Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Emilie Barnes' new book, What Makes a Woman Feel Loved?, (Harvest House, 2007).

Even though you proclaimed your love for your wife when you said your wedding vows, it’s not enough to assume that since you married her she should know that you love her. Your wife needs fresh expressions of your love every day to know that your heart still beats strongly for her.

Here’s how you can make your wife feel loved:

Love God first. Realize that you can’t truly love another person until you love God, because the power to love comes from Him. Make your relationship with God, through Christ, your top priority.

Give generously. Ask God to help you shift your focus from what you can get out of your marriage to what you can give through it. Devote plenty of time and energy to building a great marriage. Encourage your wife through your words and actions whenever you can. Instead of trying to change your wife, pray about your concerns, and trust God to change her. Give your wife plenty of affection.

Enjoy all three types of love in your marriage. Understand that love isn’t a feeling – it’s a decision to act in loving ways toward your beloved, no matter what. Proactively express the three types of love to your wife: eros (sexual attraction), philo (friendship), and agape (sacrificing some of your own needs to meet your wife’s needs). Expect that doing so will change the dynamic of your marriage for the better, and love will come back to you in return.

Resist unhealthy outside influences. Establish a solid bond with each other by becoming independent from each other’s parents (moving out of their home, not relying on them for money, making your own decisions, etc.) while still honoring them. Know that becoming one in marriage doesn’t mean becoming the same. Instead, it means sharing the same degree of commitment to Christ, to your marriage, and to the goals, dreams, and mission in life that you have as a couple. Don’t let prevailing cultural mindsets shape your marriage. Instead, pray often that the Holy Spirit will renew your mind and help you be faithful to God’s truth. Resist lies like: “You can have it all,” “Men and women are fundamentally the same,” “Men and women view sex the same way,” and “Speaking your mind is better than listening.”

Concentrate on the positive. Rather than making insensitive and inappropriate attempts to change your wife, support her in prayer and be willing to for God to do His work in her life. Ask God to help you see your wife as He sees her, and to love her as He calls you to love her. Don’t expect her to be perfect; remember that you’re not perfect either, because you both are only human. Offer your wife patience, forgiveness, and unconditional love. Ask God to reveal any unrealistic expectations you may have your marriage and change your expectations accordingly. Think and pray about what your purpose as a couple is in life, and once you’ve clarified that, seek to fulfill that purpose as you make daily decisions. Recognize that living with purpose is more important than the irritations of daily life. Openly and honestly address and resolve misunderstandings with your wife, share feelings with each other, talk through offenses, and deal with doubts about each other’s integrity so you can build a truly trusting relationship.

Let biblical truths guide your marriage. Make a daily habit of reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible. As you read, look for: a special promise you can claim, a principle to help you in your daily life, a command you should follow, a light that reveals sin in your life, a meaningful verse you want to memorize, comfort or insight for the hard times you’re facing, guidance for the day ahead, or hope that encourages you. Pray about what you find in God’s Word each day, and do your best to apply its truth to your marriage. Ask your wife to let you know what specific ways you can pray for her. Keep track of your thoughts and feelings, as well as how God answers your prayers, in a journal. Consider going through a Bible study with your wife.