Most people spend the energy that God gave them to love each other, trying to change each other. But meeting each other’s needs creates and maintains the attraction between you, maintaining the health of a marriage and minimizing outside risks. It’s a win-win situation. Everyone gets their needs met. In a marriage, we desperately need a relationship with Jesus Christ, first and foremost, but there are four important needs that you can meet for your husband.
Need #1: Honor and Respect
In Ephesians 5, Paul says, “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” I don’t believe in a concept of submission that says women should submit because they’re not as equal (see verse 21). Paul means you should respect your husband like you would Jesus Christ. That’s the standard the Bible gives to women because men gravitate to the place where they get honor and respect, and they run from any place they feel like they may be disrespected. It’s not about enabling destructive or self-destructive behavior. If he’s in a destructive mode, say something, pull someone else in; otherwise, do these four things:
- Allow him to fail. Your husband is imperfect, and he’s going to fail. A lot of damage a woman can do in her marriage is to try and keep her husband from making a mistake. Let him go his own way, get lost, make a wrong turn, make a mistake. Your role is not to correct him. It’s to support him.
- Confront him, but let God be the enforcer. You can say anything you want to say, but the question is, who is the enforcer? You tell your husband you don’t think he should be doing something, and he does it anyway. Get in your prayer closet and ask God to get him. If you’re right, God is on your side—He can change your husband. If you’re wrong, He’ll correct you. Sometimes, if you have a strong personality, the reason you become aggressive is more because of fear than personality. Be yourself, but search your heart, say only what you need to say, and trust God and the Holy Spirit to change your husband.
- Honor him where you want him to be, not where he is. Men “become” in an atmosphere of honor. Proverbs 31 talks about an excellent wife whose husband is an elder at the gates of the city. It attributes his success to her, not him—he is an elder in the gates of the city because of her. When a wife honors her husband beyond where he is, speaking destiny into him, he rises to that level of honor. Beyond what he’s doing right now, what do you see in your husband? Honor him at that level, even if he’s not there yet, and he’ll meet it.
- Cover his faults and focus on his strengths. The devil wants us to constantly think about the worst qualities in our spouse. God wants us to constantly think about the best qualities in our spouse. When the devil has had his way, our minds become negative and fault-finding. On any given day, the good things about our lives far outweigh the bad things, but we have a tendency to take the good things for granted and focus on the bad. Men want to hear their wives acknowledge what they do: “I think you’re a good man. I’m thankful I married you. You’re a leader; I see it in you. I believe in you.” Focus on his strengths. Remind yourself every day about the good things that your husband does, and as you remember, you’ll realize it’s a lot.
Need #2: Sex
God gave men the need for sex and women the gift of sex. Sex is the magnet God gave him to keep drawing him back to you. The way to meet your husband’s need for sex is to, first of all, communicate to him that you accept his need and you’re committed to meeting it.
Men are much more visually and physically driven than women. They want to see their wives—either naked or in lingerie (not flannel, not canvas), and they want sexual touching, not non-sexual touching.
Another way to meet your husband’s need for sex is to be more sexual than you feel. Just like I tell men that it doesn’t matter how they feel about talking, they need to meet that need for their wives, it doesn’t matter how you feel about sex. Your husband needs you to be sexual. You can’t match libidos—meaning having sex when you both feel like it—you’ll have sex about eight times before you die. That’s not just for the husband—twenty percent of women have a stronger libido than their husband—you meet your spouse’s needs, regardless.
Need #3: Finding Friendship
Men want to be best friends with their wives. Come out of your world and into his. Go hunting with him, go golfing, play the video game. Don’t forget that you’re also your husband’s buddy. Your husband will never be as open with you as when he’s having fun with you. You’ll be having fun, and all of a sudden, your husband just opens up because that’s the way men are wired.
Need #4: Support at Home
Men are happiest when they are domestically centered, even if they work outside the home. Make your home into a place that your husband can come home to. But that doesn’t mean it’s all up to you. Men should do their equal share at home, even in the housework. Men, when you get home, your job just started. It didn’t end. Women have the gift of nesting and turning a house into a home.
Jesus is the only one that can meet your deepest needs, but once Jesus has met your deepest needs, there are important needs that you have to meet in your husband’s life. For men, it’s honor and respect, sex, friendship with their wives, and domestic support. You don’t meet those needs based on your own needs or desires but on his needs and a commitment that you’re going to do that the rest of your life. Imagine you’ve got a banquet set before you, and you’ve got utensils on your hands that are too long to serve yourself. If you’ll be a servant to each other, you’ll both get to eat. If you serve each other, you can have the marriage of your dreams: the heaven marriage.