I can remember when “the honeymoon ended” and we had our first marital misunderstanding. We were both full time students and lived in a little basement apartment about a block from campus. This was the type of apartment that only a newlywed couple could love – particularly the bathroom where sitting on the toilet meant you were half in the shower and the other half under the sink. We didn’t really notice, because we were in love and so happy to be together.
On this particular day, however, I recall walking up the steps and down the sidewalk with my feelings very hurt. I remember that I was wearing my favorite chambray skirt, but I cannot remember what our misunderstanding entailed. I only know that I could not believe that he had been so unfeeling. Looking back, I would almost guess that he hadn’t even known I was upset. We weren’t very good at understanding the opposite sex. We have gotten better but I think that it takes quite awhile… like an entire lifetime of trying… to think that we understand. Perhaps the more we try, the more we know that we don’t understand…
It was about this same time that I was taking my nursing classes and we studied organizational behavior. We all took the Meyers-Briggs personality tests, and this was quite an eye-opener for me. How interesting that other people saw/approached the world in such odd ways, unlike my own! I thought that it was a great exercise in respecting the differences that we have between people. Mark also took the test, and we turned out to be similar in ways that we still appreciate about one another.
We had been married over ten years – probably closer to 15 years… when Mark’s friend told him to read Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. We both read it and wow! What a game changer! At the time I had no idea that men and women functioned on such different levels and I would have probably not have believed it, if Mark had not read it, confirmed it, and been surprised at the true statements about women which I was able to confirm. Bless that author, our lives have been blessed by his book.
The really great thing about the differences between men and women is that we complement one another. (Complement with an “e” – thought compliments are awesome as well.) The strengths/weaknesses of the male are offset and balanced by those of the female. David A. Bednar says, “The nature of male and female spirits complete and perfect each other.”
|I just add this because I am typing this while we are
out of town together – house hunting in Dallas.
….And this is how we pack.
Anyone who believes that the Bible is the word of God will know that God created Adam and Eve. Two individuals, male and female. He intends for them to be different, and those differences bring the balance to create a “whole” and to be “as one” – thus providing a foundation on which to build a family. Back to David A Bednar, “Just as the unique characteristics of both males and females contribute to the completeness of of a marriage relationship, so those same characteristics are vital to the rearing, nurturing, and teaching of children.”
Though not everyone is able to live this ideal, who can argue but that this is the ideal? I can see in our home that life is always more fun and lively when Dad is around. I am definitely the one to provide the nurturing. We communicate with the children on different levels – they come to us with different needs. Together we provide that balance which provides a sense of security and love.
I have three sons and three daughters. Anyone who wonders if boys and girls are different should talk to a parent who has raised them all. Each one is an individual – but there are distinct gender differences which appear at a very young age. I love these differences – and I celebrate them as part of our Father in Heaven’s plan for his children.
I am glad that I am a woman – and I am really glad that I get to share my life with a man. My life, indeed, is more complete because he brings traits to my life that I need, and I am able to share myself with him. Together we grow and become strong as we become one.