Individuals are individuals. We each have our own temperaments, experiences, and backgrounds. That said, there are certain things that are hardwired based on whether or not we have an XX or an XY chromosome. There has been a huge disruption out in the world the last five years about these truths, but I want to just talk about us (believers).
A frequent source of tension in marriage can arise from these differences.
An impatient man is annoyed that he has to get up again to check that noise downstairs. It’s probably just a branch falling. Why’s she so fearful?
A hurt wife is sad because her insensitive husband didn’t get it when she said, “I’ve been too busy with the kids’ homework to fix dinner,” that he was supposed to say, “Let’s get takeout,” not, “Cereal’s fine.”
These two scenarios are normal and maybe even familiar, but they, if never discussed, will turn into a cycle that can run marriages into the ground. I want to dissect what is happening so we can be sure we aren’t doing unto our kids what the world is doing – at least in this small arena!
Men are born with different sensitivities than women.* Therefore, we tend to be less afraid of spiders, mice and noises in the night, but can’t tell when things aren’t “okay” with our teenage daughter until the shouting or crying starts. Women read social cues much better. I believe this is because God designed them to be moms who need to be able to understand nonverbal cues, and He designed men to be the protectors who are unafraid of predators and enemies. Now in a marriage, when we each try to get the other to be more like us, we just cause frustration. I will never have the social senses my wife has, and she will never rehearse the rhyme “red touch yellow, kill a fellow.” She’ll just want me to kill it. So we each need to stop trying to change the other. I need to let her be my social guide, thanking God for this help mate. She needs to let me be her protector, as decrepit as I may be. 🙂
The marriage issues, however, simply illustrate a larger concern. Boys playing dress-up and girls being tomboys have always been around. Yet this concept of making it permanent, while not new, has exploded, first with effete men thinking they are women, and most recently with teen girls thinking all of their troubles would go away if they became men.
My prayer is that we would raise our kids to be strong, confident believers, who are also strong and confident in who God made them to be. I would hope we wouldn’t expect our little boys to read our moods but to obey (listen to and act on) our words. I would also hope that we wouldn’t tell our little girls that men have it easier. Go ahead and teach them how to maintain their cars and do basic home repairs; I’m not counseling a return to the “Little House on the Prairie.” I just want to send up a red flag and say we are entering really dangerous waters. As you are the primary spiritual influencer of your children, make sure they not only know who they are but WHAT they are!
Hang in there and pray like your grandchildren’s lives depend on it!
*Yes, this is a generalization. Yes, there are VERY sensitive men, typically with the spiritual gift of mercy.