It doesn’t take an expert to know that men and women are very
different. What we often don’t pay attention to is that those
differences mean that what a husband needs from his wife is quite
different from what a wife needs from her husband. Our tendency
is to try to express love to our spouse in the way we would like to
be loved. Unfortunately that is never a successful strategy. Don’t
make the assumption that your husband should be satisfied
because you are giving him what you want to receive from him.
Here are the top four needs that every husband has:
He would rather be unloved than disrespected.
Respect is huge with men. Men need love just like women do but a
man can cope with not being loved much better than he can cope
with not being respected. If your husband had to choose between
love and respect, he would choose respect any day. There is
something in the way that God wired men that makes them crave
to be respected, especially by their wives. Your husband will listen
for respect in your voice, look for respect in your eyes and watch
your body language for respect. Any hint of disrespect makes a
man close up to his wife which is one of the reasons why men
never respond to nagging, even if they know their wife is right.
Anything that suggests to a man that his wife feels he is
incompetent, inadequate, or his judgement cannot be trusted, will
draw strong resistance from him. Your husband needs to know
that you admire and respect him, that you value his opinions and
that you see the good in him, even when others don’t.
Use your words to communicate your respect for your husband,
both in his presence and his absence. Celebrate his achievements
and express your appreciation for everything he does. Also, give
him permission to make mistakes. Some women act like it is their
God-given mission to prevent their husband from making mistakes,
so they try to control his behaviour by nagging. Give your husband
the freedom to make decisions and support him in those decisions.
If you disagree with the choices he is making, state your reasons
clearly and respectfully and then turn the matter over to God. 1
Peter 3:1-2 puts it this way, ‘In the same way, wives, you should
patiently accept the authority of your husbands. This is so that
even if they don’t obey God’s word, as they observe your pure
respectful behaviour, they may be persuaded without a word by the
way you live.’ Men are more easily persuaded by respectful
behaviour than nagging words.
2. He needs your help
As capable as your husband is, there are so many ways in which
you can enrich his life and multiply his productivity. If he was self-
sufficient, you would be irrelevant in his life. Remember that when
God made Eve, He made her because He knew that Adam needed
a helper. Your husband is well aware of the gaps in his life and
every man’s hope is that his wife will be able to fill in those gaps.
This means that rather than complaining about your husband’s
inadequacies, you are called to compensate for them wherever
you can. This is what makes a husband and wife team stronger
together than either of them would have been apart. You each have
your strengths and weaknesses. When you both compensate for
each other rather than competing with each other, the true beauty
of marriage becomes apparent.
Study your husband. Where can you step in and help him make
things happen without making a fuss? Partner with him to create a
well-managed, peaceful home environment that you can both
enjoy. A restful home environment is a shelter from the pressures
of the world and will help him stay productive and focused.
3. He needs your encouragement and support
Your husband needs your encouragement and support to be able to
fulfil His God-given purpose. There is something about a
supportive wife that gives her husband renewed energy whenever
he faces difficult situations in life. In sport, ‘home advantage’
relates to the advantage sporting teams have when they play in
their home territory with their loyal fans cheering them on. This
gives them the added impetus to play well and win because they
are surrounded by fans who believe in them. You should be your
husband’s greatest fan, giving him that ‘home advantage’ and
believing in him when nobody else does.
Support your husband with your words, actions and prayers. Let
him know that you will always be there to support him and that you
will always be loyal to him, in his presence and in his absence. You
will have your husband’s heart and confidence when he knows he
can trust you to always be on his side, no matter what life throws