Let Women Be Women and Men Be Men

By Dr. Harold J. Sala

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 29:19

Her name was Hannah, and more than anything else in life she wanted a baby, a child of her own that she could cradle in her arms and feel his warm, little helpless body on her breasts.  But her hope didn’t materialize.  Other women chided her and made life miserable for her.  In her day it was common for some men to have two wives, and the second wife had children and “kept provoking her in order to irritate her.”  When Hannah went to the temple every year with Elkanah her husband, she poured out her heart in bitter tears asking God to please give her a child.

When women cry, men want to fix the problem.  From the days of Adam men have been bothered by tears, and Elkanah was no exception.  “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat?  Why are you downhearted?” her husband asked, adding something which stung though it was intended to heal, “Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”

The story which I related is found in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel.  You can read it for yourself.  Men find meaning in life by achieving their goals; women through relationships.  When a man gets fired, his world comes to an end.  When a woman gets the same treatment, she goes home and bakes bread for the family and loves her children and husband.

One more point to ponder.  Luke, the writer of the third Gospel, was a medical doctor.  He picked up on things that others missed.  Following the birth of Jesus, which is recorded in Luke 2, he says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  The Greek word Luke used means that she collected these thoughts as you would place treasures in a small box, pondering, relishing each one, connecting the dots in her thinking. Women do that, you know, but not men.

Women derive meaning in life through relationships, which include children and family; men find meaning through accomplishments.  Evolutionists say that women evolved, gradually picking up the ability to know where everything is stashed in a home; but creationists say women receive their God-given abilities because that’s the way God made them, and the scientific research of the past twenty years affirms the fact men and women think differently because their brains are different.  Evolutionists lose on that one.

When Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, he talked about the great, sacrificial love Jesus Christ had for the Church, dying to give her life.  Then he told husbands to love their wives the same way, adding, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:29, KJV).  Modern translations say “he feeds and cares for his body.”  But in the word translated cherishes or cares for his body, there is a concept which doesn’t translate easily.  It is the idea of gentleness and tenderness.  That word is used only one other time in the New Testament.  It’s found in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians where Paul says, “We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for little children.”

What women want out of marriage is what Paul said for men to give them:  gentleness, tenderness, and intimacy, and when women get what they need and want, men will also get far more of what they most want out of marriage.

The bottom line, simply put, is that relationships between men and women have drifted a long ways from God’s intention.  It’s time to go back to the master blueprint for real fulfillment and happiness.

Resource reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9.


Dr. Harold J. Sala, well known speaker, author and Bible teacher, has served as founder and President of Guidelines International, Inc., since 1963. He is the featured speaker on the daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” which is broadcast on over 1000 radio stations around the world and translated in over 15 languages. Author of over 40 books published in various languages and hundreds of publications. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

Used with permission from Guidelines Philippines, Inc. To learn more about Guidelines and the ministry, please write to Box 4000, 1280 Makati City, Philippines or e-mail address box4000@guidelines.org. You may also visit the Guidelines website at www.guidelines.org.

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