A LIFETIME LOVE
Session 3 - Understanding the Created Difference
Bible References: I Peter 3:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-33; and Song of Solomon
Session Three focuses on the nature of male and female:
Men and Boys
They are marked by the drive to be respected. For a man to do well, he has to be able to hold his head up, look at himself, and feel like he is succeeding (or at least courageously battling) in the things that matter. And in order to feel loved, he has to have a sense that the love comes with some admiration, and even a bit of honor. A woman who understands this tends to love her husband with attitudes that are reflected through simple words like “Thank you.” or “Did I ever tell you?” etc. That his wife honestly respects his life is the greatest gift that she will ever give him. The wife who fails to love her husband in wise ways tends to be far too silent about the appreciation and admiration she holds. But, even more likely, she tends to be far too critical and demeaning in her attitudes and language.
A man will never feel loved if he does not feel respected; it is the oxygen he breathes! Is a man always respectable in all areas of his life? Of course not, and no one can pretend to admire that which is in reality a weakness. But a wife who loves her husband can always find parts of his life that can be respected, and even her belief in him will be a key part of his becoming what he would like to be. People tend to live up or down to what we think of them. (It does need to be noted that giving a husband respect is not the same as cowering under every wish or want he might have. Real respect will sometimes come in the form of confrontation.)
Women and Girls
They are marked by the need to be valued and important to someone. Women tend to value close relationships and close friendships even more than the male gender does. A woman who feels deeply loved by her husband does so because she believes she really matters to him! She does not feel like she has to compete for his attention or affection. She believes that while he has many things that pull and tug at his life, he loves her with all his heart. His attitudes are communicated with simple phrases like “Thank you.” or “Have I told you today?” etc. To love her well, he is considerate, he is polite, he is kind, he is gentle, he has time for her, etc. A husband who fails, tends to do so because he takes her for granted. He tends to crush her heart with absence or with harshness.
It is an old phrase, but if a wife does not feel precious to her husband, she will struggle with feeling loved. Is a woman always easy to love? Of course not. She, too, has flaws, and those flaws cannot be “valued.” But, as stated in the previous paragraph on men and boys, there are still parts of her life her husband can greatly treasure. And his valuing her will be a key part in helping her become what she would like to be.