Many powerful and influential male leaders have attributed much of the reason for their success to their wives. Billy Graham is one of those leaders. When his wife died in 2007, he told reporters “My work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.”
Your husband needs your encouragement and esteem in order to have the boldness and confidence to accomplish great things. In Genesis 2:18, God makes it clear that women were created because men need help. God said “It is not good for man to be alone. I will create a helper suitable for him.” That helper is you, and one of the biggest ways you can help your husband is by encouraging him with your words.
With that in mind, here are 10 words/phrases that your man longs to hear from you:
Did you know you can enhance the relationship with your husband by allowing a gap for him to fill? It’s true. So often, women zoom in to fill all voids in leadership, responsibility, or tasks. There’s something that needs to be handled, and you might even ask your husband to do it, but if he doesn’t jump off his chair and do it in the next 2 seconds, you do it yourself! In a nutshell, you subtly communicate that you don’t really need him. But your man wants to be needed by you. That’s one of the top needs of your husband! He wants to be your hero. He wants to be your knight in shining armor.
Your man is wired to crave your admiration and respect. That’s likely why God tells wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“. One of the ways your husband will feel respected is when you demonstrate that you value and need his abilities, strength, and character.
Start thinking of ways you can let your man know that you need him. Do you have a bad headache? Ask him to pray for you. Do you have a heavy box that needs to be moved? Ask him if he can lift it for you. Let him know he is needed. He will feel better about himself as he senses that you truly value him and need his strength, abilities, and character.
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. 🙂
I have interviewed quite a few men who are marriage conference speakers and they all say the same thing…a man deeply needs his wife to be interested in a robust sex life with him. They agree that a husband feels more like a man, has a more positive attitude, and accomplishes more in life when his wife fosters an active sex life.
Conversely, when a wife neglects her husband sexually or makes it clear she’s barely tolerating sex…then Satan has a huge opening to begin tempting her husband to satisfy his desires with porn or another woman. 1 Corinthians 7:5 makes this clear when it says “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Most women don’t need frequent sex with their spouse the same way that a man does. It’s one of the many ways we’re wired differently. But if you want your husband to feel like a man, to be bonded to you, and to be so pumped up that he can go out and slay dragons, then you need to think about building a healthy, robust sex life with him. I know you have 101 other things you need to do, but can you leave some dirty dishes in the sink or wait to tidy up the house until the morning? Your husband needs you tonight!
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
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.”
Recently, I asked my husband what one thing most husbands really wish their wife would understand. Here is what he said. Most men long for their wife to notice something good about them and to tell them what they see! It could be a positive character quality he displays. It could be the fact that he works hard to provide for the family. It could be a talent he has. It could be the way you notice him submitting himself to God.
According to my husband, men desperately need this validation because they feel like a failure much of the time. In fact, my husband described men as being a bit like dry bones in a desert, in desperate need of water. Your words can provide water for those dry bones and breathe life back into your man! Proverbs 16:24 puts it this way, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Will you commit to finding something to affirm about your husband every day for the next 7 days? Will you commit to actually telling him about the good you see? He will soak up those words like a sponge, and it will bring life back into the dry bones of his spirit.
My husband and I have had some interesting conversations a few months ago. One of things he mentioned several times is how devastating it is for a man to hear his wife criticize him or make fun of him in front of other people. Even if she is trying to be funny, and even if he seems to be laughing along with everyone else, most men are quite offended by this and feel disrespected by the one person who is supposed to be for them…their wife!
So, this is just a brief reminder for all of us to be ever so careful with our men’s fragile hearts. Even though I think my husband’s little quirks are funny, it’s probably not a brilliant idea for me to share those quirks with other people. Even though I thought one of his blunders was hilarious, he’s going to feel disrespected if I share that funny story with others. Let’s all be vigilant in protecting our men’s hearts. They so desire our respect, especially in public. Maybe we all need to quote Ephesians 5:33 every morning before we start our day. It very simply says, “The wife must respect her husband.”
Sometimes, men are so hard to understand! When we first see our husbands at the end of our work day, whether working away from home or inside the home, we LOVE to talk about how the day has gone. We eagerly await our husband’s arrival so that we can share the details about the children, the crazy thing the neighbors did today, the weird stuff that happened at work, etc. We LOVE to verbally process the day with our husbands. But guess what? Most men are not exactly excited about having a long conversation with their wives as soon as they walk in the door. They long to spend some time in their “nothing box”. Huh?
It’s hard for women to understand a man’s need for his “nothing box” because most women don’t even know what one is! I’ve had a few men explain it to me in two different ways. It can refer to most men’s uncanny ability to think about absolutely nothing…to completely zone out! It can also refer to a man’s need to have down time where he can veg. Here’s the basic idea. After a long day at work, most men need to enjoy either quiet or mindless activity in order to decompress from their day. This means your husband probably doesn’t want to hear the fascinating details of your day as soon as he walks in the door and he probably doesn’t want to talk about his day either…at least not for a while.
So, give your husband some space when he first walks in the door. Greet him with a smile and a kiss and then allow him some time in his “nothing box”. You will become more beautiful to him. God says this to wives in 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…”
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.