I vividly remember life as it was about 15 years ago. A newborn, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old, all boys. Most mornings, I woke up to someone crying or pleading for breakfast. From the time my feet hit the ground until I went to bed, someone needed me. I was acutely aware of the demands of my three sons. Without me, they would have no clothes, food, comfort or safety. My days were preoccupied with meeting the needs of these three little humans.
At the same time, I had a nagging sense of something that I couldn’t have put into words back then. Although he was a grown man, my husband needed me too. I don’t say this to demean my husband or to imply that he was just one more “boy” to take care of. Instead, I believe that God created a husband and a wife with needs that cause them to depend on each other. The intersection of those needs with love forges true intimacy.
My husband didn’t need me to cook his food or pick out his clothes. He could take care of his physical needs very well. He needed me to share life with him. In Genesis, the Creator declared that it was not good for man to be alone. God created Eve because Adam needed her. He was incomplete without her.
In the busy days of young marriage, caring for little children and simply survival, it’s easy to ignore the fact that your marriage must be nurtured. Your husband isn’t likely to say, “I need you,” but he does. He needs you to be his companion, his confidant and his encourager through the hills and valleys of maturing as a man. Taking the time to ask about work challenges and to really listen. Saying “yes” to a date night or weekend away without the kids. Making a habit of fun or flirty texts in the middle of a hectic week. He also needs you to be vulnerable with him, to rely upon his strength and to teach him how to uniquely love you. You might become so focused on survival that you never allow yourself to admit weakness. Your husband actually needs to be needed and to know that he adds something irreplaceable to you and the children.
During some seasons in marriage, it was far easier for me to be available for my sons than it was to invest in my relationship with my husband. The boys’ needs were so much more obvious. Mike could wait… our marriage could wait. Yet I remember God impressing upon my heart a warning. Love must be nurtured; it never grows without investment.
Now many years in the rearview mirror, I am starting to see the fruit of the years spent loving and teaching my three sons, but I also see the beauty of investing in my husband. He trusts me. The bond of intimacy forged through good seasons and bad ones is indescribable.
I write to encourage you, my younger sisters. Your kids will demand your time and attention. You’ll feel the strong urge to carve out “me time” in these busy years. But remember that, by God’s design, your husband needs you. Your marriage won’t “wait” until the kids are grown. Now is the time to love and to love well.