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Four Things Every Husband Needs to Know About His Wife
by Dr. Sharon Schuetz
2/11/2007 / Family
Have you ever wondered why God made women so different? A woman will hide her feelings, mulling them over until she thinks herself into despair. She worries about her problems; she worries about her family; she worries about her church, her neighbors, and her career. Left unchecked, her fear turns into depression. She masks her pain, deceiving herself and everyone else, until she explodes at the slightest provocation.
Does this sound like someone you know? Perhaps it is your wife. Remarkably, as her husband, you make a greater difference in her life than anyone else. By learning about a few basic needs exclusive to a woman's nature, you can help her grow into the beautiful creature God designed her to be. After all, she is the one you married and wanted to stay with forever.
A woman releases her pent up emotions through talking about her thoughts. This is how she finds solutions. She needs someone in her life she can trust. This is someone who will listen when she is willing to share.
She needs a man with whom she is safe, who allows her to expose her soul, and share her innermost self. If you will not listen to her without criticism, judgment, or rejection, she will stop and find someone else to share this part of her life. Consequently, your marriage will suffer the loss of intimacy and trust. A husband with a sympathetic ear is rare, but you can learn the art of listening.
Why do men not understand women? Who knows? God wired men and women using different schematics. Our human nature believes everyone deals with the world the same way we do. Men think women manage information and behave a certain way because they would behave the same way in their place. We can compare men and women to bananas and strawberries. Both are fruit, but each has its own form, flavor, and texture. By themselves, they taste fabulous, but combine them together and you get a fantastic fruit salad with each part keeps its own characteristics.
Marriage is like fruit salad. A man and a woman: each with unique shapes, textures, and flavors, are complete by themselves. Nevertheless, when you combine them together, you get a brand new creation. Though, both of you keep your own identity.
When his wife cries, her husband embraces her and wants to solve her problems. Once she gets a few intelligible words out through her sniffles, he holds his head back; sometimes he is even stupid enough to laugh. He then he says, "Oh, is that all. Its so is simple. This is what you need to do."
It dumbfounds him when she stops talking, looks at him and says, "Never mind! I'll figure it out myself," as she walks away slamming the door. Now she is angry and frustrated as well as depressed.
He has no clue why she did not throw her arms around him, give him a passionate kiss, and thank him for all his wisdom. Men want to give women a solution after hearing a few details. Never mind that they heard only a few of the facts. They do not want to hear it all. They have the answer whether their wives want it or not. Overall, their answer is probably correct, if not appreciated.
The resulting argument adds pressure to an already strained relationship. Women do not want the answers given to them. It defeats the purpose. Men get aggravated when women reject their quick fixes, but women must process their own way to find the answer.
God designed your partner to keep her emotions in, releasing them as she speaks. Through talking, she verbalizes her thoughts. Her emotions begin to unravel and confusion dissipates. This allows her to identify the answer staring her in the face. You probably offered the same solution. Nevertheless, because of her confused emotions she was not ready for it.
So many marriage problems could be resolved if we understood God made both genders different with different needs. Our desires, our thinking processes, and our needs are all different. Understanding them can help us make positive strides in relating to one another.
There are four characteristics every woman needs from her husband for her sense of security and completeness. By understanding them he can make a tremendous difference in his marriage, transform his home, changing the atmosphere from disappointment, confusion, and indifference to one of peace and oneness of spirit and purpose.
The first attribute or virtue your wife needs from you is the sound guidance of a spiritual leader. As a strong spiritual leader, you can provide many of her needs. Spiritual leadership reveals a man's spiritual health and shows the direction he is going.
A wife aches for guidance when her husband fails to be the spiritual leader. God did not intend for her to be the spiritual leader of the family. If you fail here, you expose her to worry she was not meant to experience. Her life is out of control. The resulting fear and helplessness forces her to make decisions she should not make. Then she must accept the consequences and sometimes the blame from you if she makes the wrong choice.
As her spiritual leader, she needs to trust your desire for a relationship with God is sincere. You prove this when you read his word, pray, pay tithes and faithfully attend church. She needs to see you build your strong convictions on Scripture, and consistently follow your convictions.
The next thing your wife needs is reassurance that she is meeting needs in your life no other woman can. This is a fundamental need common to all women. She needs you to convince her she is special to you. God made her for a "helpmate." The needs she is meeting in your life must be relevant to you. The more valuable they are, the more you should compliment and appreciate her.
A man has the tendency to hide his real needs from his wife, wanting her to admire him and think of him as a success. For your wife to honor you, she must see your humility. You will receive and keep her love more quickly by sharing your failures with her than you will by sharing only your successes. You must not only describe your needs, but you should relate to her exactly what she can do to help you meet them. You encounter many needs in your life only your spouse can satisfy. She can help protect you against other women with wrong motives. We live in a world permeated with sensuality and passion. She can give you the joy of a physical love without guilt.
Her need for security and steadfastness will make you want to make sound decisions instead of hasty ones. It grieves a man when his wife suffers because of his poor decisions. Understanding how his choices affect his entire family makes him take more time and examine the consequences before acting rashly.
Your wife instills godly character in your children and discerns their needs. She is probably with them more than you are, and as a mother, she often has insight in their lives you may not. She serves as a buffer during conflict and is usually an arbitrator.
She will become discouraged if she feels you are more concerned with the needs of employers, employees, colleagues, friends, and church members, than you are with her needs. She wants to be an essential part of your world. If she is not, her world begins to discourage and close in on her.
Third, she needs you to cherish her and enjoy setting aside time for personal conversation. There is a difference between loving her and cherishing her. Most men love their wives whether they prove it or not. Few men cherish them. You cherish her when you know her as a person, protect her, and compliment her to others.
Your wife must know she is an essential part of your world, and you love her beyond what she does for you. Show her that you love her for her sake and let her know you long to be with her. She wants to ensure that the qualities in her you fell in love with are still relevant to you. You need to repeat expressions of your love to her often.
Men experience much of their self-worth and respect from their profession and women get most of their value confirmation from their husbands. Even women with successful careers receive much of their personal affirmation at home.
You can show her how you appreciate her in small ways. You can go a long way to prove you adore her by giving her the same courtesy you give to other women. Take the few extra seconds required to open the car door for her. Open the door for her in public, pull out her chair and wait until she sits down before you sit down in a restaurant. You can help her with her coat, and lift heavy objects for her. You tell the world how valuable your wife is to you when you do these things in public. This message does not miss your wife's attention. She will shine for weeks.
We left a restaurant several years ago, and my husband opened the car door for me. Our seventeen-year old son opened the rear car door for our fourteen-year old daughter. The woman in the booth seated next to where we had been sitting saw this through the window and hit her husband. My daughter and I laughed. I was smart enough; however, to realize how fortunate I was that my husband enjoyed "showing me off in public."
Your wife needs intimate conversation. This is possible only when you share oneness of spirit. She needs to communicate her experiences and thoughts about them, so she can express her confused feelings. She needs to know you are listening and not eager to go away and do something else.
One way to ensure intimate conversation is to have a fixed time planned for it. Ultimately, the most intimate level of conversation occurs when your spouse can trust you with the secrets of her deepest emotions.
Many wives have genuine fears they never share with their husbands. There are several reasons for this. Sometimes a woman feels guilty for her feelings and just hopes that they will disappear. She may fear criticism and rejection from her husband. She often just wants to reduce his load. Sometime she knows he probably does not know what to do so there is no point in disturbing him.
You can help your wife overcome these fears by giving her the respect and courtesy of listening to her and encouraging her to talk. Whatever she has to say matters to her. Be careful not to belittle her or make what she has to say seem insignificant. If you do, she will find someone else to talk to, and your marriage will suffer.
Mike and Tina are so busy during the day that they sit up talking late many nights. This is usually the only time they are alone. As a woman, Tina often has emotions bottled up. Through the years, her wise husband has been a sounding board. Many times, he never says anything. He will usually just say, "Urn-hum, yeah. Right." He draws her out with well-worded questions that help her work through harbored doubts and fears.
A woman finds solutions on her own as she talks out her thoughts. She gets frustrated when things stay inside. It can be confounding and cause her to have feelings of insecurity and self-worth issues. By getting them out, she can "see" them and put them into perspective.
Your wife's fourth need is protection in areas where she feels inadequate. She needs insight, primarily from you. She wants boundaries expressing your concern for her. If you fail her now, she will feel neglected. She wants you to be aware of her spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical strengths and weaknesses. She also wants you to have the wisdom and courage to give loving but firm guidance, so she will not fail by going beyond her limits. She may occasionally ask you for something she does not want just to check you out. She wants you to be sensitive to her real needs and the dangers she faces.
If you give her everything she wants, without question, she will be insecure. You should understand your wife so well that you can be strong or you can be lenient when she needs it. She appreciates and respects loving firmness when you both believe it is appropriate.
The main function of the head is to develop, train, and protect the rest of our body, so the whole person can accomplish God's plan. In this point you are to be the head of your wife (Ephesians 5:23). It is your responsibility, as your family's spiritual leader to set the standard in your home. When you treat their mother with clear expressions of love, your children will follow her and admire you as a man of courage and integrity. By learning to meet your spouse's basic needs, she will respond with acts of kindness and expressions of respect for you that until now you only imagined.
Dr. Schuetz is an ordained minister and has been in ministry with her husband for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in clinical Christian counseling. She and her husband, Michael, of 33 years have 2 sons, 1 daughter, 9 grandchildren.
2008 by Dr. Sharon Schuetz
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