In the proceeding blog I talked about the five basic needs for men. Well, ladies, here’s your list! Again, this list has been determined from over 25 years of research and counseling by Dr. Willard Harley and his associates. Go to www.marriagebuilders.com for more information. For audio/video of this teaching, click here.
The Five Basic Needs of a Wife
1. Affection (Eph. 5:28; Col. 3:19)
Affection is critical to a woman because it symbolizes security, comfort, and approval. Men, when you show affection to your wife, you are sending a powerful message: “I care for you. I’ll protect you. I’m concerned for your needs. I’m proud of you!” Col. 3:19 “Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” The Amplified Bible says, “Be affectionate, be sympathetic with them.” Too many men give their wives affliction instead of affection! Remember, affection is an atmosphere and sex is an event! Most affairs happen because men don’t get enough sex and women don’t get enough affection! If, you don’t get it at home, you seek it somewhere else! Husbands have to learn to be affectionate because it’s a very important basic need of your wife. You can’t have sex all the time, but you can be affectionate all the time. Someone has said, “If you want the oven hot at night, light the pilot in the morning!” For men- it’s the physical. For women- it’s the emotional! Four ways to show affection to your wife: 1) By your words– give her a steady diet of compliments! Song of Solomon 4- “How beautiful you are, my love. How your eyes shine with love behind your veil, your hair dances like a flock of goats bounding down the hills of Gilliad, your teeth are white, not one of them is missing, they are all perfectly matched. Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon. How lovely they are when you speak. Your cheeks glow behind your veil. Your neck is like the tower of David round and smooth with a necklace around it. Your breasts are like twin gazelles, twin dears feeding among the lilies. How beautiful you are, my love. How perfect you are.” 2) By your actions- Acts of kindness! Leave her a note. Call her up just to say I love you! 3) By the way you touch her- Hold her hand! Hug her. An insurance company did a survey and found that men who kiss their wives before they go to work in the morning had fewer accidents. Those who kissed their wives as the last thing they did before going to sleep lived longer!! Wow! 4) By your focused attention- Look her in the eyes when she talks, listen! You are valuing what she is talking about. In your wife’s mind, conversation is affection! Most men quit being affectionate in their marriage because they already achieved their goal of marrying their wife! Men are destination oriented, women enjoy the journey!! Men can lose affection for their wives because they’ve accomplished the goal and have moved onto the next goal- usually a career. But men need to learn to cherish their wives because their wives need it!
2. Conversation (with you) (Phil. 2:2; Prov. 13:17)
Phil. 2:2 (Phillips) “Live together in harmony and love as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you.” Men, you need to have fellowship with your wife! Communication brings harmony and oneness- “the two will be one!” Women need to talk! They need conversation. When you converse with your wife you make her feel valued, secure, important, that you appreciate her, etc. Because communication is verbal attention! It means you’re looking her in the eye, you’re interested in her day, her thoughts, how she feels. Prov. 13:17 “Reliable communication permits progress!” If you want to have progress in your marriage you’ve got to learn to communicate. It’s simply taking the time to talk! Why is this so important in a marriage? Because if a husband and wife don’t have meaningful conversation, they’ll find someone else to do it with! The challenge is men talk because they want to boast about, or want something. Women talk because the conversation is what they’re looking for- men, she doesn’t want you to solve her problems, etc., she wants you to listen, to share, to converse, to make her feel valued. John Eldridge, in his book, Wild at Heart, says men need a battle to fight, and adventure to live for, and a beauty to capture! He also says this about women- they need to feel fought for, an adventure to share, and their inner beauty to be revealed! What does this mean?? It means a husband and wife can both meet a basic need when she goes on an adventure with him and they use this time to talk! Conversation is critical to your wife. When you don’t listen or converse with her, she feels further away from you- you may not feel that way, but she does! So, again, show her you value her by taking the time for conversation!
3. Openness and Honesty (Prov. 26:23-28)
A wife has a deep need to know the details of her husband’s life. It’s another way she feels connected and secure. Fact is, she has a right to know these things!! Why? Because you’re married!! She should know you better than anyone else- if you’re not open and honest with her, she can’t trust you! My wife knows my password to my facebook, my email, etc. She has immediate access to my office- she’s a part of our creative team. She can come in my office anytime she wants to, read my emails, my letters!! Why? Because I need the accountability and she needs the security! Prov. 26:23-28 “Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as pretty glaze covers a pot… If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself… A lying tongue hates its victims and flattering words cause ruin.” Men can be so afraid to share their fears, among other things. More importantly, although the truth may be painful at times, men need to be truthful, open, honest with our wives. The truth doesn’t drive a woman crazy- dishonesty does! No marriage, or any relationship will survive a lack of honesty! Honesty is the best marriage and relationship insurance policy you can have! Sure, be tactful as necessary, but be truthful always!
4. Financial Security (1 Tim. 5:8)
1 Tim. 5:8 “But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.” Even in a modern family context, etc., it is still the responsibility of a husband to provide for the financial needs of his family. It’s not a husband’s duty to provide for everything the family wants, and that may be an issue he has to deal with. But, a wife needs to know that she and her family will be financially secure! Men, you need to provide for your family’s future! Most wives and mothers simply want to know that the basic needs of the family will be met, the bills can be paid, groceries bought as needed, clothes for the children, etc. Most wives and mothers will sacrifice for themselves so that the family has what it needs. That’s why again, it is the responsibility of a man, as a husband and father, to make sure his wife has this financial security- it’s one of her basic needs!
5. Commitment (Prov. 6:32; Eph. 6:4)
Men, your wife needs your commitment to her and to your family. What does this look like? Four specific ways you show commitment: 1) Be faithful! Prov. 6:32 (Living Bible) “The man who commits adultery is an utter fool for he destroys his own soul!” You don’t have to agree with that, but it is the reality! Families have been decimated because of foolishness- be faithful! 2) Share in the parenting responsibilities! Be consistent- inconsistent fathers produce insecure children. Discipline, don’t punish- punishment is payment for past sin; discipline is training for the future. Be unified in your approach- don’t contradict each other. Control your anger- Prov. 29:11 (Living Bible) “The fool who provokes his family to anger and resentment will finally have nothing worthwhile left.” 3) Provide a place for a home! Take initiative in home repairs. Men identify with their jobs. Women identify with their house! Make sure she has a “home!” 4) Be the spiritual leader of your home! Take the initiative and the responsibility spiritually. Model to your wife and children what it means to be a godly man and a true follower of Jesus Christ.
Men, our wives need our commitment to be faithful, to be a loving and devoted husband and father, to provide security, to be open and honest, to care, to be affectionate always!