Your God-Given Power To Influence Your Marriage
The key to motivating another person is meeting that person’s deepest need. Since Ephesians 5:33 reveals that a wife needs love and a husband needs respect, then the key to motivating a wife is to meet her need for love, and the fundamental way to energize a husband is meet his need for respect.
In my book, Love & Respect, I define in detail what love and respect look like and how to meet this need. But let me share with you the incredible power a person can experience when meeting another’s need.
Will this always happen? No, but it will occur often among good-willed couples, and far more than withholding love and respect!
Listen to these individuals who experienced a new power to influence their marriage.
A husband understands his own need--what motivates him--which gave him a new appreciation of what his wife needed and a feeling of empowerment to bless his wife,
“For years I carried frustration over an inability to ‘touch’ what I was feeling. I would invariably come across to my wife as insensitive in some areas, when quite honestly I wasn’t trying to be...I just didn’t think of things the same way and quite naturally put a different priority on things. It’s liberating to understand I’m simply being blue, not bad. But it’s also empowering to know how to bless my pink wife in my quest to live as a man of honor.”
A husband learns to express love in the little things and saw a significant difference,
“While reading your book (Love & Respect), I took every opportunity to have face-to-face conversation with her. I am learning to be a better listener, giving her attention and sympathy rather than ‘fixing’ her problem. I went out to eat with her last night willingly and then helped shop for groceries. It makes a difference when I do these things cheerfully. I intend to do all the little things that will express love by actions rather than just words.”
A wife’s respect opened up for her a new understanding of why she did not understand her husband and why he did not understand her, which empowered her to make positive changes in their marriage,
“We have been married for almost twenty-one years and have drifted apart. All that you have to say about the different ways that men and women hear and see things is SO right. A lot of the statements that he has made to me over the years that didn’t make any sense are starting to make sense now. And of course I am now seeing why he didn’t understand all the times I have tried to reach out to him.”
A wife reports that when they understood each other’s need (her need for love and his need for respect), they moved the marriage toward intimacy,
“Your seminar (The Love and Respect Marriage Conference) increased my husband’s understanding of me and acceptance of me. (I knew I was a typical woman because I talk to my friends, and they are just like me; however, women don’t act like me at his work, so he thought I was different in a bad way.) Likewise, your principles about men increased my understanding of my husband and his needs, making me more appreciative and empathic rather than judgmental. These attitude changers affected our communication...I have learned to ‘go silent’ in respect when my husband hurts my feelings, understanding that most of the time it is unintentional. Likewise, he has increased his effort to talk through issues with me, rather than ‘go silent’ to avoid conflict. Our relationship is much more peaceful and slowly moving toward intimacy again.”
Let me insert a word of encouragement to wives.
Many women have been conditioned by our feminist-influenced culture to believe that if they don’t share their feelings as much as they think is necessary, they will lose their power and sense of self and nothing will ever be resolved in their marriage.
The wife who has these fears should remember that God’s instructions have a profound purpose.
From what we hear at our Love and Respect Live Marriage Conferences and by e-mail, many husbands are convicted and motivated to change far more quickly when a wife comes across respectfully with a gentle and quiet spirit as 1 Peter 3:1-6 teaches.
I believe in the majority of cases your marriage will improve, issues will get resolved and your sense of self and power will increase.
Whether you are a husband or a wife, remember that the key to motivating another person is meeting that person’s deepest need.
Love for her, respect for him.