3 Things He Can’t Live Without: 3 Things She Has to Have

3 Things He Can’t Live Without: 3 Things She Has to Have
September 7, 2013 Matthew L. Jacobson

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.

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  1. H 1 month ago

    My wife just bought us your “100 ways” books. I’ve been trying to get through to her for our entire marriage but she doesn’t get it. I saved myself for marriage and it turns out that I saved myself for nothing. I was refused on our wedding night and most of the honeymoon also. We have been nearly celibate for our whole marriage. It’s killing me inside. I have tried talking to her and writing her letters about how I feel but nothing changes. I bought other Christian marriage books but she refused to read them. I suggested marriage counseling which she refused. I have spent nearly a decade trying to do all the things you describe in your book but it has been a one way street from the start. I have remained faithful to her for our entire marriage and she has never attempted to meet my intimacy needs. I’ve reached the end of my rope and if nothing changes by our 10th anniversary then my sanity won’t last until 11. I have spent our whole marriage lonely and depressed. She meets needs for others, meets needs that I don’t really need met, and consistently refuses the one specific need I have asked for, begged for, broken down crying for. I’m close to divorce now. This is not what I signed up for when I got married. I am her cook, laundry service, handyman, roommate, and public companion, but I have never been allowed to be a husband.

  2. Kim 3 months ago

    I loved this blog. Very true words & thoughts

  3. John Morgan 3 months ago

    Your #3 of “What She Has To Have(to Thrive) is just the opposite in my marriage. I love my wife with all my heart and soul each and every day.
    I tell her every day and do things constantly to make her life more pleasant and enjoyable but she is very introvert with her affection. Her reservoir is overflowing, I make sure of that because I don’t just love her but I am in love with her madly but she rarely gives back even though she tells me she loves me(after I say it to her first) and I know she does not cheat on me, but she never initiates affection. I don’t know why this is so. There is never spontaneity of affection, she never initiates a hug, kiss, hand holding, sex or tells me she loves me first.
    I do know her family was never open with feelings and I am trying to relate to her with that consideration that it is OK to show how she feels or what she feels.
    I know God tells me to keep loving as he so loved the church and I will because I can never imagine my life without my wife. I have been working on #1 for some time now and when I ask my wife questions you reference in #1, she just blows it off and tells me everything is fine, but it isn’t.
    Please pray that God will show her that it is OK to open herself to those who love her dearly. Meanwhile I will continue to love her in Gods spirit despite the fact that it really hurts to never have my wife offer affection without it being recruited from her.
    I am very secure in who I am so it’s not that I NEED my wife’s approval but it sure feels good when your lover out of the blue “hugs you” and tells you “I Love You” that’s all, especially when you are so in love with her that you would take a bullet for her if necessary. If this is who she is I will find a way to love her anyway, even though I have thought of leaving.


    PS. The reason this is written in the first person is because I don’t speak or reply for my wife, this is just my side and I realize there are 2 sides, I just can’t write for the other side.

  4. Jeff 9 months ago

    what about when your wife is an absolute taker and not the giver? Sometimes I feel I have given until there is just no more to give and so desperately want something in return.

    • Author

      Then you have to bring in others who are mature, godly, biblical, and whom you both trust, and lay out your hearts before them and listen to their perspective . . . and be willing to change.

  5. Jaime 1 year ago

    This is so spot-on! Thank you!

  6. Raquel 1 year ago

    I really liked What you wrote in this article. Thanks for it. I’m living this right now. it’s great.

  7. Dawn 2 years ago

    I so appreciate your articles. I wish I had this type of teaching that you and your wife do when I was newly married. I have been happily married for 34 years now, but I could have been a much better wife.

    In response to the above article in the three things she needs…you said that giving love comes naturally to a woman. I don’t think that is necessarily right. In Titus 2 older women are told to teach the younger to love their children and husbands.

    I don’t think I really understood exactly how to love my husband as it would please God. Luckily it is not too late to change our hearts and actions. Maybe that is why the older women are to show the younger how to love. Hopefully we have learned.

    • Author

      It is natural to a woman to love and to nurture. She may need instruction on how that looks in marriage hence, your very appropriate reference from the Word! This world is at odds with much that is natural and good and, as such, may have rendered these qualities from a woman’s heart but, generally speaking, this is the case.

  8. Danny Patterson 2 years ago

    Great article. And I believe you are very accurate.
    Wise information for those that have ears.

  9. Regina 2 years ago

    So true. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes I struggle with letting my husband lead because I’ve always been independent but it’s God’s plan & by being obedient to God it leaves room for blessings in your marriage! Respect means so much to the husband, Just as love does to the wife.

  10. Vilma Daily 2 years ago

    Agree to your tips here. Because once you are married, you become one. You look after your wife/husband as if looking after your self and your body. But if you hate yourself or your own body, you can not really love your wife/husband the way they ought to be cared for and loved. Loving your blog already. 🙂

  11. Nadine 3 years ago

    Awesome article! I am trying to trust, but it would also be nice to be loved in return. What I wouldn’t give for a happy marriage! Maybe with God’s help and time things will hopefully change.

  12. JUstin Joseph 3 years ago

    I definitely need to work on all three wives’ needs. Especially #3. I’m very skilled at “thinking” loving things, and forgetting or just failing to send those thoughts out of my mouth 🙂 Thankfully grace is at work, as it always is!

  13. l.j. 4 years ago

    wonderful reminders !!!!

  14. Grace 4 years ago

    Thank you for this post! In a time when so many marriages are ending, it’s important to remember these things. It’s time for us to claim our families back from the enemy who is out to destroy them. That starts with repairing the marriage. I’m going to be sharing this one with friends and family. I love it!

    • MJAdmin 4 years ago

      Yes, Grace, you are so right, ” . . . the enemy . . . is out to destroy . .” marriages. He’s great at what he does but we serve the living God, Who is over all and Who has already won the victory, which we partake in when we walk in obedience. God bless you as you seek to honor Him in your marriage.

      • Angela 2 years ago

        What does one do if the foundation of the marriage is void of love and know that they have made a mistake and are miserable? Yes they have seen the grace of God and yes they have tried so hard for 8 years but still no love nor intimacy. There is no peace but turmoil. Is it best that the couple separate but not divorce?

        • Author

          Friend, first of all, Lisa and I are sorry for your circumstances. The journey of a Christian should take place within the context of true Christian community – admittedly, hard to find. But, God knows your circumstances. He knows your struggles. Remember the sparrow that fell to the ground . . . Matthew 10:29? God knows, and sees, and deeply cares about your trials. Please seek out a Church that believes and teaches the Bible, led by godly men who will hold you and your husband accountable. In the mean time, pray that God will do whatever it takes in both of your lives to bring you to a place of true oneness . . . only, be sure you actually mean this prayer and are willing to accept whatever comes.

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