Beloved and revered by his players, legendary coach of the UCLA Bruins college basketball team, John Wooden changed the lives of every young man who played for him through the powerful values and life lessons he taught them.
But of perhaps more importance, Coach Wooden was married for 53 years to the love of his life, Nell. Coach Wooden was so dedicated to her that after her death in 1985, he continued to write Nell a love letter every month for the next 25 years. He faithfully placed those letters under her pillow on her side of the bed until he passed away in 2010, going to be with his beloved wife. This is the kind of man I want to learn about relationships from. Coach Wooden had this to say about marriage:
Love means many things. It means giving. It means sharing. It means forgiving. It means understanding. It means being patient. It means learning. And you must always consider the other side, the other person. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving … Young couples get married and don't realize it's different from courtship. You have to work at your marriage; it's two-sided, and you'd better realize that.
I think Coach Wooden was trying to say that we need to be willing to eagerly fulfill the needs of our spouse if we want to have a successful marriage. Here are some needs that men need fulfilled by their wives.
The Need for Companionship . . . and Forgiveness
One of man's greatest needs is companionship. God knew that when he said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him" (Genesis 2:18). God knew that without female companionship and a partner for reproduction, the man could never fully realize his humanity. During the dating process a woman usually accompanies a man on all the things he likes to do. That is one of the things that draws him closer and creates intimacy with her. Many times after they get married she stops hanging out with him and doing things he enjoys. While a man does need time with other men, I think most women would be surprised at how much a man desires his wife to be by his side. Your husband wants to do things with you. He wants you by his side during recreational activities. This is the intimacy of doing things together—it's how males bond. You'll notice when males get together they are generally doing some activity. They seldom just sit and chat.1