In the last post, we discussed how the differences between men and women actually allow them to serve one another in unique ways. Women need love primarily, while men need respect. Before we can engage in selfless service to our spouse, we first need the love of God in our lives.
We’re still examining a man’s primary needs. In the garden, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). We see another key need of men here: companionship. Men need both respect, and someone to share everything with. He needs a friend around whom he can be completely honest and real. Even in perfection—with a job, animals, and a relationship with God—Adam needed someone like him to come alongside and help.
God brought the woman to the man for this reason. He knew Adam needed a helper, and so, “The Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22).
Wives, if your husbands don’t sense that you both respect and appreciate his companionship, he’s going to become discouraged. Last time, we explored the fact that, for him to feel loved, he must feel respected. Women actually have a huge opportunity to speak life and encouragement into their husbands. As his primary companion, your words mean more than anyone else’s! Make sure they’re filled with the respect and honor he craves.
In the garden, Adam and Eve were naked and fully exposed to one another. They weren’t ashamed to be fully known, both by each other and by God. This is the best type of companionship—when you feel full in another person’s presence.
If you’re married, prayerfully ask God to help you be the kind of spouse around which your husband or wife feels full, safe, and appreciated. If you aren’t married, think about whom you can create this safe, full, secure space for—who can you display respect, honor, and love towards?
Dr. Derek Grier