This [article] will discuss the four major needs of a woman and the ways they are met. A woman’s four basic needs are security, affection, open communication, and leadership. Because security is the most basic need, we will discuss that first.
Security is More Than Finances
Although security is a very broad term and general in meaning, nevertheless, it is a woman’s greatest need. Whether a woman is growing up with her parents or living with her husband, she has the genuine need to be secure. A woman needs to know she is safe and well provided for in every aspect.
A wife’s basic need for security is satisfied by adequate protection and provision given by God through her husband. The husband must communicate four things to his wife to satisfy her need for security.
1. He Must Communicate That He Cares for His Wife Above Anyone or Anything Except God. When a woman senses her husband is preoccupied or detached from her in some way, she will immediately feel insecure. She wants to know her husband is tuned in to her needs and concerns. A woman can discern instinctively if her husband truly is caring for her properly.
The best way a husband can determine if he is caring for his wife properly is simply to ask her, “Honey, do you feel like I’m caring for you properly? Do you feel provided for and protected?”
If she says yes, he can know he is meeting her needs, but if she says no, then he should listen carefully as she explains why not. Most men are not preoccupied with trying to “get my wife off my back” and keep her from demanding too much, rather than being totally committed to meeting her needs, regardless of the cost.
A woman learns to recognize when a man is not really committed to caring for her. Her situation is similar to the man who has a selfish and greedy boss. All men want to get the most they can out of employment, and their employer holds the keys. If they work for a selfless and generous employer, they feel secure and optimistic. If they have a boss who is distracted, overly demanding, or selfish, they lose a sense of security and joy.
Your wife’s well-being and prosperity are greatly dependent upon you. She is very sensitive to your actions and attitudes for good reason. You need to understand and accept this. Consider what it would be like for a sensitive, caring employer to come up to you tomorrow and say, “You know, I’ve really been thinking about your lately. I wonder if there is anything I can provide for you to make your job more enjoyable. Also, am I paying you enough?”
That would be any employed person’s dream. Well, every woman’s dream is to have a husband who will manifest this same attitude. Regularly communicate to your wife that you are available and desire to meet her needs. Then, care for her. You will be pleasantly surprised by how well your wife responds to her new atmosphere of security.
A man often fears what his wife will do when he makes himself totally available to meet her needs. That is the last thing to fear. You simply cannot imagine what a woman will do for her man if he will envelope her in an atmosphere of total security by laying down his selfish ways to meet her needs.
Again, think about your employer. Wouldn’t you do more and sacrifice more for a boss who served you and cared for you sacrificially? Or do you think you would lounge around the workplace while ordering your boss around and abusing him?
Simply because you have become humble and have committed yourself to meeting your wife’s needs doesn’t mean you lose your authority or manhood. True and lasting authority is built, not broken, upon the foundation of sacrificial servanthood. It is leadership by example, not ego.
2. A Husband Must Communicate His Admiration and Love for His Wife. A woman can never hear too often how pretty she is or how much her husband loves her. A woman blossoms fully in an atmosphere of praise and adoration, but she wilts and dies in the presence of perpetual silence or criticism.
Although a man must speak at times some words of correction or displeasure to his wife, these words must come from a source the woman knows is supportive and friendly. When you praise your wife and convince her of your love in real ways, you have then earned the right to also correct her. However, if all you do is point out her flaws and bad point, your wife will become insecure and bitter.
Every woman is the reflection of her husband. Women reflect in their faces, attitudes and appearances how they feel about their husbands and their environments. When a man creates an atmosphere of praise and respect for his wife, it makes a noticeable difference in everything she does. She radiates and reflects love and respect from every area of her life.
When a man constantly criticizes his wife or makes her dig for shallow compliments, she will reflect her insecurity. Women naturally gravitate to people and places where they will receive compliments about themselves. Men do, also. For a woman to have to go outside her home to receive praise is an indictment on her husband. What often comes next is even more serious.
I (Jimmy) have counseled many married couples who have had affairs. Sometimes it is the man, and sometimes it is the woman. Although affairs are always sinful and devastating to a marriage, you need to understand what tempts a woman to have an affair. It isn’t sex. Women have affairs because they meet a man who will talk to them and make them feel special.
Women are turned on by men who compliment them and make them feel good about themselves. The best insurance a husband can possibly have that his wife will never have an affair is an atmosphere of praise and encouragement that he creates in which she can live. If he will do this, his wife will be drawn to him, and she will not be hungry for love when someone else comes along offering compliments and affection.
If he does not, although she may not participate in an affair, her hunger for love will cause her to wrestle with unnecessary temptations and fantasies. Here are some simple rules for praising your wife:
- Be sincere. Say good things you really mean, and say them a lot.
- Say something about every area of her life. Do not just concentrate on physical things, although she needs you to physically affirm her often. Compliment her mind, her heart, her character, her motherhood, her cooking and so forth. Let her know that you are totally proud of her.
- Never use sarcasm. Never compliment your wife in a backhanded manner. It isn’t cute; it will damage her spirit. For example, don’t say, “Hey, you have a great body —under all that fat!”
- Earn your words of correction. For every one thing you correct or confront, give numerous compliments.
- Praise your wife every day and never stop. Send cards, flowers, love letters, anything that will communicate your love and respect.
3. A Husband Must Communicate His Faithfulness. Whistling at pretty girls walking down the street is understandable for teenage boys, but it is inexcusable for a married man. Jesus said that if a man even looks upon a woman with desire for her in his heart, it is the same as adultery. Adultery is not simply a physical act; it is an attitude.
Many men have never slept with a woman outside of marriage; nevertheless, they may carry a spirit of unfaithfulness. Women can pick up on this immediately, and it makes them insecure. A man’s heart must remain faithful, not just when his wife is present, but also when she is absent. You need to communicate regularly to your wife that she is the only one you desire. You must convince her that she is the most beautiful woman in the world to you.
Unfaithfulness also is communicated by comparing your wife with other women. This is the kiss of death. Whenever you compare your wife’s anatomy, behavior, intelligence or cooking to those of another woman —especially your mother —you have made a big mistake. The only time to compare your wife with another woman is when you are complimenting her.
Another no-no is to habitually watch other women through magazines, television shows, movies or real life. Although you may think it is harmless, it isn’t. It’s the same as your wife looking at or talking about other men all of the time. It is dishonoring and sinful. In any relationship where one person is out of control in an area, the other person normally will compensate.
Men want their wives to be sexually responsive. Did you know that a dirty movie or other pornographic material is the very worst thing to use in an attempt to make a woman sexually responsive? When a woman feels you are looking at other women or have other problems with unfaithfulness, she will instinctively withdraw from sex to compensate for your problem.
When you demonstrate sexual purity and restraint outside the bedroom, your wife can be free and responsive in the bedroom. Your purity will provide the security she needs to actually blossom.
Also, a husband should never threaten to divorce his wife. Don’t even talk about divorce. Lose the word. Many married people discuss divorce as a threat to get the other spouse’s attention. The only one to profit from such threats is the devil. He loves divorce because it damages God’s creation so terribly. So, when divorce is even a remote possibility in your mind, the devil works overtime to make it a reality. Also, your wife will become insecure if you talk about it, especially if you use it to manipulate or scare her.
4. A Husband must Communicate His Dedication to Provide Financially. Finances are one of the most important areas of security for a woman. A wife needs the assurance that her husband is committed to providing for her financially. A man communicates his commitment to provide financially in four ways:
- Praying for God’s blessing and direction. A woman is tremendously comforted to know her husband is praying and seeking God for financial direction and provision. It also is very helpful when a man leads his wife in prayer when financial pressure comes. If he will, he can avert many problems from occurring in their relationship as well as invoking God’s blessing and provision. The old saying, “The family who prays together stays together,” is true.
- Aggressively seeking the best employment possible. Although we know that God is our provider, it still is important to knock on doors and seek opportunities.
- Being a hard and faithful worker. A wife needs to know her husband is honest, faithful and hard-working. When a man is dishonest, lazy or changes jobs too often, he violates his wife and makes her insecure. Even if it means foregoing some income or benefits, a husband needs to be careful not to sacrifice his wife’s security. This is very important.
- Being a wise money manager. When a husband is a diligent steward of God’s money, his wife feels secure. This is not a license to be stingy or unreasonable tight with money but an opportunity for managing the money and paying the bills. It is extremely important to your wife for you to manage the family’s money and resources wisely.
The above article comes from the book Marriage on the Rock: God’s Design for Your Dream Marriage, written by Jimmy and Karen Evans, published by Regal. There is much more on the subject of “How to Understand and Meet Your Wife’s Needs” that we weren’t able to include in this article, as well as “How to Meet Your Husband’s Needs” and much, much more. As Jimmy wrote, concerning this resource: “The contents of this book are a result of what God has shown Karen and me about marriage. In this spiritual education process, God healed our marriage and gave us a love for one another far beyond any we had ever known or imagined. Today, after more than 33 years of marriage, not only are we deeply in love, but we also understand how to stay in love. We have learned how to meet one another’s needs as we walk through life’s seasons and challenges.”