When you do work with couples, you find that many couples come to get help because they are experience a lot of conflict in their lives. When we dig a little deeper one of the common things we find is that one or both of the couples have some seriously unmet needs. A great deal of the time their spouse is not avoiding meeting their needs because they are trying to be mean. Generally, they are not meeting the needs of their spouse because they just don’t know what they are. Husbands frequently will feel like they are doing their very best to meet the needs of their wife but they are using techniques that would make them happy. A simple revelation of your wife is a girl and she is not like you, opens the door to begin to help guys make a few changes that will make a big difference in their marriage.
Having looked at men’s needs in the previous post, we now examine the needs of women. Men’s needs and women’s needs are very different. This is a plan specifically designed by God. When husbands are able to identify and meet the needs of their wives they find that unity becomes not only something that is achievable, but very powerful as well.
Again, it is important to note the needs of women we will identify in this chapter are given in generalities. There is not enough space to identify all the variations of these needs.
The needs of a woman include security, affection, open communication and leadership. Again, this list of needs are not given to be used as a measuring stick by the wife to determine if her husband is meeting her needs but rather by the husband to provide practical ways to meet the needs of his wife. It is import to keep the proper perspective when we identify and implement the needs of a woman.
The first and primary need of a woman is security. A woman’s need for security shows itself in four areas: Emotional, spiritual, physical, and financial security. For a woman, emotional security is an issue of the heart. Spiritual security is a soul issue. Physical security involves touch. The basis for financial security is wrapped in provision. As these needs are met, areas of insecurities decrease tremendously which allows her to fully enjoy marriage. A secure wife is then in a better place to meet the needs of her husband.
The second most important need of women is affection. Affection often means very different things to men and to women. Affection is defined in the dictionary as a tender feeling towards one another. Often this can also be identified as non-sexual touch. Affection can also be the expression of care. It symbolizes protection, comfort and approval. When spouses are affectionate towards one another it sends the following messages: ‘You are important to me and I will care for and protect you.’ ‘I am concerned about the problems you face and will be there for you when you need me. Affection comes naturally during the dating process. However, affection becomes more important in the marriage because it says that you are still valuable and worth being pursued.
It is always better to be over affectionate than under affectionate. In doing this you will eliminate any doubt about your feelings. Frequent simple gestures of kindness and physical touch are greats way to meet the need for affection. Hand holding, sitting with you arm around her, a kiss or just the act of a gentle touch without any need for this to lead to sex are important in ensuring that her need for affection is fully satisfied. Additionally such things a kind word, a greeting card, a text message or a love note unsuspectingly tucked into her purse are always great ways to demonstrate affection. The ultimate goal is to make sure that she always knows that she is on your mind.
The third need of a woman is open communication. Conversation, not in generalities, but with details and emotion attached. Most men will need to make a concerted effort to meet their wives needs in this area. Women are generally freer to express emotion and details when communicating with others. Men generally have a tendency to communication precisely and matter-of-factly. Men are going to need to develop their communication skills to meet this need of their wives. It is only in some areas where they struggle. For example, when a man is telling another man about a car, he can communicate make, model, horsepower, engine size, and details with difficulty. Husbands need to utilize that same type of communication in order to meet the communication needs of his wife. He does this both by listening to her and by mapping out the details of his heart.
Husbands if you feel that your wife is bombarding you with questions, this is a good indicator that you are not adequately meeting her communication needs. By providing conversation in sentences not one-word answers you will find that the barrage of questions may subside. Also by making a commitment to conversation you will take the fear out of hearing her say, “We need to talk.” By being an active participant in conversation, even starting them at times you are building your marriage, meeting her need, and drawing closer together. Remembering that body language is a huge part of communication talking to her while acting like you are going to the dentist is not relaying that you feel it is important to her. It conveys you are doing it because you have to. A gift not freely given is not really a gift. Give her the gift of communication, she will treasure it.
The fourth primary need of women is leadership. Leadership is not domination. Leadership is the act of getting others to willingly follow. Men are called to be the leaders of the home in the many areas. Spiritual leadership is the most important area. Spiritual leadership involves Bible reading/study, prayer, and church involvement. Leadership is provided by example more than verbal directive. Leadership should also be demonstrated in the areas of finances, romance, and children. Wives need to provide an environment where men can remain in the leadership role that God has designed for them. It is important for women to be submitted to the leadership of their husbands. This can be difficult if a woman comes from a home where her father did not assume his leadership role or where a mother dominated the relationship. This will be an area where women with strong personalities may struggle. The benefit of strong leadership will be a clearly defined purpose and direction, this will enable the couple to work together as a unit and accomplish more in their relationship. When wives will allow their husbands the opportunity to assume his role as leader, they will see God’s blessing on their marriage in amazing ways.