God Created Differences between Men and Women
Katharine and I could not be more different. I am a New York Jew and she is a California Gentile. I am Woodstock generation, and she is Nordstrom generation. I come from a New York wisecracking, sarcastic, somewhat negative family. Katharine’s family has always been focused on presenting a positive image. Believe me, we brought deep cultural differences into our marriage that needed major navigational help from above! We are not always on the same page. For our marriage to thrive and survive, we had to learn to believe for the best in each other.
One difference in particular trumped the others and explained the source of many of our disagreements and misunderstandings.
Drum roll… brace yourself… it’s that…
I am a man, and Katharine is a woman.
A big factor in staying in love relates to a basic understanding that men and women are not the same. Gender differences are a basic source of communication problems. You and your spouse are really different from each other. You probably figured that out by now, haven’t you? We spend enormous amounts of energy trying to make the other over in our image. That’s not the way God designed us to be, and our attempts are doomed to fail.
If husband and wife were identical in every respect, marriage would be dreadfully dull. I often counsel couples and say, “Forget it. You are not going to make him think and act like a woman, and you are not going to make her think and act like a man.”
Women are often surprised because they want their husband to act in a way that supports them like one of their girlfriends. Your husband can never be and never will be “one of the girls”. God designed you differently on purpose. Wives need their husbands’ strengths, which are different from hers.
Men are often surprised that their wives don’t like to be treated as one of the guys. Your wife needs gentleness, kindness, and patience. You need your wife’s emotional intelligence and ability to sense danger to avoid pitfalls, false friends, and traps.
Genesis describes Eve’s creation with the Hebrew word vayiven, which comes from the root word binah, meaning “insight”. The Talmud explains that this word was used to show that women were created with an extra dose of wisdom and intuition. It suggests that women have a unique, God-given ability to understand a situation in great detail “from the inside out”. This sort of intellect lends itself to a higher internal emotional intelligence. She is created with equal power but different emphases.
Men, in contrast, are described with the word da’at. Da’at implies wisdom and understanding “from the outside in”. Men have the ability to see the big picture, with the sort of intellect often associated more with facts, figures, and logic. The husband’s strength is external.
When these differences blend to strengthen one another – when a man and woman pool their unique giftings and understanding – they become the unabridged version of who God created them to be. We cannot and should not ask each other to be more like our gender.
Marriages thrive when we practice greater acceptance of our differences and fewer attempts to remake the other in our image.
Let’s both be remade into the image of Messiah!