Rodney Wilson is a regular guest post writer on Selma on Leadership. Rodney has been a marriage and family pastor/counselor for almost 20 years. Rodney and Selma have been married for 40 years and they have spoken and written on marriage and family issues for most of their married life.
Let’s be honest. Giving to your spouse is not an easy thing to do. Nor is it natural. We are generally selfish beings tending to make sure our own needs are covered first and foremost.
So giving is a challenge.
But it is biblical.
It is Christ-like.
It honors God, possibly because you have to depend upon Him to take your eyes off of yourself and effectively give to your mate.
Keep in mind that as a wife, you are not responsible for meeting all of your husband’s needs. A healthy attitude, however, toward being a helper is invaluable to him. It speaks love to him.
Top 4 Needs of Husbands:
- Sexual fulfillment. Probably not a huge surprise, but, consider…
- No, it’s not all he thinks about but he thinks about it a lot. He is wired that way. It might be helpful to remember that he didn’t wire himself with this sex drive. God wired him, so it wasn’t a mistake.
- Saying sex is a major need of husbands might imply that it is not a need of wives. Not at all! God wants this part of your marriage to be mutually fulfilling to both of you. Just rest assured, when it happens in your marriage, it clearly meets a significant need of his.
- Recreational companionship. Don’t read this need as your husband wanting you to be a tremendous athlete. That’s fine if you are but it doesn’t eliminate other wives from meeting this need. My wife is not an athlete but here are some non-athletic ways Selma meets my need for recreational companion for me:
- Watching a ball game with me or going to the game with me.
- Going for a walk. Combining companionship and exercise.
- Riding bikes together. We got ourselves very nice bikes for our 30th anniversary 10 years ago and we’re still on them. (Yes, our marriage is now 40!)
- Sharing in my running. I used to run marathons. The 26.2 miles kind. No, she didn’t run them with me but was there for me during many months of training. She discussed with me my journey leading up to each race. She was my running companion! And now that I am grieving not being able to run because of long-term injuries (I’d kill to run another marathon!), she is incredibly supportive. The companionship continues.
- A wife who takes care of herself. When I teach engaged couples I point out that husbands are visually stimulated. They need to “bounce their eyes” from images not appropriate for them. Then I tell the wives-to-be that they can make that work for them.
Husbands don’t want their wives to be the latest supermodel. Rather, we want you to be the best you possible! Caring about your appearance tells us that you care about us. So don’t strive for that perfect look, just take care of yourself. That’s what we need. That’s sexy to us. (I would refer you to Need #1!)
One night as we were getting ready to go on a date Selma turned to me and asked, “How do I look?” To which I said, “You look great!” Her response: “Good. I want to look great for you.” I then proceeded to take out my credit card and gave it to her, telling her we would go wherever she wanted. That attitude meant so much to me! It met such a need in me for her to care about herself.
- Admiration and encouragement. In the midst of our imperfection, Jesus Christ came to give us abundant (full, meaningful) lives. (See John 10:10b.) In the midst of our imperfect marriages, we can also have abundant marriages. And in the midst of your husband’s imperfect life he can be admired.
Most of us are well aware that we are not perfect men or husbands; but we still need to be admired, acknowledged and recognized for the good in us and for the things we do well. Why? A large part of it is insecurity. Our fragile male egos. We know our flaws. Yet the need is that in spite of shortcomings, there is hope for us! That some of us still needs to be celebrated.
Not that wives do not need this unconditional support. We all need “attaboys” in our lives. Just remember that when you brag on him to the kids, you are meeting one of his top needs.
The beauty of meeting the needs of your mate is that it compels them to do the same to you. That’s not why you do it of course, but what a beautiful system the Lord has put in place. It is not good for us to be alone. We are helpers to each other, giving as needed. Thank-you, Lord, for the opportunity to give to our mates. Indeed is it “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 HCSB). (But it’s pretty good to receive as well!)