Here’s part 2 of understanding and meeting your husband’s emotional needs. Last time we talked about how your husband needs sexual fulfillment from you. Today we’ll discuss the topic of recreational companionship.
2. RECREATIONAL COMPANIONSHIP
Ecclesiastes 9:9 “Live happily with the woman you love through the fleeting days of life, for the wife God gives you is your best reward down here for all your earthly toil.”
Most men need a woman to be a playmate — to play with him and enjoy leisure time activity. If you are like most couples, before you got married you probably spent 10-15 hours a week with the man you were going to marry, doing all kinds of things you would never have chosen to do on your own. You played football, basketball, movies that you might not have gone to see on your own, concerts — you did it because you wanted to be with that man.
But after marriage women suddenly decide that’s not the way it’s going to be anymore — you do the things “I” like to do. Most women begin this process of trying to civilize their men. Men do OK with this as long as we don’t get into their recreational area. We try to clean up their talk, pick up their dirty socks, civilize them. But when we try to tell them how to spend their leisure time there begins to be a conflict. For most men and women they have different interests.
Dr. Harley suggests a way to get around this. The goal of marriage is to become a best friend to your spouse. How can you be best friends with someone you spend no time with or very little time with? You don’t build a friendship by not spending time together and you don’t maintain a friendship by not spending time together. You build your relationship with your husband as you were dating and engaged by spending time together. To maintain it you’ve got to spend time together. Dr. Harley suggests about 15 hours a week. For some, this amount of time may seem extreme. However, if you’re trying to revitalize your intimacy with each other, what are you willing to do? The first thing you want to do in trying to be a best friend is recreational time.
Mythical couple: Bill and Joyce. In one circle is Bill’s interest. On the other side is his wife Joyce’s interest. They don’t meet. That’s usually the way it is for most of us. They have different interests and there is nothing that is holding them together in terms of interests. If you don’t have shared interests you will grow apart rather than together. The goal is to have some mutual interests. For most of that it takes work. You don’t automatically have interests you want to spend in your leisure time. It’s a challenge, something you’ve got to do.
When I’m talking about recreational, I’m not just talking about sports but ways in which you spend your leisure time. Anything would do that’s leisure time.
From a list of activities, the first step to build some mutual interests is to check some things that interest you.
Then present the list (Step two) to your husband and ask him what he enjoys doing or thinks you might enjoy learning to do together. He checks those.
Step three is you both assign a rating (from -4 to +4) to what the other has checked off. You go through the list where you’ve both checked off activities you think you might enjoy doing and assign it a rating.
Step four, eliminate anything you both have not given a positive rating to. The goal is to find some things you can do together. When you’ve got that list, begin. The couple that plays together will stay together.
You want to develop this time that will let you spend time together doing things. If there is a recreational activity that is only enjoyed by one of you, it probably needs to be eliminated, or at least put in a very low priority of your time. If you want to be best friends you have to spend time together.
Ladies, that means you will have to make a sacrifice. You’ll have to be willing to spend less time doing individual things you’ve been doing so that you can spend more time with him. It means he’s going to have to sacrifice some of the time he’s been spending doing things he’s done alone or with the guys that he can do now with you. It will require sacrifice from both of you. But the payoff is good. The payoff is a closeness and shared interest. For most men they want to have that recreational companionship with their wives.
Colossians 3:18 (CEV) A wife must put her husband first. This is her duty as a follower of the Lord.
Maybe it’s been in the last 30 years that wives have come to find the Bible’s injunction about women and their roles very hard to swallow. It has a lot to do with our culture and the way our society is going.
But if you want to be a godly woman I challenge you to accept what Scripture says is to be your role, your obligation and your responsibility as a woman. There is no other way to be happy.
I challenge you to accept the word of God as the final authority. If you want to be a godly wife, the Word of God is where you need to go to find your answers. If you take what the Bible says, no matter how difficult or how much against culture it goes and pattern your life after what Scripture says, you will see greater intimacy between you and your husband.