Married Life In Times of Crisis: When your needs aren’t being met
Maybe you’ve heard that a woman needs to be loved by her husband and a man needs to be respected by his wife. However, if you’re like the average man or woman, you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds great, but what does it mean?”
Men often define love differently than their wives, while women often don’t know how to define respect. If both you and your spouse have these needs, but don’t know what they are, how can you satisfy each other? Without a definition, it’s like trying to throw a dart at a board but you don’t know where to aim.
Something To Talk About:
- He needs respect: Men and women want different things. No surprises here. Those who take the time to find out what their spouse wants or needs, and do something to see those needs are met, have the making of a happy marriage. This is a little tricky because it’s easy to assume that the wants and needs you feel are the same as those of your spouse. So what is it that men want? In a word, men want respect. That means a man wants to be held in esteem and to be shown consideration and appreciation—even when he makes mistakes. He wants to be seen as a hero, especially in the eyes of his bride. He needs someone to believe in him when the odds are stacked against him. Most women are willing to show respect, but they want their men to be worthy of it, but respect is too great a need for a man to have it come and go based on performance. If a woman will learn to risk respecting her man when he is not perfect, he will open his heart to her and will become pliable to change. The wise spouse does not ignore the man’s need for respect. Respecting a man doesn’t mean you can’t work on him. You just need to be smart about it. If you are not careful, your attempts to change him will communicate to him disrespect. If you want a man to act differently in your relationship, you are going to have to put insults aside and learn to be unconditionally respectful. The book of Proverbs says, “A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.” (Proverbs 12:4)
- She needs love: We don’t have to take a poll of women to find out what wives need from their husbands. The Bible is clear about what wives need. Wives need to be loved. Do you love your wife? Every Christian husband knows the correct answer to that question. But, do our words and actions tell her that we really love them. Paul’s command for a husband’s love is found in Ephesians 5:25: “ For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her” How does your love for your wife compare to Christ’s love for the church, which caused Him to give Himself on the cross for her? It’s safe to say that no matter how long you’ve been married and no matter how happy your marriage may be, there is always the need to grow in Christlike love for your wife. But that doesn’t mean it is not possible. Love is possible because it is commanded. God never commands us to do something unless He gives us the power to accomplish it. This command follows the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Without the Holy Spirit replacing our self-centeredness with His fruit, which begins with love (Galatians 5:22-23), we could never begin to love our wives as Christ loved the church. While we will never do it perfectly in this life, when we walk in the Spirit, we will grow in love. Start by telling her you will always love her no matter what. Constantly reinforce to your bride that you’re not going anywhere, and you’re 100 percent sold out, committed, no matter what. She will flourish knowing that you’re vehemently committed to her, but she won’t automatically know unless you tell her and show her.
- Read Ephesians 5:33. Women need to feel wanted. Men want to feel needed. How can showing one another love and respect set us up for success in our relationships?
- Why does Paul emphasize submission for wives, but love for husbands? What implications does this have?
- Read 1 Peter 3:7. Why don’t you think we approach relationships with more knowledge or understanding. What does it mean to love one another in an understanding way?
- Why doesn’t showing others love in our own way rather than the way they need work?
- How can listening be more effective than trying to fix the problem? Why do you think that is so difficult for men to do?
- Everyone wants to feel valued and emotionally secure. Wives, when is the last time you went out of your way to show you that you have special value? Why is it important to make this a regular event rather than a rare occurrence?
- What are three ways your wife makes you feel respected? What about disrespected?
- Are there ways your wife doesn’t show you respect, but you wish she did?
- Do you make your husband’s priorities your priorities?
- Is it too late to implement these tools into your marriage if you are already married?
- Share with your group any changes you want to make as a result of hearing this sermon?
Take one thing home with you:
Relating to the opposite sex will never come naturally. Any successful relationship takes intentionality and sacrifice. We can’t give 50/50 we have to be all in, all the time. If we want to succeed in our relationships we need to be willing to ask the question, ”what does love require of me?” Follow Jesus’ example by investing in others and put their needs first.