God Does Not Command Wives to Love Their Husbands


Emerson Eggerichs examines the etymology of "love" and offers insight on its role in marriage.

“Emerson, I can’t believe the actual title of your blog! Only heretics would promote the false idea that a wife is not to LOVE her husband.”

Before you burn me on a stake, hear me out. Put aside your box of matches for a moment.


What I mean is that God does not command wives to agape-love their husbands. In the Bible, only husbands are commanded to agape-love their wives.

Three Greek words explain marital love: Agape, Phileo, and Eros. Normally, agape refers to unconditional love, phileo to friendship love, and eros to sexual love.


I asked God why He did not command wives to agape-love their husbands. His inaudible voice spoke to me. “I put it within a woman’s nature to nurture. I designed her to love with agape-love. Women love to love unconditionally at the level of intimacy. You have to wound her at the level of intimacy to get her to stop loving this way, given she loved her husband in the first place. Thus, I did not command her to do what I created her to do since I am not into redundancy.”

Listen to her speech to “loved ones.” With depth of feeling, she constantly expresses, “I love you.” Observe her word choice when ending a note: “Love you… XOXO’s… Hugs and Kisses.” She draws hearts. She icons her way through life.

Love oozes from her pores. Children lost in a recreational park are told to “Look for a mommy with three kids hanging on her legs and go and tell her that you cannot find your mommy or daddy.” Today, this is the only safe haven remaining for children. She is the island of virtue! She is God’s gift of unconditional love.

Are wives off the hook? No, they can let their loving nature fall prey to other men and thereby commit adultery. Furthermore, they can arrogantly take credit for their loving hearts instead of honoring God for designing them this way. Such arrogance can lead to self-righteous judgment against their husbands, who love less by nature. Some wives turn critical, disagreeable, and unfriendly though they agape-love their husbands.


For this reason in Titus 2:4 wives are expected to phileo-love their husbands (not filet!). The term “Philadelphia” stems from phileo, the city of brotherly love – a friendship-type love.

By common confession, many wives honestly share, “I love him but I don’t like him!” Ask a husband, “Does your wife love you?” Most will say, “Yes.” Then ask, “Does she like you?” Many say, “No, not today!”

Exhausted from her sacrificial giving (her agape-love) and disappointed over his inadequacies (his shortcomings to agape-love), she’s hurt and mad. She turns unfriendly. Thus, wives need to guard against unfriendliness.

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