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Marriage Workbook

By Craig Caster



Then following two worksheets are designed to help you apply what you have learned. It is essential that you complete them and then follow through by reviewing the information with your spouse. By doing this, both of you will be learning how to meet each other’s companionship needs. Please read the instructions below; worksheets follow.

  1. Worksheet #1: Wives, do you feel secure and fulfilled?

This worksheet reveals the God-given companionship needs that God has put within a wife, and helps provide direction for meeting them. By privately and prayerfully assessing her husband’s success at providing these needs in each of the prescribed areas, she is able to provide him with an evaluation from her perspective. This process will reveal why and where there are areas of struggle in the marriage, and show a husband how to improve at meeting his wife’s needs. This will also provide the wife with a new or renewed understanding as to why she may be experiencing difficulty pursuing intimacy and companionship with her husband. When a wife is not receiving enough love and security, she is vulnerable to temptations of the flesh, or Satan, which can lead to satisfying these needs with other people and activities, and neglecting her husband. This results in failure to provide the affirmation he needs by placing him in a lower priority than children, career or outside activities. Destruction and damage to the marriage will follow if this downward spiral is not turned around by placing trust and confidence in the Word and power of God.

Read the instructions and example at the bottom of Worksheet #1 to learn how to incorporate this with Worksheet #2.

  1. Worksheet #2: Specific, practical, non-judgmental suggestions for your husband.

Prayerfully write out practical, non-judgmental suggestions for your husband on how to meet your companionship needs. Provide one or two ideas for improvement wherever you graded him at four or less. Ask for God’s help to define your need and to make your requests reasonable. This will be difficult; we exhort you women not to abandon the activity, but to pray. Tell your husband what you need, then make specific, practical suggestions so implementation is possible. Be non-judgmental to avoid discouraging him. If necessary, seek additional help from a church leader, an assigned marriage mentor, or your pastor.

Follow-Up Activities

After a wife completes the two worksheets, she is ready to meet and discuss the outcome with her husband. Men, listen lovingly and patiently, but you must also use a pad to write in your own words her specific, practical suggestions as a guide for change.

  • Find a private place and time to discuss results. A wife must have the opportunity to carefully and comfortably present at least two suggestions for each area from worksheets one and two where she rated her husband at four or less. Remember, communicate in a way that glorifies Christ. Seek help from a church leader, marriage mentor, or your pastor if things become difficult, but do not abandon this exercise.
  • We suggest that every couple begin this discussion in prayer, asking God for grace and gentleness in communication, a receptive heart, and protection from the attacks of the enemy and his attempts to discourage obedience to Christ.
  • We encourage every married couple to resist the temptation to become defensive. Husbands, first repeat back what you hear your wife say, before writing out your practical response. In this way, you eliminate misunderstanding, and show her that you respect her feelings and needs. Be specific when writing and implementing your plan for change.


  • God blesses obedience.
  • Faithful completion of all the homework is the beginning of a truly wonderful relationship with your spouse.
  • Our transformation happens only as we abide in Christ. Our daily devotions and obedience to His Word, including confession and repentance of our mistakes, are critical to this process.
  • To see Jesus work miracles, the disciples had to follow Him.

Remember, practicing loving communication and biblical forgiveness and reconciliation are the tools God uses to break up the hardened soil of your heart, and your spouse’s heart, so His Word and grace can have the impact He desires. God will have victory if we come to Him, hear Him, and yield to His instructions.

WORKSHEET #1: Examination and Evaluation

Wife: for the list below, use a scale of 0 to 5 (0 being not at all; 5 being fulfilled) and rate how you feel fulfilled by your husband in these areas. This is not a time to be vindictive but to begin to bring clarity and healing to these areas. See "Trusting God in your Marriage Means Practicing Forgiveness" in Appendix P, if needed. Do not share this with your husband yet. Read the instructions at the bottom of this page after you have prayerfully completed this worksheet.

Wives, do you feel affirmed by your husband in these areas?

Enter your number (0-5)


  • Going to Church
  • Praying with children
  • Discussing personal devotion
  • Bible study with children
  • Praying together
  • Providing godly leadership


  • Caring about your day’s events
  • Able to share honestly how you feel about all subjects
  • Discussing finances
  • Always speaks with love and gentleness
  • Makes himself available each day to talk      
  • Feel safe to share deepest needs or emotions with him        
  • Feel free to laugh and/or cry with him
  • Always speaks lovingly to you 
  • Always speaks honorably about you to others

Physical and/or Sexual

  • Tells you he loves you often
  • Regular sexual relations
  • Able to share openly your desires for physical fulfillment            

Non-sexual touching

  • Cuddling 
  • Holding hands
  • Hugging
  • Massaging
  • Kissing


  • Willing to lead in the discipline of the children
  • Does not allow the children to disrespect you
  • Does not allow the children to disrespect you
  • Always speaks honorably about you in front of children
  • Willing to show proper affection to the children

After you have completed this worksheet, do not discuss it with your husband.  Instead, on Worksheet #2, write out some specific, non-judgmental, practical suggestions for your husband, things you want him to do, or not do, in each area where you rated him at four or lower. For example: if you gave your husband one of the lower marks for discussing finances, your suggestion might be for your him to be willing to calmly discuss an income and expense budget together, and commit to a joint monthly review.

WORKSHEET #2: Action Plan

Wives, this is the time to develop specific, non-judgmental suggestions. Remember, the result of this exercise is a prepared, reasonable foundation for loving communication, without an attitude of hostility or condemnation, complete with practical guidelines. Remember, the needs of men and women are different as part of God’s design; men and women see life from a very different perspective, so we must make our needs known to our spouses. It is very important that suggestions are complete, including specific explanation and positive encouragement, but also as brief as possible. Consider how your suggestions might sound if someone was giving them to you. Don’t compromise, but be gentle and considerate of each other during discussion.



Physical and/or Sexual

Non-sexual touching


Examples for Worksheet #2

Here are some examples of non-judgmental, specific suggestions for meeting companionship needs in these areas.


Wife rated husband with a 3 for “Going to church”.

  • How can we work together as a team when getting ready to go to church? Maybe you could help with the kids. (Or) How can we be more diligent to plan on going each Sunday?(Or) Will you commit to go to church every Sunday, and let it be the exception that keeps us from going, not the exception when we do go?

Husband rated at 0 for “Bible study with children”.

  • Do you think it would be possible to have some type of Bible study with the children, maybe once a week? What would be the best time and day for you?

Husband received a 2 for “Praying together”.

  • Would you pray with me each day in the morning, or before we go to bed?


Wife gave him a 2 for “Discussing finances”.

  • I know finances is not an easy subject for us, how can we communicate about that? Maybe we can plan a time to get away for a few hours, where we will not be interrupted. That way we can pray and discuss it more thoroughly.

Husband received a 1 for “Makes himself available each day to talk”.

  • I really would like it if we could spend some more time talking with each other on a daily basis. What do you think would be a good time for you to do this?

Physical and/or Sexual

Wife gave husband a 2 for “Tells you he loves you often”.

  • I would like to hear “I love you” more often, it really encourages me and gives me security; maybe you could put that on your prayer list.

Husband at 2 for “Able to share openly your desires for physical fulfillment”.

  • Can we please talk openly about each other’s sexual needs and fulfillment? Maybe we can set some time aside on the weekend to discuss this. (We are going to cover this thoroughly in future lessons, complete with tools and questions to help facilitate this process.)

Non-sexual touching

Wife marked 1 for “Cuddling and hugging”.

  • It would be very encouraging to me if when you touch me that it does not always lead to sexual relations. I would like it if we could just sit together and cuddle, just because you love me and want to show affection.

Wife gave husband a 2 for “Kissing”.

  • It would also be nice if you could kiss me when you are leaving whenever possible. This really helps me feel secure.


Husband received a 2 for “Willing to lead in the discipline of the children”.

  • Could you please be involved in the disciplining of the children when you are home? I want to support you in anyway I can in the discipling of the children, and it would be very reassuring to the kids and me if you did this.

Wife gave a 1 for “Cares about and participates in the children’s interests”.

  • I know that you are very busy, but could you please pray about participating in some of the children’s interests and events? It would be great to do this with you.

Wife felt husband deserved a 3 for “Always speaks honorably about you in front of the children”.

  • Sometimes you speak negatively about me in front of the kids. Do you think we can go into our bedroom and discuss those things that I seem to be doing wrong, and not in front of the children?

Working Together on Companionship Needs


Remember this important fact:

Men and women perceive situations differently, and also respond differently to the same words or actions. This means that a husband and wife will approach mutual problems from a different perspective, and opportunities will arise requiring them to cooperate and compromise.

God created human beings, male and female, and placed unique companionship needs within each. Unique can mean special, or wonderful, but it also means different. A man does not instinctively know or understand the needs of a woman, and vice versa. To have a fulfilling marriage, each spouse needs to be willing to learn how to meet the unique needs of the other.

Since all marriages involve people, and all people are selfish, there is a 100 percent chance that frustrations and disappointments will surface in the relationship. This leads to coping patterns such as anger, insults, bitterness, defensiveness, pouting, stuffing, stewing, and, you get the picture. These become habits that must be broken and replaced with appropriate attitudes and actions.

Getting back to the discussion of perspective, and problems that may arise; this is an opportunity for every man and woman to use the trials of life to both grow personally and to learn how to meet the needs of another. To succeed, we must use God’s Word as a resource, and be committed to listening and communicating properly.

James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

God says to count it all joy when you experience trials. Why? Because responding in the right spirit will lead to patience, which leads to a state of being that God calls “lacking nothing”. God works in us, but the time it takes to learn depends upon our cooperation. Growth comes when you put your faith in Him by learning His will, following it, and having a deep desire to become holy as He is holy.

So the Bible says that God is allowing our faith to be tested by trials. It also tells us that God is our Father, if we are in Christ, and that He never condemns us but that he disciplines us for our good. We must view difficulties as God-ordained opportunities to seek instruction, grow in the image of Christ, learn more about our spouse’s needs, and become the husband or wife that God intends.  The word discipline simply means to train.

Hebrews 12:9-11 says, “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Have you ever been angry with your spouse? Ever wished that your marriage were better, different? Ever blamed your spouse as the primary offender? When you accept the truth that you need to change, and that you need to apply yourself to meeting your spouse’s needs, a surprising thing will happen. Your marriage will improve and so will your spouse’s attitude. This is not about who does more, but about who does right. And God will bless obedience. God is always at work, but remember, without our cooperation the growth that God desires won’t happen.

Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

This verse includes us becoming the husband or wife God desires us to be.

So, we have discussed the term “companionship needs”, and learned that these are gender specific. For example: one of man’s basic needs is affirmation, and a woman’s is to be nurtured and cherished. We also have stated that awareness of these needs comes through study and communication. If a need is violated, and an offense taken, there is a proper way to bring it into discussion. A husband and wife sincerely desiring to stop bad behavior patterns must agree to use a process something like this:

Acknowledge the offense:

Husband: If your wife says or does something that is un-affirming to you, your response is to say, “that was un-affirming”, in a kind way.

Wife: If your husband says or does something in a non-cherishing or non-nurturing way toward you, your response is to say, “that hurts”, in a kind way. 

Apply the response:

Confirm: When your spouse says either “that was un-affirming” or “that hurt”, your response needs to be “I am sorry”, or “help me understand what I did”, stated kindly. 

Cooperate: Try and understand your spouse’s perspective. Learning how to better meet their needs requires listening, NOT arguing, accusing, or debating. 

Clarify the need: In a loving way, explain to your spouse what they said or did, and offer positive suggestions or alternatives. Remember, this is an opportunity for both partners to learn and change. 


A husband makes a negative comment about his wife’s cooking to the children, or a friend, in her presence. His wife takes the earliest opportunity to say to him, in private, “that remark really hurt”. Clarify the need; might include asking him not to joke about her cooking to anyone, and then finding out if there is something different she might do if her cooking can be improve. Note to husband: if something is bothering you, approach it privately and sincerely. Cherish your wife and you will discover she really wants to please you.

A wife sarcastically disagrees with her husband’s perspective on a political issue in front of friends. Latter when no one else is present, he tells her that what she did was not affirming to him. Clarify the need; might include the honest truth that her opinion was argumentative and as such embarrassed him in public. He could offer an alternative as, “If you have a different opinion on a subject, I am willing to discuss it with you privately, but when you disagree or challenge me in front of others, it is un-affirming to me.

Everyone is different; plug in the issues that push your buttons, and come up with your own suggestions. And remember; this is not an opportunity to bring up past things your spouse has done to upset you. In Philippians 2:3, it says that we not to act out of selfish ambition or conceit, but we are to consider others as more important than ourselves; this means your primary concern is learning your spouse’s needs and how to meet them.  

“Preference” and “Truth” are Different

Preference means; what one prefers before or above another. It is neither right nor wrong, but personal preference.  Can personal preferences be wrong? Yes! If ones personal preference is contrary to the Word and will of God, it is sin and wrong!

Examples of simple preference include, but are not limited to, cuisine, cars, homes, decorating, pets, clothing, music, entertainment, vacation destinations, and lots more. What about the up and down drama of the toilet seat? Preference. Preference requires compromise, which is the difference between preference and truth. Where truth is concerned, there is cooperation, but no compromise. Compromise means to settle differences by mutual concessions. What we know to be God’s Word, or will, is truth, and no concessions apply, only obedience.

Truth is what the Word of God says to do or not do, what is right and wrong behavior.

Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

Preferences that may violate God’s truth can include entertainment (movies, TV, music), selfish sexual desires, manner of dress, friendships, child rearing methods, church attendance, and more. For example, a wife or husband may choose a friend that is inappropriate, or is dragging them into sinful activities; one partner may desire sexually explicit films; or a man may desire sex weekly and his wife denies him and sticks to her once a month preference; a mother may insist on taking the lead in child discipline and not receive her husbands input. When a conflict or situations arises like these, a married couple needs to look into God’s Word and or seek godly counsel to resolve it. 

Two Wrongs Never make a Right

We have talked of working together, cooperating, and being mutually kind and considerate, but what if you find that all or most of the effort is coming from you? So be it. Is it right for you to enter into sin and disobedience because the situation seems unfair? God forbid. If we put conditions on our obedience to God, can we expect Him to intercede, help and bless us? The motive behind blessing your spouse and learning how to meet their companionship needs is your love for Jesus and desire to glorify and please Him. As Christians, our source of power, comfort, significance, security, joy, peace and hope comes from God, as we walk in obedience. 

We all have failed each other, and will fail again, sometimes by choice and sometimes in ignorance. This is precisely why forgiveness is essential; every person is called by God to practice forgiveness, both by giving it and asking for it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

When an opportunity arises, follow these 5 simple steps:

  1. Self-examination: When you feel pain that you believe was caused by your spouse, take a moment and examine your own heart. Ask yourself: is this truly a failure to meet my companionship need, or do I just want my own way? (Use our information on companionship needs for men and women as your self-examination guide.)
  2. Identification: be able to communicate exactly what was said or done by your spouse that was un-loving, un-affirming, or not cherishing or nurturing.
  3. Communication: pick a good time to lovingly bring the offense to your spouse’s attention, then conclude by telling them “I do not feel affirmed when you…” (men), or “I do not feel cherished when you…” (women). Be completely open at this point, for communication and clarification, not denial or debate.
  4. Clarification: propose a clear action plan so that your spouse knows what hurts you, and what they can do differently to meet your companionship need in this particular area, or situation.
  5. Forgiveness: Showing grace and forgiveness toward one another in these learning opportunities is so important. It is our sin nature and the devil’s desire that we focus on the other person’s sin, not our own, and justify an agitated, harsh or sinful response to them when they blow it. Remember, two sins never make anything right.
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