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The Secrets of a Satisfying Marriage - Part 6 of 12
A Sermon Series developed by Rick Warren.
I Cor.
7:3 & I Peter 3:7
Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Icard - October 25, 1998
In a book for written for leaders, Strategies for Taking Charge by Warren Bennis and Burt Nannis, a study was done of 90 top CEO's in the United States to find the common denominators of men who rise to the top.
They studied 90 top CEO's in many different fields: business, entertainment, television, politics, sports.
They found they had nothing in common in terms of background, ability, education.
They only found one common denominator: all 90 CEO's were still married to their first wife.
They all claimed to be happily married and they all were very enthusiastic about the institution of marriage.
They concluded that the stability that takes place when a husband and a wife have a good relationship is one of the factors of success.
I Corinthians 7:3 (Good News) "A man should fulfill his duty as a husband and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife and each should satisfy the other's needs."
Meeting your spouse's needs is a purpose of marriage.
God expects husbands to satisfy the needs of their wives.
God expects wives to satisfy the needs of their husbands.
The problem is the needs of men and women are very different.
Your wife's needs are not the same as yours.
If you try to meet her needs thinking, "This is what I need" you're going to miss the base.
Sigmund Freud, "Despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, I have not yet been able to answer the great question, What does a woman want?"
We're going to look at five basic needs of your mate.
If I had a title for this it would be "How to Make Sure Your Wife Never Wants Another Man".
If you meet these needs she's not going to look anywhere else.
It doesn't matter who you are.
You can be irresistible to your mate.
Doesn't matter how old you are, how young you are, how you look.
If you will meet these needs, you will be irresistible to the woman in your life.
This really could be called "How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage".
I Peter 3:7 "Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life so that nothing will hinder your prayers."
Circle "be considerate", "treat them with respect", and "live with them".
You do these things so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
It's interesting that the Bible says that how I treat my wife determines how effective my prayers are.
Treat your wives in a certain way so that you can get through to God when you need an answer to prayer.
As a husband, I Peter 3:7, says I am to do three things with my wife:
1. Understand my wife.
Notice that it says "be considerate".
What does it mean to be considerate?
Being considerate means thoughtful of the needs and feelings of another.
Obviously you've got to understand your wife's needs before you can consider her needs and meeting those needs.
You've got to know what they are.
This is a life-long process.
Every day it seems I understand something about my wife that I didn't know before.
Women are very complex.
Every time you open a door there's another door behind it.
There's always another room in their life that you haven't experienced or explored yet.
It will keep you interested the rest of your life if you put some effort into it.
You need to understand your wife.
2. Live with my wife.
Spend time with her.
That is a basic assumption.
If you're going to be best friends you've got to develop some mutual interests and some things you do together.
To live with means share my life.
Do things together -- be companions.
Studies have revealed that the average couple spends 45 minutes each day together.
We compartmentalize our lives: marriage, work, sports, hobby, etc.
The Bible says your wife is to be aware and knowing of all of those things.
You are to share your life with her not just your bed and meals.
3. Respect my wife.
Study after study has shown that the number one determining factor in a wife's self esteem, in how she feels about herself, is the response of her husband to her.
A woman largely gets her self esteem from how her husband responds to her -- how he speaks to her, how he treats her, how he feels about her.
I'm to honor my wife, value her
Appreciation means to raise in value.
Depreciation means lower in value.
Every time you appreciate your wife you make her more valuable to you.
My wife is much more valuable to me than she was 17 years ago.
The more I appreciate her the more I raise her value.
The five deepest needs of your wife.
These are from a book by Willard Harley, a Christian psychologist, director of a network Mental Health clinics in Minnesota.
He's spent the last 25 years as a marriage counselor.
He's interviewed thousands of couples and discovered the ten most important needs of husbands and wives.
They are discussed in his highly recommended book His Needs/Her Needs.
The material I'm giving you is the result of studies of thousands of couples over a 25-year period.
Men have five basic needs and women have five basic needs.
This is the first thing a woman cannot do without.
Affection is the cement of a relationship.
Affection symbolizes security, comfort, and approval.
When a husband shows affection to his wife, you are sending a powerful message to her, "I care for you, I'll take care of you, I'll protect you, I'm concerned for your needs, I approve of you, I'm proud of you."
Ephesians 5:28 (Phillips) "The love a man gives his wife is the extending of his love for himself to infold her."
We are to love our wives as we love ourselves.
When we love our wife we're actually loving ourself because the Bible says, "The two shall become one."
We have become one in God's eyes.
Col. 3:19 "Husbands, give your wives much love and never treat them harshly."
Circle "much".
Amplified says "be affectionate, sympathetic with them."
As long as Jesus Christ is first place in your life, I don't think it's possible to give your wife too much honor.
The more you appreciate her, the more you love her, the more you show affection for her, the more valuable she becomes.
It says, don't deal with them harshly.
Have you seen the guy who instead of giving his wife affection, gives his wife affliction?
He's always beating her down, tearing her down, putting her down.
You also need to understand, affection and sex are totally different issues.
To men they're the same.
Affection to a man means foreplay.
It's the stuff you do before you get to the real stuff.
But to a woman, affection is totally separate from sex.
There's a lot of misunderstanding on that.
A hypothetical couple: Brenda and Bruce.
They've been having tension lately because Brenda has not been responding with much enthusiasm for Bruce's request for sex.
As our scene opens up she senses that Bruce has "that look" in his eye again and she tries to head him off at the pass.
Bruce: "Let's just relax for a few minutes.
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