“Just fix the men,” is not the answer to all relationship problems.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this statement; “there’s too much information geared to help wives and none to help husbands!”
And “Women don’t need any fixing at all, go fix the men and everything will be fine!”
And it just grates on my nerves.
Now, in all honesty I once thought like that, especially when I was single.
I heard one too many tales from married people about how men need help and one too many jokes of a bumbling gender and it seeped into my head.
Then, I got married. And got a brain make over. My husband is not a bumble-er and I am not perfect.
I now know these 5 things (fair warning, slight rant ahead)
1. Men/husbands are not always the problem.
I’ve seen women go at their men, seen the kind of stuff we are capable of doing and and frankly ladies, we got problems!
So yes, sometimes the crazy lady is a reaction to the man’s issues.
But the idea that women are saints and men are the big bad boys who need fixing is a stretch.
The Bible says in Romans 3:10 “There is no one righteous, not even one”
That’s not to say if your man has issues, you are automatically the problem. That’s to say that we have all fallen short, we are all sinful. We both fail, just differently.
Here are few posts, where I take a deeper look at that;
2. Women are wired differently
Women are wired for connection, for relationship and conversation. So it’s true that you’ll find more women gathered – whether in real life, blogs, conferences and retreats e.t.c.
But that doesn’t mean men don’t gather at all. They do. But their gatherings don’t look like a typical girls fellowship. Instead, think activities, hobbies, things to solve.
When I was single I was part of a team that organized events for single guys and girls. Picnics, hikes, dinners, cook outs, everything.
But we had a problem; the number of girls showing up for these events was always higher than the guys! It wasn’t that the men weren’t there in church, they simply would not show up for our events!
And it grit on our single girl nerves.
But over time we began to figure out that guys are different. The last event I was involved in was a one-night camping trip. And the number of men that showed up was astounding!
So here’s the thing; men gather, but often times around something. They don’t show up for the sake of showing up, to catch up on life or talk about their babies.
Men don’t grow and learn when sitting face to face with someone else, trying to get deep.
Men like to do things. They grow and learn while doing other things that appeal and call to their masculinity.
3. It’s not true that no one is teaching men how to be better men or husbands.
There are tones of great husband/men websites, conference, church ministries and activities.
Click here to go to my resource page and find a few of those places!
But since women are ‘louder’ than men, you have to be intentional about finding men gatherings. But they are there!
There are men with a heart for fellow men, teachers, churches with men’s ministries and outreaches.
I don’t think we are suffering a drought, people.
I know sometimes the problem is getting your husband to want to be involved in those kinds of things. I hear you. But you can still do something – pray and encourage.
And as you do, also drop the expectation that your husband has the same “fellowship” needs like you.
That monthly hangout filled with loud guys who like to tinker with old cars, that your husband can’t miss? That’s his gathering, his fellowship, his thing.
4. Men set the tone in relationships, I get that.
Yup, it’s a God-mandated thing and has nothing to do with how a man (or woman) feels. He’s been called to lead, period.
Nonetheless, what God says and how we feel about what God says are two different things.
We are human beings. That means imperfection, sin, wounds, brokenness, laziness, selfishness.
All that junk is in the unredeemed flesh. And all these things scream to a man “you are disqualified, you are unworthy, you can’t lead!” (Cue in the horror if his wife joins in!)
Then there’s the devil. He knows that if he can mess with the head, he can have the rest of the body.
If he can convince a man that he is too damaged, too unworthy, too poor, too (insert all the other reasons), then he can have a marriage and a family and a community and an entire generation.
So what is the proper response by the woman who understands all these? Chortle and laugh about men’s issues and weaknesses over lunch with the girlfriends?
Air his weaknesses and issues on Facebook?
I have yet to meet a man who transformed because his wife nagged, shamed, controlled and manipulated him to it.
But I know of men who changed because a wife got on her knees and prayed.
So if your husband needs help, the first thing is not to jump on him and drag him to change-ville. It’s to get on your knees and pray.
Read these posts
5. Fixing the men? Yes, they have problems too.
Some men have huge problems, sometimes of dangerous proportions. Sometimes a wife has to get away to stay safe.
But most men are not like that.
Most men are simply suffering from the human-iosis. Selfishness, unkindness, snarkiness, passivity, unhealed wounds, unrepented sin.
Of course, our humanity is not an excuse because Christ provided the answer when He hang on the cross and said “come follow me”. We don’t have to live low, at the level of the flesh.
But I am saying that so you understand that men have issues too but it’s nothing that Jesus can’t handle.
And with this being our reality – that we are married to humans – don’t we then need all the help, all gatherings and encouragement so we are better equipped for the times and seasons we live in?!
Again, sometimes the man is the problem – I am not trying to minimize that. I have written a ton on that and make sure to read some of the posts below.
Okay, end of rant 🙂
Does it make sense though? What do you think? Do we need a more balanced, more grace-filled approach as we relate to the male gender?
In my book Blues to Bliss, I go in-depth and talk about how to create a great marriage, even when circumstances are less than ideal.
I understand that a wife cannot create a great marriage all by herself. But I also know that God can change the dynamics of the entire marriage through one spouse.
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