Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Men and Women: Respecting Our Differences

on March 5, 2014

couple in love 1249095_parisian_romance

So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

Genesis 1:27, NIV

Marcus was frustrated with his girlfriend. “Why does she have to ask me so many questions?” he wondered.

A confirmed extrovert, Jessica always wanted to talk, and asking questions was her way of connecting—especially since her boyfriend was so quiet. Marcus, on the other hand, loved just being together, whether they had something to talk about or not.

Jessica and Marcus often felt annoyed with each other until they learned how to communicate better and respect their differences.

What a privilege it is to be created in the image of God. We are created male and female, and each gender seems to have differing physical and emotional needs. Why do we end up competing in conversation—often leading to arguments and conflict—even when we love each other? How do men and women learn peace and harmony despite our differences?

We can start by understanding our differences. In communication, men often tend to “compete,” while women are more likely to “connect.” Marilyn A. Sachs, a researcher on male/female communication styles at Ohio State University, wrote, “Men and women have been misunderstanding each other for generations—probably since the beginning of time.”

In general, it seems, men tend to “report” while women prefer to “build rapport.” Sachs said that, generally, “Men . . . talk about things—business, sports, and food—rather than people. They convey facts, not details. They are goal-oriented. They focus on solving problems and are less likely to ask for help or directions. Men compete.”

Sachs continued, “Women, on the other hand, talk to get information and to connect or to gain rapport. They talk about people rather than things. They convey feelings and details. They are relationship oriented. They are quicker to ask for and accept help or directions. Women cooperate.”

In order to be understood, appreciated and have close relationships, especially with our significant other, we need to know and follow God’s ways of healthy relating.

Men and women are of equal worth and value in God’s eyes yet we are created differently; we have different roles. No matter what the topic of conversation, we can learn to treat each other with respect and grace when we look to God’s Word as our guide:

• Be kind to each other (1 Thess. 5:15).
• Be humble, gentle, patient . . . bear with one another (Eph. 4:2).
• Serve one another (Gal. 5:13).
• Love one another (John 15:17).
• Stop passing judgment on one another (Romans 14:13).
• Accept one another (Romans 15:7).
• Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16).

Though we may seem to come from two different worlds at times, we can learn to respect our differences, follow God and bridge the communication gap to find harmony in our relationships.

Lord, help us to remember that you created us male and female. Teach us how to communicate with the opposite sex with respect, understanding and love. Help us to follow Your Word so we can have better relationships of all kinds. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One response to “Men and Women: Respecting Our Differences

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Good stuff here, and I agree!

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