“I just want to be loved and valued. I want to be number one in his life. Unconditional love…that’s what I want.”
We understand this. She needs his love. She needs love when she’s firing on all cylinders, and she needs it even more when she’s worn down—the kids are going full-barbarian, the water heater’s out, and the stir-fry dinner just got complicated by a lack of rice.
“I need to be respected.”
Now that’s a different statement. We, as a people, react—that egomaniac. Let him EARN it. We have different standards, and we’ve focused on the pinker side of things…pink hearts and love. Yet God emphasized that women desire love while men desire respect, which has kind of a blue-tint to it. They are both spiritual needs. Your husband needs your respect, just as you need his love.
Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband.—Ephesians 5:33
Consider these statistics taken during a national survey:
- 83% of men feel disrespected (but not unloved) during marital conflict,
- while 72% of women said that they felt unloved instead.
We naturally desire and need different things. Men are created to be providers and protectors, while women are more naturally designed to be nurturers and carers. God designed these complementary roles. How can you help fulfill yours? It is hard to see the spiritual need of your partner to be respected or to be loved? It will take sacrifice in order to give them something that you’re not most in need of, which will bring you closer to understanding the ultimate sacrifice! Embrace it!