By ROY W. HARRIS
Spring is a wonderful time of the year. Not only does nature begin to wake up from its long dormant winter hibernation, but also another strange but normal phenomenon begins. The beauty of blooming flowers, greening lawns and barren trees adorning themselves with newborn leaves and symphonies of songbirds stirs something in the human race. Thoughts of love and romance begin to fill the air often culminating in spring weddings for many couples. Have you ever wondered why there are so many weddings in the spring? Spring weddings come from a long line of traditions, which would not be relevant to our modern times. But none the less you can sense that romance and marriage are in the air.
When couples stand before a preacher or a magistrate and pledge themselves to each other, they fully intend for their commitments to be lifelong ones. Tragically about half will end in divorce. There are a number of reasons why this happens, but one that many fail to realize is the huge differences between men and women. Now the physical differences are obvious, and usually the first thing which causes us to be attracted to each other. But there are a few things that are not so obvious. Understanding those differences can make a huge distinction in getting off to a good start in both dating and marriage.
God made men and women different for a purpose, so they could complement each other. They do this by understanding and supplying each other’s needs. The Holy Scriptures teaches us that, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Men and women need each other. In order to supply each other’s needs, we must first understand what those needs are.
Men should strive to understand the two basic needs of women. The first is the need for security. A man must be present and accounted for in times of crisis. Women need the soft shoulder and strong arms of their men in times of uncertainty and disappointment. Men should be careful not to give the love of their lives reasons to be jealous or feel threatened by other women. A man should compliment his wife daily. A man should always remember he is married to his wife and not his mother, and he should never compare the two (cooking, house cleaning, etc.) After they are married, men should continue to date their wives once a week. You wined and dined her to get her to throw in her lot in life with you, now don’t upset things by failing to treat her special. Realize that a prize worth all that effort should be cherished and not taken for granted.
Women need to talk, and men should learn to listen. A man should find a time each day to let his wife talk. Remember your wife may have spent all day communicating with a two-year-old, and she is ready to talk with an adult. The second basic need is homemaking. I can sense some thinking maybe that is a little old-fashioned. Most women want a safe, warm and attractive environment to live and raise their children in. A woman’s touch makes all the difference in the home. A wise man will take note of that and aid her efforts. Move the furniture around when she asks, noting that furniture was never intended to last a lifetime. Honor her request and spring for some new furnishings now and then. If she works outside the home, throw a load of laundry in the washer for her. Step up and do the dishes on occasion and offer to take your turn bathing the children.
It is also important for women to understand the two basic needs of men. The first need involves his ego. Ladies, I’m sure that one really caught you by surprise (ha). A wise woman will never tear her husband down at home, criticizing or correcting him in front of others in public. Subtle nagging at home will slowly eat away at his ego and self-confidence. A wise woman will build her husband up in front of their children. A wise woman will verbally convey to her man that he is the best, and he’s meeting her needs. A second basic need of men is food. A man’s home is his castle. His home is his place of escape from the outside world. This is where he retreats and feels most important. Home is where he can let his guard down and be himself. There is an old saying that probably has some merit to it – ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’. Men tend to be less understanding and more irritable when they are hungry. A wise woman will not serve the problems of the day to her man as soon as he walks in the door from work. It would be wise to wait until after supper when he’s fed and usually more relaxed, and his frame of mind has mellowed.
If men and women approach their relationships with a giving attitude and the idea of understanding and trying to meet the other’s need, in most cases the result will be seeing their own needs met as well.
Sound advice for the married and soon to be married: Developing a good relationship is not a 50/50 proposition, as some would have us believe. It requires a 100% effort and commitment by each one. Relationships built on giving and not taking are the ones that endure. Seek to be a giver and not a taker, and you might be surprised what you receive in return. Best wishes for a long and happy life together.
Roy is a national Conference, Seminar and Retreat speaker and can be contacted at Roy@royharris.info or view his website at www.royharris.info.