Thus far in this series of studies concerning “Needs Which Our Wives Need Met At Home”, we have considered the fact that we must give to our wives the gift of Time –Time which results in God-honoring, Christ-centered companionship and compatibility. Secondly we considered the gift of LOVE which our wives also desperately need and well deserve from us; “agape love” –spoken in a language which our wives will understand and appreciate.
In this article, we look at a third need which our wives need met at home: “C”: COMMUNICATION—Communication which defuses anger on a daily basis and edifies our wives. Only when these needs are met will our wives be the blessed beneficiaries of the healthy, God-honoring doses of T-L-C which will abundantly bless our marriage relationships.
Why is such “communication” absolutely essential between a husband and a wife? Well, allow me to attempt to drive home the extreme importance of communication by posing a few of questions: Do you talk to your wives? Do you ever talk to them about subjects other than the weather or which bills are due or which clothes are clean? Do you ever talk with her about her thoughts, feelings, wishes, dreams or desires? And if you do, do you really listen and focus in on what she is saying in response?
Now, some of us may be thinking, “Well, Pastor Kuiken, my wife’s attempts at conversation really annoy me! In fact, most often our conversations turn into quarrels, and you know what King Solomon says in Proverbs 27:15, namely, ‘A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day.’ Sometimes I think that the less my wife and I speak with one another the better!”
If you can identify with the above stated sentiment, please know that I sympathize what you are saying. Please also know that I am well familiar with the contents of Proverbs 27:15. In fact, I am also quite familiar with what King Solomon has to say in Proverbs 21:9 and Proverbs 25:24 where we read, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” And remember: the Bible says that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. In fact, I have often wondered if King Solomon was the one who coined the expression, “Honey, you’re one in a thousand!”
In all sincerity, there is a lesson for all of us in the above mentioned verses. In fact, in nearly nineteen years of pastoral ministry, it has been my observation that when a wife is not given the opportunity to talk and/or her husband does not listen to her when she does, her tendency will be to talk louder and longer and louder and longer and louder and longer in a seemingly futile attempt to get her husband to hear and respond! The result? Well, as Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family fame says, “They secret: we can pre-empt and prevent so much of that “nagging” simply by following the instructions in the Bible, the “Manufacturer’s handbook”, and by hearing and heeding what God’s Word has to say concerning happy, healthy, God-honoring, constructive communication.
For example, in Ephesians 4:25–27 God’s Word declares: “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
In similar fashion, in James 3:3–6 the Sacred Scriptures state: “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
Think of the powerful implications and personal applications of these texts! Oh, how we must all pray and plead that our good and gracious God would increasingly enable and empower us by His Word and Spirit to watch what we say to our wives! For cruel, callous, critical words can cut sharper than a knife or a sword! And not only so, but we must also be constantly vigilant concerning how we say what we say! In one joint counseling session I held some years ago with a husband and wife, I heard the wife tearfully blurt out to her husband, “I know that you don’t swear or curse at me, but you order me around like I am one of the guys on your construction crew! I’m your wife!” Ouch. Can you feel her pain?
You see, that is why the Apostle Peter (who, needless to say, often had trouble controlling his own tongue as well!) says in such sobering and succinct fashion, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Think about that! I don’t mind sharing with you the fact that I have enough problems and pains and pressures in life without having Almighty God “set His face against me” because of the way I am treating or talking to my wife, Margaret; and I suppose that the very same thing is true for you and your wife.
I believe that it was Mark Twain who once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Proverbs 25:11 puts it this way, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Each and every day of our lives, we need to be giving to our wives whom God has so graciously given to us “apples of gold in settings of silver.” Why? Because conversation which defuses anger on a daily basis and edifies our wives is one of the Needs Which Our Wives Need Met At Home.
I close this series of articles with the following illustration. On Thursday, September 13, 2001, two days after the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City came tumbling down due to the hijacking of jet-liners by terrorists, I watched an interview conducted by Connie Chung on ABC News in which she was interviewing a man by the name of Howard Lutnick, CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, reportedly the largest bond brokerage firm in the entire world. Mr. Lutnick had 950 employees working in the World Trade Center that day, and he lost approximately 700 of them, including his own brother, Gary Lutnick.
During the course of the interview, Howard Lutnick broke down sobbing, and I will never forget what he said. He said, “I am a changed man; I will never, ever be the same again. Our company did 54 trillion dollars worth of business last year … and it means nothing! Absolutely nothing!” And then, looking straight into the camera, with tears streaming down his face he said, “Go home and kiss your kids.”
I would like to affirm and somewhat paraphrase Mr. Lutnick’s words to each and every one of us. Because life is so short, so fleeting, and because only the Lord our God knows the number of the days which He, according to His sovereign will and good pleasure, has ordained for any one of us to live, let us live life to the fullest for Him! In our hearts, as well as in our homes, let us forsake the wisdom of the world and let us foster the wisdom of the Word! And so, yes, let us “go home and kiss our kids”; but let us also, Brothers, each and every day of our lives, give to our wives healthy, heart-felt, God-glorifying mega-doses of T-L-C!
Why? Because Time, Love and Communication are Needs Which Our Wives Need Met At Home.
Rev. Richard J. Kuiken is the Senior Pastor of the Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church.