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Needs, Longings, and Wants in Marriage

By Terry Hoskins –

Needs and wants in marriageNeeds Infatuation
Some popular ideas suggest that success in marriage can be measured on the how well needs are being met. The question that we must ask ourselves in evaluating marriages; ‘are needs really needs’? Popular marriage books say that a wife needs affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. While a husband needs sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. These are all examples of the supposed needs in marriage, but are these really needs? What will happen to the individuals in the marriage if these qualities are not being met? Will someone die physically or emotionally or, will the marriage be destroyed? It may be significant to discuss what we generally refer to as “needs”, as “wants”. We all need air to breath, food to eat, and sleep to function as human beings. Anything outside of real needs, is really a want. Therefore, we can no longer give the excuse of ‘he is not meeting my needs’ so why should I serve him?

Obedience to God
God calls us as a couple to serve one another regardless of the attitude of the other. For example, God calls me to love my wife like Christ loved the church whether my wife is nice or not! Just like God calls her to respect me as her husband even when I don’t deserve it. God calls us to learn to love, honor, and respect each other as Christ exemplified these qualities when He lived on earth. God freely poured out His love and grace on us, when we didn’t deserve it or earn it! So why do we think we deserve so much from our spouse when God didn’t expect anything from us?

God Will Take Care of Our Needs
The Bible which is God’s Word tells us that God will meet all of our needs! Paul the Apostle says, “my God will meet ALL your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NIV) God will take care of us, not our spouse! We believe a lie when we believe it is our spouse’s responsibility to fulfill all our unmet wants. This verse tells us that God will meet ALL our needs, yet we turn to our spouse?

Are we willing to entrust our marriage to God or will we do things our own way? Can you imagine Jesus or
the Apostle Paul telling the people I can’t serve you anymore because you are not meeting my needs. Jesus, Paul, and everyone else in the Bible looked to God for their strength and help, not other humans. Why do we lose this perspective when it comes to our marriages?

Change the Focus
As we learn to love God, He gives us the ability to love others, without expecting any recognition or anything in return. God’s supernatural power works fantastically through us when my wife and I turn to Him for help in our marriage. God’s Spirit gives us the capacity to love each other eternally! That means we don’t have to rely on each other because we depend on God alone, and He is our strength! The Bible confirms this in Proverbs 3:5-6 “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge Him (God), and He (God) will make your paths straight.” God calls us to trust Him with our marriage. God matures us in our faith as we learn to rely on Him. God says He will meet all our needs! There is such peace in marriage when you trust in God for your needs instead of demanding them from your spouse. Is your marriage moved or motivated by fulfilled needs or by your faithfulness to God?

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