Both men and women are different, and those differences will never change. Before marriage, opposites attract; after marriage, opposites irritate. The differences between the sexes remain when differences are misunderstood or unappreciated.
Here are four differences every married man and woman must learn to accept.
The woman’s right-brain caring vs. the man’s left-brain logic
In 1981, Dr. Roger Sperry won the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for his breakthrough study on how the brain functions in male and female babies. Dr. Sperry discovered that between the 16th and 26th week of gestation, boy babies have a chemical reaction in their brains that girl babies do not have. Two chemicals are released that slow down the development of the right side of the brain, which is the caring side.
This right-brain and left-brain feature affects every phase of your married life. You may truthfully tell your wife that you are not rejecting her and are not being insensitive-that’s who your brain works. This right-brain and left-brain feature affects the memory of men and women. This right-brain and left-brain feature is manifested immediately when a man and woman get married. Ask a man about his honeymoon, and he will be able to remember he took one. Ask his wife, and she remembers what she was wearing on her wedding day, what she and her new husband wore every day of the honeymoon, the name of every restaurant they ate in during the honeymoon, now much they tipped the doorman when they left-and every other detail of the entire time! Why? Because a woman’s memory is far more detailed in the right-brain caring area.
All husbands know that sinking feeling that comes when your wife ask you, “Do you remember when?” Then she describes the events in vivid detail and you can’ remember it ever happened. Why? Because the caring side of her brain is far more advanced than that of a man. Ladies need to realize that there is a physical reason why men cannot remember. It isn’t just that your husband doesn’t care, his brain works differently than yours does. This is a scientific fact.
The right-brain and left-brain feature affects the way we respond to crisis. For example, when John Kennedy was shot, Walter Cronkite came on CBS saying that the president of the United States had been shot in Dallas, the world stopped. The American people dearly loved John and Jackie Kennedy. How did men react to the crisis? “Who’s in charge of the country right now?” “What if Russian attacks right now?” “How many missiles do we have to respond to a crisis?” “How many soldiers do we have under arms?” This is left-brain logic.
How did women react to the crisis? “Poor Jackie!” “Poor Caroline!” “Poor John!” It was an entirely different way of seeing the same crisis. There were two completely different reactions, neither wrong, but each dramatically different from the other. You must adjust to that reality, or your marriage will never have harmony.
If you apply this right-brain/left-brain feature to your marriage problem and try to solve marriage problems through pure logic-the man’s forte-or pure emotion-the woman’s disposition-you will experience perpetual disaster. Neither logic from the man nor emotion from the woman is the basis for settling marriage disputes. The only basis for settling any marriage dispute is the greatest marriage counseling text on Planet Earth, the Word of God. Men aren’t right! Ladies aren’t right! But God’s Word is always right. It says, “Dwell with them according to knowledge” (1Pet 3:7). There is a dramatic and permanent difference between a man and a woman.
Enjoying the process vs. accepting the goal
Women enjoy the process of reaching a goal. Men want to get to the goal as soon as possible-forget the process. Women will follow a twisting sidewalk to get to the front door of any office building. When a man gets out of his car, he will go through the hedges and through the rose garden straight to the door, because his objective is to reach the goal quickly.
Most wives love to shop. The love the process of looking. They take a dress off the rack and say, "Look at this." They will take it to the mirror and look at it in the mirror, then bring it back and drape it over the rack. Then they start the process all over. In thirty minutes they have half a dozen dresses draped over the rack, and they are still looking at all of them in total rapture. How does anyone who works in a woman’s closing store keep from going insane?
When I get ready to buy a suit, I go to the store and tell the clark what color of suit I am looking for. Within fifteen minutes after walking in the door, I am walking out of the door with my new suit. The shopping experience is over. The goal has been reached-upward and onward to the next adventure.
Spiritual authority vs. feminine manipulation
Eph 5:23 states, “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church.” Husband, it is your God-given assignment to be the prophet, priest, protector, provider, and promise keeper for your home. Only a Spirit-filled woman can submit to her husband’s lead. It is the natural desire of a woman to lead through feminine manipulation of the man. The battle of the sexes began in Gen 3:16, when God said to the woman, “Your craving shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.”
Why did Paul say, “I do not permit a woman to...have authority over a man?” (1Tim 2:12). It was because it is the natural thing for a woman to try to do. She is, by instinct, a manipulator of the situation. Fallen women will try top dominate the marriage. The man has the God-given role to be the loving leader of the home.
Eph 5:23 says, “For the husband is head of the wife.” If you accept that difference, whether you are a husband or a wife, your marriage will be as the days of heaven on earth. If you resent and resist that difference, your marriage is going to be miserable from day one. That's God's plan, and it will endure. God is not in heaven saying, “Let’s make a deal!” He is in heaven saying, “This is the deal!”
Sex is God’s idea
The Bible is very specific about what God expects for men to be to a woman. Paul said to men, “Let each man have his own wife” (1Cor 7:2). Sex outside of marriage is absolutely forbidden. There are no excuses. God has zero tolerance for sex outside of marriage. Safe sex is sex with a marriage license. Also 1Cor 6:9-10 says, “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not homosexuals, nor sodomites...will inherit the kingdom of God. God demands loyalty in the marriage covenant.
In 1Cor 7:3, Paul gives a command to men, “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her.” It refers to sex, “conjugal duty.” God not only expects the man to be loyal, but He also expects him to be a lover. Sex is not just for procreation; sex is the symphony of the soul for married couples. Sex is joyous. It’s a time of giving and sharing. It is tender and holy and should be as natural as drinking a glass of water. The Bible says, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled” (Heb 13:4).
In Gen 2:18, God said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” God created Eve and brought her on His arm down the grassy slopes of the Garden of Eden. She was a perfect ten. She was absolutely naked and totally stunning. Adam started singing the well-known song, “I just feel like something good is about to happen.” Jesus said, “The two shall become one flesh” (Mt 19:5). “One flesh” means sexual union. Prov 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” And in the life of a man, his wife is the best thing that ever happened to him.