A husband can make himself irresistible to his wife by learning to meet her seven basic marital needs.
1. Her need for a spiritual leader. He is a man of courage, conviction, commitment, compassion, and character. He takes the initiative in cultivating a spiritual environment for the family. He becomes a capable and competent student of God’s Word and lives out before all a life founded on the Word of God. He leads his wife in becoming a woman of God, and he takes the lead in training the children in the things of the Lord. (Psalm 1,Ephesians 5:23-27)
I love how all this works together. When your husband is being a spiritual leader, then he is a man of character. When he is a man of character he treats you with respect, which makes you admire and respect him. That in turn leads to him listening and appreciating you, which leads to physical intimacy. It’s a great cycle I love knowing that Hubby seeks the Lord in his life and that makes it so much easier to trust in his decisions for our family.
2. Her need for personal affirmation/appreciation. He praises her for personal attributes and qualities. He extols her virtues as a wife, mother, and homemaker. He openly commends her, in the presence of others, as a marvelous mate, friend, lover, and companion. She feels that to him, no one is more important in this world. (Proverbs 31:28-29, Song of Solomon 4:1-7, 6:4-9, 7:1-9)
When my husband praises me it puts me on cloud 9. When he commends me in public – it makes me love him even more. The words the husband speaks have such a power over his wife, and he can break her down or build her up. When my husband tells me I’m doing a good job at something, it makes me want to do it more. It makes me want to do it even better!
3. Her need for personal affection (romance). He showers her with timely and generous displays of affection. He also tells her how much he cares for her with a steadfast flow of words, cards, flowers, gifts, and common courtesies. Remember: Affection is the environment in which sexual union is enjoyed and a wonderful marriage developed. (Song of Solomon 6:10,13,Ephesians 5:28-29,33)
Gifts are not my love language, but I do love love love getting cards with handwritten notes. I adore flowers too. They don’t have to be big and fancy and expensive. The “3 for $12” bunches at the grocery store work just great for me! Romance can also be free! I love soft music, a glass of wine, and a bubble bath run for me. Or a fire in the fireplace, a bowl of popcorn, dimmed lights and a movie. Romance is dead in too many relationships because we can’t live up to what we see on TV. We need to get back to the basics. Romance is sweet, thoughtful, simple, and meaningful.
4. Her need for intimate conversation. He talks with her at the feeling level (heart to heart). He listens to her thoughts (i.e., her heart) about the events of her day with sensitivity, interest, and concern. Conversations with her convey a desire to understand her, not to change her. (Song of Solomon 2:8-14, 8:13-14, I Peter 3:7)
I love to talk, and I love to know I am being listened to. I love it when Hubby comments on what I’m talking about and engages in the conversation. Men generally use fewer words than women do though, so this can be a tough one. I can talk on and on about something I feel passionate about, only to get an “uh-huh” response from Hubby. Turns out he IS listening, and he fully got what I was saying, but didn’t feel he had anything to add. Very matter of fact. Why talk just to talk? Well, he’s learned that sometimes he does have to talk just to talk so that I know that he’s paying attention to me, and because it makes me feel listened to when he asks probing questions about whatever topic I’m trying to discuss. Just the same, it makes me feel important when he takes the time to talk to me about his day. He’s very good at compartmentalizing so when he’s home, he’s in home mode and not thinking about work. I, on the other hand, want to hear about his day in as much detail as possible because it makes me feel close to him, like I shared in his day. It’s a constant balance and work in progress.
5. Her need for honesty and openness. He looks into her eyes and, in love, tells her what he really thinks (Ephesians 4:15). He explains his plans and actions clearly and completely because he regards himself as responsible for her. He wants her to trust him and feel secure. (Proverbs 15:22-23)
This goes without saying. Our relationship is nothing if we don’t have honesty and trust. Hubby makes me feel safe and secure, and that’s priceless.
6. Her need for home support and stability. He firmly shoulders the responsibility to house, feed, and clothe the family. He provides and protects, and he does not feel sorry for himself when things get tough. Instead he looks for concrete ways to improve home life. He desires to raise their marriage and family to a safer and more fulfilling level. Remember: The husband/father is the security hub of the family (ITimothy 5:8)
It is nice to feel provided for. To know that he will always do whatever it takes to bring home the bacon and provide for us. We’ve had to go through a few unemployment phases in our marriage, but I always knew that he would do whatever it took to make sure we were secure.
7. Her need for family commitment. He puts his family first. He commits his time and energy to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of the children. For example, he prays with them (especially at night by the bedside), he reads to them, he engages in sports with them, and takes them on other outings. He does not play the fool’s game of working long hours, trying to get ahead, while children and spouse languish in neglect. (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:19-20)
Knowing that the family is important to your husband is one of the most incredible feelings in the world. Knowing that Hubby LOVES to be a Daddy and truly enjoys spending time with our daughter is something I am so thankful for. He will tell you that he is not a babysitter – he is a Daddy! He wants to be involved with her and her activities. He adores his time reading to her, playing with her and talking to her. He takes her on dates. He never tries to rush away from her, or from us. He has an incredible work ethic, but whenever he can, he wants to be home with us. Again, those feelings – of being loved and knowing you are a top priority – lead to respect and intimacy.