Do you feel spiritually inadequate’especially when you’re around women? If you answered yes, then you’re not alone. In a survey for my book The Secrets Men Keep we discovered that sixty-eight percent of men feel sometimes they don’t measure up to women spiritually.
Did you know that your feelings of inadequacy have ancient roots? In the book The Silence of Adam the author goes into penetrating detail about Adam’s failure in the garden of Eden to confront the serpent who was tempting Eve. His point is that Adam was silent when he should have spoken up. He was silent when he didn’t rebuke the serpent and stand between his wife and the tempter. And he was silent by not speaking to his wife and challenging her as she contemplated sin.
Apparently Adam felt inadequate to speak up in that situation. Whatever he was feeling’inadequacy, intimidation, fear’he shouldn’t have been. God created Adam first and then created Eve to be his helper’not vice versa. As politically incorrect as that may be, it’s the record of Scripture.
Adam should have intervened. Why he suddenly chose to clam up and stand by while his wife disobeyed God’and then joined her in that disobedience’is a mystery unsolved. And a struggle that continues for men. I encourage you today to battle the urge to be silent and to instead use your strength to bless.
Women are like flowers. And your wife is like a delicate flower that spends years unfolding, revealing the beauty and grace’and perhaps scars and developmental wounds’within.
There are two parts to this flower-opening revelation: the opening itself and the observing of what is revealed. Flowers have to open up; wives don’t. Even when they do open up, husbands aren’t always sensitive enough to see what’s revealed and take it to heart. I have a feeling that a secret men harbor’namely that they don’t know how to meet their wives’ needs’is precisely because our sensors are picking up the signals we’re getting. Our wives are revealing who they are all the time’even in the so-called negative moments. We simply aren’t studious enough to conclude, ‘This word of mine met a need, but that comment or action didn’t. Guys, we need to be smarter. Make a mental note of these things for future reference.’
What you don’t know about your wife is being revealed as the flower unfolds and the pressures of life change: merging your money, balancing time, respecting preferences, having and raising children, adjusting to personal styles of living. And then there are families. A wife’s sensitivity to her immediate and extended family throws a huge set of variables into the mix.
I encourage you to be a student of your flower. Take notes of this precious gift, and love her accordingly.
Every married man is joined to a person more complex than a NASA space shuttle. Besides the fact that the human brain is infinitely more complex than anything else known to man, it’s also had several decades of outside influences by the time a woman marries.
Think of all the things that could’ve influenced your wife in her developmental years: praise and criticism, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, a large or a small family, school experiences, sexual experiences, intelligence, abuse, self-image, male and female role models, models of marriage. The list goes on and on.
Every woman’s life map is different. As a result, no two women are alike. Wouldn’t it be nice if husbands and wives, on their wedding day, in addition to exchanging rings and vows, could hand each other a book titled My Life So Far? And in it would be a closing chapter entitled ‘How to Meet My Needs.’
But this doesn’t happen. So what can you do? How can you begin by better learning your wife’s needs? The best place to start is simply by asking.
If you have a track record of insensitivity, you’ll need to start this process with an apology and a sincere request for connection. Tell your wife you want to know her and begin asking questions’about herself, her hopes, desires, dreams, and fears. Her world may just open up to you, if you’d only ask for entrance.