On a radio show several months ago, a male interviewer and pastor took me to task for one of the dares in the book entitled, “Initiate.” “Isn’t that pretty forward?” he asked. “Aren’t you suggesting women lead in their marriages?” he continued. I said something like, “I suppose you could look at it like that if you believe wives are second class citizens who are only supposed to wait on their husbands to know what they should be doing next, but I don’t believe the Bible says that anywhere. We are equal heirs. Don’t you want to be wanted by your wife? I mean, wouldn’t you enjoy it if she found you sexually desirable and let you know she was feeling amorous? Would you feel offended or like your leadership was usurped if that happened?” I don’t remember his answer exactly, but he didn’t think he’d mind being approached like this by her…
I’ve written extensively about research concerning the differences between the male and female brains, and generally speaking, in a nutshell,
men compete and women connect.
One thing we’re missing in marriage is the obvious – when we compete with our men, we fail to connect.
And we compete with them by speaking to them disrespectfully, and I’m suggesting even in a masculine style, as opposed to our naturally wired feminine style.
Yesterday, I put up a related dare on the Facebook page that created some interesting dialogue. The essence of the dare was to behave feminine, instead of masculine, as a way of immediately keeping your husband’s guard down and help him connect with you – I’m going to share it here today, in case you didn’t see it, with a little more explanation as to why this matters. One of the problems we women face as we learn to speak the language of respect is that we also often inadvertently ditch the feminine aspect of our communication behaviors, and while we can be respectful, we are still potentially keeping our husband’s “guard up” because the type of communication is akin to what he deals with at work – where he might be accosted and forced to defend himself at any moment. I noticed that I had done this myself in my own marriage. For me, personally, I think my professional life diminished my feminine side a bit.
I viewed what I suggested on Facebook (shared below) as a way of helping our husbands connect with us, based on the research on oxytocin, and our differences naturally designed by God. Given one of our purposes in marriage is to help the man we married (note I don’t say, “be his slave,” and this is not a “second class citizen” position in any way, shape or form), I thought it pretty interesting that I rattled the cages of some of the women on the page. I also found it interesting that some of the women “got it.”
Please know that like everything else here, it’s just a suggestion, and is based on generalities. Please also know I’m not saying girls shouldn’t compete in sports or elsewhere. Please also know I mean no offense if you struggle for any reason in the area of sexuality and intimacy, or if you or your husband has issues physically, emotionally, or spiritually in this area. I know that many have challenges here – and so have I (including issues from childhood, abuse, and rape), and I just want to encourage you to work through them with God, because the Lord can do anything. At any rate, I’m hoping to not offend here, and am speaking to those who have worked or are working through the issues enough to be able to engage in physical intimacy and want to deepen their relationships with their husbands in a really impactful area.
And this relates to other areas, too…
One of the men had this to say about my suggestion: “That is so awesome, I wished I got asked for things like that more often.”
When one of the responders wondered if this was manipulation and another accused me of being manipulative, another man responded this way: “I will give you a husband’s response. No. Flirting is healthy and natural, and we (husbands) love it, but that does not mean we are naive and follow our instincts without being aware. We know and understand it very well, but enjoy it as females enjoy when a man listens attentively for example. We are hardwired differently but that does not mean we are “manipulated”, rather, I feel our natural behavior is being acknowledged this way, just as a woman’s need for companionship can be acknowledged when we sit close to her and hold her hand even if we might not “feel” it the same way she does. Plus… we are talking about married couples.” (emphasis mine)
And here’s what I said about “is this manipulative?”
YES, if your heart is one of manipulating him into taking you to dinner. NO, if your heart is to ask him to dinner in a way that builds him up as a man…and pursues him, which is one of his deepest needs as a man.(“need” meaning sexual fulfillment – which applies to about 85% of heterosexual married men) So it is a HEART issue. And the line is fine, just like the gate is narrow – like so much in our faith walk, the outside behavior can look the same, but what matters most is our heart condition. And that makes ALL the difference.
So here it is:
Dare you to speak to your husband like he is a MAN today, and like YOU are a female – meaning, don’t be so stinkin’ direct and bossy – he gets enough of this at work. Think flirty and romantic. And include a “what’s in it for him” benefit for doing the thing you want…
“Baby, you remember that black dress of mine you liked so much, the one I wore on our anniversary?
You know, the one that shows just enough, but still leaves room for your imagination?
I was just thinking how I’d LOVE another opportunity to wear it soon… and to um… play after dinner… <wink> <smile> < wander off seductively> it’d be worth your while… ”
Then see what he does with it… This is great because…
- if your desire is for him to lead – you just created an opportunity for him to make a decision and take action,
- you weren’t bossy in how you approached him, but rather WISE, and
- you just put some play and fun into your dating life, which SHOULD be part of your marriage
Sometimes we all need a jump start, and he’s probably not going to be the one to know how to do that. But you can HELP.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think my male interviewer was afraid of his wife approaching him sexually, nor was he angry at the thought of her pursuing him. I think all he wanted (even though he, nor most men know it) is a lack of conflict, a lack of being bossed around, a lack of feeling like they have to compete with the woman they love.
So what do you think about this one today? Do you agree or disagree? What scriptures have you seen to support the above or other thoughts? Respectful dialogue welcomed…from men or women…
Glad to be on the journey…
Love to you,