If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together (1 Corinthians 12:26).
Biff and Mable married 13 years ago. Most of those years were difficult. Mable struggles with insecurity, which has played out in their marriage by her keeping tabs on Biff. He calls her a nag. Her more habituated insecurity is born out of something that Biff did not cause, which is why Biff sees her questions and accusations as a burden. Rather than discerning Mable as an opportunity to shepherd, he responds by drifting farther from her, which puts their marriage in an unresolvable, circular trap.
Eventually, Biff committed adultery, and Mable’s fears came to pass. The thing she dreaded—losing Biff—happened. It was a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” How did they arrive at this place in their marriage? How could they have built their covenant on a better foundation?
What men want
To answer these questions, you have to go back to God’s original design for Adam and Eve and how the effects of sin altered His intent. The Lord made Adam for Himself (Genesis 2:7). He created Adam in His image (leader) and gave him things to do (work). It was a perfect world from Adam’s perspective. He basked in the glory of the Lord and spent his time doing things for God.
God intrinsically tied Adam’s identity to leading and doing, which is why when you degrade a man’s leadership and ability to perform, you damage the man. It is emasculating not to work and provide, which is a significant part of a man’s identity. Adam was a leading man who worked for the Lord while living in His satisfying pleasure.
What women want
Then God surveyed the scene and decided Adam needed someone to complement him; the Lord made Eve (Genesis 2:18). Eve was not like Adam. She came from his side, not from the dirt (Genesis 2:7). She looked different, and God expected her to serve a different role. The Lord did not make Eve for Himself but for Adam (Genesis 2:22-25).
It was no longer proper for Adam to think that working away from home was all that mattered (Ephesians 5:29). Eve was part of his increasing responsibilities (1 Peter 3:7). There is a vulnerability to a woman that is strikingly different from a man. God made her to follow, submit, and serve her husband, which begs a crucial question: if you had to follow, submit, and serve someone, what are the two necessary assurances you need from that person?
Put yourself in Eve’s shoes. If you had to hook your wagon to a man, what would you be thinking? “If I have to submit to your leadership and provision, you better love and protect me.”
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).