1 Corinthians 7:1-5
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 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.
“defraud” means to refuse or deprive.
You’ll never have a healthy marriage if you only think about yourself. The difference between a frustrated and fulfilled marriage depends on if each spouse’s needs are being met. Needs control behavior.
Marriage is a needs-based relationship. Each person must be sensitive to the needs of his/her spouse. If we can’t put ourselves in our spouse’s shoes (have empathy), then we won’t care about meeting their needs. And if we don’t make their needs a priority, we are directly disobeying the Word of God, which instructs us not to defraud (refuse or deprive) each other.
Empathy is critical to marriage. We must be willing to understand our spouse’s needs and be willing to meet them; even though they are different from our own. Two can’t become one until each spouse becomes like clay (adaptable) so that God can mold them together.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
When you meet the needs of your spouse, it frees them up to meet your needs. If you don’t meet their needs, they will be mentally preoccupied and concerned with how they are going to get their needs met. You don’t want to leave them vulnerable to that attack of the enemy. Don’t leave that door open in your marriage.
There are 5 needs that every husband has, and 5 needs that every wife has in marriage… and 2 needs that apply to both the husband and wife.
-Physical intimacy (Sex)
-An attractive spouse(not just physical, see below for explanation)
-Admiration, encouragement and respect
-Communication and partnership
-Honesty, openness and affirmation
-Security, financial support and protection
-Family, commitment and priority
-Love, acceptance and spiritual intimacy
Husband’s needs explained:
Physical intimacy: Men need physical intimacy//sex. 1 Cor. 5 says not to defraud each other, or withhold and deny meeting each other’s needs. Wives, don’t leave your husband wondering how he will get his needs for physical intimacy met.
Recreational companionship: The burden/responsibility of work was given to the man. (The wife has the burden/responsibility of raising the children.) Men need to be able to to enjoy what they have worked for. Wives, help your husband enjoy what he’s been working so hard for. Malachi 2:14 calls the wife the companion of the husband.
An attractive spouse: There are two women described in Proverbs 31 and Proverbs 7. One dresses attractively for her husband and one dresses like a harlot. One cares about the ways of her house and the other does not. Wives, if you are willing to get all made up to go out with your friends, but you dress like a slouch on date night with your husband, it subconsciously communicates that he doesn’t mean as much to you. Give him the same effort you give anyone else. ** Attractiveness goes beyond physical appearance. It is in the way you speak and how you carry yourself. Showing love is attractive. Making in investment for your husband is attractive.
Domestic support: Husbands need help on the home-front and with the kids!
Admiration, encouragement and respect: Ladies, even if your husband isn’t able to do much, applaud him for what he can do. Don’t disrespect him in front of another man. If he does something, admire him for it. That reaffirms your love for him.
Wife’s needs explained:
Emotional intimacy: There is a huge difference between physical and emotional intimacy. The bible calls men a fountain (they don’t need any reason to be physically intimate). Women are compared to deep wells. You have to be ready to patiently draw. Women want to connect on a deeper level through intimate conversation. That is what draws them into intimacy. Men, do not leave your wives strained for emotional connection and intimacy.
Communication and partnership: The wife needs to know that her husband isn’t just present, but that he will partner with her in raising the kids, doing life…. etc. She needs openness and communication. There should be complete transparency in marriage, and equal partnership. Back her up with the kids. Partner with her in her endeavors.
Honesty, openness, value and affirmation: Wives are affirmed by their husbands openness and honesty. Men, you should always be reminding you wife by what you say, how you treat/serve her, that she is valuable and that you love her. Reaffirm it constantly. When you are honest and open, it communicates to your wife that you have nothing to hide; that she is the one person with whom you can and will share everything. That tells her she is important to you.
Security, financial support and protection: The responsibility of work/being the provider was given to the man. The wife’s responsibility is for the children. The wife is the ‘nester’. She needs to know that her nest is financially supported, that it is secure, and that it’s protected. **Financial support is more than having the gas, water and lights turned on. Your wife will want to get her hair/nails done. Etc. Men, provide for your wives! If the family is not provided for, God holds the husband responsible. The burden of financial support was never meant to be placed on the woman. If a wife wants to stay home, that is her God-given right. (Note: wives, if you choose this, be sensitive that you will have to structure your budget around one income.) Security is a huge thing with women. If your wife knows she is secure, she can truly become free to be the best wife.
Family, commitment and priority: A wife needs to know that she is priority #1 to her husband, and that no one/nothing else will be put before her. She needs to know that her husband is committed to making and keeping her a priority, and that he is committed to the well-being of the family. Husbands, this means that if your wife is concerned about something, you should take it seriously. Address it with her in love. Even if her concerns don’t seem relevant to you, they are real to her. So walk through it with her.
Both husband and wife need:
Honor: Both husband and wife need to be shown value and preference by the other. This is communicated in so many different ways: For example: if a wife is trying to talk to her husband, but he’s flipping through the channels on the tv, that doesn’t show preference. If a husband is trying to spend time with his wife, but she’s texting, that doesn’t show preference. When you are with each other, be with each other. Put the distractions away. Make it a priority to protect your time together to connect.
Love, acceptance and spiritual intimacy: Love is a choice- not a feeling. Choose to love each other and prefer one-another, even when its hard. Make your marriage a safe place, where each spouse can be honest and vulnerable without fear of rejection. Pray and read the Word together. As you both get closer to God, you will inevitably get closer to each other.