You know, many times people get into marriage expecting that it will be a blissful, happy union. Then they encounter a lot of inconveniences and contradictions. And sometimes people are not able to work out these differences together, and the unexpected happens. Divorce happens and there’s a pain for the couple, for the children, and for everybody. But the scripture says we must approach marriage with knowledge, and that’s the knowledge that is required for men and women to understand each other. So we’re going to explore further the differences between men and women. Wait for a second, let me ask you; have you read the previous article where we learned the three basic fundamentals of marriage yet? If the answer is No! please do read so you can get the basic understanding from it, to enhance your understanding of the continuation in this article.
And now today’s subject. For the lack of knowledge, God says His people perish. Paul said that the Jews worship God with zeal, yet without knowledge, it’s possible to have a lot of zeal and have very little knowledge. It’s possible to be in love and not understand what love is all about. It’s possible to meet a person and say you love the person and not understand the person. Marriage is a very serious business. Do you know that? It’s very serious. If a person wants to drive a car, they have to go and learn about traffic lights, traffic signals. They have to learn the mechanisms of driving a car, go to sit for an exam. And it’s only when they pass that you give them a driving license and even that you renew it very often.
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For almost everything we do in our lives, we learn, we acquire some knowledge in order to do them. But when it comes to marriage, it seems as if nobody wants to learn. And even in the church, we have a fine program called Marriage Counseling, but a lot of people see it as an interference in their agenda because they assume they know everything. However, the rate at which marriages are collapsing indicates that although people are mature when they marry, they don’t get into marriage with the knowledge that will sustain the marriage. Just because you are age and physically mature, and know how it is to be with a man or with a woman, and just because you can produce a child does not mean that you understand how to run marriage.
That’s why it’s important to have information and knowledge you can live by in order to sustain your marriage. When your marriage goes wrong, another aspect of your life suffers, and so you have to get it right. It’s also important to know that it’s God who put the first man and woman together, and he didn’t put them together to punish them. He put them together because two are better than one. But sometimes in marriage, you realize that although theoretically, we know two are better than one in marriage, two become worst than one, because the two sometimes don’t act to support one another, they tend to destroy one another.
And if you’re going to get married, you have to get some major structural changes in your thinking. If you don’t have those changes, your marriage will go through suffering. So let’s go back to Genesis, where everything began. Genesis Chapter two versus eighteen to twenty-five [2:18-25].
Don’t assume that just because you are married you know everything about marriage. And if you are not married, marriage is not just about sex. It’s not just sex education you need in other to get married, you need life education. You need to know how to live with another human being who is of a different gender. And for your information, marriage is between a man and a woman, not between a woman and a woman and a man and a man. Read Genesis chapter 2:18 to 25. Reading the passage, we see God’s purpose for man and woman.
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The three words we talked about previously, on the basic fundamentals of marriage and the first reason why God saw the need for marriage was for man to be able to share. The second reason was support. The third reason was honor.
Because marriage is about sharing, you have to learn to share. Secondly, marriage is about support, encouraging one another. Thirdly, marriage is about honor, respect for one another. These are the three very important ingredients that make every marriage work. And you will notice in that passage that says “and they were both naked and they were not ashamed”. The man and the woman. So marriage is about openness also, so we share with support. We honor with openness. You must be open. You must be ready to communicate. You must be ready to open your heart. You must be ready to share.
However, if you are trained to be hard and tough and think that your strength as a man is physical, you’re going to have a lot of difficulty relating to your wife and to your children when you are a man in marriage. We realized in the last article that, the man and the woman were both made by God without each other’s observation. When Adam was being made, Eve was not there. When Eve was being made, Adam was asleep. So both of them did not see the process of making the other person. And yet they were brought together.
And that’s what marriage is all about. Somebody who has been formed differently. Somebody who has been shaped differently, somebody who has grown up differently. Somebody who thinks differently comes your way. And you’re supposed to live the rest of your life with that person you try to understand. And for the most part, it is so difficult to understand the person. The number one problem in all marriages is misunderstanding. For me to understand you or for you to understand me, there must be humility. I must be ready to go down. I must be ready to submit what I have, what I know, what I understand, what I have learned, my education, my background. In order to understand, it takes humility. Misunderstanding is when people fail to humble themselves to learn from each other.
The first point of misunderstanding is gender misunderstanding. Men are men, women are women. That’s the first point of misunderstanding. A man is not a woman, and a woman is not a man. But both men and women grow up playing with the same kind. A man, when he’s growing up, grows up playing with boys, isn’t it? The woman also plays with the girls. They have their fun with the girls and they like their kind. But they don’t marry their kind.
The girls will get married to the boys and the boys are gonna marry the girls. So you find out that although you probably might have attended school together, you were raised differently. So there is a problem with how both of you approach life. The way a woman solves a problem is different from the way a man solves problems. In the previous article, I stated that women solve problems by talking about the problem. Men solve problem basically by thinking through the problem. When a woman has a problem, she becomes talkative. When a man has a problem, he becomes very quiet. When a woman has a problem, she is looking for somebody to tell her problem too. When a man has a problem, he cuts himself from everybody.
Two different people. Now, if you don’t understand this basic thing, you may in your relationship with your spouse, read meanings into things that do not exist. What is a man looking for in marriage? And what is a woman looking for in marriage? Both are looking for love. Is that true on the man looking for love and the women who are looking for love? How does a man interpret love? What must a woman do for a man to say she loves me? Respect the number one need of most men. Generally speaking, the number one need of men is to be respected. The number one need of a woman is to be understood. How does a man interpret respect? It’s all based on culture.
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So for some men, they will say a woman respects me because she washes my things. She respects me because she cooks for me. She respects me because when I talk she doesn’t talk. So that is respect. And much as it is the way a man interprets respect, remember, it is based on the culture you have come out of. The thing about culture is that culture changes. It is dynamic. So what was respect in your father’s days may not necessarily be respect now, because in your father’s days, probably your grandfather’s days, the women didn’t go to school. They stayed at home. The man went to school and they went to work and they stayed in the office and worked hard and money brought it home. The woman was sitting at home. She cooked and took care of the home. And so, as a sign of respect for the hard work of the man in the office or wherever he went to, the woman must make sure that when he has come from wherever he went hunting for food and looking for money for the family, there is food waiting for him at home.
However, in today’s era, it is not only the men who hunt, but the women also hunt, so while the man is at work, the woman is also at work. And both of them close at the same time and struggle for transport at the same time and stay in traffic at the same time and get back home almost at the same time. And sometimes even the woman will work extra hours. So if you interpret respect by the availability of a hot meal after a hard day job, then you are gonna have a serious problem with understanding respect. So that is going to create misunderstanding. And here, the man is going to demand and say, “I want my food”. Some men will even say “I don’t want anybody to cook my food. You must cook!” But that demand has no understanding. Remember, the man is looking for respect. The woman is looking for understanding. “Understand me, sweetheart, I work hard. How can I understand? You don’t respect me”.
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“But you also have to understand. You know things are different”. “How can I understand?” So one is coming from respect, The other is coming from understanding and the two are clashing. Misunderstanding is taking place and this little basis of misunderstanding can lead to divorce. Most divorces are based on little things like that. What the woman considers important are little things. What the man considers important is very big things, little things matter to women.
You know, my friend, If you are married, I believe that you are learning a lot from this. If you’re not married, you are learning better because you’re going to apply these principles and this knowledge to your life. If you worked out once and I didn’t work out well, this knowledge can help you to prepare for a better future. I believe God wants you to live a life that is good. And that is enjoyable for you and the glory to his name. So this article is for you. Your marriage must work. You must become the first to part-take in the joy of a really happy marriage.