- A husband and wife can be a lot like oil and water. Because of their individual nature, they simply don’t mix without a deliberate, blending process. Although they are vastly different, each one is just as vital as the other. Men and women are different in many ways. I came across these quotes that puts some of these differences in a humorous light…
“A women worries about the future until she gets a husband, but a husband doesn’t worry about the future until he gets a wife.”
“A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend, but a successful women is one who can find such a man.” =)
Now although some of these quotes may sound humorous, we’ve all seen how differences have the potential to be devastating. I believe Christian marriages are severely under attack in our world today because when a husband and a wife are in harmony with each other, they create a powerful team—one of the greatest tools that God can use.
In my last blog, “6 Things Every Husband Wants in a Marriage,” I wrote about the specific needs of a man, so I wanted to talk about the other side of the equation.
Let me begin by saying that I’m certainly not an expert on the differences of husbands and wives. And I’m not a professional counsellor. But my husband and I have counseled many struggling couples, and we’ve seen and experienced the patterns. We’ve also been blessed to be mentored and to learn from other godly couples.
Although our marriage is certainly not perfect, my husband and I are more blended today than we were even a year ago. We continue to hear each other’s hearts and understand each other more every day. And I truly am unworthy to be married to this godly, gentle leader and friend, who I deeply admire more than anyone.
But this blending effect in our marriage has taken much time and effort. We’ve had to be intentional about not allowing things like ministry opportunities, children, job responsibilities, hobbies, or stressful health conditions distract us from making our marriage a high priority. We haven’t always succeeded, but we continue to persevere…learning from our mistakes, and forgiving each other.
Men, I know you’ve probably been battered and dishonored by women who haven’t respected or honored you. But are you willing to lay that aside for now and focus on your responsibility of being the husband God created you to be?
Below are 6 things that every wife wants in a marriage. Your wife wants…
For you to understand her limitations. Your wife may be overwhelmed trying to juggle the daily demands she experiences. Especially if she’s also a mother or is involved in ministry or responsibilities outside the home. Your gentle reminders that she’s not a failure when dinner isn’t ready on time or when she can’t do everything she’d like to do, will go a long way at making her feel loved and understood. And offering to help with simple tasks goes a long ways in demonstrating your love. Which leads to the next one…
For you to love and treasure her (and your children). To be loved and to feel loved is absolutely vital for a woman. (Make sure you’re not just loving her, but you’re also speaking her love language.) But your wife needs to know that your children are loved and cared for by you as well. Your children are an extension of your wife (and of you). However, when you don’t make your relationship with your children important, you’re not only rejecting and hurting them, but you’re also hurting your wife. Your relationship with God should be first, followed by your relationship with your wife and then your children. All other priorities should come after this.
For you to put effort in strengthening your marriage. When you (willing!) invest time in your marriage, your wife can’t help but feel treasured and loved. (She might have hinted for you to read this article, and cheers to you for taking the time!) Take her out on dates, to a marriage seminar, read books on marriage, or—dare I say it—even go shopping with her simply to spend time with her. But if you’ve never done these things before, it may take time for these special gestures to reach her heart. Remember, your relationship with your wife needs to come right after your relationship with God. Have you allowed your job, sports, other activities, or even ministry to come before your relationship with your wife? If so, you need to begin the journey of restoring the priority of your marriage.
To be treated with respect and as someone who’s your equal. There’shardly anything more hurtful to a wife than when her husband doesn’t value her as his helpmeet and companion. This doesn’t mean that she makes the decisions or runs over you. But it does mean that you value her input and don’t make exclusive decisions because, “you’re the leader.” You will never achieve oneness in your marriage if there’s not mutual respect in the specific roles God created. When you love and respect your wife as described in Ephesians 5:25, (“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.”) and in Ephesians 5:28, (“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies…”) you will desire to know her heart and not make decisions without considering her needs or asking her opinions about it. Especially when it’s about something you disagree on. Two adult people who truly love and respect each other should certainly be able to come to a place of agreement!
The spiritual security and protection that results from your godly choices. As the husband and father in your home, you carry the responsibility of spiritually covering your wife and children. Think of this protection as being in the shape of an umbrella, sheltering those under you from many attacks of the enemy. If your umbrella has spiritual “holes” in it caused by sin issues, you have given satan easier access to your wife and children. This is even true if the sins are committed in secret. Because of your position as husband and father, your wife and children will always be affected by your choices. Good or bad! If you are involved in pornography, you are deeply wounding your wife each time you look at it. Whether she’s aware of it or not! And you are deliberately opening the door for satan to access your children. No matter their age. This is a sure sign you love yourself and your fleshly desires more than your wife and children. If you struggle in this way, you also have a deep need and hurt within your heart that has never been met. I encourage you to reach out to someone who can help you identify how to find healing in this area before it completely destroys your family. Victory is usually not experienced until the root issue is dealt with.
For you to take the responsibility as leader in your home. Taking responsibility as the leader means you not only recognize the responsibilities God has given, but you do something about them as well. This doesn’t mean being a “command man”, but a strong, servant-leader who is sensitive to the heart of his wife and children. If you make decisions to prove to your wife and children that you are the leader in your home, you don’t fully understand what it means to love as Christ loved the church.
One aspect of being a godly leader means you are as aware of the emotional and spiritual needs of your wife and children as you are of their physical needs. Your work is not done after you have spent your day working at your job. We some times have the tendency to think that providing physically for your family is the husband’s responsibility while the children’s emotional needs and spiritual training is the wife’s responsibility. I’ve never seen this concept anywhere in God’s word.
Now I know that some of you may be thinking, “My wife likes calling the shots…she certainly doesn’t welcome my leadership.” If your wife seems to want to control everything, one of two things could be the case. Either she has picked up these responsibilities out of necessity, and would be relieved for you to take them over, or she may be extremely fearful. Fear and control always go together. It is very likely there are deep fears behind the facade of control. (Although I’m certainly not justifying a controlling spirit, I’m simply stating there is usually a deep hurt and root issue behind it.) The next time she is starting to become controlling, try putting a hand on her shoulder and gently asking, “Is there something you are afraid of right now?” Likely she will be able to tell you exactly what it is. But she probably doesn’t even recognize the fear that is within her unless the question is asked. A controlling spirit on either side will cause struggles in your marriage, and if you are wrestling with this issue, I encourage both of you to reach out to a counselor who can help.
A godly marriage is truly a beautiful thing! But one that is filled with selfish desires and wrong choices can be one of the hardest trials in life. How sad that one of the greatest things God’s created for His glory and our enjoyment can be used by the enemy to destroy us!
May God fill you with His love and wisdom to be the fierce warriors and protectors He’s created you to be. Husbands, He created you for this role and, by His help and mercy, you are capable!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)
*A special thanks to our friends, Amos and Margaret Raber, for their lovely pictures. Check out their family singing ministry at ByGraceMinistry.com.