A few weeks ago, I shared a message from our church’s “Modern Family” series called “Happy Husband, Happy Home.” I mentioned that I’d be back in a couple of weeks to pick up the other half of that message which is “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I probably would have had this message posted a lot sooner, but it’s been a busy week (in particular, I overdid it last night so I decided it was more important to rest than to post). If you’d like to watch or listen to the entire message, click HERE.
A happy marriage is usually defined by our spouse’s ability to meet our unique needs…needs that only our spouse can meet, because God designed it that way. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” If our men can learn to love us (as wives), then we can all enjoy a happy life. In fact, for those of you that are still single or in dating relationships – you should be looking for someone who can meet those unique needs. If the person you’re currently with cannot meet those needs, then walk away.
With that in mind, in this week’s (technically a couple of weeks ago) lesson, our minister described three of those top needs…as best he could considering he’s never been a woman. Just as I did with the men, I’ll describe them in reverse order.
I personally think communication is probably one of the most significant but difficult lessons to learn in relationships. It can make or break a relationship…especially if two people don’t learn how to best communicate with one another…or worse, don’t communicate at all. Based on what our minister describes communication, my husband may be more of a woman (at least as it relates to how he likes to communicate). He often tells me that he wishes I would enjoy talking to him more – usually when he’s driving from one destination to another. I just don’t like to talk on the phone (with the exception of my mother). I prefer to be face-to-face so I can really focus in on the person I’m with…so I can emotionally connect. There’s really no perfect formula for communication – you literally have to work it out between you and your spouse because we all have individual preferences in this area.
So men – drop that word “fine” out of your vocabulary! Women love conversation – in particular, they love a good story. So, regardless of how boring or significant your day was, share it with her….in detail. It’s not that we’re trying to be nosy – we are just trying to connect emotionally with you (our husbands). And the truth is that until you learn to connect emotionally, you will never fully connect with God.
I studied Psychology and Leadership Studies in college. For purposes of this message, I won’t get too deep into leadership definitions, but I will tell you that we’re not talking about leadership as domination. Actually, the most destructive homes are those in which there is an overly dominant person. Men and women appreciate leadership as initiation…no one wants to be dominated or dictated to. Consider leadership in the same way that Christ leads his church.
Granted, women have gotten very comfortable holding leadership positions on their own…I know I certainly have. However, there are a few areas in which women want to be led (as it relates to marriage):
- Spiritually. Although I do believe that all major decisions should be discussed between partners…most often, women will look to men for spiritual guidance (whether or not to attend church as a family, prayer, tithing, etc). I personally remember the first time that my husband invited me to church. It was the first time that I’d ever dated someone that invited me to attend church…and it was very attractive. After church, he asked if it was something I would ever do again – I was quick to tell him that I was so glad he did invite me and that I hoped it would become a huge part of our life (as it has).
- Children. Women want their husbands to be involved in the lives of their children. This seems like such a no-brainer, but I’m not sure all men realize what their role should be beyond conception. Men should be involved in the daily lives of their kids…from their education, to after-school activities, discipline, etc. Notice, I didn’t say that they should be in charge or dominate those areas – just that they should be involved. Furthermore, men will set the example for how your children will treat you (as mother). If men treat their wife with respect…the kids will follow.
- Romantically. At the most basic level, men – don’t forget birthdays or anniversaries. She may say she doesn’t want anything, but you’re a tool if you buy into that. Women love a good romance story. They love it even better if they are one of the main characters in the story. For example, I don’t particularly like a lot of spontaneity…but when it comes to proposals, women like an element of surprise. My husband did just that. Not only did he surprise me at Duke Gardens with a dream marriage proposal, but he also hired a photographer to capture it all on “film.” I will forever and always have a lead role in my own love story. On another note…when you travel, don’t forget to bring your wife something back from your journey – even if it is something small. Say you can’t afford it? Then ask yourself “what am I spending my money on?” I know times are tough, but you really can’t afford NOT to romance your wife. You never want your kids to wonder if you love their mom. Need I remind you – you set the tone for how your kids will one day behave. In particular, if you have sons…what kind of husband do you want them to be one day? Set the example.
Finally, the top need for women is security. God tells us in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Women need to know that their man is going to take good care of them…that he’ll be there when she wakes up…that he’s willing to lay down his life for her…that he’ll do whatever it takes to provide for her and the family. You never want your wife to wonder about her security…in any regard. Insecurity can lead to all kinds of trouble. So, make security (both financial and emotional) a reality for your wife.
In the more literal sense, I remember being at home alone one night when our garage door opened by itself at two o’clock in the morning. I wasn’t expecting my husband to come home in the middle of the night, so I immediately called him (probably should have called the police). Turns out there was just an electrical glitch, but my husband immediately called a security company the next day to install a security system. He proved then and continues to prove that my security is important to him.
With all that said, I think my minister did a fairly good job of expressing our top three needs. What did he miss? Furthermore, what are your spouses doing to meet these needs?