Summary: Based on ’His Needs Her Needs’ by Dr. Willard Harley. The top 5 needs of men & women are investigated in an eye-opening way. We compliment one another perfectly when we follow this formula. Link included to formatted text, handouts, & Powerpoint Template

What Every Spouse Needs, Pt. 2

[Desperate Households]

Matthew 7:12

This message is for presentation to adults, due to subject matter.

Why learn to understand, appreciate, and fulfill one another’s needs?

• First, because you have an obligation to do so. Your spouse has made a vow to meet these needs only in the marriage relationship. They have nowhere else to (legitimately) go.

• Second, because if you don’t someone else may. (Not that this excuses adultery or makes the innocent party responsible). Any of us is vulnerable to temptation. If you want to protect your mate from temptation, you should meet their needs.

Why do husbands and wives often fail to meet their spouse’s deepest needs?

Selfishness and ignorance--Ignorance is the inability to understand and appreciate the other’s needs. Selfishness is an unwillingness to meet those needs. One is a heart problem, and the other is a head problem. One can be solved by information, the other only by repentance. But both must be addressed in order for the relationship to improve.

• Men and women have similar needs, but they rank them differently.

Top 5 Needs of Men and Women: [These are broad generalizations]


Sexual fulfillment

Recreational companionship

An attractive spouse

Domestic support





Honesty and openness

Financial support

Family commitment

The woman’s greatest need: Affection

To a woman, affection represents security, protection, comfort, and approval. It is the essential cement of the relationship.

The husband’s greatest need: Sexual fulfillment

It is God’s will that a man be fully satisfied sexually with his wife.

Philip. 2:4

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Matthew 7:12

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

New info:

The woman’s 2nd greatest need: Conversation

Unlike the need for sex, conversation is not a need that should be met exclusively in marriage. Our need for conversation can be ethically met by almost anyone. But since it is one of your most important emotional needs, whoever meets it best will be someone you may easily fall in love with. So it’s crucial to your marital happiness that your spouse is the one who meets it the best and most often.

This need for conversation is not met by simply talking to someone. It is met when the conversation is enjoyable to both.

Ill.—Kimberly talks to the kids all day, and needs some ‘adult conversation’ w/ someone more on her level [you should pray for her if I’m to be that one! Just kidding  ]. Some people set their kids in front of a talking stuffed animal or a video, but they too want someone who is thinking and conscious, and who they know genuinely loves them and thus talks to them!

Good conversation is characterized by the following:

(1) Using it to inform and investigate each other—this is the basics of survival, but it’s nearly 100% of what most couple do…just to get by!

(2) Focusing attention on topics of mutual interest—

My wife wants to hear about the ministry, but sometimes I overdo it, and she has to let me know I’ve ‘overestimated her interest’! Usually it’s the other way around.

(3) Balancing the conversation so both have an equal opportunity to talk—

[Remember, it’s a 2 way street!] Have you ever not been able to find a pause in which to chime in? No wonder we interrupt so often. We shouldn’t be thinking about what we’re going to say next, but there SHOULD be enough pause there to consider and respond. Some ladies turn into a ‘dump truck’ as soon as the man walks in!

(4) Giving each other undivided attention while talking to each other.

We fail to meet this need for conversation when:

(1) Demands are made—

If we start ‘running the show’ and ‘telling it like it is’ / ‘how it’s GONNA be’, it’s an immediate turnoff…we’re not showing teamwork and cooperation, but being a dictator.

(2) Disrespect is shown—

Name calling, insults, cursing, etc., all are major deterrents to conversation.

(3) One or both become angry—

Since the Bible says ‘be ye angry and sin not’, it means a couple of things:

• We will get angry at times, it’s unavoidable.

• It’s possible to be angry and not to sin.

How is this done? How do we keep our reaction from being a damaging over reaction? For many people, the answer is: don’t react. Not right now…simmer down, get all the facts, breathe, count to 100, rake the lawn, etc.

Proverbs says that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” So, don’t take the bait, don’t react ‘in kind.’ Do the opposite. Surprise them by how cool you stay next time! The devil wants your conversations to snowball on you, but it takes 2 to comply w/ his request. 1 person is incapable of forming a major argument!

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