Walk your talk. Know that you signal your love for your wife powerfully when you keep your promises and actually do what you say you will do. Reflect on your wedding vows and keep in mind that you made a commitment not just to God, but also to your wife. Work with your wife to write out some new vows for your marriage, then discuss them and recommit your marriage to God. Ask God to give you the strength you need to live your vows out with integrity.

Show consideration for your wife. Pray for the confidence you need to be a true gentleman in your marriage, willing to put your wife’s concerns over your own in some situations. Make time to engage in meaningful conversations with her, even when you don’t feel the need to talk as much as she does. Spend time together as a couple regularly, even when your schedule is busy. Share household chores and other responsibilities. Encourage your wife to take some time out for herself to do something fun and relaxing (like getting a massage or going out for dessert with girlfriends).

Do your best to help meet your wife’s top needs. Get to know what your wife’s most important needs are, and do your best to help meet them, without always having to be asked. Understand that many women need affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. Expect that your wife will likely prioritize these needs differently than you so as a man, but that her needs are just as valid as yours. Ask God to help you bless your wife in each of the areas that are most important to her.

Use your differences to build unity. Recognize that the many differences between you and your wife (temperaments, backgrounds, etc.) are actually gifts that you can use to complement each other and grow more together than you could apart. Come to understand and appreciate the differences between you and use them to build greater unity in your relationship. Stop trying to change your wife or be someone you’re not; give each other the freedom to be the unique people God made you to be. Look for your wife’s strengths and affirm them, while being patient with her weaknesses and offering her unconditional love that will strengthen your bond. Bring out the best in each other.

Cultivate a friendship with your wife. Be honest with your wife. Be loyal to her. Hold each other accountable. Encourage each other. Show interest in your wife’s activities and be willing to join her in some of them when you spend time together. Figure out what types of words and actions best communicate love to your wife (not just to you), and express your love for her in ways she’ll best receive. Give your wife the freedom of knowing that you won’t try to control her (making sure she has enough personal time, her own money and credit, etc.). Love her unconditionally. Make it a priority to schedule couple time just to enjoy being together.

Give your wife emotional security. Let your wife know that she can count on you to be there for her whenever she needs reassurance of your love. Give her plenty of affection and verbally express your love often. Ignite a spark of romance anew to let her know that your relationship is still doing fine.

Derive romantic inspiration from the Song of Solomon. Read the Song of Solomon in the Bible and let its examples of how emotional and physical love develops inspire you and your wife. Know that the love between you is a form of worship to God.

Remain committed. Assure your wife that the love you share is for a lifetime. Act on your love for her for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death parts you.

Adapted from What Makes a Woman Feel Loved?, copyright 2007 by Emilie Barnes. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or., http://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/

Emilie Barnes is the author of 60 books, including The Twelve Teas® of Friendship; Cleaning Up the Clutter; Heal My Heart, Lord; and 15 Minutes Alone with God. Emilie and her husband, Bob, are also the founders of More Hours in My Day time-management seminars.