It is possible to stay alive with a little water and a a crust of bread.
It’s unhealthy. It’s no fun . . . but it is possible.
And, even though no one would choose survival rations when it comes to our bodies, too often spouses make that choice when it comes to marriage. Is that how God intended a married couple live . . . a spare existence on just enough to get by? Of course not!
Are you making the mistake of doling out the bare minimum when it comes to your spouse?
There are three things your man can’t live without and by ‘live’ we’re really talking about thriving, not just surviving.
3 Things He Can’t Live (thrive) Without
1. He’s got to have your respect. There’s only one place he can get it: From You. The way you look at him, the way you speak (tone) in public and in private, and the words you use all send a powerful message for good or ill. Use this power to communicate what God wants you to: I really respect you.
2. He’s got to have your loyalty. If the foundation of your relationship is missing the “trust factor” or even if trust is questioned, he is handicapped for what God has called him to do. No warrior who has to watch his back is safe to meet enemies head-on.
3. He’s got to have your body. It’s God’s plan for pleasure (read the Song of Solomon) and for protection, which is why He said, “It is not good for man to be alone,” (and 1 Cor. 7:2). He receives your open and willing intimacy as your statement of love to him. Some choose to measure out their favors with a teaspoon. Life is short. Use a ladle!
Your wife is a giver – constantly pouring out from the reservoir of her heart. Like you, she was designed to need, and to receive certain things. A husband can prevent her reservoir of giving from running dry if she receives what she has to have.
3 Things She Has To Have (to thrive)
1. She has to be known and understood. Do you know your wife . . . truly know her? What she cares about? What she values? What she likes? What she fears? What hurts and offends her? What delights Her? 1 Peter 3:7 says we must live with our wives according to knowledge. There’s no one-size-fits-all, here. Your wife is a unique creation of God but, like every wife, she has a heart-need to be known and understood and it’s your responsibility to gain that understanding and listen to her heart.
2. She has to be honored and admired. We’re told to honor our wives in 1 Peter – it’s their due – what God says we must give them. When Lisa receives my honor and admiration, it’s as if she is receiving energy that fills her heart to press on and face the demands of the day.
3. She has to be convinced of your love. Giving love comes so naturally to a woman God didn’t even have to mention it to them. But us guys? We had to be directly told: Love your wife.
Sometimes we’re focused elsewhere, sometimes distracted, sometimes we are downright selfish but, God doesn’t care about our reasons. He cares about our obedience. With Jesus as our standard, we’ve got a long way to go in loving our wives in the way He loved the Church and gave himself for her.
When it comes to loving your wife, are you a taker or a giver? When we learn to be love-givers we receive back more than we ever thought of taking.
She is pouring out. You must pour in so the reservoir from which she gives never runs dry.
For more solid, practical, biblical teaching on building a strong and deeply satisfying marriage, click this link and get Marriage Wisdom for Him and Marriage Wisdom for Her from our store (on sale now, 20% off!)
Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).