Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Melanie Chitwood's book, What a Husband Needs from His Wife, (Harvest House, 2006).

If you’ve worked hard to change your husband but just ended up feeling more frustrated, take heart. There’s hope for true transformation, but it won’t come through your own efforts. Your marriage will change only when you trust God to change you.

As you change, you’ll become the kind of wife your husband needs – and your marriage will grow stronger as a result. Here’s how you can change your marriage by giving your husband what he needs:

Pour out your heart to God. Take all your concerns about your marriage to God in prayer. Ask Him to bless you with less conflict and more peace, security, joy, fun, and intimacy. Honestly ask yourself whether or not you’re ready to stop doing marriage your way and start doing it God’s way, no matter what the cost. Ask God to give you the courage to surrender your marriage to His control, getting out of the way so He can work. Give up feeling entitled to what you think you deserve in marriage. Let go of unrealistic expectations for your husband. Repent of your sins against your husband, and strengthen your relationship with God through prayer, listening, reading Scripture, and obeying Him. Embrace God’s unconditional love for you, and remember that since nothing can change His love for you, you can trust Him with every part of your life. Let God’s love begin to transform your heart. Ask God to give you the desire and strength to become the kind of wife He wants you to be.

Seek God rather than just a better marriage. Make your top priority seeking God, knowing that a better marriage will come about naturally if you put God first. Schedule a daily quiet time to pray, listen, and read the Bible. Know that spending time with God will help you come to recognize His voice and trust Him more. Focus on God instead of the changes you want to occur in your marriage. Soak up God’s love to gradually become more like Him, and the changes in you will positively impact your marriage. Entrust your husband to God and pray daily for your husband’s needs.

Be a helper. Understand that your husband needs a helper – someone he can count on as a true friend and lover. Build a close friendship with your husband and enjoy fun times together as companions. Don’t let other pursuits crowd out the time you should be spending with your husband; make significant time to be with him regularly. Celebrate the ways you and your husband complement each other. Save enough energy for focusing on your husband – rather than other family members and friends, your work, etc. – to truly give him the best of yourself instead of just what’s left of you after busyness elsewhere. Support your husband in his God-given roles of leader, provider, and protector. Rely on God’s strength to help you with everything you need to do at home while your husband is away on business travel. Develop oneness with your husband through a relationship that is open emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically. Beware of trying to act as the Holy Spirit in your husband’s life; recognize that you can’t cause your husband to become more holy, but you can positively influence him through the example of your own faithful behavior. Make your relationship with your husband your closest human relationship and communicate that clearly to him through your words and actions.