What You Really Need In Marriage

I-Need-This1Our culture is extremely self-oriented. We are continually bombarded by messages that tell us we need greater self-esteem. We begin to think, I need to do this for me, I need to be validated, I need to feel good about myself, I need to think about my desires for a change, etc.

It?s so easy to bring this mentality into marriage. We can think we ?need? certain things from our spouse. But in reality, we often take our desires, which may not be wrong in themselves, and elevate them to the level of ?need.? ?I want? becomes ?I won?t be happy unless I get??

Of course, there?s a place for talking to your spouse about your desires. There are things husbands and wives should do for one another. They should serve one another. They should seek to bless each other. Each should bear their share of the load of caring for the children and household chores.

But be careful with desires. But what if your spouse fails to meet your desires?

I would first ask this: how much do believers in Jesus really ?need? from their wives or husbands? I would submit that you DON?T ?need? your spouse:

To satisfy you
To serve you
To make you feel good about yourself
To meet all your expectations
To fulfill you

It?s wonderful if you have a wife or husband who cares for you, serves you and blesses you. But remember, ultimately no human being can meet all of another human being?s needs. No human being can satisfy another human. It?s just not going to happen. Only God can meet all our needs and truly satisfy us.

We take vows to love our spouse for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in good times and bad. What will you do if your spouse gets hurt or sick and is completely unable to do anything for you? What if you have to care for him or her for years? You will have to look to the Lord for contentment, satisfaction and joy.

So what do you really need?

You need?

To love your spouse. Husbands, God commands you to love your wife, as Christ loved the church and laid down his life for her. Believers are all called to love one another and look to the interests of others. We?re not called to make sure others are serving us and looking to our interests.

You need?

To be a servant. Rather than dwelling on how much your spouse is serving you, determine to be the biggest servant in the house. And serve as unto the Lord, knowing that he will reward you.

You need?
To be patient and long-suffering
To forgive
To ask forgiveness
To pray

You need grace

AND you also need:

To have low expectations. Yes, there are things husbands and wives should do for one another. Most of us do them very imperfectly. If you have high expectations, then you?ll constantly be disappointed and frustrated.

You need?

To expect your spouse to have many weaknesses and failures.

You need?

To expect your spouse to be slow to change. Even believers who pursue God wholeheartedly change slowly. Sanctification is a long process. Character doesn?t change overnight.

If you are frustrated, examine what it is you aren?t getting. Have you taken a desire, perhaps a legitimate one, and elevated it to the status of a need? Are you seeking a human to satisfy you or are you seeking to be content in Jesus?

The following two tabs change content below.
I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I’ve written a lot of worship songs. I also like to paint.

Latest posts by Mark Altrogge (see all)


  1. Jennifer Gillenwater Van Wiere says

    Perfect! Thanks for writing this. I am blessed by you guys. Thanks for your writings.

    • Mark_Altrogge says

      You are right Joey! The ultimate purpose of marriage is to glorify God and display the relationship of Jesus and his church. Thanks!

  2. says

    Well put! Read and considered how I need to think about my own marriage today. Shared with our four grown children and their spouses.

  3. Heather says

    WOW! Found this on a friends facebook page. Thanks for writing and sharing your wisdom. It has blessed me (and convicted me) today. I really needed to hear this TODAY! God’s timing is perfect. Blessings – heather

  4. Marla Hughes says

    Since I am going through an illness with all of the accompanying issues of not being able to do things for myself, my appreciation for my husband goes up every single day. He truly has a servant’s heart. I can only pray that, when it’s my turn for long term care, that I carry that memory with me as a standard.

  5. landschooner says

    If you don’t need anything from your spouse, then you have no need of marriage, and the Apostle Paul personally recommends that you don’t get married if you don’t need it. I’m not saying that this article said that you are not to need ANYTHING from your spouse, but it came close to it.

    As to some other comments. Our entire lives are to bring glory to God. Marriage is not FOR that. that simply isn’t true. God said that it is NOT good for man to be alone and for this reason……and the two shall become one flesh (we all know the verse) That’s the reason for marriage. Yes your marriage should glorify God and should reflect Christ’s love for the church, but that isn’t the WHY of it. Its the HOW of it. If it was the REASON, then ALL should marry and that isn’t what Paul says. He says the opposite. I married to have a partner. That’s the reason and that’s the biblical reason. How should I love my wife? As Christ loved the church. Many teachers seem to fall into the trap that that if there is ANY underlying reason for something, then the underlying reason is the MAIN reason ( and that isn’t reasonable : ) I was once told by a pastor in my church that the reason for marriage was to spread the gospel. That’s balogna. (baloney) Spreading the gospel is a higher calling for me and my wife, but the reason for the marriage is not evangelism. The purpose of my car is to get me to work. the purpose of the car is not to spread the gospel. The purpose of my car is not to glorify God. Should my driving habits glorify God? Of course. Should I have a car if it hinders the gospel? No. Of course not. But the CAR, is to get me to work. My shoes are to shod my feet. The purpose of my shoes is not to spread the gospel. Marriage is for partnership and sex frankly. Our LIVES are to glorify God. If you are married, your marriage should glorify God, but God created marriage for us so we would have a mate. That’s the WHY of it.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>