What is the Purpose of a Marriage?
In our culture it may seem strange to ask this question? Marriages happen every day all across the world. Marriage to many people is simply a natural progression through the progress of life. But when we have people advocating to alter the very definitions of marriage, from one man and one woman in a monogamous relationship to same sex relationships, a high divorce rate that plagues the country even within Christendom, and mass confusion on the functional roles in the marriage it makes sense to begin with asking such a basic question.
1. To Reflect the Glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17)
Marriages are ultimately a God-ordained institution and union for the purpose of bringing glory to God. Each person who marries enters into a divine institution that God created. Thus, two people must enter into the relationship with an understanding that in eternity they will be judged according to how they lived and related to one another in love.
2. To Administer God's Grace and Love to One Another (Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:22-33; Philippians 2:3-4)
When two people marry they become key partners in the work of God's grace to sanctify one another. In essence two people who marry form the smallest unit of God's church. The two people have divine roles in leading each other towards holiness. The man is to lead and guide his wife in the Spirit and Word whereas the woman is to work at completing her husband spiritually through respecting and assisting the man in his walk, sanctification, and mission with the Lord. Both have a responsibility to aid one another in sanctification.
3. To Accomplish God's Rule Over the Earth (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:15-24)
One of the biggest problems today when couples marry is they have no divine mission in life. They marry for sensual pleasures, for financial reasons, for familial goals, or other reasons without ever sensing and knowing a divine mission and purpose. God ordained the marriage unit as a team of two that will work to implement God's plan and rule over some area of life. A godly marriage will have a divine mission if it is rightly focused. The two will have a sense of destiny to accomplish God's plan in their respective areas of life. As a team they will set out on a divine journey.
What Should I Look for in A Mate?
The art of finding a spouse that honors God certainly has perplexed many. In some ways we as humans are totally at the mercy of God for him to place us in front of the person he has designed for us. Just like when Adam met Eve, it is the divine providence that governs each and every event of the universe which includes discovering God's mate for us. Not a single event, meeting, relationship, or circumstance happens unless God has ordained and predestined that event in the plan of history.
However, we have a responsibility to walk in the grace of God instead in the justice of God. Though it is impossible to "miss the will of God" we can certainly place ourselves either in his will of grace or his will of discipline and justice.
God has given to us in his Word principles concerning what to look for in a mate. Sadly, too often even Christians are confused in our generation in what to look for in a mate. Many times this is because they sit under teachers who do not believe and teach that the Bible is a sufficient guide in all areas of life. But the Bible gives men and women divine guidance in this area.
Two Helpful Proverbs To Memorize
Marry a Man without a biblical mission and you will have no eternal vision; Marry a Man without his eternal vision and you will violate your biblical mission!
Marry a Woman who does not believe in the biblical mission and you will lose your vision; Marry a Woman who does not have the biblical vision and you will fail at your eternal mission!
A Great Confessional Statement Concerning Marriage
"The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation" (The Baptist Faith and Message: A Statement adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, June 14th, 2000, Article XVIII: The Family).
God has Called the Man to Be the Overseer of the Wife and Family
1 Corinthians 11 is clear concerning the divine pattern God has established for the husband wife relationship. The husband represents the family before God. He is the "head of the wife" as he submits to the leadership of Christ. Just as Adam was responsible for his wife the husband today is responsible before God for the spiritual growth and sanctification of the wife and children in the home. The Bible states this in no uncertain terms (see 1 Cor. 11: 1-12, Eph. 5:22-23; Col. 3:18). A clear picture of this is with Adam and Eve. When Eve came to Adam with the forbidden fruit sin had not yet entered into the human race. But when Adam, the head of the race and his wife, took of the fruit at that moment sin entered into the human race. Beacause Adam failed to lead and protect his wife from sin, the charge and blame fell upon him (see Romans 5:12, Paul placed the sin of the human race not on Eve but on Adam, the representative head.). In essence every woman will marry a pastor because every man is assigned by God to be the spiritual shepherd of the wife and family. Therefore, the woman must go to the Bible to see what God requires of a godly overseer. The principles for an overseer are found in 1 Timtohy 3:2-7. Furthermore, Ephesians 5:25-29 gives the teaching to how the man is to lead his wife. He must serve her in grace, truth, and in love to that by his life in the Word he can sanctify her. These apply to the man. These qualities are the list a woman should look for when seeking a soul mate!!!!!
The Woman's Check List for A Spiritual Head:
1. Is the Man above Reproach? Does the man live a life that is openly honest and pure in the eyes of God? Is his overall pattern of life guided by a desire to live according to the principles of Christ? (Warning: Women if he does not love Christ, love to read the word, and does not openly submit to the authority of the Bible then he is not above reproach!!!! Avoid such people as that.).
2. Is he devoted to you in purity or is he promiscuous? Does he have a problem with his sexual desires? Can he control himself sexually? A man who seeks to have sexual intercourse with you before marriage is not in control of his passions and desires. Is he sexually active with others? If so he is not fit for marriage and he is not the right choice. (Warning: Women if he can't control his sex drive now before he marries then he may never be able to control it even in marriage. Do not think you will change his actions after you marry him!!!!! Avoid such people as that.).
3. Is he Temperate or Under Self-Control? Does he manage himself well? Are you having to make the spiritual decisions in the relationship? Does he control his emotions, passions, and mind in various situations of life. Does he make good judgments or is he quick and rash making decisions that hurt him and others? (Warning: Women do not dare marry someone who is not in control of his decisions. Men are often quick to react and because we are task oriented if we do not learn to make balanced decisions you will suffer. Many situations in life fall between the lines of Scripture and you need a man who is level headed to follow the principles of Christ. Avoid such people who can't do this!!!!!).
4. Is he someone you respect and can look up to? Does the man live by convenience or by conviction? A man who is going to be a good mate must live a life that is in order under the authority of Christ. This is how he has the life that earns others respect for his life. Does he stand for truth or does he compromise and live with popular opinion as his way of life? (Warning: Women do not marry someone who lives the way the world lives. If he can not tell others about his faith can you respect him? If he can't oppose sin and error in the culture do you think he is a person you can respect and look up to as a real man of God? Avoid such people who live by convencience instead of biblical conviction!!!!!!)
5. Is he a person who is hospitable, meaning does he realize that all he has is the Lords?
A person who is hospitable is one that will use his money, time, and energy for the purpose of God. His home, his vehicles, his finances, his resources, and his service and mission in life will be used to further the cause of Christ in daily life. Does he have a passion to use all that God gives to him to help others?
(Warning: Women if he is selfish, unkind, and unwilling to give of his time in a sacrificial way what makes you think he will do so for you? What makes you think he will continue when the newness of the relationship dwindles? How do you know he will make sacrifices for you if he does not do this for others now? Avoid such self-centered people!!!!!!).
6. Does he drink excessively? Alcohol has ruined many homes. I can't tell you how many homes I have been in just within my years in law enforcement where the man has ruined the home because he is a drunkard. A man that parties, loves to be intoxicated, and desires to use alcohol as a means to escape the pressures of life is not suited to be married. He is not in control of himself. Instead of communion with the Spirit of the Lord he is addicted to alcohol and out of step with the Spirit. (Warning: Women you will not change the man if he is this way now before marriage. It will probably get worse as the years go by if you marry someone like this. This can lead to abuse, physical and emotional, to your children being hurt and damaged, to a life of pain and suffering, sickness, loss of your home, career, health, and even life if he drinks and drives or hangs around bars or those who party all the time. Avoid such people as this!!!!!!)
7. Is he violent or gentle? How does he respond to you when he gets irritated? Does he have anger managment issues? Can he control his temper with you and others? Is he quick to speak or slow to speak? Is he slow to anger or is he quick to anger? Does he use abusive language? Does he scream at people? How does he handle the frustrations of life? If he is not a gentle man who knows how to handle his emotions and to even correct others when ill, angry, and hurt, he is not mature enough to marry. (Warning: Women a man who abuses you emotionally or physically is unfit for you to marry. A mature man who loves he Lord will be kind, gentle, and able to communicate without losing his temper, or allowing frustrations to overwhelm him disabling his ability to think spiritually in how to correct a woman or another person who is caught in sin. Avoid hot tempered men and those who fail to express gentleness in the way they correct you or are corrected for error!!!!!!).
8. Does he like arguing and conflict or does he seek peace? A godly man will not enjoy controversy. He will not pick on all your flaws, and he will seek to find peacable solutions to conflicts that may arise. His heart will seek to find solutions that honor the Lord not his own selfish desires. He will intentionally make an effort to overlook minor irritations while focusing on issues that are of major eternal significance. (Warning: Women a man that likes to make you angry or likes to stir up trouble and problems is dangerous. His heart is guided by the underworld and it will not make for a good marriage. A godly man understands the difference from important matters to trivial matters. Avoid such people who can't discern between the two!!!!!!).
9. Is his love and passion Christ and you or money? A godly man will not live his life with a focus on how much money he can make. Many a homes have been ruined when the man is driven to work all the time, to advance in his career at the peril of his family. Henry Fielding a famous English Novelist once said: "Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil." A man whose focus is money and wealth is not seeking after God's spiritual kingdom but after Satan's materialistic kingdom. (Warning: Women sometimes your desire to have 'nice things' can lead the man to neglect the nicest and most important part of his life, you!!! Do not drive the man towards materialism. Do not marry a man that is driven to success at the expense of a close and godly marriage in the home. Better to be materially poor and rich in spirit than poor in spirit and earthly wealthy and rich. Avoid materialistic men!!!!!!!!)
10. Can he teach you biblical truth in word and in deed? A godly man will love Scripture. Let me state this even more emphatically. If a person does not love the Bible, which is the perfect reflection of Christ Jesus, then he does not love the Lord and he will certainly not love you the way you desire, or should be loved. A man of God will love to study the word with you. He will love to see you learn biblical truth. He will enjoy learning Scripture so he can in turn put into practice with you his knowledge and newly discovered truth. If a man does not make it a habit of spending time in prayer with you and in Bible study with you he is unfit and not going to be a good lover for you. (Warning: Women do not marry a man that does not love to spend time in prayer and in the word. You will miss the great joy of having a spiritual companion. I know too many women today who cry because they have not obtained full intimacy with their love of their life because the man was not willing to become spiritually intimate with them. This is so important it even affects the sex life of a couple. Studies have shown that a couple that worships and prays together have a much better sex life with one another. Avoid men who will not pray and study the word with you!!!!!).
11. Does he believe he should serve you as does Christ (Eph. 5:25-29)? A godly man will realize that he must nurture his wife. He must love her, care for her, look out for her interests and spiritual needs. The man must be willing to give of his life, time, energy, and resources to guide, care for, and build and edify his wife in the things of Christ. Just as did Christ, who gave his very life for his bride the church, the man must be willing to sacrifice his life for the good of his bride. His life must and should be dedicated to the truth of Scripture. In this way, by living according to the word of God a man can aid his wife to mature in the lord and become more like Christ. He should not lead as a dictator, he should not lead as some harsh ruler. Christ does not lead his bride, the church, in this way. The man must hold to the teachings of Christ and by his life of service display the glory of Christ as he loves for his wife just as he would for his own body. (Warning: Women do not marry a man that does not enjoy serving you. Do not marry a man that does not love the Word of Christ and the truths as set forth in the Word of God. The only way a man can truly love you in the highest degree is when he lives with a love relationship with Christ. Those who truly love Christ the most will truly love you the most. Many men fail to understand that a man as the leader of the home he must lead as a servant of Christ in order to be able to properly serve others. Often men mistake the idea of being the leader as being someone who controls others. The idea of a leader however, according to Christ, is one of serving others in grace and truth. Recall that Jesus said to be first one must become last. To be the greatest one must become the least. The point is that God calls the leader to serve others. Remember the two greatest commandments: Love God with all your heart mind soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself and as Christ has loved us. Avoid men who do not understand these principles!!!!!)
Five Practical Points For Men in Loving their Wives
Dr. Willard F. Harley Jr. has given some excellent insights on how men can better love their wives. In his book, "His Needs and Her Needs" he discusses how a man can better serve and love his wife. Though he only gives five of the most common needs for both women and men, these are certainly very valuable and bibilcal ways to serve one another in grace and truth. His list is not "absolute" but it certainly is very common and more of the norm. Dr. Harley says this:
"Often the failure of men and women to meet each other's emotional needs is simply due to ignorance of each other's needs and not selfish unwillingness to be considerate. Fulfilling those needs does not mean you have to painfully grit your teeth, making the best of something you hate. It means preparing yourself to meet the needs you may not appreiciate yourself. By learning to understand your spouse as a totally different person than you, you can begin to become an expert in meeting all that person's emotional needs, if you would like to" (pg. 13).
A Woman's Five Most Basic needs the Man Should Understand
1. He Should Understand You Need Affection.
The man must understand that a woman understands he cares by his affectionate acts towards her. "To most women affection symbolizes security, protection, comfort, and approval, vitally important commodities in their eyes" (Harley, pg. 32). The man should look for ways to show affection. This one way he can serve the wife as Christ serves his bride, the church. Men who fail to show affection consistently are living self-centered life and they are not living in the grace and truth of Christ.
2. He Should Understand You Need Conversation.
The man must converse with his mate regularly. He should be interested in her life, her issues, her concerns, her cares, and her daily routines. The man who loves Christ and his wife will take the necessary time to reflect and converse with his mate on a variety of issues in life that the two encounter. "Conversation that satisfies a woman's need must focus on the events of her day, people she may have encountered, and--most of all-- how she feels about them. She wants verbal attention, but she willingly gives the same attention to her husband and enjoys some conversation in which the man talks only about himself and what he has done. Most important, a woman wants to be with someone who--in her perception--cares deeply about her and for her. When she perceives this kind of caring, she feels close to the person with whom she talks. In the female psyche, conversation blends with affection to help the woman feel united with the other person. She feels bonded to that person as long as the affection and conversations continue on a daily basis" (Harley, pg. 60).
3. He Should Understand you Need Honesty and Openness.
The man must be honest with his wife. His mate must know how he feels, what he thinks, and what goes on inside his mind and heart. Being open and honest with one another is vital for the two to become one with each other. Men sometimes struggle more at being open and honest about their inner thoughts and feelings. But this is vitally important to the woman. Even the little "white lies" as they are so called sometimes, can damage the relationship. "Whenever and wherever your mate asks you how you feel, tell the truth. It is foolish to lie out of fear that you will hurt your spouse's feelings. Your mate has a right to your innermost thoughts. Your mate should know you better than anyone else in the world--even your parents. Knowing you includes your good and bad feelings, your frustrations, your problems and fears--anything that is on your mind. The Bible calls it 'two becoming one'; we pyschologists label it 'achieving good marital compatibility' " (Harley, pg. 92). To love as Christ loves means living an open and transparent life before your mate.
4. He Must Understand You Need Financial Support.
Some men fail to work and care for the wife as he should. Men must love the wife enough to work and provide for the essential needs of the woman. Procrastination, or being lazy, will damage the relationship. The man should seek to earn enough to provide for the basics of life. "A husband's failure to provide sufficient income for housing, clothing, food, transportation, and other basics of life commonly causes marital conflict in our society" (Harley, pg. 122). The man must learn to live within his means and be a good steward of finances. Living in excess and then depending upon the wife to have to work to either support the lifestyle you live is a bad choice.
5. He Must Understand You Need A Dedicated Family Man.
A man must understand that he is a key instrument in training and developing the heart and mind of the child. A godly man will spend time with his wife and children. He should cultivate and maintain quality time with the children. Men, more so then women, must learn how to train up a child. Many men fail to take fatherhood seriously. Sometimes they turn the parenting role over to the wife. In this way they lose the respect of their wife. However, "men who accept the challenge of good fathering report that they come away with increased marital fulfillment. Their effort comes back to them many times over in the admiration of their wives" (Harley, 152).
The Man's Check List for A Complementarian Mate
God has called the woman to help complete the man. The woman is the completer of the man. She is responsible for assisting and completing the man in many ways spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the characteristics of a woman who lives under the authority of Christ. The woman who seeks to fulfill her role as the "helper" (Gen. 2:18) will strive to live a life that is in accordance to the Scriptures. A wise man will look for a woman that lives to follow Christ and the Word of God. In this way, he will find a woman that will love him and serve him in grace and truth.
The Check List From Proverbs 31:10-31: A Holy Woman's Characteristics
1. Does she live to serve and benefit her mate (vs. 11,12, 21, 23, 27, 28b)?
The holy woman will live in such a way in five areas that the man will see she has a heart, passion, drive, and goal of serving him in grace and truth. First, by her daily actions she will earn respect because her decisions will be based upon her goal of aiding and assisting the man that the Lord has for her life (vs.11-12). Secondly, she will not fear the elements of life but will live to make sure her family is cared for and protected (vs. 21).Third, she will not degrade the man or criticize the man in public by her words. She will make sure that he is honored in the public. Her actions and words will call others to respect the man (vs.23). Fourth, she will have a spiritual insight for the affairs of her home. She will look after not only the physical issues but for the spiritual issues as well. She will not procrastinate spiritually (vs. 27). Five, through her life and attitude she will earn the praise of her husband (vs. 28b).
2. Does she live with Godly motivations (vs. 10, 12, 30)?
A holy woman of God will exhibit three characteristics that reveal her motives. First, a holy woman will have the characteristics of being capable. The Hebrew word here in verse ten means a woman who is excellent through her virtuous and capable character. It means that she is dedicated, devoted, and dependable. She will not lack stability in her Christian faith (vs. 10). Second, a holy woman seeks to find ways to help her mate. She will also look and evaluate anything that she is doing that hinders the man in his life, career, or walk with the Lord. She will desire to help not hinder her mate (vs. 12). Third, a holy woman will fear God first and foremost. She will not make her decisions based upon how it pleases others but upon how it pleases God. She will recognize that external beauty is of less importance than developing strength and spiritual disciplines of godliness (vs. 30).
3. Does she display diligence or laziness (vs. 15, 17, 27b)?
A holy woman of God will conduct her life with a passion of serving. Her service will be known through three distinct areas. First, she will provide food for her family even above the need for personal comfort or pleasures (vs.15). Second, she will express a spirit of energy and she will work hard at her tasks (vs. 17). Third, she will not procrastinate in matters and suffer from the consequences of laziness which can damage her home and family. A holy woman will deal with issues and not ignore or neglect her duties in life (vs. 27b).
4. Does she display capability and wisdom with finances (vs. 14, 16, 18, 24)?
In four areas a holy woman of God will show wisdom through her frugalness. First, she is creative with the things and materials that she has. She will have the ability to make the ordinary things have a sweetness and pleasure to them. She, like the 'merchant ships" brings with her treasures of goodness (vs. 14). Second, she will use her earnings wisely. This could mean through savings or investments for the family, as with the woman here who planted a vineyard (vs. 16). Third, she will watch for bargains so she can obtain the most for the most efficient price (vs. 18). Fourth, She exhibits an industrious spirit, and by her ability and skills she can earn wages (vs. 24).
5. Does she possess and exhibit inner strength (vs. 21, 25)?
A holy woman of God will not live in fear of the future. She will live with a trust, a faith, a confidence in the power, sovereignty, and sufficiency of God. She will trust that God is able and willing to provide all they need. The common struggles of life do not cause her to fear or to fret. She trusts in the mighty protection of the almighty God. Her trust will not be in material. She will not live in fear of people but in faith through the power of God with a dedication to truth. Life will not overwhelm her nor will it control her daily attitudes and actions. She will have a firm resolve to master herself through the power of the Lord.
6. Does she display the ability to give and impart spiritual wisdom to others (vs. 26-27)?
A holy woman will have wisdom. Wisdom is the application of knowledge in specific areas or situations. Godly wisdom has eight characteristics to it. Godly wisdom is pure, which means it is based upon the truth of God and centered in his holiness as revealed in Scripture and nature. Godly wisdom is also focused on bringing about peace and not about competiveness. Godly wisdom is gentle and considerate for the needs of others. Godly wisdom is willing to reason and listen to others. Godly wisdom is full or mercy and which means it easily forgives. Godly wisdom is full of good fruits that follows the fruit of the Spirit. Godly wisdom is unwavering in that it stands upon the truth without compromise. Lastly, Godly wisdom is sincere and not hypocritical. This wisdom is imparted to others through love by the acts of kindness. A holy woman will speak the truth with kindness and with a goal to motivate others to follow that truth. Her wisdom will come from the truth of Christ and will honor the word of God that she delights in as her anchor and source of life, faith, and practice.
7. Does she display compassion for the needs of others (vs. 15, 20)?
A holy woman will have an internal desire to care for not only her own family but for the needs of others in the community. She will seek to find ways to give and take care of those who are in need spiritually and physically. Her nurturing spirit will overflow into the lives of others.
Holy Women's Confession About Biblical Womanhood
"My deepest regrets are for the times when I've failed the Lord by not being a respectful and submissive helper. My greatest joys have been the direct result of living in accordance with God's plan for me as a woman, made in his image--equal but different. During the time that my husband and I worked to establish a biblical view of success, I sought to answer for myself, 'What is my goal as a wife?' What I decided that day, twenty five years ago, remains the same today: One day I want to hear God say to Kent, my husband, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master." As Kent's helper in this life, those words will be my joy. We will have ended well (Barbara Hughes, Author of Disciplines of a Godly Woman, wife of a pastor Kent Hughes)."
"The most outstanding ministering couple in the New Testament is the dynamic duo Aquila and Priscilla, who traveled the apostolic world together, sharing the gospel of Christ and expounding the Word more fully (Acts 18:2-3, 18, 26). Priscilla must have been a diligent and discerning student of the Word of God, or she could never have impressed the learned Apollos. On the otherhand, she must have been a gracious hostess to have endeared her home and hospitality to Paul. Obviously, she was encouraged to take an active part in ministry by her husband. When a godly wife is all she ought to be, she completes, complements, and extends her husband. Their joint ministry reaches beyond what either of them could do alone (Psalm 34:3; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)." (Dr. Dorothy K. Patterson, homemaker, women's professor and wife of Dr. Paige Patterson President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former President of the Southern Baptist Convention).
"God has designed women to help their husbands become all that God intends them to be. As I fulfill my God-given purpose as helpmate to my husband, I see three specific commands in Scripture that make up the basis of my responsibility to him. They include submission to his leadership, showing him respect, and loving him. When I meet those responsibilities, it helps build oneness between my husband and me. If I don't it means tension, troubles, and eventually isolation. . . . Respecting your husband means reverencing him, noticing him, regarding him, honoring him, preferring him, and esteeming him. In addition, the wife is to defer to him, praise him, love and admire him exceedingly (Ephesians 5:33). Practically speaking, to respect him means to value his opinion, to admire his strength, intellect, wisdom, or character, to appreciate his commitment to and involvement with you, to consider as valid his needs and values" (Barbara Rainey, wife of Dennis Rainey. Both are cofounders of FamilyLife).
Five Practical Points For Wives Loving Their Husbands
Dr. Willard F. Harley Jr. has given some excellent insights on how wives can better relate to and love their husbands. From his book, "His Needs and Her Needs" he discusses how a woman can better serve and love her husband. Though he only gives five of the most common needs for both women and men, these are certainly very valuable and biblical ways to serve one another in grace and truth. His list is not "absolute" but it certainly is very common and more of the norm. Dr. Harley says this:
"Often the failure of men and women to meet each other's emotional needs is simply due to ignorance of each other's needs and not selfish unwillingness to be considerate. Fulfilling those needs does not mean you have to pianfully grit your teeth, making the best of something you hate. It means preparing yourself to meet the needs you may not appreiciate yourself. By learning to understand your spouse as a totally different person than you, you can begin to become an expert in meeting all that person's emotional needs, if you would like to" (pg. 13).
A Man's Five Most Basic needs the Woman Should Understand
1. She Should Understand You Need Sexual Fulfillment.
The woman must understand that God has designed man in such a way that sexual fulfillment is one of the most essential ways that he understands his mate's love for him. Dr. Harely states that "the typical wife doesn't understand her husband's deep need for sex any more than the typical husband understand's his wife's deep need for affection." When a man marries his wife he trusts her to meet his needs. And sexual fulfillment is not simply a mere desire but a deep need designed by God for the male. A woman who fails to understand this is a thief and is robbing her mate of one of his most basic needs for the health of a relationship. Again as Harely notes, "When a man chooses a wife, he promises to remain faithful to her for life. This means he believes his wife will be his only sexual partner until death do us part. He makes this commitment because he trusts her to be as sexually available to him whenever he needs to make love and to meet all his sexual needs, just as she trusts him to meet her emotional needs. Unfortunately in many marriages the man finds that putting his trust in this woman has turned into one of the biggest mistakes of his life. He has agreed to limit his sexual experience to a wife who is unwilling to meet that vital need. He finds himself up the proverbial creek without a paddle. If his religious or moral convictions are strong, he may try to make the best of it. Some husbands tough it out, but many cannot. They find sex elsewhere."
One lady discusses the seriousness of this issue with her mate. Barbara Rainey notes how important and essential sexual fulfillment is for the man. She notes, "Surveys show that sex is one of a man's most important needs--if not the most important. When a wife resists, is uninterested, or is only passively interested, her husband may feel rejection. It will cut at his self-image, tear at him to the very center of his being, and create separation. . . . A friend shared something with me that I believe is profound. She said, to put the sexual dimension of a man in perspective, think of his needs this way. He can send his clothes to the laundry, eat all his meals out, find companionship with friends, be accepted and respected at work, and listened to by a counselor, and in all those things not go against the will of God. But if he meets his sexual needs with someone other than his wife, it is sin. My husband's sexual needs should be more important and higher on my priority list than menus, housework, projects, activities--even children . . . . I believe that one reason there are so many affairs, even among Christians, is that too many Christian wives are not valuing their husbands' sexuality, their genuine, God-given physical need. By rejecting them at that point, they severely undermine their self-esteem. I must accept and respect this important part of my husband's masculinity. If I don't love and accept him in this area, my other demonstrations of love will be hollow." Therefore the wife must make this an essential part of her ministry and service to her mate.
2. She Should Understand You Need Recreational Companionship
Men often complain because before they married the woman did many of the "fun" things with them. They would enjoy various activities that were normal parts of the courting life. Sadly, when couples marry sometimes these activities dwindle. Sometimes the woman makes the same mistake as the man in regards to affection. The man sometimes thinks since has now married the woman he has won her and the art of winning her daily through showing affection and love is now complete. Women sometimes do many activities with the man to show that she cares about him and his joys of life. Yet when the two marry the woman may feel as if all that is now less than important. Studies show otherwise though men desire for their wife to be their closest companion to their endeavors, tasks, and joys of life. A couple should learn how to find enjoyable activities that each person can have fun with the other. Without this recreational companionship the marriage will suffer. Dr. Harley mentions, "the couple with separate recreational interests misses a golden opportunity. They often spend some of their most enjoyable moments in the company of someone else, with the distinct possibility of building a Love Bank account with that person." As the little proverb goes, "The couple that plays together stays together."
3. She Should Understand You Need An Attractive Spouse
I've seen it happen too often. A single lady that is possibly overweight will work out in the gym, run, watch her diet, and work to make sure that when going on a date that she dresses in such a way that will impress the other person. However, much of this careful attention to detail ends at the brink of the marriage alter. In the cases where the woman neglects her body, appearance, or other detail to make herself attractive to her spouse she has become to some degree a liar. She deceived her mate into thinking she would maintain this appearance in the courting process. Then when she thinks she has won the man she lets her body go to waste, her appearance dwindle with little to no concern to please the senses and eye of her mate. This is deceptive and sinful. Dr. harely notes, "A man with a need for an attractive spouse feels good whenever he looks at his attractive wife. In fact, that's what emotional needs are all about. When one of his emotional needs is met he feels fulfilled, and when it's not met he feels frustrated." Women who love the Lord and love their mate will work to maintain a physically attractive physique, they will consider the hair styles the husband likes and accomodate those desires if possible, they will use a balanced amount of makeup that suits their face and design, they will dress in public and private in such a way that pleases the senses of the husband (of course guarding against skimpy clothes in public, that is reserved for your husband in the private life, why flaunt everything to the world? When you do it loses its special flavor to the man!), and the woman will maintain good personal hygiene.
4. She Should Understand You Need Times of Domestic Tranquility (Peace).
Though the feminist movement has infiltrated much of Christendom, the male gender still has been designed to desire and need peace and quiet in the home life. Men are often berated by the women due to the fact that some come home from work and all they do is settle down on the couch and watch tv. Certainly this is a problem. However there is a reason behind this slothful attitude. The man is trying to escape and find some peace from the stress and hassles of the world. The woman who understands this will work with the man to meet his need for a peaceful and quiet life at home. The woman who loves the Lord and him will seek to create a plan with her husband to see how she can meet his domestic needs. She will work to make the home a pleasurable place free from the hassles and stress of the world. A neat, clean, and orderly home, even respectful children are important for the man's sanity. The holy women will seek to meet the most important areas of this need. She will work to create a lovely home and environment where the man can find peace because of her efforts in the home. Dr. Harely notes, "If you meet your spouse's need for domestic support, it doesn't mean that your spouse doesn't help with any of the housework or care for the children. It simply means that you are doing domestic things that mean the most to him. The domestic responsibilities that remain should either be shared or hired out. In determining the distribution of household responsibilities, both of you should be comfortnable with your parts of the package. This process has saved many marriages. The husband usually gains the domestic support he needs from his wife without having made any demands. She cheerfully accomodates him from a willingness to meet his most important emotional needs. I've witnessed many women who simply shift their effort from one activity to another, thereby meeting their husband's needs without working any harder. I also find that their husbands take greater responsibility and interest in domestic chores that they enjoy. Having lost resentment over their previously unmet emotional need, they help out with much greater enthusiasm."
5. She Should Understand You Need Admiration and Respect
One of the most important needs of the man is for the wife to love him. How does the man translate love in his mind? One of the ways is by the woman showing respect and submission to the man. A wife who criticizes even in jovial spirit the man publicly damages the man's need for admiration and respect. God has designed the man in such a way that if the woman picks on him it sends a signal of disrespect to the man, a signal that she does not love him. The woman must learn to honor and uplift the man by the way she speaks of him, especially in public. A nagging wife or a critical wife ruins her husband and it will leave the marriage often times in shambles. Dr. Harely notes, "When a woman tells a man she thinks he's wonderful, that inspires him to achieve more. He sees himself as capable of handling new responsibilities and perfecting skills far above those of his present level. That inspiration helps him prepare for the responsibilities of life. Admiration not only motivates, it also rewards the husband's existing achievements . . . . While criticism causes men to become defensive, admiration energizes and motivates them. A man expects--and needs--his wife to be his most enthusiastic fan. He draws confidence from her support and can usually achieve far more with her encouragement." A holy women who loves the Lord and her mate will look for genunine ways in which she can praise her husband. She will look for ways to submit to the leadership he offers. She will desire to show him in word and deed how she appreciates her husband. Again as Harely notes, "Remember that a man really needs appreciation. He thrives on it. Many men who come to me because they have had affairs stress that the admiration of their lovers acted as a warm spring breeze in comparison to the artic cold of their wives' criticism. How can they resist? Don't make your husband go outside your marriage for approval; he needs the perspective your appreciation gives him. That does not mean you have to fake it with him and tell him you love something that drives you wild, but work with him on the needs you both must fulfill, setting up a strategy that builds admiration. You need to admire him as much as he needs your praise. Gently and patiently encourage your husband to meet your needs by telling him how much you like the changes you see."