For the first fifteen years of our marriage, Jill often told me that somehow a part of her was unfulfilled because I didn’t “need” her. This became, over the years, the source of a great deal of frustration to her, and while it wasn’t a front-burner issue, it was always there just under the surface. We didn’t discuss it a lot because, frankly, I didn’t know what to do. Yes, I was independent in many ways, and no, I didn’t need Jill at my side providing emotional strength to make it through every day. She assured me that was not what she had in mind anyway. There was a way for me to “need” her that came from strength and not from weakness that wasn’t there in our marriage and it left Jill with an unfulfilled hollowness in her heart.

Furthermore, what I did not realize was that I would never reach my full potential as a man until I learned to draw on Jill’s womanhood. I think many men don’t understand this any more than I did, because they don’t understand that God’s family business of kingdom extension is a family business. If we have a wife, she is an indispensable part of the management team. God has an inexhaustible supply of ways to help us learn this fact, and if we men are quick learners it will be easier for us. If we are slow-witted or resistant, God will keep pulling more learning-aids out of His bag. God loves us enough to keep at it until we get it. This experience is not always pleasant, so the quicker we learn to see our wives as indispensable, the easier it will be for us.

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