Meeting Each Others Needs

by David J. Stewart

       A husband and wife should be committed to meeting each other's needs. Oftentimes in a marriage, a spouse only gives what they want to give and not what they're supposed to give. Your spouse has needs that you are obligated to meet. 

I knew a man who was often angry with his wife because she would do nice things for him, but not what he had asked her to do. The man had asked his wife over and over for years to keep the house clean. She just refused to keep it clean. She kept telling him it would be clean, but she rarely cleaned it. When she baked him a nice cake one day, he thanked her, but reminded her that she had not cleaned the house in quite some time. She became angry with him. And by the way, she was totally wrong to do so. She should have cleaned the house which she had agreed to clean. Her job was being a "homemaker," but she didn't want to make her home.

Doing something nice for your spouse cannot make up for something you were supposed to do. 

The same woman I just mentioned went out of her way to surprise her husband on his birthday. She sent out self-addressed and stamped birthday-cards to famous people. She requested for them to sign and mail back the cards, and they kindly did. It was indeed a nice surprise, but again her husband wasn't happy because she had failed to wrap food in the refrigerator, failed to keep the bathroom clean, failed to replace her empty toilet paper roll, failed to clean the yard, failed to do the dishes, et cetera.

Once she didn't rinse the glasses good enough and her husband drank a soda mixed with Ajax bubbles. She had failed to perform her responsibilities, she was lackadaisical about her job. She liked to do the things which she wanted to do for her husband, but not the things that he asked and needed her to do. Her husband told her that he appreciated the birthday cards, but then reminded her that she still had not cleaned the house. Of course, she was unjustly angry again at him.

The area of romance is a trouble area in many marriages. I knew a man who fought with his wife frequently because she wouldn't fulfill his marital needs. Ever wife needs to memorize the following Bible verse...

"Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency" (1st Corinthians 7:5).

The Bible makes clear that if a husband (or wife) does not consent to abstinence, then it should not happen. A husband has a right to insist that his wife meet his marital needs, she should not deny. The same is true of the wife. A husband and wife have marital "rights" to each other's body. Like it or not, it is Biblical. Nothing should separate a man from his wife.

A husband and wife should strive to please each other. The woman I mentioned above wanted to please her husband in her own way, but not in the ways that he needed. She was immature and selfish. He told her exactly what he wanted and needed, but she had her own ideas. She was not being a good wife at all. She thought she was doing what a good wife should do, but she was failing to do the things which her husband had asked her to do (not to mentioned she was sinning by failing to submit to her husband). 

Like it or not, a wife is to obey her husband as he is the head of the family. Before you feminists get all mad at me, it is also true that a husband should be loving towards his wife. A husband should be helpful, understanding and never violent towards his wife. Nothing ever justifies being physically abusive. No woman should ever have to submit to abuse. 

However, one must ask the question "why?" Why would a husband become so angry towards his wife? I'm not trying to condone violence, but I am pointing out that a wife who angers her husband will have to stand trial before God someday for making her husband that angry. A wife who angers her husband because she won't submit to him is in big trouble with God if things get out of control.

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God" (Ephesians 5:21).

Husbands should submit to their wives too. However, the wife must submit FIRST. A lousy husband just gives orders and never takes his wife's desires and feelings into consideration. A good husband allows his wife to have her way most of the time IF she submits to him at the necessary moments because he feels it is best. 

A marriage is supposed to be a two-way street

Sometimes only one spouse gives and the other takes, and takes, and takes. However, most of the time it is the fault of BOTH husband and wife. Many husbands are guilty of not being very understanding with their wife. Many women have the problem of NOT keeping their house clean. Husbands and wives need to meet each other's NEEDS, not just do what's convenient.

A marriage is like a business. Someone's got to be in charge of things. There are bills to pay, taxes to file, cleaning and maintenance to be done, food to prepare, dishes to wash, clothes to wash, etc., etc, et cetera.  If everyone doesn't do what their supposed to do, the business will falter. A marriage takes a lot of hard work these days to keep afloat. Love alone doesn't seem to make it anymore. There has got to be a mutual agreement between husband and wife about everything (as much as possible). 

Someone has said, "Love is blind but marriage is a real eye-opener." So true! You don't really know who you're marrying until about ten years later. Many people love each other but simply cannot live together because of their irreconcilable differences.  So sad, but nevertheless true. We must push away our pride and try not to be so selfish when it comes to our spouses.

I knew a man who bought his wife cleaning supplies every Christmas as gifts. She'd get a mop, then a box of soap, then a few boxes of Brillo-Pads, et cetera. He thought he was making her happy by giving her what HE WANTED TO GIVE HER, but he didn't give her anything that she wanted (or needed). She didn't need Brillo-Pads, she needed something for her as an individual. She needed something that said "I love you." She was entitled to cleaning supplies as his wife, they were no gift to her. He was too cheap to go out and buy her something special, so he just wrapped up cleaning supplies instead. What an idiot!

I hope your learning something from all this. Sometimes we selfishly do what we want to do for our spouse instead of what they need us to do. I speak primarily to the ladies because God expects you to obey your husband. Very few wives truly obey their husbands the way they are supposed to. However, this article is also applicable to the men, as we are commanded by God to render "due benevolence" to our wife.

The rule is simple: Don't do something for your husband which he didn't ask you to do, until you do the things which he has already asked you to do.

We must meet our spouses needs and give them what they want.  If we do things our own way with little or no regard for our spouse's wishes, then we are selfish indeed.

Marriage is NOT 50/50

Mutual Submission