Being a good husband and being a good wife is about meeting the basic needs of your spouse that God created them with. A man’s greatest need is respect, glory, and honor. In Psalms 8:6 it says, speaking of man, “You have crowned him with glory and majesty, and made him to rule over the works of Your hands”. Proverbs 12:4 says, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness to his bones”. Patty is always praising me for things that I do, affirming me of character strengths, and responding positively to all my dreams and goals. She is careful not to argue with me, correct me, or criticize me in public no matter how small or familiar the group we are in might be. When she corrects or discusses or shares her view or opinion with me in private she is careful with her words, and is gracious and affirming as she communicates. She makes me feel strong, competent, like a man, and good about myself.
Patty has a number of needs as well that I remind myself of and work hard at meeting. A key need for her is security. I read my Bible every day as a commitment, and I usually do it when and where she can see me keep this commitment. I have a goal and commitment to pray everyday. Being a faithful man who keeps his commitments gives my wife security because of the self-control that she sees in me. Patty has a need for unity and oneness in our relationship, and I take responsibility to keep that unity strong, and whenever there is disagreement or conflict I take it on as my responsibility to be the peacemaker, to fix the problem, even to the point of owning all the blame for a conflict. As a man humbles himself by owning the responsibility for the disunity and the responsibility to make it good again God will honor him with authority. Authority is not power or position, it is a God given ability to influence graciously.
Patty has a need to be understood, and as impossible as that seems to me at times to do that, 1 Peter 3:7 says, “husbands live with your wife in an understanding way”. So it must be possible if God commands it. As I have worked at it I now know and understand what her spiritual gifts are and how that motivates her, I have studied her and know her temperament and how that influences everything she does. I know what her history is, and how those events have shaped her values. She has a need for romance in our relationship, and as unromantic as I am I work at meeting that need. She has a need for intimacy brought about by communication, by far my most difficult challenge as a loving husband, but I can do it, and I will.
God created us with needs to make us interdependent on each other. A marriage where there is true unity, oneness, love, respect, and submission is one that He will bless.