Guest Post by Rodney A. Wilson
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.
When God made woman in Genesis 2, He didn’t say He will make a wife. Not even a woman. He says, “… I will make a helper (italics mine) as his complement” (HCSB). Someone who fits him just right. This is where we get the idea that marriage is a partnership of helping each other.
And to be effective in helping each other we need to know what kind of helper our spouse needs. For starters, here are three basic needs wives need from their husbands. (Next week we’ll cover the husbands.)
Three Needs of Wives
- Spiritual leadership of her husband. This one is first and foremost on many lists of this kind. There is a certain security in the wife when her husband is running after God. To know that he is pursuing a close relationship with the Lord is biblical. It pleases God. Calling his family to prayer, taking them to church, or his family seeing him quietly reading his Bible provides an order to her home and meets a special need in her life.
Two things about what a husband’s spiritual leadership is NOT:
• It is not a license for the husband to dominate the wife. On the contrary, Jesus said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:26 ESV). The husband should take the lead in serving the family as Christ served the church. If there is going to be any servant spirit in the family, the husband should set the tone. That’s spiritual leadership!
• It does not mean the husband is expected to know everything about God and all knowledge of the Bible. (Thank the Lord!) Rather, the husband’s spiritual leadership is always in process. We have a saying at our church: “It’s not about perfection. It’s about direction.” The husband is on a journey, learning more about the Lord, growing in his walk with Him. That’s spiritual leadership.
This is the catchall. Ladies, I submit to you that if you tell your husband you need “affection” he will not have a clue what you mean. While it is indeed a vital need of yours there are a 1000 definitions of affection! You need to tell him your definition of affection to make sure he is barking up the right tree.
Your meaning of affection could include romance, laughter, a walk in the park, encouragement, affirmation, a flower he picked, a card from him, and (yes, it could happen) more sex.
Wives, what is your definition of affection? Let him clearly know.
- Talking with her husband.
The husband needs to talk not just to his wife but with her. Engaging conversation is a huge need of wives, and why shouldn’t it be? This is a connection with each other. It is re-entering each other’s world at the end of a day when you’ve been separated from her for 10-12 hours. It is dreaming together about your future. Planning ahead together.
For some husbands reading this it might appear nauseating. Just remember that when this need is fulfilled in your wife, it is similar to you having the need of sex fulfilled in your life. Doesn’t make sense? Of course not. You are wired differently than her. Just trust that giving to her in this area really touches her and meets a critical need. Sometimes “talking with her” will include just listening without fixing it. Sometimes it will include sharing your heart with her. Either way, be available. If you engage with your wife, it will be amazingly powerful for her.
Finally, husband, I encourage you to go for it. Share these three needs with your wife. Then, in the spirit of need # 3, ask her what needs she has in addition to these. Talk. Engage. It’s called marriage enrichment and it contains many benefits for your marriage down the road.