please their wives in the sexual arena and other arenas(like talk and time). But now let’s take these three key areas you are expressing disatifaction with your husband on:
1. In the area of talk what are you looking for from him? Would you be happy if spend an half hour? or an hour a day taking to you? Are you looking for him to initiate conversations or just be receptive to listening to you and engaging you in conversation when you start it?
2. In the area of time what are you looking for from him? In what specific ways would you like him to spend time with you and how much time would that be per/day per/week?
3. In the area of sex have you spoken to him gently and kindly about taking more time to do foreplay? Does he even know what foreplay works for you? Do you understand and accept the reality that most women do not “finish”(have orgasms) through intercourse and that he will most likely need to use other means to help you finish?
I ask all these questions because often times women just “feel” a certain way but they have no specific game plan for how things might be better in these areas. Men need specific targets to aim at and women often don’t speak as directly(but gently and respectfully) as they should.
If you have specific answers to all these questions, and have directly,gently and respectfully communicated these things to your husband then you will need to leave these things in the Lord’s hands. This does not mean you can’t repeat some of these requests(for talk, time and sexual performance changes) from time to time – but don’t nag. Nagging and complaining will not get what you want.
And yes it is true that women are not commanded to agape their husbands. But their affectionate love, their phileo love which is how women love is commanded unconditionally. I know that may be hard to understand as phileo love is typically a conditional and responsive love. But what God is saying is “Ladies you know the natural empathetic and affectionate nature I have given you? I want you to unconditionally use those gifts of empathy and affection in a special way toward your children and your husband”.
Let me try and put this another way(which may confuse you even more) but is Biblically true:
Women are to love their husbands and their children with their feelings, despite their feelings.
And on the issue of agape love, I think on a general level all of us as Christians are to agape love the people around us as God agape loves the world(including sinners who reject him).
December, I agree with BGR that communication here is key. One thing you might try is writing down what you want to say and either email it to him or hand him the paper. This keeps it from getting too long (or at least you will know if it is and can cut back), and it keeps the conversation from becoming a fight. He might not change because of what a piece of paper says, but at least he can’t argue with it. This also helps you choose the words you want carefully and keeps you from accidentally saying something reactive rather than proactive.
Another thought is to go see a sex therapist (obviously this would only help the sex issue). This is assuming that you have tried communicating already and that your husband is open to the idea. I realize that a lot of men dont’ support the idea of using therapists d/t their sometimes feminist ideas (which you may have to weed through), but if your husband knows the issues and refuses to deal with them, they don’t really have a leg to stand on in your case. Maybe also ask your husband what he might like you to try in bed as well so it’s something that you guys learn together rather than just asking him to change (even if he ends up doing most of the changing, framing the conversation like that is more likely to yield a positive result and get him on board). You can also give your husband polite but truthful feedback. I’m not a fan of starfish sex in general, but if your husband is being lazy about sex, you don’t need to pretend that it was fantastic (any efforts he does make should be heavily praised though of course). If everything is hunky dory for him, he may very well not have any motivation to change. I am not advising that you sexually deny your husband, but if you make it clear that sex right now isn’t really fun for you and he refuses to do anything about it, you dont’ have to stroke his ego and assure him he’s the best lover ever.
I absolutely love the idea of writing letters to your spouse and I mean hand written, not email as hand written is more personal. I have done this in both my first marriage and in my second marriage. I actually was going to talk about writing letters to your spouse in an upcoming post(so don’t think I stole it from you AnnaMS – but in this case great minds think a like!).
The reason I like letters so much as a man is because when it comes to the “mushy stuff” I don’t think I could say with a straight face most of the time. It’s not that I don’t mean what I write because I absolutely do. But it just easier to write things sometimes then for the words to come out of our mouth. Don’t get me wrong I do say “I love you” and things like that to my wife or “last night was great”. But beyond that I really have a harder time verbal expression of feelings and I think writing is better for me as it is for most men if they were to try it.
I also think though that even though women are more verbal with their feelings than men, that it is sometimes good for women to write their feelings rather than saying it. As you said it avoids the defensiveness – you can’t argue with a sheet of paper. You have to read it and process it.
The only negative I have seen to letter writing with both my first wife and my second wife is that they hold on to your letters and sometimes use them against you. I have written letters to my wife’s apologizing for various things or pledging to do something better only to have the letter pulled out of a drawer, shoved in my face and then ripped up with “well I guess you did’nt mean any of these words”.
But even if some abuse can happen with letters, I think overall it is an excellent approach to dealing with delicate subjects in marriage. I also think it is good to just write encouraging notes to our spouses. This is something I have not done in a while with my wife and I am long overdue.
I think in the area of how a woman responds to sex she needs to look at his attitude. Some men may have an attitude of truly trying to please their wife in the sexual arena and they just can’t always “ring their bell” no matter how hard they try. In this case I think a woman should fake if she knows he has really done his best.
But if he shows absolutely no care for her sexual pleasure like “is that good for you, or is that working or did you get some relief?” then I agree a wife does not have to fake in these cases.
I doubt this is the case with December, but we also have the case where a woman ignores her husband’s desire for “quality sex” for so long that in the end he stops trying and just goes in and “does the deed” because of her neglect. So we really have to look at the whole history to get a good idea of what to do.
One other thing I wanted to mention on the topic of “faking it”. I think that even if a husband is trying hard to please his wife and it is not working that she can and should communicate to him “what would work” in a very gentle way. I am not saying women can’t or should not communicate ways to do better even if the husband is trying. All I am saying is if you husband has a heart to please you sexually and his intent is in the right place then a good mixture of gently communication about it as healthy dose of some faking is OK. I think it is a balancing act.
You should not have to fake it every time, but you also have to accept that your bell might not get run 100% of the time either and some faking is OK.
I realized I did not address your question about anal sex:
A wife’s body does belong to her husband and God does say that sex is “the natural use of the woman”(Romans 1:27). But the anus is not a “natural” orifice for sex. It is meant as an “Exit only” and is highly capable bleeding and spreading sickness.
In this area of sexuality and a wife’s body belonging to her husband(as his belongs to her) what I was getting at is there are some Christian women who will only let their husbands have straight vaginal intercourse. That is it. No touching the breasts, the shoulders, the belly, the butt cheeks. No kissing of the body throughout – just vaginal intercourse. Then we have the sensitive topic of oral sex(I do not intend for this to spiral). My point is God did not just give you a vagina to sexually please your husband, he gave you your whole body including your hands and your mouth to sexually please him. I do not believe a wife can say she is giving her husband her body when she limits his access to only her vagina.
The anus is an exception to this general rule.
I hope that makes sense.
BGR, I absolutely agree (and tried to convey to December) that good communication should happen before enthusiasm for sex is removed and that any efforts, no matter how small or ineffective at first, should be heavily praised.
I do actually write letters because I feel I can say what I want without getting side tracked. I should clarify in my collective “we” statements I’m more of the first two and not so much the last but all three are common complaints among my Christian girlfriends. I’m not sure how much is like to talk to my husband but I love when he tells me things like his dreams for the future. But when I ask questions about his thoughts on something or if I ask him his opinion on something I read in my bible study, he gets annoyed. I want to have meaningful conversation to know him better.
He has never asked permission to do anything with his time. I’ve never thought it was my place to tell him what he can do. In some ways it’s not so much that we don’t have time or money to do a lot of things but it’s that he doesn’t want to spend time with me. He told me he and his buddies where talking about spouse activities and he told them we don’t do anything together. His friends were shocked and he stayed he thought it was funny. I told him that actually hurts my feelings and he shrugged. Now this isn’t to paint my husband as a jerk but point out that some of us do the things that are suggested and our husbands do not react in any way
I could definitely understand why you would be hurt by such behavior.
But as much as you feel hurt by this behavior I think you need to take step back and ask yourself these questions.
Is he ALWAYS annoyed by you trying to talk to him about deeper things or is it a “SOMETIMES” thing or “MOST” of time. The reason I ask is that often even as men we can get upset at our wives for neglectful behavior that happens occasionally and when we are upset we can quickly turn “SOMETIMES” into “ALWAYS” in our mind. So is it always,sometimes or most of the time that you think he is annoyed by you wanting to talk to him?
You said you write him letters about your feelings – how does he respond to them? Is there any response? Is there a negative response?
When you say he bragged about you to “not doing anything together” do you mean he never spends any time with you at home? Like watching TV or or just sitting together on the couch? Is there literally no time at all that you spend together even at home? The reason I say that is some men are just homebodies. I am not saying that men should not try to get out and do dedicated activities with their wife – I am just wondering what these “spouse activities” were?
For instance does you husband take you to dinner? Even at the local family diner?
Was there a major change in your husband’s behavior in this area of spending time and talking or was he always this way from the beginning of your relationship? If there was a time that things changed was there anything major that happened in your lives that you think may have contributed to this change with him?
My husband and I’ve been married 18yrs. He stopped any intimacy of any type. He’s slept on our couch for the past 10yrs. (His choice). He watches pornography , and masterbates. He only is excited by watching anal sex while inserting penis shapes. This can’t be normal. Help.
I completely agree with this post as I have lived this out in my first marriage and in my current failing marriage.
I would express my love and compassion compliments as well as doing things to spare my wife the need to do many different things freeing her time for other matters.
I love seeing my wife in a dress or long skirt and nice blouse and complement her on how she looks. I would express myself though different sounds such as MMMM MMMMM MMMMM, YUM, WOW, It sure is hot in here, every time you enter the room I over heat. These were all honest and sincere expressions and statements form me, only to be met later with criticism and accusations about how I did not love her or show her compassion. I would show much attention to her body all the time only to be met with criticism and accusations of how I am not turned on by her body, when she could clearly see that was no sock in my pants. I would make it very clear to her I did not want her doing certain things that could cause her injury because I cared about her and didn’t want to getting hurt and not able to do the things she enjoys.
My first wife was unfaithful for 18 years, but I never stopped showing my love and desire for her. I made no difference she was a very selfish person.
My current wife, I could not touch and rub up on without it having to fulfilled with intercourse. There were many times I wanted to just play and not have to go all the way but I would get the guilt trip of, you can’t just leave me hanging like this, you need to pleasure me right now, so I would, and yes I enjoyed, except for the times I was criticized for not doing something right even in the middle of the act of love making.
Even when I was very hurt and she knew it she would ask me to satisfy her sexually and not once did I turn her away. Why? I love her and had compassion for her.
Her breasts were off limits to me and then I was criticized and accused of being turned off by her breasts.
Lingerie……. She has a bunch of it, real sexy stuff, but would never wear it for me. Ouch!
It is very painful to be told you don’t care by someone you would give your life for. Even when she would witness me put myself at risk with a stubborn ram that just tried to injure her.
All a woman really needs to do is respect her man. If she is respecting him, she is doing him good and not evil.
Proverbs 31:12 (KJV)
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
In return he will shower her with love and compassion without taking thought for it, it just comes naturally when a man feels and experiences respect from his woman.
Women if you are telling your man you love him and not giving him respect, you are not loving him. To disrespect is pride and hatefulness.
Proverbs 13:10 (KJV)
10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Do you say hurtful things and nag your man and criticize him? This is contention and it will drive your man away, tearing him down.
Women if you want your man to show you love and compassion at all times, don’t tear him down but build him up, let him know he is your desire outside of Christ.
Do you want a strong pillar of a man? Then don’t tear the foundation of respect out from under him.
Proverbs 14:1 (KJV)
1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Shore up that foundation with kindness and your man will praise you.
Proverbs 31:26-28 (KJV)
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
How about the God’s phileo love in Titus 3:3-7?
@Taylor The example you quoted indeed shows affection-based love, since God only feels affection for those of us who get saved, and feels agape love for all, regardless of whether they are saved, shown in Jesus’ sacrifice. There is no command of God, however, requiring a man to show physical affection for his wife, beyond sexual intimacy, so everything written here applies with regards to a woman gaining affection from her husband after losing it for any of the given reasons of the article.
@Tyler, I don’t think you understood that passage. It says God loved them with phileo (affectionate) love, even as they were sinning against him, and then saved them because of that same phileo love. The phileo love here was not conditional.
Isn’t it the basis of the marriage relationship, that even though there’s no direct command by God, husbands are to model their love and behaviors towards their wives, according to the different ways God shows love to his people? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the example used here, of God’s phileo love in John 16:27 used to support this notion?
@Taylor God sending His Son to die for us was in agape love, according to John 3:16, so the phileo love portrayal shown int his passage is mean’t not as affection based love in this case, but as agape. I’ve seen other such examples where the general use of a word isn’t the one its used for in passage. Although, the appearance of phileo love’s word in this could be a type that was not in the original. Its possible, even if less likely than the other. Bottom line, no command of God requires a husband to show phileo love for his wife, beyond sexual relations. Other passages, such as ones you can on this article, show God only feels phileo(in the affection-based sense) love for those that love Him, his Son, Jesus Christ, and who are saved.
So, you’re basically saying with regards to that passage, that the translation from the original to what we see now may be wrong? If you believe that, then how can you trust all the other translations. Do you see how, just even implying that a biblical translation could be wrong, distorts the credibility of all the other translations?
Tyler, there are many life situations where there is no direct command by God on how we should behave, yet we use His examples and model our lives based on God’s actions to his people as told by the Bible. I believe that all that is said in the Bible is by purposeful design and we should not accept some and ignore others. Why is it so easy for you to accept God’s unconditional agape love in John 3:16, and then in the same breath, question his unconditional phileo love in Titus 3:4, by claiming that the translation was probably wrong. Did you ever doubt the translation given from John 3:16 or any of the other passages that talk about love?
Just because John 16:27 shows God’s conditional phileo love, it does not mean that we should discard the message from Titus 3:3-7 because it doesn’t match with what we think we should believe. I don’t expect to change your thoughts on this, and I’m not insulting you but you seem like someone that’s set in your ways and not really open to other interpretations, yet I believe that its either God shows both agape and phileo love unconditionally to His people or this distinction between agape and phileo love is not as clear cut as we might think. If the former is true, it means that by extension, husbands too, are sometimes called to show unconditional affectionate love towards their wives. If we start to use the argument that maybe the real meaning is lost in translation, we put the other translations of the entire Bible in question.
@Taylor Read over my last post again. I didn’t say it was a copyist error or typo, just that it could be, but even if it is, God has done a good job over the years of preserving His Word, so any typos in the copied manuscripts are easy to spot by comparing the original language in one place to that in another where the same subject is addressed, such as John 3:16, where the word for agape love is used to refer to the love God showed in sending His Son to die for our sins, and it was that same love the Bible shows that Jesus chose to obey the Father’s Will in because He made His choice by duty and commitment, not feelings of any kind, which is agape love. By feelings, he had no desire to go through all that suffering, but chose to anyway because it was the Father’s Will. I didn’t say the word for phileo love that appears in Titus 3:4 was a typo, because it may not be, but I did say it could possibly be. In my last comment, I also said the word for phileo being used here in the passage, as indicated by John 3:16, may not have been used to refer to affection and feelings-based love the way word usually does, but rather to refer to agape love. Judging from the whole council of Scripture, that could be the case. The word for phileo love used in Titus 3:4 may not be being used to refer to feelings and affection-based love in this particular usage in the passage, but rather to agape love. Or it could even be a unique blend of the two that is indicated by its use, where the Father sending Jesus to die on the cross in the agape love since shows how strongly His feelings and affection for all mankind were at that time that He would do such a thing to allow them to be redeemed of sin if they would only believe so that they could spend Eternity with Him, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Heavenly Host, and all other believers and those under grace. I personally believe this to be the case. You’re correct that no passage of Scripture should be written off or disregarded, but the whole council of Scripture must be taken into account and used. And I agree with you that there are times where a husband should show his wife unconditional affection-based love(phileo), since I believe Titus 3:4 refers a unique blend of agape and phileo love in the fact of the Father sending Jesus to die for our sins. However, without an official command to show phileo love to a wife given by God, theres is no Bible passage requiring a husband to do so in a mandatory way, so even if he doesn’t its not technically a sin against God. I hope this makes my feelings and thought I have tried to convey clear, and what I think the context of the passage is referring to in light of other passages of Scripture.