It’s a wedding cliché that the bride and groom say “I do” to each other, as in “I do love you.” Well, forgive me for sounding a little grumpy, but that’s the wrong question. The real question to the groom is not, “Did you love her in the past?” or “Do you love her right this minute?” but “Will you love her till death parts you?” True Christly love is a decision and commitment, not an assessment of your feelings at the moment.
Considering the importance of the subject, it is interesting to see how relatively few passages in the New Testament speak directly to marriage. But when God does utter something, it is profound. He tells all husbands of all time that their prime directive for a happy wife and a happy home is this: “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself” (Ephesians 5:33).
Easy to say; hard to do. A husband who wishes to wear the name of Christian needs to choose to love her. And not just in a sexual way, to gratify his own appetites. To love your wife means to give her value, to make her feel precious and beautiful, to provide her a sense of safety and security, and to be willing for a lifetime to spend yourself to make her life better. These are expensive undertakings and will cost the man.
It is valuable to have him state that commitment in the presence of as many people as possible.