Okay, maybe there is a little bit more than that, but it’s a good start. In fact, I think husbands could understand us better if they understood this:
Think of the deals you’ve struck in your life. Your first car. Your first real job. Your first house. You saw what you wanted, did what you had to do to get it—and you came home with a done deal.
No deal compares to winning a wife, though. You pursued her with all the creativity and resources you could muster, and the deal was done. Your wedding day was the day you proved your love to the world, and to her . . . marriage feels like the most obviously closed deal in your whole life.
Well, not exactly . . . it just feels closed for you.
No, your wife isn’t still out looking for other suitors. But in an unusual and powerful way that married men don’t really understand, your wife doesn’t feel permanently loved once the marriage papers are signed. Yes, she knows you love her, but there are periodic times when her feelings need to be convinced and reassured.
Men may think we’re crazy, but we can never be convinced and reassured enough. Just like we are hungry for food regularly (and coffee and chocolate . . .), we are hungry for reassurance.
Do you still love me? we wonder every day. (Or at least I do.)
Do you think I’m wonderful? Even though we don’t ask, we want to.
When I’m mad, I wonder these questions. When I’m happy too. When I make dinner. When I sweep the floor. When I feel fat. When I fix my hair and look nice. When I get dressed up. When I get naked. When I accidentally get a ding in the car. When I forget to make a bank deposit like he asked. When I come home with a bagful of clearance items. I don’t mean to be insecure, but I am.
I know my husband loves me, but I want to hear it, see it, and feel it.
You might wonder why I’ve chosen to talk about this in this chapter, rather than the chapter on romance. That’s because, to me, it’s not romance. It’s a daily need, just like air. And for some reason, God made me (made us) this way. We are different by design. And when we are loved like this, we cling to our lover . . . whether it is God or our spouse.
“It’s common for men to think that pursuing goes with dating, not with marriage. But women don’t see things that way. There is never that magic moment of closure, when they feel permanently, fully, deeply loved. They think that’s what the rest of married life is for! That’s why they need and deserve to be pursued every day,” says Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, authors of For Men Only.
“In fact, several women compared the need to feel pursued by their husbands with the need that a man has to feel sexually desired by his wife! If it’s that important, what is a smart married man to do?
“Big-screen answer: Give chase.
“Pixel answer: Ask yourself, What did I do when I was dating that made me so pickin’ irresistible?”
Lastly, I think appreciating our differences all comes down to one thing: Trust. We have to trust that God designed men and women differently for a reason. We have to trust that our spouse does love us and has our best interests in mind.
God made men to rise to the challenge of responsibility and crave authority. He made women to desire to be pursued. And when we embrace these differences and meet the need of the other . . . watch out. We will have a marriage that shines. One that displays God’s design, brings Him glory, and is filled with a whole lot of joy too.
So what DID you do while you were dating?
© Tricia Goyer author of Generation NeXt Marriage