By Dr. Harold Sala
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:19
The article in my file has a dateline which reads, GUAGUA, Pampanga, February 15. For you who may be living outside the Philippines, Pampanga is a province in Luzon, the largest of 7000 islands in the Philippines. In Guagua there are two clubs–strictly for men–one of which is known as Aguman Da Ding Malugud Asawa, or “The Wife Lovers Club.” The members of this club, mostly business and professional, get together weekly at the Fiesta restaurant, a nicer-than-average eatery where Rotary and Jaycees also meet. Here they swap sentimental stories and play the karaoke singing romantic ballads.
But for every positive there is a negative, and in Guagua there’s another male-only club known as Ding E. Malugud Asawa, or “Those who don’t love their wives–but somebody else!” At the last report, membership in this club is down and the survival of the club is doubtful.
I suppose that the formation of the club of those who no longer love their wives was intended as a spoof, but the stark reality is that vast numbers of men, were they only honest, would qualify for membership in this group.
I was editing a galley proof for my book Guidelines For Finding Your Way–Encouragement for the Seasons of Life. In the book I made a statement saying that “love is a decision, a commitment to care, which must be nourished and fed daily.” The editor responded, “Please supply a corresponding metaphor like ‘Love is a decision, a commitment to care which like a plant, or a baby must be nourished and fed daily.’”
But the problem is that a plant doesn’t require food and water every day. Give it a soaking once a week and it’s fine, and a baby–yes, a baby requires changing and feeding ever day, but loving your wife and nurturing that love isn’t the equivalent of watering a plant or meeting the needs of your 16-month old offspring.
Why do we men fall out of love with our wives? How about these without amplification? We forget we made a commitment until “death us do part.” We take each other for granted; our selfishness becomes impossible; we refuse to listen to our wives; we suffocate them; we starve them emotionally; we flop down in front of the TV and vegetate; we esteem our male friends more highly than our wives; we no longer spend money on flowers (besides, they just die!); and we forget that saying “I love you” is important.
So how do you fall back in love with your wife? Court her; look her in the eye and say, “I love you with all my heart.” Try listening to her even if you can’t fix her problem. Ask her out for a date. Surprise her with flowers or candy, or suggest that she go shopping for that new dress; take out the trash without being asked; fix the leaky faucet that has been dripping for a year; volunteer to baby sit the kids Saturday afternoon and suggest she go get her hair done; and kiss her goodbye in the morning.
A word of warning is necessary. This sudden flurry of deeds may cause her to suspect that you are covering up for something, and when she asks what, be sure to tell her that you feel strongly convicted that you’ve failed to tell her how wonderful she is and how much you love her, and how grateful to God and her you are that she became your wife. And one more thing–drop in on the boys at the Wife Lover’s Club the next time you are in Guagua, Pampanga.
Resource reading: Colossians 3:12-17.