Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires (Psalms 37:4, NLT)
Some friends of ours had a few projects they wanted to accomplish; and while discussing them, the wife had much bigger plans than her husband felt able to accommodate due to cost and scope. He gave it all much thought, fretting over it when he finally made this statement to her, “Sweetheart, you know that I want to please you and give you what you want, but should it be at the cost of my sanity?”
In any healthy marriage relationship, each spouse tries to meet the needs of the other. It’s important, however, to keep our needs reasonable and not allow them to become oppressive. Love helps keep us in check. I use to tell people, all the time, that, if I wanted the moon and he could afford it, my husband would try his best to get it for me. Of course, because I love him, I would never request such a ridiculous thing.
What kinds of things are we asking our mates to do? What “needs” do we impose on them that could be construed as unreasonable? Ladies, are we asking our husbands to keep us in a particular lifestyle that the family budget can’t afford? Gentlemen, are you asking your wives to “bring home the bacon” and also “fry it up in the pan”? In other words, are you asking her to work a full-time job and still keep the home clean and in order by herself?
It’s important to distinguish between wants and genuine needs. Everyone’s needs are different, so I can’t specifically define that distinction for you. You have to do that, together, as a couple. One of the special things that happens in a healthy relationship is – because you are both working toward meeting each other’s needs – you will both work towards also trying to provide for some of the wants. Our verse above tells us that as we delight ourselves in God, He gives us the desires of our hearts. I believe, also, that it works that way in a marriage. As we delight in meeting the needs of our mates, they will seek out the desires we have and try to fulfill them.
The best protection of each other’s sanity is by fulfilling the command in Matthew 7:12 from the Message version: “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.” A simple yet powerful truth to live by.
If we are not diligent about living out God’s Word, we can easily become conformed to our old nature and become very selfish. When one gets married, the whole idea of seeking out your own needs is supposed to vanish because you are now seeking out your partner’s needs. There are, of course, needs in our lives that only God can fulfill like happiness, contentment, and joy, but things like a comfortable, peaceful home, financial security, and the like are things we can give each other without too much stress and strain. However, having unrealistic expectations of each other can destroy a marriage. And we must always remember that what we are not getting from our mate, God is there to make up the difference if we’re willing to call on Him for support and comfort.