Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage
This is the third and final message in my "Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage" series. Follow the links if you missed the last two messages: Honest Communication, What Men Need
This week, we move on to women’s needs, according to the Bible and a survey I did for my book.
“…husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
—Romans 12:10, NLT
Romans 15:1-3 says, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please Himself….”
One man explained how he contributes to the success of his marriage: “Chiefly it is by living a life that is obedient to God. Thinking of how God would treat His bride when I look at how I treat my wife.” We should regularly ask ourselves, “Would I like it if God treated me the same as I treat my spouse?”
Another man shared, “I have tried very hard to love my wife as Christ loved the church. Of course, I fail at this often!” Keeping the love burning in your marriage takes effort, not perfection. We all fail at loving our spouses often. We're not perfect. My husband doesn’t do everything right, but I know he tries and that’s enough for me. I know I don’t do everything right. And I know I don’t meet my husband’s needs all the time. But he knows I make an effort and that’s all that matters to him.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
You love your wife by being the Spiritual leader of your home. Your wife needs you to have a daily relationship with Jesus. She needs you to pray with her. She needs you to be the one who makes God the center of your marriage. He needs to be your priority each day.
Be the one who says, “We’re going to church together each week.” Be the one who leads your family devotionals and Bible studies. Christ needs to be your foundation to securely hold up the walls of your marriage.
One man explained how Christ is the center of his marriage, “Our marriage is a three person covenant…husband, wife and Jesus. We promised each other to always love God more than we would ever love each other. If we do that, our marriage will be successful. The purpose of our marriage is to demonstrate that relationship between God Almighty (husband) and His church (bride). If our marriage does not Glorify God then we are failing.”
Understanding and Empathy
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”
Women are more emotional than men. We tend to take things personally and get offended more easily than men. Knowing you are made differently, so you think differently, will help you understand your wife better. It may seem to you that your wife overreacts, but maybe she just sees things differently. She won’t see something the way you do because she is different. It may be nothing to you, but it might be something to her.
One man explained how he shows understanding to his wife: “I do not take any issues too seriously regardless of the way my wife overreacts to small situations.”
In general, women are more expressive and men are more direct. We want to get to the root of the problem and men want to solve it and move on. If you are patient with your wife and remain calm, regardless of her reaction, the problem will get resolved quicker than if you keep escalating it by getting angry. She may only want to express how she feels. By being caring and understanding, you can work together to solve the situation.
“In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]”
—1 Peter 3:7, AMP
Supporting me doesn’t mean my husband needs to agree with me about everything. I just want my husband to trust me that I will make right decisions. There have been times my husband supported me even though he disagreed. The times when I was right, God eventually brought my husband into agreement with me. The times when I was wrong, God eventually opened my eyes and showed me my mistake.
Support your wife in her decisions. It’s okay to let her know you disagree. But if she insists, support her anyway. Be open to God's will, and trust Him to bring you and your wife into agreement.
Attention and Affection
“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.”
Many women said they needed their husbands’ attention. One woman said she needed: “Eyes, when we talk, and for him to be engaged and not while watching T.V. or on the computer. I don’t want to talk to the side of his face.”
We want our husbands to be interested in us. Listening to your wife and giving her your undivided attention tells her she is important to you. You can also find out what your wife needs by listening to what she talks about. If she often complains about something, or frequently mentions a certain thing, that is what she needs.
Women also said they needed time alone with their husbands. Plan a getaway or a date night and surprise your wife. Keep romancing your wife as you did when you were dating. One woman said one of the things she needs from her husband is to keep things new and exciting.
When couples date they do everything they can to impress each other. Then they get married and it’s not a priority anymore. One woman advised, “There was an attraction that brought you together and there was something about the other that caused them to fall in love with each other. During times of tribulation, it is important to look back and search for those things and feelings that brought the couples together in the first place.”
One man explained how he contributed to the restoration of his marriage. He said he took the time to understand what his wife needed and fell in love with her all over again.
Strive to please your wife. Strive to impress her. Make her feel like she’s the world to you just like you did when you were dating. Try to remember those feelings you had for her when you first met, and rekindle those feelings. Re-ignite the passion in your marriage.
*If you would like more teachings to keep the fire burning in your marriage, follow this link to my series “Developing the Fruit of the Spirit In Your Marriage.” Or you can purchase my book "You Can Have a Happy Family."