Have you noticed how different women and men are? No, really, we are different in so many ways. We are physically and mentally different, yet spiritually the same. Don't believe it? Think about some of these typical things:
1. When a man shops, it is usually a "a go in get the item(s) and get back out" moment (unless it is Cabellas or Bass Pro, then all bets are off). For a woman it might mean spending an hour looking at every item and then the intended sale still might not occur.
2. A woman likes to hear her man say, "I love you honey." A man may think, "Why should I have to say 'I love you' when I know that I still do?"
3. House cleaning is a major battleground between man and woman. Typically, the man will walk right by something that needs cleaned, folded, or emptied and a woman will see the dirty, the strewn, and the full.
4. Typically, women are more verbal than men and can often remember details of events that happened years ago (while the man is trying to remember what he did yesterday).
5. Men and women are created in the image of God and both suffer from the curse of temptation and sin.
I wonder what God was thinking when he brought together man and woman as husband and wife to procreate and flourish on this earth. Didn't God realize the multitude of differences? Didn't God consider the chaos that would ensue between Adam and Eve regarding the dirty dishes, five loads of clothes needing washed, and the garbage can overflowing? Oh yeah, that's right, God created them so He did know the differences and still brought them together. On the surface it would seem God's plan for humanity would be a giant failure considering the vast polar opposites women and men can be.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created
them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue
it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the
ground.” (Genesis 1:27-28, NIV)
Oft times, when counseling young couples considering marriage I will hear them say, "This woman is the perfect match for me." or "I finally found the perfect man." Suppressing a blatant loud laugh, I begin to unravel their lofty expectations of this future spouse. We talk about the differences and idiosyncrasies in each one. We talk about the image of God within and how it is affected by sin. We talk about change, pride, humility, grace, and the number one important thing in marriage..... forgiveness.
In our experience as married people, Tracie and I have failed each other a thousand times a year and have learned to forgive each other 1001 times. We are not a perfect match for one another. Perfect matches only exist in a Disney movie. We are two imperfect people who understand our failures and idiosyncrasies and offer grace to each other. Now married for 31 years, we are still becoming more compatible each day and that being possible because we allow God to continue refining and sanctifying us with His grace.
If you are in a relationship that troubles you, think about your role. Are you a picture of grace and understanding? Do you hang onto past failures in your opposite? Or, is forgiveness the main ingredient in relationship repair within your circle?
Well, I need to go clean a bathroom or two.....