3rd core need of husbands

Men are wired differently than women.  Duh!  Most wives know that husbands have a deep need for respect.  You probably also know that most husbands desire a vibrant sex life!  But most husbands also have a third core need.  One of the ways most men differ from us is that, instead of sitting and talking about their feelings and deepest longings, they like to do stuff.  You may not realize it, but most husbands really want their wives to do stuff with them!  They want to spend time with you. Their 3rd core need is your companionship.

This is really made apparent way back at the creation of the world.  Right after God created man, He said in Genesis 2:18, “It’s not good for man to be alone.  I will create a helper suitable for him.”  God knew Adam needed companionship!

Make it a point this week to show some interest in joining your husband in one of his hobbies or activities or even one of his errands.  Does he like to golf?  I bet he would love for you to go with him and watch him, or have him give you a lesson on how to play golf if you don’t already know.  Does he like to ride a bicycle?  Get a bike and take a ride with him.  Does he like to tinker with fixing up old cars?  Sit and watch him and ask if he can explain what he’s doing.  Maybe you can hand him a tool as he works.  Does he need to pick up some paint at a home improvement store?  Ask if you can tag along.

Bonus:  You’ll likely find that as you’re doing something together, men find it easier to talk to you!  Look forward to some actual conversations.  🙂

His idea of spending time together

Many wives are familiar with the Bible’s account of creation and know that after creating Adam, God said “It is not good for man to be alone.  I will create a helper suitable for him.”  (Genesis 2:18)   If you really think about this verse, it becomes clear that one of a husband’s core needs is to spend time with his wife so that he is not alone!

That sounds easy to accomplish. Right?  I mean most wives are totally willing, and even eager, to spend time with their husband….sitting on the couch, staring into each other’s eyes, and deeply sharing their feelings, thoughts, and hopes.  Ummm.  That’s not exactly how most men think about “spending time” with their wife!

A man’s version of spending time together typically involves physically doing stuff together, such as attending a sporting event, going hiking, playing golf, going fishing, walking through the home improvement store together, and yes, having sex.  That’s a man’s version of companionship.   This doesn’t mean you can’t ask your husband to spend some time with you in meaningful conversation from time to time, but it does mean you should consider engaging in his version of quality time periodically as well.  Try it, and see if he doesn’t fall just a little more in love with you. J

2 things husbands want you to know

My husband led a large men’s ministry called Band of Brothers For Christ for many years, and as a result, he got to talk to hundreds of husbands about their marriages.  One day, I asked my husband what 2 things he believes most husbands wish their wives understood about men.  Here’s what he said:

1) That he needs to be valued by you.  In other words, he wants to hear you appreciate the things he does for you and the family.  He needs to be needed.

2) That you would appreciate his efforts….efforts to grow spiritually and in character, and that you would be patient and encouraging during that process.  My husband said it takes time for a man to break free from all the temptations of the world and the lusts of his flesh, and that it’s super helpful if his wife acknowledges any forward progress he’s making, no matter how small.

After my husband explained this to me, it occurred to me that wives will automatically start filling these needs in our men when WE seek to follow God’s instructions on “how to love” in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Husbands are drawn to cheerleaders

I thought the title of this devotional would get your attention!!  🙂   However, I’m not talking about guys lusting after scantily-clad Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.  Instead, I’m talking about how men are naturally drawn to women who are cheerleaders in the sense of being their supporters and encouragers.  So let me ask you this question.  Does your husband sense that you are his cheerleader?

Most men struggle with feeling inadequate.  Most men wrestle with feeling like a failure.  Many men may never put effort into being a better father, husband, employee, or disciple of Jesus because they fear failure.  In other words, they’d rather not try at all if it means they could risk the embarrassment of people noticing them failing in their endeavor.  Perhaps this is why God instructed Joshua over and over again to “be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9). Joshua’s natural bent was to fear failure instead of stepping out with courage.

This is where a wife can make a huge difference!  By speaking words of encouragement and affirmation and respect, your husband may find the courage to move forward.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 instructs us to “encourage one another and build each other up“.   By becoming your husband’s cheerleader, your man may risk failure to step out and seek to be become a stronger, and more godly leader of your family.   Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

Watch out for this scheme from hell!

I’m outing him.  I’m exposing one of Satan’s main strategies for tripping up wives and potentially destroying their marriages.  I can speak from experience because I got caught in this scheme.  Ugh.  Here it is.  The enemy will subtly lure you into a “friendship” with a man other than your husband.  It will start very innocently.  It may evolve very slowly.  But here’s what I know.  Once you start sharing your feelings, your troubles, and your hopes with a man, you start emotionally bonding with that man.   Once a man starts sharing his burdens and his feelings with you, you start to bond with that man.  Now you’re in treacherous water, and it’s only a matter of time before you get sucked into an actual affair.

I know some of you don’t believe me, but trust me, this has happened to countless women, including wonderful Christian ladies.  It happened to me at the end of my first marriage.  I never would have believed it could happen to me!  For me, it took over 10 years for Satan to build a strong enough emotional bond with the man for me to be ensnared, but apparently the devil is pretty patient.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Refuse to spend time alone with another man, even at a public location.  Refuse to discuss your marriage or your husband with another man, unless it’s a pastor or counselor.   God instructs us in 1 Peter 5:8 to “be self-controlled and alert because the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour“.  Be smart.  Be alert to this scheme from the pit of hell!

How husbands respond to emotion

Do you tend to get loud when you get upset?  Are you prone to big, dramatic displays of your emotions, whether joy, frustration or sadness?  Well you might not know this, but most men are really uncomfortable with big displays of emotion.  This isn’t true for ALL men, but for most men.

In other words, if you’re a drama queen….your husband will likely try to escape your presence!  He just doesn’t know what to do with your larger-than-life emotions.  Maybe this is why 1 Peter 3:4 advises wives to have the beauty that comes from a “gentle and quiet spirit“.   

Most men much prefer that their wives discuss their emotions, fears, disappointments, frustrations, and joy in a calm manner.  Your husband will be much more likely to engage in a meaningful discussion with you if you can speak in a normal tone of voice, without waving around your arms.  Try it!

Why your husband doesn’t get it!

Do you sometimes get really frustrated with your husband when he doesn’t see the need to tackle a project quickly?  Do you get exasperated when he doesn’t seem to have a clue how you feel or why you feel the way you do?  Well, here’s a news bulletin.  He doesn’t understand how you think and feel because he’s not a woman!  In Genesis 1:27, we are reminded that God created two distinctly different kinds of people…. “male and female he created them.”  Your man doesn’t think or emote like you because God created him to be different than you!

Men don’t generally sense an urgency to get the kid’s schedule figured out or the house vacuumed.  But you do.  Men don’t usually like to sit and talk about their concerns regarding the children or their job.  You might need to do that, but men generally check out by entering the “nothing box” in their head!

I guess what I’m saying is…don’t be surprised that your husband doesn’t seem to understand you.  He won’t understand you all the time because you’re a woman and he is not. This makes it all the more important for you to have good female friendships.  Make it a point to spend some time with other women, in person or on the phone, at least twice a week.  You need someone to understand and validate your thoughts, fears, hopes, and frustrations.  (Just one caution though.  Don’t bad-mouth your husband in the process.)

He needs to be your hero

Did you know most men really like to be needed?  I know.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it.  Sometimes, it seems like it’s hard to get them to follow through on a task you asked them to handle.  But you know what?  Sometimes we pick inopportune times to ask.  Often we don’t have their full attention, or we mention the task along with five other things we discussed.  Remember, men don’t think the same way women do!  They usually focus on only one thing at a time.

Anyway, back to the “being needed” thing. 🙂 Surveys show most men really do want to be your hero. I believe it’s a way they feel respected, and we know that respect is so important for a man that God actually commands wives to respect their husbands in Ephesians 5:33!  

This means our men want to lift a box that is kind of heavy for us.  They want to fix the leaky faucet and impress you with their “fix-it” skills.   They want to figure out a solution to your overloaded schedule problem.  They want to be our heroes.  The problem is this.  We often try to tackle everything ourselves….or when we do ask them to help with something, we either ask at a bad time, or we throw in the request amid a whole bunch of other “talk”. 

Let’s try this week to ask for our husband’s help with something…at a convenient time, very clearly, and simply.  Then let’s show appreciation when he follows through.  I bet he will love being your hero.

What he needs to feel loved

You’ve probably heard of the “Five Love Languages”.  It’s something Christian author and psychologist Gary Chapman figured out about how people are wired in terms of receiving love.  The love languages are:  words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts.  Well, here’s something I’ve learned after talking with many wives whose husbands have completed the love language assessment.  Almost all men have “physical touch” as one of their top 2 love languages.

Ladies, this means your husband craves not just sex, but little signs of physical affection throughout the day.  When you do these small things, he feels loved by you.  So, why wouldn’t you give him the physical affection that you know would bless him?  By purposely withholding what he needs to feel loved, could it be that we’re actually sinning?  Listen to what God says in James 4:17: “If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”  Oh my.

Here are several ideas on how you can communicate love through physical touch.  Reach out to hold his hand as you walk through the store.  Give him a 20 second neck and shoulder rub as you’re walking by.  Pinch his tush as he walks through the kitchen.  Lean over his shoulder while he’s on the computer and give him a kiss.  Rest your hand on his leg while you’re sitting together on the couch watching TV.  Run your fingers through his hair.  These small acts of physical touch are totally easy and yet they mean so much to most husbands. Try it!