I Want to be Loved
We have come to the final installment of my series on common problems in a marriage. You can read part 1 and part 2. Today, we will tackle the difficult subject of love. Love should not be a complicated issue in marriage, right? Isn’t that why we get married? We “fall in love” and plan to live happily ever after. There is nothing wrong with the desire to be loved. However, when “being loved” turns into the demand to “feel loved”, a very painful and destructive corner is turned in the marriage.
Love is a verb according to the Scriptures; it is to be given in abundance. Biblical love is patterned after the love that God in Jesus Christ has for us. In marriage, biblical love is enduring (Psalm 17:12), is verbalized (Jeremiah 31:3), is compassionate (Psalm 112:4), is demonstrated by action (Romans 5:8), and is self-sacrificial (John 10:11).
The unhappy wives in my office are not focused on providing these things, they are lasered in on how they don’t feel their husband’s love for them is meeting their needs. They usually can rattle off a list of what would make them feel the love they crave, and in addition, how he fails in providing those things for them. Often the husband has made attempts to satisfy his wife in her areas of complaint, but his efforts have not been adequate in her estimation. Because he has not met these needs to her satisfaction, she has become sullen, angry, and bitter.
Understand, none of her desires are necessarily sinful on the surface; however, they are primarily focused only on herself. Self-focused love is often feelings oriented and based on physical attraction, infatuation, lust, and neediness. The fruit of such “love” is selfishness, pride, fear, bitterness, and discontent.
A woman who is seeking to have her “love cup” filled by her husband, or to have her needs met as a condition of participation in the marriage is not demonstrating biblical love.
This thinking sets up a “give to get” mentality within marriage. It removes the obligation to selflessly love her husband as a response to the love of Christ poured out on her, and places enlightened self-interest at the forefront of marital interaction.
She places her emotional needs before spiritual ones and elevates the desires of the heart to places of prominence. Everything is focused on “my needs” in this paradigm. Because the heart is an idol factory, we will always choose self-worship and demand of worship by others before worship of God. Our “needs” are a never-ending stream of selfishness, self-focus, self-worship, and self-satisfaction that no human being can ever satisfy.
If you find yourself in such a marital mess, here are some ways to correct such beliefs and train yourself in righteousness. Begin to focus on Christ’s love languages of grace, mercy, unconditional love, forgiveness, selflessness, sacrifice, repentance, and faith. Then begin to look at the areas in which you fail to demonstrate these godly attributes toward your husband (Matt. 7:3-5). Confess them to the Lord, and then to your man (Prov. 19:23). Then, rather than being critical and focusing on all you don’t have, seek to encourage your husband. Focus on all his positive attributes; on all the ways he does show his love for you. I’ve got a list of ways you can improve in this area called The B.E.S.T. Plan for Nurturing Your Spouse subscribe below for this free resource.
Ladies, I do hope you have benefitted from this short series on common problems in a marriage. We always welcome your suggestions for blog topics!