As we have seen, it is the husband’s responsibility to love his wife. The Greek word here for love is ἀγαπάω (agapaō), which is the base of the word ἀγάπη (agapē). The Concordant Greek-English Keyword Concordance defines ἀγάπη as:

A complex emotion arousing appreciation or delight in and desire for the pleasure of its object, as well as to please and promote its welfare; to be distinguished from affection, fondness, which is aroused by the qualities of its object, while love may go out to the utterly unworthy, and also from passion [eros] (not found in the Scriptures) between the sexes.

There is nothing wrong with a husband having affection, fondness and even passion (eros) toward his wife. These are not bad or sinful; but the love to which the husband has been called is divine and is not that which “is aroused by the qualities of its object,” but is that which – like Christ has for us – “may go out to the utterly unworthy.”

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving.)