Hans and Donna, in a two part series, discuss first 5 points of their book "The Top 10 ways to love your Wife", . You will find great tips and practical helps in learning that Women are not only wired differently but what women need and want in a marital relationship.
HANS FINZEL: Hi, this is Hans Finzel. Today’s show is a two part series of Donna and my book The Top Ten Ways to Love Your Wife, published by David C. Cook. After such a positive response to our Valentine show back in February, we’ve been asked to breakdown the book a little bit more. So we thought what we would do is take it chapter by chapter as we talk about how husbands, especially, can love their wives. I hope you will enjoy this two part series. Join us as we start the program today.
HANS FINZEL: Hi, this is Hans Finzel, President of WorldVenture based in Littleton, Colorado. Welcome to Missions on the Frontline. Our website is worldventure.com. This radio program is part of our initiative to make you aware of new and exciting ways you can be involved in missions around the world. WorldVenture supports over a thousand mission projects and missionaries in over sixty-five countries. We have been sharing the good news of Jesus Christ around the world since 1943.
HANS FINZEL: Today we want to share with you about marriage…”missions in marriage”. I have as my guest here, my lovely wife Donna. Welcome, Donna.
DONNA FINZEL: Well, hi, Hans! Hi, everyone!
HANS FINZEL: It’s great to have you in the studio with me today. Donna and I have been married for thirty-four and a-half years. Is that correct?
DONNA FINZEL: That’s right!
HANS FINZEL: And, guys, you have to know how long you’ve been married. Keep track of that. [Laughter] We were missionaries with WorldVenture for ten years in Vienna Austria working in Eastern Europe. And then, we’ve been back here in the States for a long time…but you and I wrote this book together, The Top Ten Ways to Love Your Wife and we are going to take two shows [to discuss this topic]. Today we are going to try to cover half of the book, [and on] the next show we will cover the other half. Again, the name of the book is The Top Ten Ways to Love Your Wife, by Hans and Donna Finzel. And it is published by David C. Cook. If you want to Google it you can find it at Amazon and everywhere books are sold. Donna, let’s just start…and maybe I’ll ask you…you and I are just kind of going to go back and forth. Donna and I wrote this book a number of years ago. We’ve recently refreshed it, but we dedicated it to our parents, Mark and Anita Bubeck and Alfred and Prigetta Finzel, both of who stayed married their entire lives. In fact, our siblings have stayed married…we haven’t actually had any divorce in our family. That’s pretty amazing. But I think, more than anything for me, I wanted to write for my children. We have four children and two of them are married now and I wanted them to know you can be happily married your whole life. You know, we’ve been married thirty-four and a-half years, and the other night we were out for Valentine’s Day, and the waitress, when she found out we’ve been married so long, she was stunned and she said to us, “Gosh, you guys seem like you are really in love. How can that be?”
DONNA FINZEL: [Laughter] uh-huh…She was stunned!
HANS FINZEL: Yeah! So what was kind of behind our approach to the book?
DONNA FINZEL: Well, we wanted to…we did surveys of couples to find out what were the top issues in marriage that we wanted to take a look at to see…how can you do it right. You know, how can you love your wife so that this complex creature that we are is someone that is responding in marriage and that we are growing together…so that overtime, like you said, we fall more in love. And our children see that. And we make an impact on them and on the world by having a loving, godly marriage. And so, along with the ten chapters on The Top Ten Ways to Love Your Wife we have also in every chapter a “Hero Husband”, because, of course, part of what this book is about, is how men do things wrong. And so we wanted to show, hey, here’s someone whose doing this right. So Chapter One is “What Women Want”, and that is…all she needs is love! In doing those surveys, we discovered that this was the number one…definitely was the number one thing that women want…is affection.
HANS FINZEL: We kind of took a spin-off of the Mel Gibson movie entitled, “What Women Want”.
DONNA FINZEL: Right.
HANS FINZEL: And regardless of whether you ever saw that movie or not, we came to a very clear conclusion that the number one thing women need and want… is love.
DONNA FINZEL: And affection…yeah…
HANS FINZEL: Just like the Beatles said…”All you need is love”…go ahead, I’m sorry… [Laughter]
DONNA FINZEL: So, yeah, in the surveys…this came back from the west coast, “Two words sum up her greatest need: affection and attention.” And then, from here in Colorado, “She needs my continual love and acceptance.” And from California, “To be cherished, not just through words but through thought and deed.” I think that…love and affection are different in a woman’s mind, let’s put it that way. And one quote here from one of the women that we surveyed, I just love this, she said, “First, there’s a lack of touch. I need to constantly remind him to pretend he likes me (teasingly) by holding my hand or putting an arm around me, or a hug. His family was not very affectionate that way, so I don’t take it personally, but I still crave that affection.” We respond to that kind of affection and attention from our husbands, and biblically, a man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church, and that is Agape love that is selfless and sacrificial.
HANS FINZEL: Yeah, I like the fact that in the New Testament, Paul wrote, “Husbands, love your wives.” He never wrote to wives to love their husbands. I think it comes a lot easier for women to show affection to their husbands. And we husbands can sometimes be challenged. So the number one need of marriage for a woman is love, she needs that love. So, husbands if you are out there listening, figure out how you can show her you love her. Let’s move on to Chapter Two. I love this chapter, “Decipher Her Differences, A Life Long Study of the Feminine Nature.” And let me just start by saying that Donna and I have three boys and a girl, three sons and a daughter. Our two oldest sons are married and they have found wonderful mates and we are so thankful. And we have our first grandchild. And, I have told all three of my sons through the years, “Guys, you will never figure out your woman. But take your whole life as a pursuit to try and understand her better.” And so that is really what this is about…how to decipher the differences between men and women. What did you like most about this chapter?
DONNA FINZEL: Well to be… what we need, as far as the husband, is to be considerate and treating us with respect in our role as a woman and in the marriage. And yes, we are weaker physically, but in many ways we are strong…we are very strong, and so to really explore what that means, and to build us up and communicate, which is huge for women…to communicate with us. Gary Smalley…you’ve got to tell that story… which Gary Smalley, from back in the Promise Keeper days, he did that thing in the stadium [
HANS FINZEL: the stadium in Indianapolis]…and you’ve got to tell that story…
HANS FINZEL: Well, it’s a great illustration of the difference between men and women. And we are going to come to this a little bit later when we talk about criticizing each other, but he…we were a stadium filled with about thirty thousand men and he asked everyone to pull a hair out of our head and to drop it on the floor. Everybody did that in silence, and of course, you didn’t want to hear a thing. And then he said, “Alright, everybody take off your shoe, and at the count of three, drop it.” And at the count of three we all dropped our shoe. Thirty-thousand shoes and there was this enormous rumble. And he said, “Guys, when you take criticism it feels like that hair. But when you give criticism is feels like that shoe dropping to your wife. You think it is no big deal, but they are so different than you! So be careful.” I think, one thing I’ve learned…a lot of men, when they are single, in college or after college, and they’ve lived with other guys, you know they have roommates. And one thing I’ve tried, we point out in the book, guys, when you get married your wife is not just another roommate. She is just as different…the feminine nature… as night is from day to the guys. So don’t treat her like one of the guys!
DONNA FINZEL: Exactly! And we quote several times throughout the book, Dr. Willard Harley, who wrote the book, His Needs, Her Needs. And these five needs of a woman are the top ones that we found in our surveys were really true. And that is…that number one is affection, which we already talked about; conversation; honesty and openness; financial support; and family commitment.
HANS FINZEL: And for the men, our five needs, in case anybody needs a news flash, 1) sexual fulfillment, 2) recreational companionship, 3) an attractive spouse, 4) domestic support and 5) admiration. So that is His Needs, Her Needs, one of the best books we’ve ever read on marriage and we highly recommend it. It is a classic! Let’s move on, Donna. Unfortunately we need to move along with the time. The third chapter is about that very topic, “Speak No Evil: Communication and Conflict Strategies”.
DONNA FINZEL: I love that first sentence. It says, “Be careful with your words. They cannot be re-thrown like a bad pitch.”
HANS FINZEL: [Laughter] Yeah…and for any of you who have been married for a very long period of time, you’ve most likely found out that the way you say what you say can do more damage than the content of your words.
DONNA FINZEL: Absolutely! And we also talk about, in this Chapter, not letting the sun go down on your anger when you do have conflict. Because conflict is a normal part of a marriage. You will…because your are two…a man and a woman and two totally different people, you will have conflict. We want to talk these things out and resolve them. And we need to avoid…actually two things we talk about in here…is avoiding the “A” and the “N” words.
HANS FINZEL: Yeah, and what do we mean by…what are the “A” and the “N” words?
DONNA FINZEL: [Laughter] Well… “You ALWAYS…” or “You NEVER…”
HANS FINZEL: [Laughter] “You NEVER do the dishes”, or “You ALWAYS leave your socks laying around.”
DONNA FINZEL: Right!
HANS FINZEL: And, I know when Donna says to me, “You NEVER do the dishes”…it…maybe I do the dishes once every ten days, but when she says I NEVER do them, it just makes me furious…like I’m never going to do them again!
DONNA FINZEL: Right.
HANS FINZEL: So, we try very hard never to use the NEVER word or the ALWAYS word.
DONNA FINZEL: We also, in this chapter, go into just the differences that cause tempers to flare. You know…different needs, …expectations, …displaced anger, …violation of rights, …personality conflicts, and “tremendous trifles” is something we learned from our favorite professor in our college, and those are those little things like…he squeezes the toothpaste in the middle and drives her crazy…or whatever. Those things can really un-do a marriage, so in this chapter we go into depth on how to resolve conflict in a marriage?
HANS FINZEL: Yeah, how to speak no evil. I love Proverbs 17:14, “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam. So drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” That is great wisdom. And you know, you and I just had a…well, I said something very unkind to you recently on Valentine’s Day and it really hurt you and it was very unkind of me…just the way that I said what I said. You know what I’m talking about…
DONNA FINZEL: Yeah!
HANS FINZEL: But, hey, we’ve been married over thirty-four years and we still do that…I still screw up…and I like on page 55…”Arguments are very much like exploring caves. Once you fall into the depths of a disagreement or conflict with your spouse, there are two options: Dig yourself in deeper [Laughter]; or…backtrack.” Guys, the best approach, when you realize that conflicts are escalating…she’s becoming very hurt…the best thing you can do is to back out of that cave with humility and broken-ness and asking for forgiveness. Because usually…maybe its not the content, in the case of what happened to us the other night…but the way I said what I said to you was very hurtful. Right?
DONNA FINZEL: Yep. And we resolved it great, so…
HANS FINZEL: That was cool!
DONNA FINZEL: Chapter Four was, “Find Her Frequency,” which is sharpening your listening skills and this one is really figuring us out on listening and other rare exotic habits we talk about. I’d like to…this is actually my favorite chapter because we, as women, really do not let go of a matter until we have unpacked it and felt like we’ve been heard. We don’t want you to fix it. We don’t want you to have the one, two, three list ready for us, on how we can fix whatever is the thing we are struggling with, we want to know we have been heard. We want to know, when our heart has been embraced, and it can be, and that you love us, and meet our need, and give us a hug, and let us…
HANS FINZEL: …enter your heart…
DONNA FINZEL: Exactly!
HANS FINZEL: In case you are just joining us, this is Hans and Donna Finzel. You are listening to Missions on the Frontline. Our website is worldventure.com. And today, Donna and I are discussing marriage. The Top Ten Ways to Love Your Wife is the book we wrote, by Hans and Donna Finzel and published by David C. Cook…The Top Ten Ways to Love Your Wife. And we’re just in the middle of Chapter Four right now, “Finding Her Frequency”. Why don’t you just read that list on the top of page 75 there of What Women Really Want In Terms of Listening.
DONNA FINZEL: We want to see that you care about our interests; to feel your closeness and love; and to know that you have truly heard us.
HANS FINZEL: Let me just say, one thing, guys, that I’ve done through the years, that Donna has helped me understand…see, again, I’m a “fix it” man. By my nature I’m a handyman. A little bit later we will talk about the whole issue of helping in the home and doing the things she asks you to do when something is broken. But in terms of her heart, I’ve really learned, that when she is upset, my tendency is I want to “fix” her problem. For example, our daughter recently left to go to Egypt. She is a missionary overseas and Donna was so upset that she was gone for the first week and just missing her so much. And, you know what? I cannot bring her back. I cannot tell Donna to quit missing her. I had to sit there with her, and suffer with her, and say, “Sweetheart, I understand how much you miss her and I’m sorry.” And just listen and walk with her. And that’s the “listening piece” that I have learned she wants and needs so much.
DONNA FINZEL: And being present and emotionally caring…
HANS FINZEL: Not “half-listening” while your watching football out of the other eye.
DONNA FINZEL: Yeah, exactly! In another chapter, I’m picking up on Page 80, there is a tip that sums up very well from Dr. Jim Smith in his book Learning to Live With the One You Love: “When Women talk something out in detail, somewhere along the line, they let go of it. But unless they do this, they keep holding on.” And that is a lesson that is hard to learn in a marriage, but it makes a big difference.
HANS FINZEL: Yeah, and we talk in the chapter about vacations…about when we’d take the motorhome and take these great family vacations across the country in the summer, and I can be happy to sit and drive for hours and never say a word. I can be guilty of being completely silent because that’s how I kind of refresh myself. Or, giving Donna one-word answers when she asks me a question. That again, where I’ve learned is a part of listening, guys, is also actually responding and engaging in the conversation, not just grunting “uh-huh”, “uh-huh”. [Laughter]
DONNA FINZEL: That’s right [Laughter]
HANS FINZEL: Anything else on that chapter, Donna, that you want to touch on?
DONNA FINZEL: I thought…no… I want to move on to “Treat Her as an Equal Partner”.
HANS FINZEL: OK! That is a great chapter!
DONNA FINZEL: And sharing leadership in the home.
HANS FINZEL: So this is chapter 5, “Treat Her as an Equal Partner” and we say at the very beginning that marriage is a partnership not a dictatorship!
DONNA FINZEL: Absolutely! And this is where we get into the whole biblical view of submission and mutual submission…and, why did God set it up that way? And we do mutually work through situations respecting input in view of the other. And…I’m going to read this quote from Hans. As a matter of fact, it come from me about Hans, Hans has come to realize my more feminine point of view and womanly intuition as one of his greatest assets. Because my very strengths and people skills are his very weakest points. He deeply values and seeks out my insights in most situations. And so we do make decision making a mutual fact in our home.
HANS FINZEL: Yeah. And this is kind of an interesting issue, because we do believe in the biblical mandate of the submission of the wife, but I think a lot of people misunderstand what that means. It doesn’t mean the husband is the dictator. It means we mutually share the load equally in the home. We are both of equal value and worth before God and have equal weight in our marriage. That is a basic fundamental principal, that we think is so important. Although Hans is responsible before God as the leader of our home, we will submit to one another’s needs as we walk in the spirit out of reverence for Christ. That is something else that we think is so important. As it relates to Christian marriage, the biblical picture of submission is always coupled with our mutual submission to Jesus Christ. See, that is important! As we submit to Him [Christ] we submit to one another.
DONNA FINZEL: And that’s what makes for a great marriage.
HANS FINZEL: So maybe in the line of marriage we can offer some advise for those who are struggling in the area of submission in the marriage, and again, to me, the basis of Donna is just as valuable and important in our home. And in the decisions we make as a family, whether they are in terms of financial or when we went to the mission field, you know…that was important. You know, God called us both individually to become missionaries. And its not like I said, OK, we’re gonna do it and you just followed.
DONNA FINZEL: Right.
HANS FINZEL: In fact, I married a very strong woman, and I like that…and I need that. And that’s really cool. So the first thing is to stop, if you are struggling in the area of submission, and to look…
DONNA FINZEL: And look at Ephesians 5 verses 20 to 25 where it talks about submission to one another out of reverence for Jesus Christ. And to check your marriage against the truths of God’s Word. Are you willing to give and love your spouse, and not to demand your own way?
HANS FINZEL: And then for you spouses, you men…are too demanding, are you harsh on your wife…just too domineering. Or very much of a dictator…lording it over her…and commanding her. I’ll tell you, Donna, what does that do to a woman?
DONNA FINZEL: It “shuts you down”.
HANS FINZEL: Right…it shuts you down.
DONNA FINZEL: It shuts you down.
HANS FINZEL: And you lose respect.
DONNA FINZEL: Right, and in the same way, we are to respect our husband. That is biblical and that is one of the top needs of a man. So we need to both listen to one another in this whole area. And then, we need to seek professional help. If you have a lot of issues with submission in your marriage, I would say get help from a good biblical counselor to get that resolved.
HANS FINZEL: So in terms of…yeah…yeah…mutual submission. I think its just as important that its all in the spirit of mutual submission, as Paul talked about…you know, husbands love your wife…wives, submit to your husband. And then he goes on to say, “…both of you, submit yourselves to Christ together.” So definitely, if you are having serious marriage issues, we suggest you seek a professional counselor or a pastor. Well, Donna, we just have a couple of minutes left and uh…the next show we’re going to go into the rest of the book. But, is there anything else we want to say? One thing I would like to say that has been a real help for us in our marriage is…again, listen to each other…is that we like to go to the coffee shop, Starbucks or wherever, and debrief at the end of the day. We now have the freedom to do that because our kids are grown and gone, but even when our kids were around the house, we’ve always had time that we have given to each other.
DONNA FINZEL: Yes! And at the end of every chapter we give “take aways”, things that you can practically apply to your marriage and put into action. Again, it’s the Top Ten Ways to Love Your Wife, by Hans and Donna Finzel.
HANS FINZEL: Let’s tell one hero husband story in the program. Again, every chapter has a hero husband story, where we have found a husband who was doing it wrong and then who has learned how to do it right. But, there is a great Valentine’s story. Donna, you want to share that?
DONNA FINZEL: Yes, for seven years, Ron had been married to Jamie. For six of those years he had done nothing for Valentine’s day. I guess he figured he got his valentine and married her and there was no need for making a big deal with red hearts and roses. WRONG! So how did Jamie feel because of that? She really felt under appreciated and unloved. And, thankfully, Ron got a clue. And so after six years of neglect he did it right. Big time! And he took the day off from work. He’d asked her friend, which was a huge reason this worked…what would make her happy? And so, he took her to the mall to look at all those little knick-knack shops and design shops that she loves and then to top it off, he had a spa day for her…a hair day to get her hair done. And then, took her out to dinner. Well, that is an awesome gift to a woman.
HANS FINZEL: Guys, I think that a good thing we can learn from that story is that he did not just figure it out on his own…what she might like…because, guys, you know, sometimes we just don’t have a clue what they really like and want. So, what a great idea to ask her best friend secretly, “Hey, what would Jamie most like as a treat for Valentine’s Day?”
DONNA FINZEL: Amen!
HANS FINZEL: Alright! Well, Donna, thank you for being on the program today!
DONNA FINZEL: Thank you!
HANS FINZEL: And, again, we are Hans and Donna Finzel, and the book is The Top Ten Ways to Love Your Wife, published by David C. Cook. Thanks for listening today. This has been Missions on the Frontline. We are here to expand your vision and make you aware of new and exciting way of how you can be involved in missions around the world. And I tell you, when people are married in missions, if they don’t have a good marriage, they are not going to be good missionaries. And that is why we are taking some time to talk about marriage especially as it relates to missions. Please visit our website worldventure.com for more information and the latest news and updates. And don’t forget to drop me a note, I would love to hear from you, if you have any questions about missions. Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s again, email me at email@example.com. This has been Hans Finzel. See you next week on Missions on the Frontline.