We've looked at our gender differences including the common marriage mistake of women doing too much and men not being present. Control and avoidance. It's a dance that is in the middle of most marriages.
Let's begin looking at living out of our design instead of our sin.
First off, let's look at the biggest question a man generally has in his soul. A man is designed to speak and to move, yet post fall his biggest sin is one of avoidance. Post fall the world began to produce thorns and thistles instead of the initial ease of cultivation and growth. He is still called to garden but things won't always go according to plan. Failure is a possibility. To avoid failure avoidance came into the picture for guys.
The man's biggest question then is, 'do I have what it takes?' I've also heard it stated, 'am I enough?'
Initially it was safe for a woman to be open and vulnerable. Post fall it was anything but safe. Like the man she covered up an area of great intimacy and great difference. Being designed primarily for nurturing and inviting she began to fear the cost of being hurt and deceived in her vulnerability. She began to cover up and control. A woman's biggest question in her invitation with the risk of rejection is, 'do you think I'm beautiful?' I've also heard it stated as, 'do you see the light in me?'
Before I go on I want to address the fact that we are painting with very broad strokes here. My wife has many great leadership qualities. She's a different type of leader and a better one than me in some ways. On the flip side I have a strong nurturing side. I can be very tender and supportive at times. I'm not talking about roles we should assume but about deeper truths of design in our souls. So these categories aren't mutually exclusive. Women speak and move and men also nurture. It just isn't the primary truth.
Within these categories we talk about there are many peculiarities, nuances and wonderfully individual works of art created by God.
Now let's talk a little more about our questions.
The man's question, do I have what it takes, revolves around respect. A man desires unconditional respect. Shouldn't a man have to earn respect from his wife? In the core of my soul I want to know that Ann believes I have what it takes whether I fail or freeze. I want her to see deeper into me with a vision for the good that exists within regardless of whether I acted in a way that earns respect in that moment.
Recall though that the primary sin for women is controlling. Guess how men interpret this? Men interpret control as disrespect or a lack of belief in him. In other words he feels contempt from her.
In the dating phase men can actually like this in some instances. I liked Ann stepping up and doing lots and lots which meant less was required of me. She made life easier for me. I didn't know it was also easier for her too. I couldn't have put words to it then, but right from the getgo we had our control/avoidance dance chacha-ing along.
At the core of a woman’s soul she desires love. Unconditional love.
A woman wants to know that a man believes in the beauty of her heart even when she shows the unlovely side of her soul or takes charge in a hard manner. Ann wants to know that I can stay present with her when she isn't at her best. Let's say she is on a gripe fest. In my cartoon imagination she is a whirring, spinning tasmanian devil. Even then she wants to know that I'll stay present with her, and not avoid her. Even if her whirring spinning self scratches and cuts me she wants to know that I'll stay close and not disappear.
This is important because the primary sin for men is not moving (or avoiding) which women interpret as being unloved or unlovable. In other words she feels the man is hostile towards her when he 'disappears'.
Be sure and catch this.
When a man reacts out of a sinful avoidance the answer she receives to her question of 'do you think I'm beautiful' is an emphatic NO. When a woman reacts out of sinful control the answer he receives to his question of 'do I have what it takes' is an equally emphatic NO.
The world is rigged to expose our sin. Whether we have the courage to look deeper into it is our choice.