Today I tried to take a lazy Sunday afternoon nap but to no avail. Oh, I was tired enough, it’s just my husband’s a demolition man. And by that I mean when I was attempting to slumber, my husband was operating a bulldozer in the basement. (OK, so not really, but he was loud.)
Normally I would’ve gotten mad at him for doing such a noisy thing when I needed quiet. Instead, in a rare moment of grace (At least I admit it’s rare, right?), I chuckled and thought of how different we are. I want the comfort and peace of home, and he wants to rip it to shreds and build it back up again. It made me think of the many profound differences between men and women and why they’re important and good.
I know that sounds like a novel idea, since most of our culture portrays men as idiots who should adopt more feminine traits. Or, in a strange twist, lately women are encouraged, especially in the workplace, to adopt more male characteristics to get ahead.
As a young married woman, steeped in this culture, I’ve found myself eager to criticize traits my husband has that are different from me. When I come home from work and want to talk incessantly for 30 minutes and he merely says he “had a good day,” I get frustrated that he is not more like me. I’ve learned after a year of marriage or so, that the reasons my husband and I have different strengths are plausible and profound: and they’ve also helped us understand and love each other more.
One of the biggest differences between men and women is the initial stages of dating. That first phone call and date really sets the tone for the relationship. It can be an exciting time for swarming butterflies. Or it can be a frustrating gamble, for the girl or the guy. In the olden days, when a single man spotted a single girl he wanted to get to know, he did just that. It’s called veri investigato–a Latin phrase for the “pursuit of knowledge.” He called, wrote, talked, hunted, tracked and chased. By contrast, she did not call, write, e-mail, text message, er—you get the idea—him. He did what he does best. And in return, she does what she does best. As their relationship grew, he offered stability and strength, she offered admiration and respect. Love grew; the relationship was sealed.
Now, with help from the women’s movement which attempted to emasculate men (not to simplify but I lack the time for a history lesson), the roles have reversed. And it makes things more complicated. Girls are calling, e-mailing and practically stalking all manner of men via internet dating and “church groups.“ While her incessant pursuit of men appears to stem from a need for love, it’s really an attempt to change and struggle appreciate the God-given traits of our significant other.
I learned this firsthand while dating my husband. When my husband pursued me with affection, kindness and godliness, I felt nurtured and loved. So how did I respond to him? With the admiration and respect that men crave. Accepting his pursuit made me appreciate the natural strengths he, as a man, brought to our relationship.
The women reading this are probably muttering aloud that, well, it’s not her fault she calls him, she only does it because he doesn’t call her! I will tell you what my dad used to tell me when I was dating, “If he don’t call you, he don’t care.” And I will add to that, “He ain’t gonna call, if you don’t let him.” By this I mean, men do not pursue eligible bachelorettes like they used to because now, instead of him chasing the prey, the prey is chasing him. So he put down his gun and ran.
Now I am not saying women should sit at home and wait for the phone to ring. Both women (and men) should who desire to find someone to marry should be active in your workplaces, churches etc. Go places where you meet new people, volunteer, make an effort to converse, don’t be a lug. But when you do meet that someone, and she wants to “talk” and he just wants to “do stuff” keep in mind those frustrating differences were created with purpose and add richness to your relationships.
These differences make dating and marriage hard. But I’ve found the more I focus on appreciating my husband’s differences, the more I’m able to treat him well. I’m even willing to put up with a little construction noise every now and then.