There is nothing that makes a woman feel more secure than a selfless, sacrificial male. There is nothing that makes a woman feel more insecure than a selfish, detached male.
I’ve found that men tend to feel secure in themselves and are less sensitive to the world around them. (That’s why we refuse to ask for directions, among other things.)
On the other hand, women are more sensitive to the world around them, and as a result, have less internal security.
As a man, for you to have a successful marriage, you need to understand that the way you connect to the important things in your wife’s world can help her feel secure.
Show concern about the kids. Show concern about the finances or her job. Indicate that you are interested in her emotions and in the spirituality of the home. If it is important to her, it needs to be important to you.
Many of these things may seem insignificant to you. The washing machine’s broken? I’ll get to it next weekend. But the last thing you want to do is to act like the broken washing machine doesn’t matter.
What may not bother a man can really, really bother a woman. Her security lies in the knowledge that you are going to take care of the things that are important to her.
When she feels insecure, it’s not a personal failure or a weakness or something you need to try to fix. It is a deep need she has.
She needs your strength, your understanding, and your partnership. The best husband is the kind who approaches a marriage understanding that he is there to help, to sacrifice, to do whatever it takes to meet those needs.
When Karen and I were first married, I was very insensitive to her need for security. She would tell me the things she was worried about—the finances, the kids, whether or not we were going to church—and I would barely respond.
I just wasn’t worried about those things. In fact, I would lecture her and tell her that those concerns were unnecessary. There was no reason to worry. I thought I was helping, but it never helped.
Why? Because I was invalidating her concerns. I was being completely insensitive to the anxiety she was expressing.
I learned that when she shared a genuine need with me, it was something I should take very seriously. Instead of being selfish, I began sacrificing to meet those needs. When I did, that was when she really began to open up to me—emotionally, sexually, in every way.
Wives do not want a lecture from their husbands. They don’t want to be told their worries don’t matter. They want their husbands to listen to them, to act on their needs, and to do whatever it takes to make it right.
Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” A husband who loves sacrificially is always concerned about meeting his wife’s needs, and her number-one need is for security.