To sum up what we have discovered about the key differences between men and women, it can be broken down into traits that seem to be “hard-wired” in the sexes. Men thrive on appreciation; women love the joy of anticipation. The guys are competitive, women are cooperative by nature. Men lean toward a “fix-it” mentality, women like to express themselves. Healthy men seek to take responsibility; women tend to respond to the dynamics of the relationship. Guys do it once and do it big, ladies prefer smaller investments more often. Guys sacrifice, women share. It isn’t an issue of which way is better, it is part of our design. Although it is not one size fits all, these traits are pretty consistent. Family of origin issues, life experiences and unhealthy beliefs can all skew the traits that we choose to exhibit for fear or lack of trust. Even within the model we can pervert these characteristics based on our personal unhealthiness. However, all things being considered, we can learn much about relationship behavior and areas in which we need to grow.
Hopefully you can see why it is so important not to provoke your spouse in these very sensitive and very important areas. Wives, do not belittle your husbands; it causes very deep damage. Rather, use this newfound awareness to reach in a positive way the man with whom you chose to share the rest of your life. Edify him. Show him that his presence does make a difference, and that he is important to both you and the family.
Husbands, establish trust in areas where you may have failed in the past. Show your wife that you will be the leader, and a leader worth following. Let your “yes” mean yes and your “no” mean no; be a man of your word. Show your family that you will do your best to earn their trust. You will make your family a priority. Both of you, practice the art of grace and mercy as you strive toward protecting one another’s hearts.
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25
When we understand and appreciate how our differences complement one another, God’s design becomes clear in his creation of men and women. God’s intent for marriage also becomes clear. The differences between us are what contribute to the fullness of a marriage. We can each learn to grow in areas where we are weak and our spouse is strong. The requirement is accepting those differences and coming to embrace them.
Men and women, husband and wife were designed to be together from early creation.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”… So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:18, 21-22
This passage shows two things: Eve was taken from Adam therefore something in Adam was missing. Eve was that missing something, Eve complimented Adam’s life. Secondly, for those who think that women are inferior, note that woman was the final creation, the crowning achievement, if you will. Husband and wife are designed to complement one another as the two form one in marriage.
If there is pain in your past you have an obligation to get the help you need. God wants your marriage to thrive and this can only happen by cleaning up the filter with which we view life. Take the pain to God, lay it at the foot of the cross and do not pick it up again, practice the art of forgiveness, grace and mercy so that those people who have hurt will no longer have claim on your life. See a counselor if necessary, it is nothing to be ashamed of and there are times in our lives in which we can all benefit from a caring ear. Get the help you need, it’s good for you and it’s good for your spouse and family. There are some great counselors available through the American Association of Christian Counselors at the following website:
Great blessings in your relationship!
©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
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