This weekend at GCC I shared Pt 3 of the Modern Family series, titled “Basic Needs.” The Big Idea: Men and woman are made differently; by design and to compliment one another. In that respect, a man and a woman each have five basic needs and each is called to meet the needs of the other! For the record, these five basic needs of a husband and a wife, have been determined from over twenty-five years of research by Dr. Willard Harley, and are included in his book called, His Needs, Her Needs. Also, go to www.marriagebuilders.com for more information. For audio/video of this teaching, click here.
We know there’s tension or conflict in every marriage- too much of it can be caused by 1) not making each other happy, 2) making each other unhappy, and 3) his needs are not her needs and her needs are not his needs! 1 Cor. 11:11 “But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women.” This means, we are made to compliment one another and to meet each other’s needs! The reason we fail to meet each other’s needs, is because often we just don’t know what they are! And if those needs aren’t being met, you are headed for disaster. When a spouse lacks fulfillment of any of the five basic needs, it creates a thirst that must be quenched, and honestly, that’s why affairs happen, addictions happen, divorces happen. So, what’s the solution?? Each spouse must make a commitment to meeting and fulfilling the needs of the other. When both are working to make this happen, it’s a beautiful thing; that relationship/marriage is going to be successful! So, what are those basic needs?? Here’s the list for men. I’ll do the list for women in the next blog.
The Five Basic Needs of a Husband
1. Sexual Fulfillment (1 Cor. 7:1-5)
#1 A husband needs sexual fulfillment and #1 A wife needs affection! Affection is an atmosphere and so often sex is an event- a special event, but you can’t have sex all the time! The typical wife doesn’t understand her husband’s need for sex anymore than the typical husband understands his wife’s need for affection! Here’s a clue- men get pleasure from the event itself, women get pleasure from the romantic process that leads up to the event! Rather than using your wife’s body for your own pleasure, it’s helping her to enjoy the experience by being more affectionate. Paul is trying to tell us that “sex” is a “lovemaking” process! It’s each spouse being sensitive to the need of the other. Two suggestions here: 1) Overcome your sexual ignorance, and 2) Communicate your sexual understanding to each other!
2. Recreational Companionship (Song of Solomon 1:7-8)
Listen ladies, spending recreational time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband- this is important to him! Problem is, most men’s and women’s recreational tastes widely differ. The problem for marriages is that the wife is constantly trying to clean up or inculturate her man! To avoid this, men start spending more time with other men doing the things that make him feel like a man! For most men they end up having to choose between a hunting trip with his buddies or stay at home and go to an amusement park with the family. When a man tries to split his time between those two choices he often finds that his wife resents the time he spends with his male friends! So, many wives think, “If he’s going to do something or take time off, he should spend it with me and the kids!” When a man gets married he really believes his wife will meet his strong need for recreational companionship- but sadly, they end up going to the Broncos game alone. Or he ends up in a bowling league with some of his buddies, where he meets Sally, who just loves sports… Many men do not intend an affair, buy it is often the result of a husband and wife growing further and further apart because they have different interests! The key is finding MUTUAL RECREATIONAL INTERESTS! Song of Solomon 1:7-8 (Woman) “Tell me, my love, where are you leading your flocks today? Where will you rest your sheep at noon?” (Man) “If you don’t know, O most be beautiful woman, follow the trail of my flocks…” My paraphrase: (Wife) “Tell me you hunka hunka burning love, where are you riding your Harley today? Where are you to stop for a break?” (Husband) “If you don’t know Babe, climb on the back and ride with Big Daddy!” Husbands and wives need to spend some of their most enjoyable times in each other’s company, not in the company of others! Take the time in your marriage to care and love each other enough to want to spend time with each other doing the things that are mutually appealing- this is critical for a man, that his wife join him in some recreational activity! Sure, there will be activities you do apart- everyone needs “alone” time. But companionship, for a man, is vitally important.
3. An Attractive Spouse (Prov. 31:10-12)
Now, I’m not completely stupid- I know I’m on thin ice here!! But ladies, please here me out on this one and I promise it will be good. To men, physical attractiveness is important (to ladies not so much, just look at your husbands)! And of course the men are thinking right now: “Wow, that’s right, I can’t believe he has the guts to say that!” And the women are thinking right now: “Wow, that’s so immature and stupid, I can’t believe he has the guts to say that!” But hold on: Beauty is in the eye of the husband!! A wife never needs to measure herself against what the culture says is “beauty” or “attractiveness!” She only needs to be concerned with what her husband considers beautiful and attractive about her. Harley suggests, “you do the things for yourself to feel and look attractive that you did at 20 or 30 or 40 or whatever age or time your husband was attracted to you and married you! Fact is: wives, when you look good, your husband feels good! It’s obvious, again, that women don’t feel the same emotional need for attractiveness that husbands do- wives want their husband to look decent, but attractiveness isn’t ranked in their top 5! Attractiveness counts for a man- in his top 5. What does this mean? “Attractiveness” means that your appearance makes your husband feel good! People can be attractive in many ways, but the key in your marriage is what your husband thinks- be attractive to, and for him alone!! It meets one of his basic emotional needs. Having successful relationships is not as complicated as we may believe- it comes down to “meeting the basic needs of the other!” A wife’s attractiveness is often a vital ingredient to the success of her marriage, and any wife who ignores this notion, risks disaster! Prov. 31:11-12 “Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good…”
4. Peace and Quiet- Domestic Support (Prov. 31:15; 21, 27-29)
Prov. 31: 15, 21, 27-29 “She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls… She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” A man’s domestic fantasy is a home life free of stress and worry. It goes like this: After work each day, his wife greets him lovingly at the door and his well-behaved children are also glad to see him. He enters the comfort of a well-maintained home as his wife urges him to relax before dinner, the aroma of which he can already smell wafting through the air. Conversation at dinner is enjoyable and free of conflict. Later the family goes out together for an early evening stroll, and he returns to put the kids to bed without any hassle or fuss. Then he and his wife relax and talk together, watch a little television, and go to bed to make love, all before 10 pm! Go ahead and laugh! But that’s what most men really dream about- domestic peace and quiet, and total support! Men, for the most part, do see the need to help their wives around the house, but often it’s more words than action! Why? There is this emotional need a man has to want to come home and simply relax in a peaceful environment. But in the modern family of dual career marriages, how do husbands and wives deal with a fair division of domestic labor? Domestic responsibilities are a time bomb in many marriages! So, what should you do?? 1) Identify your household responsibilities, 2) Make a list of the responsibilities that you would enjoy doing or prefer to do yourself- husband or wife, 3) Assign the remaining responsibilities to the one wanting each done the most, and 4) Meet the needs of domestic support by assuming responsibilities that will deposit the most “love units” (points) into one another’s lives. The key, as a wife endeavoring to meet your husband’s emotional need for peace and quiet and domestic support is to make sure those things the he feels needs to be done are done! And remember, this will always be reciprocal- especially of both really do love each other and want the marriage to work.
5. Admiration (2 Sam. 6:14-23)
2 Sam. 6:14-23. This is where, after the Ark of the Covenant has been returned to Jerusalem, David dances before the Lord. He is excited for achieving his dream of returning it. He blesses the families of Israel and sends them home with gifts. Then, he goes home to his wife, and she takes the winds right out of his sails! How often does this happen? Instead of admiration, he gets disapproval! What about in your marriage?? Why do men need admiration from their wives? Because men are achievement oriented! They are driven for success at tasks. When a woman tells her husband he is wonderful that actually inspires him to achieve more! He sees himself as capable of handling new responsibilities and perfecting his skills far above his present level. Admiration not only motivates, it rewards a husband for existing achievements. Honestly, when a wife tells her husband that she appreciates what he has done, or is doing, it gives him more satisfaction than his paycheck! A woman needs to appreciate her husband for what his has already done, not for what he could become, if he lived up to her standards! Many men have fragile self-images and admiration from his wife helps him to believe in himself. Criticism will always cause a man to become very defensive, but admiration will only inspire and energize him! Beside every man, there should be an admiring wife. How do you show honest admiration? 1) Never fake admiration- you will do more harm than good because a man knows the difference, 2) Your admiration for your husband must genuinely reflect your feelings, 3) Knowing your own emotional needs as a wife (we’ll look at this in the next blog), note the characteristics that you admire about your husband in those areas, and 4) Develop a habit of admiration- as you build this kind of atmosphere, a man will only be inspired and energized to achieve more! Men need admiration, and when they receive it, it will greatly inspire them to be a great husband, and in the process, meet your basic emotional needs as a woman!
The Five Basic Needs of a Husband/Man! Wives- do your best to fulfill those needs and your marriage will be amazing!