The Two-Sided Secret of a Satisfying Marriage, Part 1
“My needs aren’t being met.” That is the battle cry of 99 percent of the people who attend marriage counseling. God designed us with certain physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs. Men and women both have them, and according to God’s plan, when a man and woman come together in marriage, those needs can then be fully met.
At least, they are supposed to be. In reality, what often happens is that men and women fail to realize just how strikingly different each other’s needs really are. As a result, neither the husband nor the wife are fulfilled… and trouble follows.
If their needs continue to go unrecognized and unmet, the collapse of the marriage is almost unavoidable. That’s why I want to challenge you to become more need-conscious. No, I’m not talking about being aware of your own needs. I’m talking about developing a greater understanding of the needs of your spouse. Such an understanding can save a failing marriage, make a good marriage even stronger, and end up blessing you as much as it blesses your partner.
Most people don’t understand that. They think, “My wife has certain needs and I have certain needs.” They separate out “his needs” and “her needs.” But the truth is, they are all a part of “the relationship’s needs.”
You and your spouse are one flesh. What enriches one of you enriches the other as well. As Ephesians 5:28-29 says:
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth it and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church….
In other words, God is saying, “Listen folks, when you do something for your spouse, you’re doing it for yourself. It’s just like ministering to your own body. Husbands, when you meet a need in your wife’s life, you’re meeting it in your own life.”
What are the most important of those needs?
The answer depends on whether you’re a man or a woman. Wives and husbands have differing needs. That fact is confirmed not only by the Bible, but by secular studies and research as well. Nearly all the studies I’ve seen in this area report that everyone has 10 or 12 basic needs, yet the top needs for women are very different from the top needs for men.
Tune in each day this week for more information on what these top needs are for men and women.