In conversations with guys regarding marriage or being a good husband, I often encounter what I consider to be a grave misunderstanding of a wife’s greatest need. Some men, like me, have been to enough marriage conferences or heard enough Bible teachings that we think we have a good understanding of our wife’s greatest need. Other men, poor souls, are wondering blindly trying to figure it out. All of us, whether we think we understand or not, struggle to truly meet our wife’s greatest need.
In this article, I’d like to explore a broader understanding of a wife’s greatest need and discuss some practical ways that a husband can begin to meet that need.
We obviously have to start with an acknowledgement of our wife’s greatest need. This basic and greatest need applies to women in general, but it is specifically in the relationship of the marriage that a wife will seek fulfillment of this need. Additionally, the Bible defines the marriage to be the primary source of meeting this need inside a woman (Ephesians 5:25, Genesis 2:24). So what is your wife’s biggest need? Security. But having said that, I’m willing to bet that you don’t fully understand what that means.
Maybe you’ve heard the statement from any number of sources that your wife’s greatest need is security. No doubt, if you have heard it, you’ve consider security in terms of finances or physical security. Some men will immediately think to themselves, “I make a lot of money, so I’m certainly meeting my wife’s greatest need.” Other more simple men will think, “I’m always are of the physical dangers around and stand willing to protect my wife at all cost, so I’m certainly meeting my wife’s greatest need.” Let me say it plainly, you’ve completely misunderstood your wife’s greatest need.
Yes, your wife needs to feel secure; however, financial and physical security are a minuscule aspect of her need. When your wife considers her security, she will never assure herself with the thought “he makes a lot of money.” She will never assure herself with the thought “he locks the doors at night.” Security to her is defined by your willingness to sacrifice. Your wife feels secure when she knows that, without question, you will sacrifice whatever it takes to meet her needs. You won’t spend time helping with the children’s homework because you have a project you need to finish in the garage – insecurity starts to set in. You won’t help her work out a family budget because you don’t like the idea of a spending allowance – insecurity wedges deeper into your marriage. You won’t priorities time with her over time with your golf buddies or work – insecurity forces her to seek security elsewhere. Let me be clear guys, you won’t like it when she seeks security elsewhere.
Since money is often the first consideration when thinking about your wife’s need for security, let address money head on. Your wife will feel secure when she knows that you will literally do whatever it takes to earn the income needed to support the family. That means deliver pizzas at night, take college courses at night, mow lawns on the weekends, whatever it takes. Additionally, as you do whatever it takes to earn the income needed to support the family, your wife will feel secure when she knows that you will make any personal spending sacrifice to ensure all available funds go toward the greater family needs. So before you buy that newly released gadget or plan attending the annual golf outing this fall, ask your wife if you are doing all that you can to make her feel secure.
So what are some practical steps we can take to meet this greatest need in our wives?
I just alluded to this, just ask your wife if you make her feel secure. I know you are afraid to ask primarily because you are afraid she will answer. She will answer and she will answer honestly. You may not like the answer, but give her permission to answer honestly without the fear to persecution for her answer. If her answer is no, you need to follow up to ask her what you can do that will help her feel secure. Trust me, the second question is easier to ask than the first.
This will certainly lead you to the Bible where you will encounter verses like Ephesians 5:25 and 1 Peter 3:7. Those verses and others clearly tell us to sacrifice for our wives. Don’t try to spin the meaning of those verses in some type of super spiritual manner, they mean exactly what they say.
As men, we almost always overlook the value that can be found in the counsel of other men. Our pride prevents us from exposing our own shortcomings and thus prevents us from cleaning wise counsel and practical experience from other men. Obviously you must select wise and trusted men. Not only will you gain wise insights into how you can meet your wife’s needs, you will likely gain the benefit of support from another man that fully understands the trials of a marriage.
I shared in a previous post that love is often used as a verb in the Bible. Therefore, we must demonstrate our understanding of our wife’s greatest need through action. Take the counsel received from your wife, the Bible, and wise counsel and put it into an action plan to will show (not tell) your wife that you are committed to meeting her needs.
Yes, this is a repeat. Consider that a ‘rinse and repeat’ process. If her answer to the security question is still no, you still have work to do.
How do you view your wife’s need for security? What are you doing to ensure your wife feels secure in your marriage and family? What counsel have you received from the Bible or other men that might help the rest of us?