Embrace the Differences in Marriage
- Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Let's look at some of the differences between men and women. But before we do, let's note the following qualification: These differences are generalizations. They aren't judgments. They're general differences between the sexes that God built into creation to help men and women be better partners.
One difference between the sexes is contained in the story of God's original plan for marriage. God made man to be the provider; He made woman to be the encourager. Adam was to "dress and keep" - to cultivate - the Garden of Eden. Eve was to be his fitting helper, to encourage him and stand by his side. These differences are there, regardless of our culture's silly efforts to minimize them - or even to eliminate them.
According to Genesis 3:16, the man is to be the protector, and the woman is to be the nurturer: "Unto the woman [God] said, 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.' " The husband is to be in charge and the wife is to bring forth and nurture the next generation.
The man is to lead, guide, protect. That's why God made the man physically strong. But God made the woman to be soft, gentle, and tender because she is the life giver. These fundamental differences are bred into the nature of men and women.
Another difference is the way men and women think. Men think logically - with their heads; women think emotionally - with their hearts. Now, that doesn't mean women can't think with logic. They just approach the world differently.
A man by nature is goal oriented. He will see the goal and the steps to get there. Feelings are not his primary consideration. That's just the way his mind works. On the other hand, a woman sees not only the goal but beyond the goal. She is more concerned with how actions will affect the feelings of others.
Men are risk takers. God built this tendency into men because risk taking is the only way to achieve new and great things in life. But the woman, being the homemaker and nurturer God intended for her to be, is much more interested in creating beauty, gentleness, and security. Most women would choose security before success because God has given them that instinct. But God has given men a productive instinct. So men take risks; women desire security.
Men have a propensity for seeing the big picture, while women focus on details.
Suppose a man is presented with a new business opportunity. He can buy a franchise for a hot new product. He regards this as an opportunity of a lifetime. So he takes his life savings (without consulting his wife), buys the franchise, resigns his job, comes home, and says this to his wife: "Guess what, honey, we're going into a new business. It's going to be fantastic! We're going to make all this money. And we have to move to Cincinnati."
Well, she begins to cry.
He responds, saying, "What's wrong with you? This is what we've been waiting for all our lives!"
"We can't move!"
"Because the kids are in school. What about the dental appointments? We just decorated the bathroom!"
In this instance, the husband communicated the wrong way. He should have thought about the details involved in this kind of change. He should have made sure his wife knew his plans to provide security for her and their children. And of course, he should have consulted with her in the beginning. But neither perspective is wrong. God made men and women different.
Men tend to be insensitive compared to women. Now insensitivity taken to an extreme is bad. But men tend to have a thick skin, which is vital in certain situations. Life is tough, and there are tough decisions to be made, so he has a certain measure of insensitivity. On the other hand, a woman is empathetic. God made her very sensitive, so that she could be a fitting helper for a man who might get hardened out in the jungle.
While the man tends to be more defensive and suspicious, the woman tends to be more trusting and open. She's the nurturer, the life giver. She knows better how to forgive, because she's more sensitive to the feelings of others.
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