Have you ever picked up a magazine and read front page titles along the lines of, “10 Vital Things My Spouse Needs From Me”, “5 Actions You Can Take Today That Will Fulfill Your Spouse’s Needs”, “If You Satisfy These 3 Needs, You Will Have a Happy Wife/Husband”? This blog will not be that.
Generally, when we read magazines, blogs, or listen to podcasts, it's common for these statements to be used to catch your attention and give you a glimmer of hope in helping your relationship improve. Some suggestions may be helpful, but unfortunately, while good-intentioned, these things usually leave us unfulfilled because they don’t get to the root of the problem.
Who Ultimately Meets Our Needs?
Through scripture and our “Two Becoming One” resource, we emphasize that we should move our marriages from performance to faith. In other words, not saying to my spouse “What can you do for me?”, but focusing on what God has done for us.
At the end of the day, we believe that there is really one thing that drives and helps us transition from moving a marriage from performance to faith. That is a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. Ultimately, this is the greatest gift you can give your spouse. A vital relationship with Christ will encompass everything that your spouse is going to need from you. A vital relationship with Christ will produce the Fruit of the Spirit in us. This is what will spill over into our relationships, starting with our spouse.
Where Do We Start?
This relationship starts at salvation. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." We are all sinners. We have all offended a holy God, which causes us to be separated from Him. The consequence of our sin is death. This is a physical and spiritual separation from God.
Romans 6:23, tells us "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
The second part of Romans 6:23 tells us “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." God’s gift is the ultimate act of love for mankind. He gave Jesus Christ to take our place so we can live. The incomprehensible part – it was done for us when we are at our worst. Romans 5:8 declares, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus did not wait for us to clean ourselves up. He didn’t need to determine whether or not we deserved it. He did just the opposite. In the midst of our sin, He freely died for us to save us from it.
What is Our Response?
Our response to this love and the drawing of the Holy Spirit should be what Romans 10:9 tells us, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved"! Romans 10:13 says it in another way, "for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Salvation will result in a changed heart. The Holy Spirit will give you the capacity to love God and to love others in a way you never thought possible! Matthew 22:34-40 covers this topic well. Verses 37-39 say, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
When Matthew 22:39 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself”, who do we think of? Many times we think of our actual neighbors, or those we work with, or the people we hang out with. It is not very often that we think of those in our own home, specifically our spouse. In all reality, the first recipient of your love – the love that you experienced from God – should be your spouse. We sometimes step right over the closest relationship we have, a covenant relationship, to extend love to others.
What Is One Thing Your Spouse Needs?
Summing up, what does your spouse need? In a nutshell, they need you to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. This type of intimacy with God will give you the capacity to love your spouse with no strings attached. With your focus on God, your heart will be open to love your spouse how He has loved you.
There are many things we could put on a list today to share how you can meet your spouse's needs. And many of them may be true and will help in the moment. But nothing on that list would compare with you thriving in your relationship with God.
Check out our podcast here for a conversation on this topic.