When a man truly loves a woman, he addresses her needs, considers her desires, and is equally zealous for her to find fulfillment.
When Zephyr and I first got married, I began to give a lot of thought to husband and wife relationships. I knew it was my duty to love my wife, and I knew it was her responsibility to obey me in my office as her husband. It is easy to see when a wife obeys or disobeys her husband, but sometimes it is not so easy to see a husband’s lack of love for his wife. Some men lord it over their wives because they feel they have a right to do so. They feel they have a right to demand, and a woman has an obligation to submit. Some “good men” use their authority to act selfishly, loving their position and loving themselves. By his lack of Godly love, a husband forces his wife to something God never intended – subservience. He relates to her as if she were his servant instead of his friend and assistant. He feels love for her, he provides for her, treats her kindly, performs his duties, yet she becomes subservient, because his main concern is his own needs and accomplishments. The relationship is marked by lack of spontaneity and joy.
When a man truly loves a woman, he addresses her needs, considers her desires, and is equally zealous for her to find fulfillment. His love finds a way for her to continue being the person she is. For example: I love to read, and Zephyr loves to shop. Once a week, I enjoy going to a bookstore and browsing for a few hours. This would bore Zephyr to no end, but to please me, she would be cheerfully and willing to do it. On the other hand, Zephyr loves to shop, even when she doesn’t need a thing. I could use my authority (which is mine to use) and tell her, “No shopping,” or I could reason with her that it is a waste of time to shop for something she does not need. She loved shopping when I married her. When a man loves a woman, he will find a way for her to express her own desires. He will find pleasure in her pleasure.
I loved to read when she married me, and even then I hated to shop. If she took offense because I did not want to shop with her, thereby constraining me to join her, she would be usurping my rights by her moods. I would become a wussy, and she would be leading the family by her hurt feelings. Of course, my wife would never do such a thing.
From the beginning, I wanted to love my wife, and I wanted her to flourish as the woman she is. It was important to me that she continue to bloom as a person; therefore, I encouraged her to do the thing she so enjoys. Like a beautiful color is enhanced by a contrasting color, two different personalities functioning together is beautiful. It is the differences that make our relationship rich.
I cherish and appreciate my other half. She makes me complete. So once a week, I drop her and our girls off at the Goodwill or Wal-Mart, and I drive over to the bookstore. When I find a good book, I drive back to the store and find a comfortable place to sit and read. God says it like this: “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”