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His Needs, Her Needs (Part 3) - Family Commitment, Sexual Fulfillment

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5. Family commitment

A. The final primary need that wives have is for their husband to be committed to the family.
B. Fathers are too often uninvolved in the lives of their children.
i. Too many fathers have especially shirked their responsibility to teach their children the scriptures.
ii. If it happens at all, spiritual training has been left up to the mothers in too many families.

C. The scripture teaches that it is the primary responsibility of fathers to train their children in spiritual and other matters.
i. Fathers are supposed to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
a. Nurture n. - 1. Breeding, upbringing, training, education b. Moral training or discipline.
b. Admonition n. - 1. The action of admonishing; authoritative counsel; warning, implied reproof.
c. Admonish n. - 1. gen. To put (a person) in mind of duties; to counsel against wrong practices; to give authoritative or warning advice; to exhort, to warn.
ii. Fathers should train up their children in the way they should go (Pro 22:6).
iii. Fathers are supposed to teach their children the scriptures and pass them down to the next generation (Psa 78:4-8).
iv. Fathers are supposed to teach the scriptures to their children at all times including sitting in the house (at meals or other times), walking by the way (when outside the home), when lying down (before bed), and when rising up (in the morning) (Deut 6:6-7).
v. This means that fathers should be involved in all aspects of their children's lives and education.
vi. Since God commands fathers to be involved in their children's lives, it is no wonder that this is a primary need that a wife has in a marriage.

D. Family commitment is a need that is engrained in wives.
i. "In families where the father takes little interest in his children's development, the mother tries desperately to motivate him to change. She buys him books on parenting and leaves them in convenient places. She coaches him to attend seminars sponsored by the church or PTA. She may even ask him to talk with a family counselor in the hope that he can be inspired to greater interest and commitment. Her efforts usually meet with only partial success. More often she becomes frustrated by excuses, delays, and other unenthusiastic responses on her husband's part. Not uncommonly such a mother starts looking to other men in her family or circle of friends to meet her need. She believes the children have the need, but in reality the need is hers. She must have a man contributing to the well-being of her children." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 146)
ii. "In addition to giving his wife fifteen hours of undivided attention and spending about 50 hours making a living, a man also needs to devote time to his family. He can strengthen both his marriage and his ties with his children by developing what I call "Quality Family Time."

"This is not to be confused with child-care efforts parents make to feed, clothe, and watch over children to keep them safe. Quality Family Time is when the family is together for the express purpose of teaching the children the value of cooperation and care for each other.

"I recommend fifteen hours a week for Quality Family Time. At first those hours may seem impossible to find in your schedule. Perhaps your first week will only allow five hours for your family, but if you increase that by only one hour a week, in ten weeks you will find yourself right on target, with only minimal effort.

"What should you plan on doing during these hours? Consider activities such as:

• Meals together as a family.
• Going out for walks and bike rides.
• Attending religious services.
• Conducting family meetings.
• Playing board games together.
• Attending sports events.
• Reading to the children before bedtime.
• Helping the children with financial planning.
• Family projects (be certain these are fun for the children and that they do not work on them alone).

"Naturally your list will also include other things you enjoy. Every family has different priorities. Your aim is family togetherness; during this time encourage family members to help each other, showing cooperative spirit. Make it a time for fun with your children, not a time of drudgery. As your children realize Mom and Dad will spend time giving them undivided attention, they begin to look forward to the time." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 147-148)
E. "The best husband is a good father." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 152)

V. Men's primary needs

1. Sexual fulfillment

A. The Bible affirms that men have a very strong sex drive, and it teaches that a man's sexual desires should be met by his wife.
i. A man should marry to avoid fornication (1Co 7:1-2).
ii. Both husbands and wives should give up control of their own bodies for the sexual enjoyment of their spouse (1Co 7:3-4).
iii. Neither husband nor wife should withhold sex from the other, except with consent, and only for a short time (1Co 7:5).
iv. Sex is the duty of marriage (Exo 21:10).
v. A wife should satisfy her husband with her body at all times, and he should be ravished with her love (Pro 5:19).

B. Men have a biological need for sex, which many women don't understand.
i. "God designed man to be the aggressor, provider, and leader of his family. Somehow that is tied to his sex drive. The woman who resents her husband's sex drive while enjoying his aggressive leadership had better face the fact that she cannot have one without the other.

"To illustrate the physical cause of the male sex drive, let us introduce the scientific evidence that "each drop of [seminal] fluid is said to contain as many as 300 million sperm." Since it is possible for a man to have two to five ejaculations a day, depending upon his age, it is obvious that his reproductive system manufactures a supply of semen and many millions of tiny sperm daily. If unreleased through coitus, this can be very frustrating to his mental and physical well-being. One writer has said, "A normal and healthy man has a semen build-up every 42-78 hours that produces a pressure that needs to be released." (Tim and Beverly LaHaye, The Act of Marriage, p. 28)
ii. "Young wives may equate their husbands' youthful passion with bestiality, not realizing that their husbands' drives are not unique, but characteristic of most normal men. These drives are the gift of God to produce the motivation for procreation, which is still the primary social purpose of humankind. That gift influences not only man's sexual behavior but also his personality, work, motivation, and almost every other characteristic in his life. Without it he would not be the man she fell in love with. It is a wise woman who cooperates with that need rather than fights against it." (Tim and Beverly LaHaye, The Act of Marriage, p. 29)
iii. "The typical wife doesn't understand her husband's deep need for sex any more than the typical husband understands his wife's deep need for affection." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 43)

C. A man needs his wife to enjoy sex and feel sexually fulfilled for him to be sexually fulfilled.
i. If a man's wife views sex as a duty, then he will not be sexually fulfilled.
ii. "A man cannot achieve sexual fulfillment in his marriage unless his wife is sexually fulfilled as well. While I have maintained that men need sex more than women, unless a woman joins her husband in the sexual experience, his need for sex remains unmet. Therefore a woman does her husband no favors by sacrificing her body to his sexual advances. He can feel sexually satisfied only when she joins him in the experience of lovemaking." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 46)

D. Achieving sexual compatibility
i. In order for a wife to meet her husbands need for sexual fulfillment, she and her husband must learn how to achieve sexual compatibility.
ii. "Achieving sexual compatibility involves two important steps:
1. Overcome your sexual ignorance. A husband and wife must each understand their own sexuality and their own sexual responses.
2. Communicate your sexual understanding to each other. A husband and wife must learn how to share what they have learned about their own sexual responses, so that they can each achieve sexual pleasure and fulfillment together." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 47)
iii. I recommend reading The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye to learn about the anatomy and art of lovemaking.
iv. I recommend this book even for those who have been married for many years.
E. The husband shares responsibility for the fulfillment of his sexual needs.
i. "For the average woman, getting aroused is more a matter of mindset than the result of any stimulation, visual or otherwise. A woman can choose whether or not she wants to experience arousal, depending on her emotional attachment to a particular man. Qualities like affection, attentiveness, warmth of personality, kindness, and tender sensitivity do more to arouse her than any special technique a man may have developed. A man with the qualities mentioned above makes a woman feel that he understands her and has chosen to care for her.

"A woman looks for all these signs in the eyes of a man. Perhaps this is why, when asked what they first notice about a man, many females will say, "His eyes." One wife described the special appreciation her husband had of her as his ability to "be aware of me as person," not just as a sex partner. The caring he showed by looking at her as if she was special meant a lot to their relationship. In our society we make much of the idea of handsome men getting together with beautiful women, but for many women a man's looks are not the most critical issue. A tender touch and gentle treatment may mean more than a handsome face or trim physique.

"A man can do much to arouse or suppress his wife's sexual feelings by the way he touches her. His embrace, his kiss, and his caress must convey tender attentiveness and special caring. Feelings of affection and care give you the keys to a woman's arousal." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 48-49)
ii. "As I counsel couple after couple, two basic problems surface repeatedly. You may think of them as embarrassing, galling, or infuriating, but here are the facts:

1. While usually more in touch with their own sexuality because it is such a basic male drive, many men lack skill in lovemaking because they fail to understand a woman's need for affection as part of the sexual process. When a man learns to be affectionate, his lovemaking will become very different. The man interested only in satisfying his hunger for sex molests his wife more than anything else, because his technique is insensitive to her feelings. He uses his wife's body for his own pleasure while she gets more and more infuriated.

2. Conversely, many women don't understand their own sexuality well enough to know how to enjoy meeting a husband's compelling need for sex. In order to satisfy her husband sexually a wife must also feel satisfied. I try to encourage wives not to simply make their bodies available on a regular basis; rather they should commit themselves to learning to enjoy the sex relationship as much as their husbands do." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 53-54)
iii. Remember the marital golden rule: "Meet your spouse's needs as you would want your spouse to meet yours." (Willard F. Harley, Jr., His Needs, Her Needs, p. 54)