Differences That Divide – Part Three (Re-Posted from October 11, 2021)
Hi this is pastor Ken and this is my Monday Marriage Message…Differences That Divide – Part Three This is the third part of a Three-part series and so if you have not listened to parts one and two I would strongly encourage you to do that before listening to this edition.
For the past two weeks I have been talking about the differences between the way a man thinks (compartmentally) and the way a woman thinks (relationally). Today I want to delve into why God did this. As I said, though we think as men and women, husbands and wives, and we do almost certainly amuse God regularly, I don’t believe that He created us with these particular differences to amuse Himself or to frustrate us.
Remember back in Genesis 1:26 we read; Then God said “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness… and then in verse 27, So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. You’ll also remember that I spoke about the fact that God couldn’t get all of His varied attributes and characteristics into one gender, so He created two genders as one flesh so that their oneness would be reflective of Him. Then He made provision for that oneness to be re-created throughout history through a mystery (or a miracle really) called marriage.
Since we know what the plan is, to create one thing out of two so that it might reflect Him, we can deduce that when there is a difference that follows gender lines, it likely exists because God has duality of that particular characteristic or attribute. Accepting that premise, we can then look for evidence that He thinks both compartmentally and relationally.
How do we know what God thinks? We simply look to His word. What evidence do I have then that God thinks compartmentally? We can find that relatively easily, we just have to turn in our bibles all the way to…the first verse! Genesis 1:1 says; In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. This is a compartmentalized idea. It is simply a statement of fact. Though the scope of the content is immeasurable, the concept is singular. It doesn’t mean anything more than it says. It does not lead to anything; it does not allude to anything not covered in the statement…it is compartmentalized. It was written by Moses but if we believe the bible to be true 2 Timothy 3:16 makes it clear that though Moses may have scribed it, God’s Holy Spirit spoke it. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Therefore, this first verse written in God’s word comes from the mind of God. It is one of His thoughts recorded in written form. I could literally go on for days citing scriptures that display God’s compartmentalized thinking, but I will leave some of that research up to you. I do suggest as you are becoming aware of this information, that as you read God’s word look to see if what you are reading seems compartmental in nature or is more of a relational thought of God’s. Speaking of the relational side of God’s thinking, I chose another well-known scripture to illustrate this aspect of God’s thoughts. John 3:16 does a good job of illustrating relational thought. I will break the verse down into its individual relational concepts to show this clearly:
• 1st – For God so loved the world
• 2nd – That He gave His only begotten Son
• 3rd – That whoever believes in Him
• 4th – Should not perish
• 5th – But have everlasting life
This verse is relational on five levels and clearly comes from the mind of God. God thinks compartmentally and relationally…or for you ladies He thinks relationally and compartmentally. God thinks both ways! As I have looked closely at scripture I have come to believe that He thinks both ways all the time. There have been many times when I have shared a scripture with my wife, pointing out to her the compartmentalized view of it, and then she has then shared with me the relational meaning in it that I didn’t even see or consider because I was viewing it from my natural compartmentalized mindset.
It quickly becomes evident when you look for it that God does demonstrate in scripture that He uses both processes of thought. With that in mind, and understanding that the two kinds of thinking are so different from one another, arguably opposites of each other, it becomes clear why we as humans are not able to possess both ways of thinking. It is easy to see why God created men to think one way while He created women to think the other. By doing this and then joining us in marriage, our resulting oneness possesses both kinds of thought. You’ll recall that in the scripture we reflected on a few weeks ago from Malachi, God referred to marriage as a covenant. In the Old Testament one of the effects of two people entering into covenant with each other was that what one possessed the other now possessed…right down to a birthright. We see this clearly illustrated in the story of King David. David, while still a young boy, was a friend of King Saul’s son Jonathan. David and Jonathan joined themselves to one another in a covenant. While the outcome was not the intent of either boy at the time, it is interesting that God honored the covenant even beyond the participant’s considerations. Jonathan was the king’s son, heir to the throne…but it was David who became King after Saul. Make no mistake, God cares about covenant.
As compartmental and relational thinkers, when we are joined in the covenant of marriage, our oneness now makes us each possessors of both kinds of thinking. I don’t get to actually think relationally in my mind, my wife keeps that process in her pretty head, as I keep our compartmentalized thought in my not-so-pretty one. As one flesh however, we each possess and have access to both processes. Proverbs 31 speaks to this. Proverbs 31:10,11 reads as follows: Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. This scripture points out the need to consult one another to arrive at complete thought. It basically states that the husband who considers his wife’s thoughts on a matter will make decisions that will turn out well for the entire family. It was recorded in this direction only because at the time it was written, men made all the decisions. Because women do make decisions for the marriage and the family today, I don’t think God would be upset with us for reading it in reverse. Who can find a virtuous husband? For his worth is far above rubies. The heart of his wife safely trusts him; so she will have no lack of gain.
Essentially, God is saying here that we should consult each other if we want to make good decisions. He utilizes both processes of thought and His word tells us He is wise, in fact, that He is wisdom. We can then conclude that the two ingredients of wisdom are compartmentalized thought and relational thought. So if we want to make wise decisions, God is making sure we see the necessity and the value of consulting one another.
I contend that a husband can achieve intelligent thought all on his own. A wife can also achieve intelligent thought all on her own. Wisdom however, can only be attained when both processes of thought are considered…and utilized in the final decision.
Questions to Answer:
1. What are some of the best decisions that have been made in your marriage? Were they the product of both of your thoughts on that particular subject?
2. How do you think these past few podcasts have changed your view of your spouse’s thoughts?
3. When you believe you are right about an issue you and your spouse are facing, are you open to differing thoughts without the inclination to discard one of them as incorrect?
4. Are you open to the idea that the two of you can differ greatly in your thinking on a particular matter and both of you can in fact be right?
Actions to Take:
1. As you read scripture, try to decide if what you are reading is compartmental like we see in Genesis 1:1 or if it is relational as we see in John 3:16. Get into the practice of sharing your thoughts from God’s word. There is much to be gleaned from seeing scriptures from your spouse’s way of thinking.
2. Talk together about the idea of each of you having different ways of looking at things and the value that can bring to your corporate decision making process.
3. Discuss some practical things the two of you can do to make sure that both of your lines of thought have been considered when making decisions of importance.
4. Decide what the two of you consider a decision of importance to be. Put some measurable parameters in place to help you know what decisions should not be made in your marriage without having time to discuss both ways of thinking before the decision is completed.
So now, understanding that God created you to think differently so that together you might better reflect His thinking and more readily arrive at wise decisions that will bless the two of you, consult one another regularly and Go be Awesome!