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Man and woman
What have you done lately to show your wife how much you love her? (Stock Free Images)

Let's face it—it's easy to love your wife when she's standing right next to you.  I don't know too many guys who have trouble with that. There are some, but that's an entirely different topic.

Most men have no problem paying attention to their wives, being respectful to them and expressing thanks for them when they are in the same room.  But for some, things change when she's not around. It becomes easier to joke with your buddies about her, or to sneak that peek at another woman when she's not looking. But men, it's just as important, or perhaps even more important, to love her when she's not looking.

Philippians 4:8 does not come with a disclaimer: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Think about them all the time, not just when someone is watching.

We all know the feelings that come with being in love, but what a lot of men fail to recognize is that love is an action. Love is something we do. And we should love our wives all the time. So here are five ways to love your wife when she's not looking:

1. Don't "check out" other women. I'm sure every one of us has heard some variation of the "It's OK to look, but not touch" excuse offered up by men. I've even heard an extremely disrespectful version about milk and cows. But let's look for a second at what Matthew says about this. "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (5:28). Let's be real.  Every time a man says something like "I'm just appreciating her like I would a work of art," he's lying.

2. Stay away from pornography. 1 Corinthians 6:18 says, "Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body." Looking at pornography is destructive. It destroys relationships. It destroys perceptions. It destroys the ability for men to love their wives. The damage a husband looking at pornography does to his wife is easy to see.  She feels like she cannot compete, and either resorts to doing things that make her feel cheap and used, or she just stops caring.  But it doesn't just hurt her.  The stimulating effects of looking at pornography affect the male brain just like any other addiction, causing the need for more and more just to be satisfied.  Do whatever it takes to flee.

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