In a recent blogpost from Marriage Today, Jimmy Evans writes;
"Her next need is for soft, nonsexual affection. I once counseled a couple where the woman said, “Outside the bedroom, he’s never touched me. Never held my hand or put his arm around me.” She was frustrated and angry about it.
Early in our marriage, I was like that husband. I just didn’t know how to be affectionate with Karen. I was rough. God had to teach me how important it was for me to hold her, to be gentle and show affection without expecting it to lead somewhere. When I changed, it changed our marriage.
Some men may say, “That’s just not the way I am.” I tell them it doesn’t matter. You need to change and meet your wife’s needs.
I do agree with Jimmy Evans, that husbands need to change to meet our wives needs for nonsexual touch. The cool thing is that the power to change is Christ in us, the God of Love who dwells in each of His kids. Those of us, me included, who didn't come from families who displayed much affection, can depend on Jesus, who is the embodiment of love and compels us to show the many facets of love to our spouse. We can also move in humility, receive the love that comes by way of hugs, hand holding, gentle touches, and learn from our spouses. Appropriate physical touch is so important in affirmation, development and growth for children and adults. If you don't believe me, Google it; the research is there.
Love is the process of meeting needs.
We've been talking about experiencing love. I think we've established that In order to experience another's love for us (receive) we must trust. (Humility is trusting God an others with me.) Trusting is key!
Let's look at how serving one another can meet needs. Jesus modeled this for us.
In Matthew 20:28, and Mark 10:45, Jesus said; “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
In John 13:1-17, we read of Jesus, in humility, washing the disciple’s feet. (serving)
In marriage, when we open our eyes and ears, we will discover ways to serve our spouses, meet needs, and give them an opportunity to experience our love. This sounds so simple, but it requires trust and humility. I wish we could drum this up on our own, but we can't. Humble serving requires a heart change and praise God, this is what He has given us in Jesus. We we placed our faith in Jesus, a great exchanged happened that enables us to love as He first loved us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 21 - For our sake he made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This past month there have been many projects around our house. Serving one another has been at the forefront of our life together as a couple and family. Our wood deck, with the help of a friend received some new life (new boards) and was finished with a nice stain. Restored! I think this is like what God is doing in us through the maturing process. He graciously uncovers "old heart attitudes" and replenishes them by His grace with "new heart loving attitudes".
Are you submitting to His loving touch on your life and marriage? He is waiting patiently.
Vic and Monique
We are all about helping your marriage thrive.