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December 1, 2014

Understanding Women

You husbands should try to understand the wives you live with, honoring them as physically weaker yet equally heirs with you of the grace of eternal life. If you don’t do this, you will find it impossible to pray properly.”

1 Peter 3:7 (Phillips NT)

It’s been said that there are two times when a man doesn’t understand a woman – before marriage and after marriage. I think that the Phillips translation of the New Testament captured the intent of Peter’s counsel the best when it says, “You husbands should try to understand the wives you live with….”  The emphasis in that verse must be on the word “try.”  Even Peter seemed to concede that some things are just not possible.  When it comes to understanding men and women in the marriage mystery, someone put it like this: “To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.

To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot & not try to understand her at all.”  Perhaps the real meaning to understanding one another isn’t so much about trying to figure each other out as it is on being understanding.  That kind of understanding has only one source and it’s not Dr. Phil or Oprah.  Proverbs 2:6 tells us For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  If I’m to gain a heart of understanding, I must have an intimate connection with Jesus Christ.  Since God wired both men and women, it only makes sense to check the owner’s manual when things begin to go haywire!  God’s design in the marriage mystery is for the relationship between a husband and wife to reflect the love that God has for us.  Last week, we considered some of the unique needs of a man that he wished every woman would know.  This week, let’s focus more on the unique needs a woman wants her man to understand. From her research, marriage expert, Shaunti Feldhahn, said that one of the primary needs of a wife is this:  “She needs to know every day, ‘he would choose me all over again.’ Just because he said, ‘I do,’ doesn’t make her feel permanently loved.  Inside even the most confident woman in a great relationship is a latent ‘am I loveable/would he choose me again?’ insecurity.  When that insecurity is triggered, she may seem unlovable right when she most needs reassurance. And his simple, daily actions of pursuit (e.g. taking her hand) can often prevent that insecurity in the first place.”  Feldhahn’s research shows that 82% of women have this insecurity.  In conflict, 86% say hearing him say “we’re okay” gives the reassurance needed. So, there’s our first assignment, guys.  Let’s step up our game in reassuring our wives by understanding that need in their hearts.  Don’t be like the guy who said, “I told my wife when I married her that I loved her, and if I ever change my mind, she will be the first to know.”  Look for simple, unscripted ways you can meet that need in your wife’s life this week.