A man’s “feelings” are usually based on what he wants. But the kind of unconditional love a man is to have for his wife is not based on what the husband wants. It is a selfless love that goes beyond human desires. It is a much deeper kind of love that is not possible for a husband to give unless he first receives it from his Heavenly Father and His Son through the Holy Spirit.

There are four basic words for love in the Greek language (the original language of the New Testament): storge, eros, phileo, and agape.

 Storge is a family love, like one would have for a brother or sister, or parent to child. It describes a strong bond between two people based on relationship.

Eros is love based on physical desires. It is the kind of emotion that may attract a man and woman to each other. The Greeks used this word to describe a sexual or romantic kind of love. This type of love is important in marriage, as it provides a way to express and grow in your oneness as a couple. God designed this expression of love only for marriage (Prov 5:15-18; 1 Cor 7:3-5). But Eros is essentially a selfish kind of love.

 Phileo is a friendship love. It is the kind of love to be found in the Church. This word shows a desire to give love to someone because you enjoy them or receive pleasure from the relationship. It too, is still somewhat selfish.

Agape is a radically unselfish love. Unlike both eros and phileo, agape love is based on the character of the one doing the loving. It is an unearned, unconditional kind of love that goes well beyond simple emotion or attraction. This is the kind of love God has for you and me. And this is the same kind of love God commands husbands to have for their wives.

Agape love begins with and comes from God. This kind of love forms the foundation of the marriage covenant. A married couple’s love may be tested by failure, disappointment, difficulty, sorrow or temptation. It is at these times (and other times as well) that we must draw from God’s unconditional love – first for us, and then given through us to our spouse. We must make a choice with our will (not our feelings) to allow God’s love to enter our hearts and be given out to our spouse. We must pray for God to help us love as He loves; and pray for Him to teach us how to love in such a selfless way. When a husband obeys God’s word to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, he can fully expect God’s supernatural power and love to be released into his marriage.


Fleshly, worldly love is always seeking to get, not to give. A person may feel a desire to love based on physical appearance, intelligence, talents or wealth. But these feelings are very temporary; they do not last. And when the feelings or attraction go away, one thinks that they are “no longer in love” and may end the marriage. Or if a husband has strong feelings for a woman other than his wife, he may think he is “in love” with her and may even want to leave his wife. This is NOT the kind of “love” God commands for marriage.