How Do I Validate Her Need for Sentimental Love?
Some men refuse to try to understand the sentimentality of women when it comes to love. Because he does not have the same need, he demands that she adjust to him, not vice versa.
But God has something to say to him about this:
1 Peter 3:7 commands the husband to “live with your [wife] in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman.”
When a husband refuses to practice this, Peter reveals that his wife feels vulnerable and weak. She feels misunderstood and dishonored. She feels dismissed and floundering in need.
Peter then makes a bold declaration. When a husband stiff-arms the revelation about understanding a wife, his prayers will be “hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
God takes this seriously.
In effect, God declares to every husband, “When you refuse to listen to the genuine heart-cry of your wife, I will not listen to your genuine heart-cry before Me. When you refuse to be the Christ-figure to your wife, I will refuse to be Christ to you!”
This does not mean God stops loving the husband, but that the husband undermines his prayer life and communion with God.
In a sense, God lets the husband know what his wife feels. In effect God says, “When you leave your wife feeling disconnected and alone, I will leave you feeling disconnected and alone.”
Of course, God does this to awaken us and motivate us to be honorable men who do the loving thing, even though our wives have emotional needs that we do not have.
For this reason, I appeal to every husband to do the following three things:
- God designed your wife differently from you, so accept that she has emotional and romantic needs that you do not have. See this as God’s design of women, not your wife’s peculiarity. Do not resent God’s design of your wife. And remember, your prayer life is directly impacted. God created a built-in incentive for you to be understanding, as Peter reveals. In the long run, your relationship with your wife and with Him will vastly improve.
- Though you can feel like you can never meet all of her expectations, do not let your inadequacy default to, “You will just have to accept me for the way I am.” Yes, there is a measure of truth in this. You may be an introverted engineer who will not join a dance class where you compete in front of 1000 people, but you are smart enough to come up with a romantic equivalency. Propose that you take private dance lessons, and take a hike in the woods for a picnic where the two of you can waltz together under the pine trees. Create counter proposals; don’t shut down. To her it isabout the love and romance. The setting is secondary to her need to feel that you love her.
- See yourself as an honorable man, even though you do not feel yourself to be a sentimentalist. As an honorable man, do the honorable thing: meet a need that your wife has for your strength, masculinity and love. Ultimately she has a need that only you can meet. Do not see this as a complaint, but a compliment!
A husband writes,
“Diane always told me for years, ‘You never show me love.’ I thought it was just my wife telling me she was unloved and this was just another complaint about me. Of course I love Diane, but I had no idea how to show it. When you talked about this dynamic of the women needing love, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is what Diane has been telling me for 25 years…I thought to myself…‘Dr. Emerson says this is a natural and human way a woman feels.’ At that moment, for the first time in my life, Diane’s feelings to be loved by me were validated. It was an epiphany.”
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