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Would you like to know what the researchers say is the number one need for wives?

Affection.

That's right, husbands. Just as strong as your need for sexual fulfillment is your wife's need for affection. She has a very real, very powerful hunger for it.

Once again, in this area researchers have stumbled upon a biblical truth. Every study I've seen confirms that, as a rule, the wife's primary need is for affection. Guess what? It's been in the Word all along.

Remember when we looked at Ephesians 5:28? It instructed husbands to "nourish and cherish" their wives as they would their own flesh. Nothing makes a wife feel as nourished and cherished as a husband's display of affection.

Why then are so few men given to those kinds of displays? It's because the world has brainwashed them into thinking it's unmanly to show affection. The world says that a "real" man is hard, unfeeling, and independent. I can assure you, the Devil is working overtime to promote that image.

I fell for that lie myself when I was younger. I remember one incident back when I was a pilot in training. My wife, Lynne, and I had only been married a few months. One day we were grocery shopping. As we walked along, we were holding hands and being very sweet and affectionate.

Then I looked down an aisle and saw two of my pilot buddies walking toward us. Immediately I started trying to wriggle my hand out of Lynne's. But the more I tried to get loose, the tighter she hung onto me. We ended up looking like we were arm wrestling.

Of course, now I realize how foolish that was. I also understand the kind of message that must have sent to my wife.

Husbands, you have to get rid of the idea that affection is somehow unmanly. Your marriage depends on it. You've got to learn to show her affection whether you feel like it at that moment or not.

She needs affection as much as you need the physical fulfillment of the marriage bed. But don't confuse her need for affection with your need for sex. All too often a woman's expression of a need to be held will be misinterpreted as a signal to initiate sex.

She simply wants to feel close to him and he thinks it's time to head for the bedroom. The result is that her need for affection goes unmet.

When this happens consistently, she can begin to feel frustrated and resentful. Often she will stop giving herself freely to her husband in the marriage bed. Then he begins to get frustrated because his sexual needs aren't being met. It's a destructive downward spiral.

Husbands, you need to realize how important this need is to your wife. It's not silly. She's not being unreasonable. She's expressing a God-given need of the relationship.

"But I'm just not an affectionate person. I don't know how."

If you don't know how to express affection, here are a few practical suggestions to help you get started.

The simplest way to show your wife affection is to hug her and give her a little kiss every so often. Do it without any sexual overtones or expectations. Just do it to show her you love her.

Hold her hand. Whisper sweet nothings in her ear. Tell her how pretty you think she is. Send her flowers every now and then. But don't stop there. Get creative. There are 1000 different ways to let your wife know that she's your one-and-only.

When all is said and done, what's important is not the methods you use to express your affection, but the fact that you genuinely let your wife know that you're blessed by her—that you're proud of her, that she's the crowning joy of your life and you're never going to forget it.

If you'll do that, I can guarantee that you'll never have any problems with sexual fulfillment. The two things go hand-in-hand.

Source: Heirs Together by Mac Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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