Her Way Of Loving Isn’t His Way of Loving
Do We Really Love Each Other? – Part 2.1
What’s interesting about this concept when I studied it out, is that The Bible in Ephesians-chapter-five has this whole section dedicated to how a man (husband) should love his wife. At the very end of the section, it has one line on what the wife gives her husband in return. It’s in this phrase and the book, Love and Respect, that we find one of the most important principles needed to plan for an uncommon marriage.
So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. -bible.com/bible/116/EPH.5.33.NLT
It’s in this statement from Paul, the most successful church planter of the early Christian church, that gave us insight into the principle we call “love is not a one-way street.” Love differs for men and women and this verse and the passage upon which it was taken explains this difference. As you read this, your mind will confirm this thought. When you think of your spouse, you will agree that your spouse doesn’t love in the same way that you do. Allow me to illustrate this thought for you just a bit.
Her love goes east, my love heads west.
Have you ever felt like what you were giving to your spouse as love never satisfies? You try everything and end back up in the same spot of bewilderment. This is because your love for your wife is headed eastward and her love for you is headed westward.
Sometimes it feels as if the two of you while speaking English are talking in two different languages. I learned this from “Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.” In fact when it comes to communicating love, men really are from Mars and women from Venus and there are few who can explain why? It is my belief that this occurs because love is not a one-way street. In order to express love for each other, you will have to turn your car around and travel west in her direction of love. Then she must learn to reverse her direction and travel east in order to communicate love for you. With that said let’s discuss what traveling east and traveling west looks like.
Love for her is emotional – how do you make me feel?
Traveling westward will require a husband to learn how to answer this question. How do you make her feel? Love for the wife is expressed in emotions. I will name a few actions to help a husband understand what it means to touch a wife’s emotions:
- Openness. Can you open up to your wife using your words and body language? Can you bring her into your world of thoughts? She desires to get into your head.
- Understanding. This one is hard for the men. You see, men are always trying to fix something. A husband must understand that his wife is not broken. There is no need to fix her. She wasn’t broken when you met her, she’s not broken now, and she won’t be broken later. As a husband, we simply need to work to understand that she might respond as if there is something broken although she might have already fixed it. If she needs help, she knows how to ask. She just wants someone (you) who can be understanding as she recounts an incident. She seeks your understanding.
- Closeness. A wife wants to know that she is close not in proximity even though that is necessary, but close in partnering with you. She wants to be your friend, one that you desire to talk to. She wishes to be closer to you than any of her girl-friends.
- Sympathy. A wife wants her husband to feel her hurt, pain, and sorrow. She wants him to feel regret at times and acknowledge his wrong. She wants to know when he’s disappointed, unhappy, and even happy. She wants to be the one (in those rare cases) that you can cry with. She wants to be the one in which you trust with your sympathies.
- Devotion. If you show interest in something, she wants you to be most interested in her. She needs to feel the energy you have for sports and achievement directed towards her as often as possible. She wants your devotion.
- Esteem. I like to say it this way. Husbands must value their wife both privately and publicly. A wife feels loved when she feels esteemed. This means she matters and is important to her husband. She wants to be, remain, and appear as important in your world.
Husbands I know this is tough because you are accustomed to traveling in the opposite direction which we will discuss momentarily. However, the first step in making progress begins with understanding what’s expected when you turn the vehicle around and head in her direction when expressing love.
Love for him is appreciation – what have I accomplished?
Traveling eastward will require a wife to learn how to answer this question. What has he accomplished? Love for the husband is expressed in accomplishment. I will name a few to help a wife understand what it means to touch a husband’s need for appreciation:
- Provision and protection. While a husband understands that his wife can provide and care for herself, he wants to relieve her of this job or duty. He wants to know that he’s the one she can count on to make certain she lacks nothing and that in trouble he is her goto. He wants to be the one that you go to no matter what happens.
- Analyze and counsel. Wives have you ever wondered why your husband has all the answers? Inside of him is the desire to be your answer. A husband doesn’t want his wife to have to go elsewhere to find the answer as long as he’s there. When a husband is robbed of this, he feels unloved. He wants to help analyze your issues and even be a counselor for you in resolving any pain.
- Service and leadership. A wife may see this need as authoritative. A husband wants to serve and lead his family. He has to be able to take his family to the destination desired. Even if the wife has the destination, he wants to be at the helm in getting the family there. Anytime he feels less than a servant and less than a leader, he feels unloved. A husband likes to make decisions even when he doesn’t have any options to offer. This is where his wife can simply offer options and he will then select one in order to feel like he’s served the family and led the family. He wants to contribute no matter what.
- Sexual intimacy. Wives, you should have seen this coming from a mile away. This is one area where husbands and wives drive in differing directions. At any rate, I heard Myles Munroe say this the best way anyone I’ve ever heard say it. Sexual intimacy for a husband is not a want, but rather a need in the same way drinking water is a need for the human being. While you might not see how this fits in with what he has accomplished, it is an activity that he is looking to fulfill. Listen it’s not just a want, but a need that must be fulfilled or achieved. The truth of the matter is a wife is the one who gets to satisfy this need. It’s only when a wife doesn’t satisfy this need that a husband seeks alternatives. He wants his wife to fulfill his needs.
- Achievements. A husband needs to know that his wife recognizes what he has achieved. I get it that many wives are still trying to figure out what her husband has achieved. Regardless, a wife has to find something, no matter how small of an achievement, to celebrate. Keep in mind, his buddies might celebrate placing a roof on a doghouse. You must be able to out celebrate the guys even when it seems small. A husband is always looking to be celebrated by his wife.
Using six emotional ways to show how she feels loved and five ways to appreciate him to show how he feels loved, we’d discovered that showing love to a wife is much different than how a husband feels loved. Her love goes east while his love goes west. Knowing this is key to understanding that giving a wife love like a husband desires does not speak love to her. In the same way, giving love to a husband like a wife desires does not speak love to him. In this way, love is not a one-way street.
Question: In what ways have you been trying to give love to your spouse that’s of the type you desire?
Reference #1: Ephesians 5:33 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 23, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/EPH.5.33.NLT
Reference #2: Myles Munroe.
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.