We women are easily distracted by our own needs. This is easy because, after all, they are ours. And I don’t know how many times I have heard women say that their husbands are not “meeting their needs.” In fact, I’m sure we could find women’s groups devoted to discussing how their husbands are not meeting their needs. I have no doubt there are blogs devoted to the subject.

The fact of the matter is that a man cannot meet the needs of a woman, because her needs far exceed the capacity of any man to fill. I think it was Walter Trobisch who said, “There’s not a man on earth who can satisfy the heart of a woman.” So women ought to find something more interesting to discuss. This is not anything new.

But the problem persists because women impose a tremendous burden on their husbands, and they naively expect some kind of arrangement where the husband is given to the wife to meet all her emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs (whatever all those needs are). What a grave disappointment to find out that her husband was not informed.

Now I am not saying that men do not meet any needs of their wives. Of course they do! But when women look to fallen men to give them purpose and meaning in life, they are looking in the wrong place. It is asking of a finite creature what only the Almighty can do. He created us with all these needs, and only He can really satisfy our soul’s desires. A husband is a source of tremendous comfort, strength, protection, love, and companionship. But our souls need supernatural comfort, strength, protection, love, and companionship. A mere man cannot even comprehend the needs of a woman. In fact, I don’t think women even understand their own hearts and needs.

If you consider the purpose of marriage at the beginning, God created woman because the man had needs. He needed a helper. Woman was created for the man. So as wives consider how they can meet their husbands’ needs for help, it’s funny how their own needs will be met. When we are doing what God has created and called us to do, we actually become what He created us to be. When we give ourselves away, we find ourselves; when we give, we receive; when we empty ourselves, we are filled.

God is the only one who can satisfy all our needs. If we lift the burden of expectation off the creature and place it on the Creator, we will not be disappointed. And our husbands will be mighty relieved.

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24 thoughts on “Needy Women

  1. Something I find the need to tell myself daily, hourly, some days by the minute. Thank you for gettling me again today.

  2. What a loving and eloquent way of telling a woman, who is yet again whining about her fallen husband, “It’s not all about you!”

    I’m bookmarking this and will be referring many a lady to it. Thank you!

  3. You wrote:
    God is the only one who can satisfy all our needs. If we lift the burden of expectation off the creature and place it on the Creator, we will not be disappointed. You know, when I first became a single mom, I was terrified at how I would be able to get along without having a partner, a companion along the daily walk of life. But one of the biggest surprises to me has been how fully my needs have been met; more fully now than they ever were during my marriage. I think that is probably because now I have no choice but to depend upon the Lord. And of course He never disappoints. Wasn’t it Abraham Lincoln who said, “I am often driven to my knees by the certain knowledge that I have no where else to turn.”

    You also wrote:
    When we are doing what God has created and called us to do, we actually become what He created us to be. When we give ourselves away, we find ourselves; when we give, we receive; when we empty ourselves, we are filled.
    and isn’t this the contradiction of the divine economy? It’s only when we forget about our needs and accept that they may never be met, accept that we have no right to insist that they be met.. only then are they finally met. Then somehow, the things that once seemed so very vital, pale in value and significance. God is good.♥

  4. Thank you for the good reminder.

    As a practical addition my husband always appreciates when I see to meeting my own needs through relationships with other women. Of course not in an out of balance, sinful or selfish way (gossip, venting frustration regarding husbands, long phone calls at the expense childcare etc.). But in a positive sharpening of the iron way that can be experienced amongst sisters in Christ.

    Women have a legitimate need to talk and express thoughts and ideas and everyday experience. For stay at home moms the husband can be the only sounding board for communication at the end of the day. My husband and I love to talk but it is not realistic to expect him to take an active interest in every detail of my day.

    My husband reminds me quite frequently to utilize the sisters for daily uplifting even in the mundane things. I was just joking with a close friend the other day that she and I can call each other for anything….even to report something as seemingly trivial as where we have found our favorite brand of pacifier on sale :o)

    I find that your blog helps fill this need quite well too…..sharing insights and thoughts to encourage and spur on….as well as recipes, tips for raising toddlers and practical ideas on hospitality.

    So by all means we must realize that no relationship with husband (or other women friends for that matter) will fulfill every longing but we should take advantage of the means God has provided for helping to fulfill our needs. And one of His primary provisions is the church community.

  5. Sally makes a great point. I think it was a letter writer to World Magazine who commented that the secret to a good marriage is lots of girl friends. I wish I had understood that years ago. I think this is one quirky result of the feminist movement, that we expected our men to be able to understand us and meet our needs like one of the girls, and yes, even like God.

    This is a really important post, Mrs. Wilson, and very well said. (Often, I feel like what you wrote borders on self-evident, but somehow, I missed it before. Thank you for telling it straight!)

  6. I have been amazed to discover how much of a burden I have placed on my husband over our 10 years of marriage to fill far too many of MY needs. Only now that work has taken him to Japan for much of the year has it really hit home. I have been far too dependent for far too long! Thank you for the fresh reminder. I am very grateful.

  7. Preach it sister!
    I agree that women’s unrealistic expectations are a huge problem in marriages today. Girls and women need to understand this but our culture keeps building unrealistic expectations for “romantic soulmates” in their heads. (What a clever satanic ploy!) Keep faithfully teaching our girls the truth that only our God is sufficient!

  8. You said, “But our souls need supernatural comfort, strength, protection, love, and companionship. ” The key word being “supernatural.” When we can understand this, then we understand that nothing earthly can do the job. And grasping that leads to a real resting and leaning against God.

  9. To Diane, the single Mom – May God continue to bless you as you adorn the gospel with this beautiful testimony as a single mother! It is rare to hear, and such an encouragement to singles as well as those of us who are married. Thank you for sharing how good God has been to you. :)

  10. A thought to add…

    Prior to my husband’s current job, he traveled frequently. We have five small children (born b/t 2001 & 2006). At the time of his travel, I was very sick. (The day he had confirmation of his position in Japan, my MRI results came back, finally diagnosed a large, necrotic uterine fibroid tumor) For a few years in a row, no matter how much medication or iron supplements I was given, I was anemic and beside myself. After a scary hemorrhage, I pushed to get a new, more diligent doc.

    When my husband was home, he often didn’t unpack his suitcase, so as to be ready for the impending trip. There was a lot of tension from constant “changing of the guard” and coping with me being sick and wanting to be held, and my husband being tired and jet-lagged, not wanting to be touched.

    Needless to say, I was very sick, weak, and overwhelmed. I was becoming frantic about having my husband home more – I missed him and I was afraid. I worried he enjoyed being on the road more than being at home. The harder I fought to be together, the farther apart we seemed to get. I probably even made it difficult for him to be at home, smothering him, kind of self-fulfilling my fears.

    Meanwhile, my younger sister, newly married, was separated from her husband for a YEAR while he was in Iraq.

    She called to check in on me one day, while my husband was gone, in the midst of this crazy mess. She asked so sweetly and with such tenderness how I was doing that I just started sobbing on the phone.

    I was practically shouting over the bottled hurt – my profound loneliness for my husband, our marriage feeling more and more distant, all the while feeling sick, trying and failing to take care of my responsibilities at home while my husband was on the other side of the world, and being stuck at home because I dare not get too far from the bathroom and a change of clothes – and I just spit it out, even though I promised myself I wouldn’t mention it and possibly hurt her, “How are you so calm when your husband could get SHOT at any moment? What if he NEVER comes home?!”

    I had left home at 17 and moved to another state. I missed a good chunk of my younger sister’s life. She was stuck at 13 in my mind, even though I had been to her wedding. So, being as this is the picture I had of her in my mind, always having to protect my “little” sister, even though she was now 24, it pierced my heart when she responded.

    “Our husbands are a gift to us,” she said very lovingly with all the strength she could muster. “God is all we need. Husbands are just the little bit of extra love that God gives us. It’s like God is a big feast, where you could be so full if you wanted to be… and husbands are like the special dessert.”

    I realized I was relying on my husband to be the “feast” and for God to be the little something extra – the dessert. My portions were off, so to speak.

    A feast and desert might sound like a silly metaphor, but it stuck with me, gave me a heart check, and gave me peace. I repented of trusting in my husband for my “all” and not God for my “all in all”.

    Incidentally, my sister’s husband is home, safe and sound. They are very happily married. I have my strength and life back after an abdominal myomectomy. My husband’s new job is one where he is home often and we have grown very much in the past year, tension at first from being in the same house together, and falling in love with each other all over again. All these things seemed to fit suddenly together, after the Lord grabbed me by the heart with my sister’s brave words to her big sister. :)

    Yes, women can sometimes understand the needs of other women better than husbands can. Frankly, though, not even the best of girlfriends can meet these needs. Best girlfriends, or even husbands aside, our FEAST must be God. HE must be our all-in-all.

    Psalm 73:25-26

    Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

    Much love from Japan,
    Sarah Joy Albrecht

  11. Just arrived here via Sarah Joy (THANK YOU SJA) and enjoyed your post immensely. Right in the midst of my perceived hunger for more relationship from my husband of 22 years, I hear your annointed words that what I need is actually less of my husband and more of God!!! Indeed!

    Why is that such a surprise to me? One of my girlfriends says the sooner we realize our husband is NOT our girlfriend, the better! And I recognize that I have been slipping back into old ways of thinking, old ways of needing. Not good, but good to know I can press the restart button and make some changes that will lighten my husband’s load, and refocus my eyes on my supernatural lover.

    Good on you for leading us here, and I too will be reading this again and suggesting it to my girlfriends. I’m reminded of a book I read last summer called, ‘Satisfy my Thirsty Soul’ by Linda Dillow… one I must obviously re-read and apply.

    Again, thank you.
    Love,
    Lesley-Anne

  12. Thanks for this post, Mrs. Nancy! And thanks for sharing Sarah Joy; I appreciate your testimony and your sister’s words as well! Keep feasting! :)

  13. Would you say that usually when a woman feels unloved it is b/c she is too dependent on her husband? For both of their sakes’, wouldn’t it be good if she helped him understand how to love her better?

  14. Katie,

    Ideally, yes – “helping him to understand how to love her better.” Certainly, she can have a heart-to-heart talk to him, and hopefully, he’ll listen.

    In my own life, I’ve seen the best changes come through lots of prayer, lots of forgiveness / overlooking (in other words, not taking things as personally… calming myself down and asking “did he really mean to hurt me by this or am I overreacting?), and complimenting the things I appreciated directly and in front of others – FB is a great tool for this 😉

    “For both of their sakes’ ” – a line I use as needed is the reminder that “we’re both on the same team here.” :)

    Much love from Japan,
    Sarah Joy Albrecht

  15. Thanks Nancy – such a great reminder. It’s amazing how happy and content you suddenly feel when you start focusing on his needs instead of your own. :)

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