Your wife needs you. That isn’t to say that she isn’t a capable adult who couldn’t survive in this world without you, but your wife needs you. That terminology makes some of us uncomfortable as it’s hard to concede that we need anyone, but marriage is designed as a relationship where both partners fulfill the needs of the other. Could your wife make it without you? Absolutely. Does that mean that she doesn’t need you to fulfill your God-given role as a husband? Absolutely not!
But what does your wife actually need from you? How can you be the husband that your wife needs? There are multiple ways to find the answers to those questions. The most obvious way is to sit down and have a conversation with your wife about what she needs from you. We will take a look at that approach from a Scriptural perspective in a moment. Additionally, you should spend time in prayer, asking God to show you through the Holy Spirit and through Scripture what He expects of you in your pursuit of being a Godly husband.
Find Out What She Needs
James 1:19 (TPT)
My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry.
One of the best ways to find out how you can become the husband that your wife needs you to be is to simply ask her. Perhaps the most difficult part about asking your wife what she needs you to be is the part where you will need to listen to her answers. It’s a natural reaction for us to defend our shortcomings, and when you ask your wife what she needs from you, she may point to some things that you’re not exactly excelling at.
The Bible says that we should be eager to listen and hesitant to speak. Apply this principle when you ask your wife how you can be a better husband. Psychologists use a term called “active listening” to describe the best way for people to engage in interpersonal communication. When you’re engaged in active listening with your wife, you aren’t just hearing the words that she says. You also pick up on some non-verbal cues while also paying attention to the tone in which she’s answering your question.
When you’re actively listening to your spouse, you don’t really have time to interrupt her and build a defense for the things that she tells you she needs you to improve on. It’s hard to plot your defense when you’re completely plugged into what your wife is telling you. One of the best ways to figure out how to be the husband your wife needs you to be is simply to ask her. Once you ask her, be prepared to accept her answers while actively listening to what she is saying.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (TPT)
When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.
Science indicates that women generally mature faster than men. In fact, this process of females becoming more mature goes all the way back to puberty, where a lot of neurological development takes place. For many couples, the problem comes when one partner (often the husband) doesn’t ever really grow up.
Now, let’s clear up a couple potential misconceptions about the importance of growing up in marriage. This doesn’t mean that you will never get to have fun with your friends. This isn’t an indictment against video games and the other things that millions of men still enjoy. However, it’s important that these activities are done in moderation.
There is nothing wrong with having a weekly basketball game at the local gym with your friends. There is nothing wrong with playing video games for a couple hours every so often. The problem that many men experience is that we often don’t know when to put those pleasures from our childhood on the backburner and pursue our wives.
As a Christian man, you are called by God to be the spiritual head of your household. The Bible is clear about God’s mandate for men to be Godly leaders within their own homes. Unfortunately, you can’t do that if you’re spending every waking moment playing Your Xbox. In order to be a better husband to your wife, it’s imperative that you strike the balance between things that you enjoy and being a mature adult.
It doesn’t mean that you never have fun and enjoy the things you’ve enjoyed for years, but it does mean that you stop speaking, thinking and reasoning like a child.
1 Peter 3:7 (TPT)
Husbands, you in turn must treat your wives with tenderness, viewing them as feminine partners who deserve to be honored, for they are co-heirs with you of the “divine grace of life,” so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
God’s word is incredibly clear about how husbands are supposed to treat their wives. Perhaps there is no verse in Scripture that makes it anymore clear than 1 Peter 3:7. In order to be the husband that your wife needs you to be, you have to show her respect. In fact, in order for you to be the husband that God wants you to be, you have to respect your wife.
How can you show your wife respect? Start by watching the way that you respond to her, even in moments of frustration. Yes, there will be times where your wife causes you to feel frustration. Guess what? There are times where she gets frustrated with you, too. However, frustration does not give you the right to be demeaning, belittling and vicious in words and actions.
Respecting your wife also includes the way that you act and speak when she isn’t around. When you’re at work and a female co-worker gets a little flirty, do you shut things down or do you enjoy the boost to your ego? Returning those flirtatious advances is a form of disrespecting your wife. In the same vein, when your male friends are complaining about their wives, do you jump in? Doing so is a form of disrespect to your wife.
Saint Peter was very clear about the importance of showing honor to your wife. He says that failing to show your wife honor and respect results in your prayers being hindered. That means that there are divine consequences to the fleshly act of disrespecting your wife. If you want God to listen to your prayers and respond to them, you must show your wife the respect that God says she is due as a “co-heir in the divine grace of life.”
Marriage is hard. Being a good husband isn’t always an easy proposition, regardless of how wonderful your wife is. There are disagreements, moments of frustration, stressful times that can bring out the worst in both of you and other issues that are bound to come up over the course of your marriage. However, when you commit yourself to being a Godly husband, you are putting your marriage in a position to succeed.
As the husband, you set the spiritual tone of the home. That doesn’t mean that you are somehow superior to your wife, but God’s Word says that men are called to be the spiritual leader within the home. When you commit yourself to Godly husbandry, you ensure that God listens to your prayers and that your marriage can prosper in the face of whatever life may throw your way.
A Closing Prayer:
God, I thank You for my wife. Thank You for creating her for me and for creating me for her. Help me to be a more engaged, responsible, mature husband, constantly showing my wife the respect that she is owed. I want to be the husband she needs me to be and the one that You want me to be. I know that I will need the help of Your Holy Spirit to achieve that. In Christ’s name I ask these things, amen!