By Dr. Sharon Schuetz
Many people don't want to hear about gender differences in our politically correct culture, especially where it concerns marital roles. However, God developed the concept of the family for a reason. He expects us to shine in the darkness around us.
The husband and wife are two nouns describing two uniquely different individuals. Each one has unique characteristics, needs, reactions, and patterns of coping with his or her environment. Although both are different, they represent two elements that complete one entity or whole.
Men are often the logical thinking part of the family. As a rule, he must figure things out and develop plans to achieve his goals. He needs to know that his wife understands his needs and knows the plan and how to work it.
The woman is often the emotional thinker. She must believe that she can reach her goals while maintaining the peace and security all women need. She needs to know that her husband understands her feelings and that she can express them as needed.
Having to change his plans due to outside circumstance doesn’t suggest that it was a bad plan. Nor does a wife’s emotional response to the changes indicate she opposes her husband. She is simply expressing emotionally. This will often be her first reaction.
A man’s reasoning process is much like driving a car. You can't just lock the steering wheel in the direction you want to go and expect to get there. You must continue making minor adjustments until you arrive at your destination. The goal is the destination; it is not just a straight line. He often becomes angry when he thinks he might not get where he wants to go.
Women tend to express their ideas with emotional energy. These emotions are inside and must come out one way or another. If they can’t talk with their husband, they will often find a trusted friend with whom they can share these feelings, causing the marriage to suffer. The more the pressures build without a release valve, the bigger the explosion.
A man responds to what he thinks is happening, while his wife reacts to what she feels is happening. There is a difference. They can both get control of their reactions by recognizing one another's strengths and by allowing these strengths to blend as they learn to draw from one another.
Understanding our mate brings a couple closer, and it makes it easier to cope with life’s unexpected interruptions. Your family can conform to its surroundings and become what the world wants it to be, or you can choose to create your own environment and fulfill God’s design for your family.
The family is like a cake. The husband adds the staples, flour, eggs, and oil, and the wife adds the sugar, spice, and flavoring. As the heat comes and goes, it results in something tasty and delightful that everyone can enjoy.