Do I appreciate that he’s male?

11 Jul

While listening to my girl friend talk today about a situation in her marriage, I quickly related to her even though our topics for common ground were completely different.  And this wasn’t the first time, or the first friend that this truth has been made known to me.

A common theme I hear (and say) over and over again in marriage is this “he doesn’t communicate with me the way I want him to” and that turns into “when I try to talk to him about it he gets angry or says something like “well I’m sorry I can never do ANYTHING right.”

Come on married couples… have you been there?  I’ve seen this start over a list a mile long of different issues.

The reality is, there are about 100 other common marriage problems that all stem to one simple truth I’m learning myself.

God created man perfectly in His image, equipped to be stronger in certain characteristics of Himself; such as Leader, Provider, Protector, Warrior. God also created female in His image equipped to be stronger in certain characteristics of Himself; such as Compassionate, Affectionate, Nurturer.

Both male and female are both fully created in God’s image but designed to reflect different qualities and characteristics of Himself in greater detail.  And together, they complement each other to portray a complete and accurate image of who God is fully.

Why is that important?

What happens when we (women) say things like “he just doesn’t communicate with me like I want Him to” shows a reflection an expectation that in some form or fashion our desire is not really to be united in marriage to complement each other but to have someone like ourselves.

It leads me to ask myself sometimes if I actually wish Josh was more, dare I say, female?  It puts a spin on homosexuality that helps portray “why” or “how” two people of the same sex would/could be attracted to each other.

Make sure you understand what I’m saying here.  I am in NO WAY saying I wish I’d have married a woman.  I am desperately and passionately in love with everything masculine about my husband.  I adore his leadership, his protective heart, his desire to provide and his brave and warrior like spirit.  I love his macho look, his masculine build & muscles, and his deep voice. I need all his strengths and qualities to feel whole and safe.

Yet, at the same time that every word I just typed is true, I can also find myself desiring of Him to be like me.  I can get on the phone with a girl friend and have no reason at all to have called her but talk for 3 hours.  At any given time with my husband, we can talk about 15 minutes before he’s ready to check out of the conversation and I can go on about another 45 minutes before I’m exhausted of having a one -sided conversation.

I have a want list a mile long of things I wish my husband was better at, able to think of, or desired to do. But clearly, I’d be lying if I thought for a minute that he couldn’t create that same list for me.

For example, I wish he was more romantic and better able to think up and bring home surprises for me.

Yet I found myself saying this morning “I know he’d think it was awesome, but I’m never going to wake up one day and say ‘Hey what time do the Tigers play? We should listen to them on the radio.’ ” OK, I could go to a game with him because I find that fun… but I detest listening to sports on the radio.  It’s like static to me ears.  I could do it once, but even if I did, I’m never going to change or want to listen to sports on the radio even if I agree to do it with or for him.

Don’t get me wrong when I say, husbands and wives should work on and desire to meet each others deepest needs.  This post is not an excuse to be selfish and trample all over your spouses heart.  There is a big difference between being different and being unloving.

Practical Application

I just think it’s a good idea for us to evaluate what is tearing us apart.  When we’re in the middle of being upset or disappointed, it’s probably a really good tactic for us to sit down, alone, without any distractions and just ask ourselves “Am I upset because he/she purposely hurt me or let me down… or am I upset because they aren’t created with the same strengths and desires that I am and I really wish they’d change to be like me instead of using their gifts and strengths to complement me.

Maybe a lot of marriages will change if we start praising and finding value in our differences and abilities to complement each other instead of complaining, crying and fighting over how different we are.

This is going to be hard for me.


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