“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”
As we saw in our previous study, “understanding” means that God expects the husband to have first-hand experience with his wife’s needs.
God expects the husband to meet the essential needs of his wife from our previous study:
Here is a continuation of the way a husband can meet his wife’s needs:
6. Give her approval. “Honey, you look terrific in that dress.” When was the last time you told your wife that she is beautiful? What would your wife say? “The last time? Well, let’s see. Was it on our marriage day?!!” If your wife says, “Don’t you think that Suzie is cute?” Do not bite! You can say, “Yes, but did you see that rag she was wearing!” No, do not malign someone else. You can say, “Dear, do you realize how beautiful you are? I picked you over all other women in the world. You are everything to me.” It is easy to sit down for a meal and say, “You overcooked this one, didn’t you? I like it well done, but I don’t like burnt offerings!” This is not an experiential understanding of your wife. Experiential knowledge gives her approval.
7. Protect and shield her. Do you protect your wife? When you go to a party, do you run her down? How far do you carry joking about her?
8. Know her moods. Women are chemical creatures. It is incredible how many men do not know this. They take little note that it may be ten days before their period. They may be oblivious to the reason as to why she is blue. They cannot fathom why she is up one time and down another.
9. Have economic responsibility. Economic irresponsibility makes a wife feel insecure. Financial stability makes her feel secure.
10. Set the emotional tone for the home. It is God’s design that the husband sets the tone of the family. If he does not do this, the wife will do it. When she does, she will leave her essential role and rule the household. If she sets the tone of the family she will become insecure. Femininity is essentially a responder. Masculinity takes the initiative. If a responder takes the initiative it distorts femininity. This will warp roles in marriage. If the husband is belligerent after a rough day at work and comes home howling, then that is how the home will go. The kids will develop this mode of operation in their families as well.
11. Avoid harshness. Col. 3:19
The husband cannot take his wife for granted without consequence. If he is not sensitive to her essential needs, then he will have trouble. He cannot neglect her without her feeling insignificant. He cannot be rough on her without distorting her femininity.