“Speak to one another….” Ephesians 5:19 (NLT)
In his classic book His Needs, Her Needs, marriage counselor, Dr. Willard Harley, Jr. says that “any husband can make himself irresistible to his wife by learning to meet her five most important emotional needs.” Thankfully for us, guys, he lists them and discusses them in his book. Your wife can help you identify the order that these fall in, according to her needs; however, Harley’s list is as follows:
- Honesty and openness
- Financial support
- Family commitment
How are you doing, guys? How many of these could you have listed without looking? Now you know why one author sold millions, claiming men are from Mars and women are from Venus! How do husbands learn the Venetian language? The Bible helps us with understanding a woman’s need for conversation in a way that most men wouldn’t otherwise consider. A recent study conducted in February 2013 at the University of Maryland found and confirmed what generations of husbands know already – women speak approx. 20,000 words per day whereas the average man speaks only 7,000 daily. That’s nearly a 3:1 ratio! The study discovered a protein in the brain called FOXP2 that is responsible for our desire to speak. The research was conducted with elementary school age children, and the girls in the study had 40% more of the FOXP2 protein in their brains than the boys. I think this means that females are hard-wired genetically to be bigger talkers! If we are going to meet this need for conversation, the Bible offers us some practical counsel. First – and this may sound really obvious – the Bible says, “Speak to one another….” Initiate a conversation. Engage in meaningful talk with your spouse. Learn the art of active listening by restating what you hear her say, and see if you can identify with how she feels. Second, Colossians 4:6 tells us, “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive….” Is it? How gracious and attractive is your conversation with your spouse? Avoid crude and cutting comments. Put downs and negative criticisms damage relationships; they never help. In Ephesians 4:29, the Bible says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Dr. Harley counsels men that, whatever the topic, a woman enjoys conversation that is free from judgment, informative, and constructive. Remember, life and death are in the power of the tongue. Use it to communicate life and love, and watch how this will impact your relationship!