You wouldn't have to know me long.
Before you concluded I could use a break now and then.
You'd soon say, "I'm guessing that lady needs a tall latte. Maybe even a dark chocolate truffle." I wouldn't need to explain all this. You would just know.
As a woman, it'd be obvious to you.
You'd take one look at my full-to-overflowing days...and you'd understand exactly what was needed. A small retreat. Away from the noisy house and the busy children.
Yes. I'm thinking a 16-ounce latte and a quiet, uninterrupted conversation with a tall grown-up. Preferably him - the one who thinks so clearly and has such broad, caring shoulders. Oh, yeah, definitely him.
Now isn't that readily apparent to you?
But for some reason it was NOT apparent to my husband and I had a hard time believing he couldn't see it.
So one day we had a conversation about this need of mine. It began by my asking, "Can I tell you a little bit about me?"
"Well, I love being your wife. And I love being a mother. And I could keep going on like this for the rest of my life."
Small pause, so he'd see I was sincere.
"But you know something else about me? I do sooo much better when I get to step away from here occasionally. Not only get away, but go out and have time together with you. It would do me a world of good."
I drew breath and then finished with, “So do you think we could pull that off? You know...arrange that on a regular basis?"
He started to laugh (though I didn't really see the humor).
His response? "Strange. I never looked at it that way."
My turn. "Ummmm....So how do you look at it, Dear?"
"Well, I guess that since I'm away from the house all day, my favorite thing is to come home to my family. I love it when we're sitting around together and don't feel a particular need to go back out again. And I thought you felt the same way."
So as it turned out, he really was unaware. I had to explain what I was hoping for and even what that looked like to me. I wasn't asking for an expensive dinner out - just a latte, please (though chocolate wouldn't hurt). Mostly I wanted time with him.
But in his mind, our evenings together at home counted as "time". It didn't count so much with me.
He didn't know what I needed. That was something he had to hear from me.
So how do you lovingly communicate to your man what you need from him?
Pray. Bring it before The Lord first. Ask Him to help you say what you want to say in a loving manner. Also, ask Him to prepare your husband's heart to hear you.
Come clean. Let go of any bitterness or resentment that might have built up before this. Come with a fresh spirit.
Prepare him. Let him know you've got something on your mind and you're looking forward to sharing it with him.
Approach him. Gently. With words seasoned with grace. Not accusing or demanding, simply laying down your needs before him.
Be Patient. Don't be discouraged if it takes a while to sink in. Or if you have to repeat your request periodically and in different ways. Patiently and lovingly remind him of your needs.
Show appreciation. If he tries at all, then express gratitude for his efforts. Don't only say it in words, but also in your attitude. Make sure he sees what a difference it makes in your life.
Be willing to leave it there. So this is the hardest one. Some needs can go for a long time before they're met. Others never will be met. At least by him. Because God is the only One who promises to supply all you need (Phil. 4:19).
Being a loving, godly wife doesn't mean you don't have any needs. You can be very content in your marriage and still communicate to your husband those things that help you feel loved. Or those things that "fill your tank". You can even bless him by letting him know the ways he can help meet your needs.
And, of course, what I need these days is a tall latte. Chocolate. Above all, time away with my Man.
But you already knew that....
In His grace,
Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson, literary agent and writer, and together they enjoy raising 8 children. Please join her over at Club31Women, a blog for any wife, mother, or sister who is looking for Biblical encouragement and inspiration.
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