Value His Differences

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 NIV

My husband and I conducted a marriage enrichment conference one Saturday at a church in Fairbanks, Alaska. The night before the conference, the church hosted a date night event for their congregation and their community. The evening was set up so that couples could first go out on a date while the church provided childcare. The couples then returned to the church for dessert and a short session led by Greg and me.

Prior to our session, the organizers recreated the Family Feud game. Laughter and fun ensued. Five couples were selected for teams of men versus women. Questions included:

“What would a man do if he had a day all by himself and his wife was gone?” The answers were hilarious! They also highlighted the differences between men and women. The top four answers were sleep, watch football, go hunting or fishing, and golf. Several other responses that shockingly didn’t make the top four included eat, work in the garage, clean the house. You
can see why several of these wouldn’t top the list for females, right? Some of you may love these activities, but the hunting and fishing wouldn’t be at the top of my list for how I’d want to spend a day alone.

The answer that prompted the most laughter was “have sex!” Of course, upon hearing the roars of his best friends and pastor, the man who gave that answer realized that in this scenario, his wife would be gone all day. Still, it shows sex was on the mind! I was reminded just how different men and women really are.

Men and Women are Different

Even beyond differences between the sexes, you’re different from your husband. Our personalities, likes and dislikes, and our quirks distinguish us from the men we married. That’s probably no surprise to you. You might be surprised, though, to hear that our husbands need us to value these differences. I hear it time and time again: “We are just so different! It’s so frustrating!” But I’m here to tell you that no longer do these differences need to be one of your greatest sources of frustration—they can be something you celebrate and rejoice in. As you know, if the Lord wanted us to be just the same, then He would have made us that way.

Our husbands need us to value these differences.

He Made Us Different

God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them… then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! Genesis 1:27, 31 NLT

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  • God didn’t create humanity to have inferior and superior genders. He created them different—as a man and a woman. The following are common “generalizations” about the differences between men and women.
  • Men find their identity through their accomplishments; women find their identity through their relationships.
  • Men like a clear purpose when communicating: fixing a problem, making a point, or reaching a decision; women focus on relational aspects of communication: processing feelings, discovering common experiences, creating connection, and deepening intimacy.
  • Men connect by doing things with others (action-oriented); women connect by talking (relationship-oriented).
  • Men want to have sex as a way to emotionally connect with their wives; women want to emotionally connect in order to have sex.
  • Men withdraw and want to be alone in their “cave” when under stress; women want to connect and emotionally process when they are stressed.
  • Men crave affirmation, appreciation, respect, admiration, doing activities together to feel loved; women desire security, emotional intimacy, and to feel valued, cherished,
    beautiful, pursued, and captivating to feel loved.
  • Men are logical thinkers and can focus on one problem at a time; women are more intuitive thinkers and can multitask.

God notes that all He made was very good. I see this reflected when I interact with married couples. I am continually struck by how challenging it is for men and women to figure each other out.

I’ve felt it and heard it from thousands of women: “I’m so frustrated with my husband.” Any number of things may lead to this frustration; however, some seem to be universal in marriage.

Women will say…

  • “He doesn’t help around the house.”
  • “He doesn’t show me affection unless he wants to have sex.”
  •  “He won’t look at me when I’m talking to him.”
  • “Whenever I share an issue with him, he always tries to fix it!”
  • “He doesn’t ever show emotion.”
  •  “When he gets home from work, he goes directly to his chair and doesn’t connect with me or the kids.”
  • “No matter how I try to share why I’m frustrated with him—he takes it personally.”
  • “If I ask him to do more than one thing at a time, he doesn’t seem to be able to do it.”
  • “He wants to have sex all the time—even after we have had a fight.”
  • “He often wants to be alone.”

“Sometimes I’ll ask him what he is thinking about and he responds by saying ‘nothing.’ ” Recently, I came across a study that showed the differences in frustrations as noted by males and females. I found it very interesting as to what frustrates men. When asked to rate their top relationship irritants, men and women give strikingly different answers. Here’s what grates on
us most

Men’s complaints about women:

  • the silent treatment
  • bringing up things he’s done in the distant past
  • being too hot or too cold
  •  being critical
  • being stubborn and refusing to give in
  • Women’s complaints about men:
  • forgetting important dates, like birthdays or anniversaries
  • not working hard at his job
  • staring at other women
  • being stubborn and refusing to give in

If you have been married longer than a few months, I’m guessing you recognize some of these frustrations. I realize there are different levels of frustration; however, it is common for men and women to feel frustration when they “bump up” against how the other sex engages differently with life on a daily basis. We really are so different.

Taken from 10 Things a Husband Needs from His Wife. Copyright © 2017 by Erin Smalley. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402. Used by Permission.

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