It happened again just the other night. It was time for my husband and I to have one of “those talks.” You know…the talk that needs to happen when you realize you’re not on the same page as your spouse and are definitely not understanding each other. He sees blue. You see green. He’s logical and you’re emotional. So how do you even begin to mesh when you view things so differently? (I will be sharing more about these differences in an upcoming blog.)
We began trying to understand and care for each other, and were able to “talk it through” and come together on the same page. Even when you can’t truly understand your spouse, you can truly care for their hearts.
As we better understand and learn how to care for each other, we find we don’t require these talks as often. We’ve become more one in our marriage. But this oneness doesn’t just happen. It takes work. And time.
I truly believe God has blessed me with the best husband. Ever! And I’m not worthy of him. But just as your spouse, my husband is still not totally perfect. (Although I would say he’s nearly perfect!)
I’ve had many women tell me they think our marriage is perfect. Well, that’s simply not true. You can search your whole life, but you’ll never find a perfect person. That’s why there’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. Let me say it again…There are NO perfect marriages! Each marriage has it’s struggles. Some bigger than others. But there will still be struggles.
So why do we seem surprised or take such interest when we hear of someone struggling in their marriage? And do we secretly delight in sharing this bit of gossip? I think this is often the case because we also struggle…And this makes us feel just a bit better.
I know it’s easy to have unrealistic expectations of your spouse. But don’t expect your spouse to fulfill the void within your life that only God can fill. Keeping this in mind, it’s still helpful for you and your spouse to understand each other better and share your top needs with each other. This has been very helpful for our marriage in understanding each other. You may fail in other areas, but if you primarily focus on each other’s top needs, it will help create oneness in your marriage.
I decided to share the top three needs my husband and I have, but I encourage you and your spouse to list your own. Then begin caring for each other and see how you can help fill these needs. I believe you will find this to be strengthening and a blessing in your marriage. My husband’s top three needs are:
1. To be respected. It means a lot when I encourage our girls to do what my husband asks. And when I show respect to him by honoring his wishes. He needs for me to listen to his ideas and not be quick to “shoot them down.” (Too many times, wives are more of a “mother” to their husband than a helpmeet.) On the other hand, my husband knows he needs to clearly communicate what his wishes are. It’s hard for me to follow his wishes, if he doesn’t express them.
2. That I trust his leadership. Whether they realize it or not, I believe most women truly want their husband to be the leader in the home. A husband’s leadership brings security, stability, and protection to his wife and children. I find that when my husband simply asks for my opinion and considers how I feel about something, it’s not that important what decision he ends up making. When he shows that he cares for my heart, while proceeding with what he thinks is best, I still feel cherished and protected. My husband needs to know that I trust him in making decisions even after he makes a wrong decision. Trusting him to continue being the leader, even after he’s failed, is essential in your husband’s life. God created men to fulfill a leader’s role. However, it’s important to come to an agreeable decision with major things that greatly affect the wife and children.
3. To have peace in our home. My husband and I believe there’s a difference between peace-making and peace-keeping. Healthy relationships don’t necessarily mean the absence of disagreements. Dialog and discussion is very important. I may not always be able to keep things peaceful in our home, but I can try my best to be a peace-maker. Creating an environment of peace often means exposing issues to be able to resolve them. Caring for each other’s hearts and coming to a peaceful agreement is better than just “keeping the peace” without resolving issues.
The top three needs I have are:
1. For my husband to take the responsibility and leadership. It gives me a great sense of peace and protection when my husband takes initiative in being the spiritual leader in our home. I was designed to be his helpmeet, but not the leader. When he recognizes issues that need to be addressed and willingly takes the time to speak into them, it takes a huge load off me. And it makes me feel loved. Mothers know that when “dad” shows love to the children, he’s showing love to his wife.
2. For him to tell me (and show me) that he loves me. I need to know that I’m his number one. (Of course, this is after his relationship with God.) A young woman wants to be significant to her man. The fact that he has chosen her to be the most significant person in his life is important to her. And the courting period usually reflects it. After they’re married, she needs to know that she still holds that place in his life. She needs to see it. A wife will feel threatened by anyone or anything that appears to be more significant in her husband’s life than she is. Feeling insecure and unloved can lead to fear, which in return, often leads to a controlling spirit.
3. For him to protect our schedule. I don’t know about in your marriage, but my husband and I are opposite in many areas. I need to have times for fun. And to make special memories by doing special things. My husband’s personality and easy-going-way is much more rational. My husband has the wonderful gift of serving and is rejuvenated by it, while a schedule too full with commitments makes me flail in a sea of despondency. I quickly become exhausted, while he’s exhilarated. I certainly feel loved when my sweetheart guards our schedule and realizes I need space in this area.
My friend, God gives us the gift of marriage so we can better understand who He is. God has created men and women differently. We receive small glimpses of what God desires through our marriage relationships. Just as men need to be respected and honored for who they are, so does God. As women desire to be cherished and be their husband’s number one, so does God. He’s a jealous God and wants that kind of relationship with each of us.
Imperfect, yet godly marriages are under attack. Because they exemplify a part of God that the enemy doesn’t want us to see. Marriages are a powerful tool. In spite of our imperfections.
Don’t ever believe your marriage has to be perfect. Or effortless. There are no perfect marriages, just as there are no perfect people. And just as we learn to love and accept each other in spite of our failures, so God accepts us.
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)
“We are here to love. Not much else matters.” Francis Chan
“God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God.” Max Lucado