I’ve wanted to write a piece about men and woman for some time. I’ve sifted through the data for a while, but it’s complicated….as you can image. Yet, at the same time, it’s strikingly simple. I loathe the title of that old book, “Women are from Mars and Men are from Venus” because that implies we are from different planets and not designed to connect, when actually it’s just the opposite. In the original design, we were created as PERFECT complements for one another and we were designed out of love for deep, lasting connection and intimacy–not only with each other, but with God Himself.
Yet, something happening when sin entered the world: that perfect love and connection was perverted and replaced with things like blame, shame, guilt, power struggles, enmity (which is just a big word for “an active opposition or hostility”), and a total disconnect in terms of desire and love.
At the Fall, part of Man’s consequence is that his desire would now be for his work and that work would never fulfill him. For Woman, her pain in childbearing and child rearing would be magnified and she would long for her husband, yet he would long for his work. Bummer. That TOTALLY sucks. Instant disconnect.
As a woman, do you wonder why there’s always this undying need to be seen, received, and loved by a man? Maybe you have a very full life of work, friends, travel and you still long for a man and don’t know why? As a man, do you wonder why you work your TAIL off and no matter how much you attain or how productive you are, there’s just something missing? Or maybe you’ve struggled to find your place in the working world and it consumes you and you feel belittled by it, especially when it appears others have found their way? The Scriptures actually address these things.
I can’t tell you how many times Mark and I have discussed how I feel like he loves his damn computer more than me and if he spent as much time looking at me as he did his computer maybe I wouldn’t feel so lonely and disconnected…actually, scratch that–PLEASE don’t look at me that long…you may start to see wrinkles and cellulite that you don’t otherwise. But still! You get the idea…from Mark’s perspective, he couldn’t love me more, but when he’s on autopilot work is his default. When I’m on autopilot the stresses of motherhood and my home and longing for my husband’s love and affection are my default. These are the things we’ll tackle.
What is at the heart of the love-hate magnetism between men and women?
I’ve been working on this topic for some time and I’m going to attempt to unwind it all…at least to a point where we can all have a smidgen of peace and give the opposite sex in our lives the benefit of the doubt, even when they’re a total butt hole. I could write a book on this topic, so I’ll have to do it in a series. I’ll call it: Men and Women Actually Are From the Same Planet.
Men and Women Actually Are From the Same Planet
We’ll start with the Original Design: LOVE. Not earthly lust or chemistry (See my post on REAL LOVE vs. FALSE LOVE)…but Heavenly love as experienced in our whole being and played out in our behaviors and speech. Love expressed as slow to anger, not arrogant, jealous, or rude, selfless, rejoices in the truth, hoping all things, championing one another, building each other up, true intimacy and beauty that does not take into account a wrong suffered. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NASB)
Fairy Tale Played out in Art
Can you think of any movies or art where a man sees a woman & he’s so captivated by her, he’ll stop at nothing to have her? He’s not distracted by work or gadgets or golf and he loves her just the way she is, faults and all? Men, do you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle and set up to fail before you even start? Where does this story line come from and why does it seem to permeate our existence?
This fairy tale idea is representing this original truth: women were designed by God as a gift of love, beauty, & intimacy to a man and a man is designed to receive and enjoy that gift. Eve was created to be a beautiful bride and helper to her man and Adam was designed to be the bridegroom and to cherish his woman. We’ll unpack this beautiful scene in more detail, but at the Fall and the entrance of sin, this simple relationship of beauty and love was perverted.
At the Fall, a divide in the hearts of Adam and Eve came into existence that only God could fill. Now, God had to become the Bridegroom of both Adam and Eve. There had to be a redeeming of the hearts and minds of man AND woman. That hole man would always feel with his work now had to be satisfied by God alone. That hole woman would always feel with childbearing and needing love and affection had to be satisfied by God alone.
The best illustration of this point is in Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s daily devotion, The Book of Mysteries:
“Existence,” he said, “is a love story . . . or was meant to be a love story. The bride is a picture of what we each were created to be. We were each created to be the bride. That’s why we can never be complete in ourselves. That’s why, deep down, in the center of our being, in the deepest part of our heart, we seek to be filled. For the bride is made to be married. So we can never find our completion until we are joined to Him who is beyond us. And that is why we go through our lives trying to join ourselves . . . ”
“Join ourselves to what?”
“To that which we think will fill the longing of our hearts—to people, success, possessions, achievements, money, comfort, acceptance, beauty, romance, family, power, a movement, a goal, and any multitude of things. For the bride was created to be married, and she can never rest until she is.”
“So none of the other things can work?”
“No. None of the other things are the Bridegroom.”
“And who is the Bridegroom?”
“The Bridegroom is God, the One for whom we were created.”
“So we have to find Him.”
“More than that,” he said. “A bride doesn’t just find the Bridegroom; she marries Him. So it’s not enough to find God; you must marry Him.”
“Marry God? How?”
“By joining every part of your life and being—your deepest parts, your heart, your soul, your wounds, your longings, your desires, everything—to God. Only then can you be complete. Only then can your deepest needs and longings be fulfilled. For the mystery of our hearts is the mystery of the bride. And the bride can only find her completion in the Bridegroom. And the Bridegroom of our souls . . . is God.”
The Mission: Put away anything that substitutes for His presence, and join all that you are, your deepest parts, to your Bridegroom.”
We cannot ever truly be connected to the opposite sex until we are firmly committed and married to our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Have you fully accepted the call of your eternal Bridegroom? Marriage is a covenant of commitment. Are you fully committed to Him? If not, it’s okay to explore why not. Do you struggle with trust in your marriage to Him? That’s okay, talk to Him about it and ask His Holy Spirit to build your trust with Him. Do you struggle with obedience to His ways? That’s okay. Talk to Him about it and ask His Holy Spirit to show you where you are out of line with His Word and to give you a desire to live a life of obedience. Do you struggle with truly believing in His sovereign power and that He wants good things for you? That’s okay. Talk to Him about it and ask His Holy Spirit to blow you away with His power and reveal to you the good things He has in store for you.
There is no in between. You’re either fully committed to the Savior or you’re not. Our culture has a tendency to to straddle the fence. We call ourselves Christians but then cuss like a sailor. We call ourselves Christians and get drunk as a skunk on a regular basis. We call ourselves Christians and then are irritable and angry about everything. We call ourselves Christians and then hate people in our community and speak terrible things about them through gossip or under the auspices of “prayer.” We call ourselves Christians and then say others MUST not be Christians because they believe something different then we do. I’m guilty of every single one of these and no matter how hard I try, I’ll do them again. I’ll raise my hand first and high. But, feeling the tension is the first start. Having a desire not to engage in these things is a good sign. We will never be perfect this side of Heaven, but with Christ and a life of repentance and obedience, everyday starts anew and grace and mercy abound.
There are so many hurting people out there and they need to see with their own eyes the love of Christ through His people. In the words of my mother, “It’s time to pee or get off the pot.” [Sorry mom…it had to be said!] I’m not totally sure if a Sailor would say that or not, but we’ll say it’s “on the line!”
More to come on the topic…if it’s on your heart to do so, go back and read Genesis chapters 1-3 again and pray that the Lord will bring you divine revelation through that part of His Word. I promise you will be blessed by His Word!