We all know that men are from Mars and women don't watch Star Trek. The differences between us are vast, and yet the desire to connect and be understood by each other can consume our whole being. For instance, when my wife says, "I want to cuddle," she means she actually wants to cuddle. Where as I, a typical man, think to cuddle means the start of something even more amorous.
And this is when she usually gets angry with me.
"Why can't we just cuddle? Isn't that enough? Can't you be happy with us just being together?"
"But to me," I tell her, "cuddling is the start of a process. There are more steps before we get to the finish line."
And we both shake our heads at our mate's obvious lack of appropriate communication and comprehension skills.
I think this male-female disconnect can be clearly illustrated by the different sports men and women watch. Most sports for men are given a time limit, in which the goal is to rush in and score as many times as you can to win the game.
Women, on the other hand, are more interested in sports like gymnastics, which are scored on form, grace, and the total routine.
And the truth is that no matter our differences, we each should be more aware of our partner's interests. The apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:3-4, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
To do that properly we should first take the time to get to know what those interests are.
I, just like most men, want to have a marriage like those from the Bible. Yes, the Bible. Ever read Song of Songs? "Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from washing. Each has its twin, not one is [missing]" (Song of Songs 4:2).
Every guy truly wants a woman who has all her teeth. But not every guy can say it so eloquently. My wife says a guy shouldn't make requests like this unless he is a king like Solomon was.
I married my wife because I love her. Just the sight of her fills me with desire. I tell her she is beautiful. But no matter how much I tell her, I know I don't say it enough. I bring her flowers, write "surprise notes," and buy her chocolates (dark, her favorites). But I know I don't do these things enough and must strive to do them more.
And my wife reciprocates. I'm blessed when I receive a "surprise note" of love or encouragement from the woman whose opinion I most cherish. And all guys feel that way. They want to know they're appreciated and loved by the most important person in the world to them.
By embarking on the journey to fulfill each other's interests, both husband and wife can meet in bliss that will fuel their love and desire. Though men and women have different meanings for things such as to cuddle, we can meet as one in making each other happy.
But even though we try to discover and fulfill each other's interests, Kerri and I still have our miscommunications.
After a meal I'll rinse my dish and leave it in the sink. When my wife sees it there, she laments, "Why do you just rinse it and leave it there? Why can't you put it in the dishwasher, and then turn the dishwasher on, and then empty the dishwasher when it's finished? Don't you know that rinsing your dish is just the start of the process? There are more steps before we get to the finish line!"
I just smile at her and say, "Welcome to my world."
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