Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

16 March 2009

Women may not be from Venus but...

... they do think differently than men.

Krissy and I have been reading Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn's duo books called "For Men Only: A straightforward guide to the Inner Lives of Women" and "For Women Only: What you need to know about the inner lives of men". They are a couple of excellent, short, to-the-point, and very convicting little books.

Last night, Krissy and I were having a "discussion" about connectedness in marriage. And during our "discussions" as the words were coming out of my mouth, I was realizing (in real-time) that after a decade of marriage and 13 years of spending most of our minutes together, I still fall into the most basic of traps.

Communicating love how I need it...
not how she needs it.

It's caused me to stop and evaluate my methodology (or lack of it). I've always known that my wife needs to hear the words "I Love You" a lot. I've never understood it. And she doesn't understand that. When we have busy weeks in life (which happens more and more often... with nothing but an escalation in sight) and we don't have much time to talk, share our days, talk about feelings... my wife loses that connection. To guys, it doesn't always work that way.

One of the things this book talks about is that for guys, when a decision is made... it's made. We said YES at the altar and we meant it. Still do. Piratically, there seems to be little logic in going over old ground. It might sound cold (or so I've been told) but to the majority of guys... respect, being desired and sex... are major the connectivity needs. When a guy knows his wife is behind him and their sex life is strong... he feels empowered to take on the world FOR his wife.

Women around the world: " FOR HER? Um Dave... How does being out 4 nights a week away from the kids, coming home tired and wanting to have sex translate into something healthy? What the what?"

This is where we have to be humble enough to trust each other and communicate love in the way that our spouse needs it. And it's a big risk that we often don't make... because we want control. What if they don't reciprocate? Then I'm the "loser" It sounds childish... but how often do we think this deep down? Even more... how often do our actions reflect this mindset?

To me... I'm conquering the world and bringing my kill home to show my wife I love her, so she can be proud of me. Wives need to understand this and make sure to honor this. BUT guys, the reality is that rubbing her feet and deciding together if your son should play with Donny down the street or not together... is what she needs from you. And it's both of our responsibilities in marriage to make sure you that we're connected. Going to sleep without it... sucks.

Far too often we're legitimately TRYING to show love and failing... because we're not speaking your spouse's language. In Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, and 1 Peter 3... the idea of mutual submission to each other is reinforced again and again. Valuing your spouse and their needs more than your own... is the only way it works. It's not just Dr Phil psychology jibber jabber. It's scriptural. And it's tough. It takes being intentional and constant evaluation to make sure it's happening.

When you get that "Why aren't we connected?" feeling, it's vital to stop and work it through. Nip it in the bud and right the ship. Little incidental habits are much easier to tweak... than extended period of "Funk".


debbie said...

Speaking your mate's love language is key in the marriage covenant.
I enjoyed her book as well, and each day we're (couples) learning more and more about each other....for a lifetime.

Dave Carrol said...

It's quite true isn't it. I think the tough thing is changing what needs to be changed. Because more often than not, it means us changing to care less about ourselves.

It can feel like going the opposite direction sometimes because you're afraid that YOUR needs won't be met, but that's where trust is created I think

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