Love Heals

Dr. Karl Menninger, noted doctor and psychologist, declared, “Love cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”

What led Dr. Menninger to say that? Some time ago, he sought the cause of his patients’ mental illnesses. He decided to develop in his clinic an atmosphere of creative love. He told his staff to give large quantities of love to all patients. They are to avoid any display of unloving attitudes in the presence of the patients. All nurses and doctors must go about their work in and out of the various rooms with a loving attitude. At the end of six months, this experiment of love had cut in half the time spent by patients in the institution. (Adapted from the illustration database of the Biblical Studies Foundation)

I believe love heals marriages also. Loving is the husband’s responsibility just as submitting is the wife’s. I like how The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language translated Ephesians 5:25-28a—“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.” To love our wives the way Christ loved the church is to love unconditionally, sacrificially and loyally. Note that “Christ’s love makes the church whole” and “Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her”. Men, what about us? We need to ask ourselves: “Are we beneficial to our wives? Or, are they better off without us?”
Someone wrote, Love is the one business in which it pays to be absolutely lavish. Give it away. Throw it away. Splash it over. Empty your pockets. Shake the basket. Tomorrow you’ll have more than ever.” Men, bring your wives out on a date. Have a special weekend getaway. Surprise your wife with a gift. (But make sure it is a gift that she want, not what you want. Don’t be like the man who gave his wife Black & Decker power drills!) Women feel loved if we help in the chores in the house. (Go ahead. Don that apron and wash the dishes for a change.) I guarantee also that your wife will once again fall for you head over heels if you just sit down and really listen to her. Just be creative and just do it!

You may be saying, “Well, she ought to know already that I love her. I married her, right?” But, as David Mace wrote, “One of the great illusions of our time is that love is self-sustaining. It is not. Love must be fed and nurtured, constantly renewed.” We cannot take it for granted. We must express our love as often as we can. Always remember, it cures both the one who gave it and the one who received it.

Brothers, let us go all out in loving our wives!

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