God first appeared on the scene of human history in the role of a matchmaker.  We’re studying and applying kingdom principles of relationships right now.  I know God has revelation for you!  He is going to pour His wisdom into your heart, family, and all of your relationships so that His plan can come to pass in your life.  We must seek his wisdom!  Let’s talk about relationships.

Marriage is a special institution to God.  God created marriage so that the family could springboard from the fountain of the marriage relationship. Because God created and intended all of these things before we entered the world, we look around and find that life is relational. Life is impacted by those to whom we are connected. The goal in marriage is more than friendship.  The goal of marriage, among other things, is establishing a oneness for the purpose of God. The person you marry should be able to help carry your purpose.  This means they are supportive in every way for your destiny in Christ.  They are all about your “why” in life, and you are all about theirs.

Marriage is a co-commitment to the purposes of Jesus Christ.  The opposite sex often tries to meet needs that they would value, not understanding how different those needs are from their own.  This often makes their efforts misdirected because what they appreciate the most, their spouses appreciate the least. Therefore you must do the work to find out what the other person in your life needs!  I want to share with you the differences between men and women. If we know, appreciate and respect the differences between men and women, then we can really begin to meet the needs in our marriage relationship according to wisdom rather than operating from our own paradigm or vantage point.

Women are responders.  When you put a seed in a woman’s body, it produces a child.  Women can respond to tiny cues in their environment that reveal the bigger picture to them.  They don’t necessarily need to see the entire alphabet to know what process is taking place.  God wired women to be detail-oriented.  They can take a small seed in their environment and react to it to produce or reveal something much bigger.  What “seed” do you put in your wife, daughter, or close companion?

If you want your wife to feel confident, secure, sexy,  then make her feel confident, secure and sexy.  If you plant seeds that are negative, critical or comparing her to others, these seeds will reap a harvest of insecurity, jealousy and toxicity in the relationship.  If you plant seeds that are positive, uplifting and pointing out her brilliance and uniqueness in being unlike any other, then these seeds will reap a harvest of blessing. Man was birthed into productivity and position.

In Genesis 2:15, before Adam ever had a wife or a family, he had a responsibility.  God gave him a job; tend the garden, name the animals, and till the ground.  God wired man’s mind to see the entire forest, but not necessarily the individual trees. That is where the wife comes in to balance the man’s perspective.  Man sees the entire forest, and tend to think in broader terms.  Each person is different, but this is the way the general bell curve falls.  There is a reason that men see one perspective, and women see another; together as a team, the man and the wife see the picture as God intends them to see it. When the fall occurred, the situation of being wired differently was compounded: In Genesis 3:16, [God said (to woman), “Thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee.” This meant woman would be relationship oriented.

In Genesis 3:17-19, God told Adam that the ground (his job) would be cursed ‘in the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread”. The woman’s relationship-oriented, detail minded nature and man’s work-oriented big-picture vision would now be a source of conflict due to the curse operating in the earth. How do we go from being two totally different creatures to oneness and co-commitment in Christ?  It may be cliché, but I am going to say it: communication.

Communication and being a good listener will help you to unlock your spouse’s perspective so that you can fulfill their deepest needs and have the chance to have your needs fulfilled.  Communication is the bridge between souls! Be a ready listener, and do not answer until the other person has finished talking.  Our culture has so much deficit of deep and thoughtful listening!  At the heart of being a good listener is the struggle to suspend your own needs.

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19-20 NIV

{Proverbs 18:13 NIV}  “He who answers before listening — that is his folly and his shame. There’s a big difference between showing interest and really taking interest. Genuine listening means suspending memory, desire, and judgment. For a few moments at least, you’re existing for the other person.  It doesn’t mean you lose yourself – you just temporarily put “YOU” on hold!  Bring your flesh under the subjection of the Holy Spirit. Suppressing the urge to talk is harder than it sounds.  After all – you have things on your mind, too.  To listen well, you may have to restrain yourself from disagreeing or giving advice or sharing your own experience – temporarily, at least, listening is a one-sided relationship!  This takes an act of “selflessness”! Be slow to speak.  Think first.  Don’t be hasty in your words.  Speak in such a way that the other person can understand and accept what you say.  (Proverbs 15:23; 29:20; James 1:19)

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! Proverbs 15:23 KJV

“Do you see a man who speaks in haste?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 29:20 NIV

You must learn to defuse emotional reactivity. A good listener is a witness, not a judge of your experience.  When someone says something that triggers anxiety or fear, understanding goes out the window, but empathy turns defensiveness around.  At the first sign of an argument, check the impulse to argue back and concentrate on listening to the other person’s side of the story.  Invite the other person’s thoughts, feelings and wishes – without defending or disagreeing.  Repeat the other person’s position in your own words (parroting) to show what you think he or she is thinking or feeling.  If you feel too “fired up,” don’t use the “silent treatment”.  Don’t use silence to frustrate the other person – explain why you are hesitant to talk right now. Don’t go to bed angry!  Each day, clear the offenses of that day.  Speak the truth but do it in love – don’t exaggerate!

“ Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor:

for we are members one of another.  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Ephesians 4:25-26 KJV

“A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:23 NIV

We must come back to an understanding of what marriage is in the eyes of God – from a Biblical perspective. If we know, appreciate and respect the differences between men and women, then we can really begin to meet the needs in our marriage relationship according to wisdom rather than operating from our own paradigm or vantage point. Approaching marriage from the Bible’s picture of total marriage that embraces every area of the human personality – spiritual, emotional, and physical – means you will experience the FULLNESS that the Bible promises to those who follow its pattern!

Paula White Ministries

Author Paula White Ministries

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