I have noticed that women and men are quite different. I’ve also noticed that those differences can cause quite a stir, especially (unfortunately) in marriage.
The differences occur at an early age.
A study of several hundred preschoolers was conducted by Harvard researchers. Part of the study included taping the children’s playground conversation. They discovered that all the sounds coming from the little girls were recognizable words.
However, only 60 per cent of the sounds coming from the little boys were recognizable. The other 40 per cent were empathic shouts, yells, screeches and sound effects like “Vrrrooooom,” “Aaaaagh,” and “Toot toot!” They determined that this difference (to the embarrassment of those of us of the male gender) persists into adulthood.
In addition, communication experts say that the average woman speaks more than 25,000 words a day, while an average man speaks just a little more than 10,000 words daily.
Commensurate with that, and relative to the marriage relationship, a wife will say she needs to spend 45 minutes to an hour each day in meaningful conversation with her husband, whereas 15 to 20 minutes once or twice a week seems satisfactory for the husband.
The differences between men and women are not limited to speech; it’s merely the tip of the iceberg. John Gray highlights that in his best-selling book, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” He suggests that most relational/marriage problems between men and women are a direct result of the fundamental and dramatic differences between the genders.
Bill and Pam Farrel, from a more devotional and biblical angle, co-authored “Men Are Like Waffl es — Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences.”
Employing generous amounts of humour, they share that women can learn to respect men’s symmetrical and linear approach to life and men can actually learn to listen and even appreciate the ladies’ more intricate and emotional mannerisms, without judging them.
The teachings of the Bible are really quite clear on this matter. God’s intent when he created man and woman was that the differences would be complementary, not conflicting. When Adam met Eve, he joyfully noticed both the commonality and differences immediately.
“Adam said this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23, 24)
I’m not going to pretend that my understanding of the differences between men and women is comprehensive. I will say that I enjoy and appreciate the differences.
“As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two.” Thomas Adam
Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.
— FAITH & REFLECTION