the mysterious opposite sex (part 1 of 2)

Last night, I had the awesome privilege of talking to a wonderful group of guys and girls about the wonderful world of guys and girls. We didn’t quite solve the whole mystery of male/female relationships but we made a little progress–and we had fun. I told my new friends that I’d write up some highlights of my talk in case they wanted a little Morning After Review.

If we met last night and you’re here at the Blue Blog for the first time, welcome! (I know you’re really here to see if you won the iTunes gift card. Hold on just a minute, would ya?)

I didn’t know going in what the demographics of the audience would be. Mostly high-schoolers? Lots of married couples? Singles out of college? So, I spent a lot of time praying that God would reveal some important truths that would bless the exact folks He handpicked to come. Because God? He doesn’t do assembly line. He handpicks, handcrafts, handeverythings. He’s a hands-on, all-knowing, I-love-and-care-about-you God.

Turns out the group was maybe 75% high-schoolers (who were awesome and mature beyond their years) and 25% cool married couples ranging in age from 22-82. Pretty diverse.

Some of the things I told them we’d cover: 1.) differences between guys and girls 2.) how you should act as a guy (if you’re a guy) or a girl (if you’re a girl) 3.) how to treat the opposite sex 4.) what to look for in a mate 5.) lies you shouldn’t fall for 6.) what guys really want and what girls really want 7.) how to prepare for an awesome marriage and 8.) what you can do if you’ve already screwed up pretty badly.

We talked about the fact that God created men and women different. On purpose. Different doesn’t = bad.

God has a plan for marriage. A really good one. He created you. He loves you. He knows what’s best for you and outlines it in His Word.

Our culture teaches us to focus our brains on 2 things: 1.) me. and 2.) now. I only care about what makes me happy. And what makes me happy now.

God tells us to put others before ourselves. And to look ahead to the future.

Biggest difference between girls’ needs and guys’ needs? You’ve heard it a million times.

Women want love. Men want respect.

God knows this. He wrote about in the Bible before we wrote any of our brilliant marriage books.

In a fight, girls cry. They don’t feel loved. Guys get angry. They don’t feel respected.

I had a little chat with the guys first. Shared some stats I got from a Mark Driscoll podcast a year or so ago. 60% of Christians are women (bummer for the girls). The 18-34 male demographic = least likely to go to church. Guys today are extending their adolescence–they want freedom and income of men but have the mindset of boys.

Guys–here are those questions I had you ask yourself: Is your girl modest? Is there more to her than her looks? What kind of character does she have? Are you overlooking some godly women? Are you rewarding immodesty by drooling over scantily-clad girls and ignoring the rest?

Trust me–if you marry a girl for her looks alone, you’re going to regret it. Over and over again. If she spends every waking moment on her appearance, she won’t have time to work on her personality and intelligence. And she certainly won’t have time for you.

(And I know there’s no way that 90% of you high-schoolers have made it this far in the blog. You know we talked about how much you looooove to read.)

And girls, ironically, you’re the ones who might still be with me, but I’m out of time and space for your turn! Come back tomorrow!

(Rumor has it Mr. Gabe video-recorded some of my talk to share with those of you who couldn’t be there.)

Everyone who came last night had the chance to enter a drawing for a $15 iTunes gift card. And the winner is… Natalie Setterberg! E-mail me with your mailing address, Natalie!

p.s. Thank you for trusting me with your prayer requests and questions. I got home at almost 2 am, so I haven’t prayed through them yet, but I will. And your questions were awesome, but some are too personal to answer on the blog, and I have no way to contact you. If you’d like, you can e-mail me (over there on the sidebar). Thanks!

And because I love all of you (and my sweet, daily blog readers too!), I’m giving away SOMETHING ELSE!

A $10 gift card of your choice–the sky’s the limit. (or a $10 bill if your tastes are obscure)

To be entered into a random drawing (U.S. addresses only please–I’ll draw the winner Monday morning), just answer this simple question:

What is one thing you just don’t get about the opposite sex?

(Up tomorrow: Part 2–Sexual Purity, Modesty and Selfishness and maybe, just maybe, a video clip)

Have a great day!

36 thoughts on “the mysterious opposite sex (part 1 of 2)

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano | Christian author and speaker » Blog Archive » the mysterious opposite sex (part 2 of 2)

  2. stacy

    Why is it that my spouse of the opposite sex loves for me to listen to him very attentively and hang on to every word…but…if I have something to say his eyes start to glaze over if I say more than 2 or 3 sentences?

  3. sarah g

    you know, i got on here to make a negative comment about my husband….then tried…and could not think of one negative thing to say. now normally i could give you a laundry list, but recently i have been praying to fall more and more in love with him, and as i wrote this i have had this epiphany. thank you marla!

  4. Gail

    What a great talk! I don’t understand how men can “tune out” the static in our lives. My dear one can just decide not to listen to kiddy chaos and that’s that. He’s in his peaceful place. Me? I hear all of it and the TV he’s watching and the phone call I’m on. It’s why I long for a quiet place at the end of the day.

  5. Mary

    oh i do have to agree with the dishwasher thing. we get them rinsed out in the sink but they don’t go any further. even after he sees me put his dishes in the dishwasher right after he does that! agh, drives me crazy! but to be fair, my husband is pretty good at keeping up with other things.

    now if he could only read my mind…

  6. Pingback: Marla Taviano | Christian author and speaker » Blog Archive » grace for the weary?

  7. Elizabeth

    I wish I could have been there to hear you talk! I want you to come to my church sooooo bad.

    I’ve been married for a long time, but I still have so much to learn about the opposite sex! There are many things about my husband that I didn’t understand until we’d been married 5-10 years. I think I’ve learned more in the last year than ever! I think that just TRYING to understand goes a long way.

  8. Aunt Mel

    When my car is making the clunkity clunk sound and I ask my Dad to drive it and see what he thinks is wrong…what is so magical about him in the driver seat that makes the car hum along as it should?

  9. Amanda

    What I don’t get about men is how they can decide to go to bed and literally lay down and go to sleep 30 seconds later. It takes me forver to do my nighttime routine before I can sleep. Mainly I’m just jealous of them. Marla, I wish I lived near you so I could hear you speak!

  10. Emily

    I don’t get why men are so competitive and why when their favorite team loses, its the end of the world. It doesn’t just make them angry for a few hours like it does me, it makes them angry for days and weeks. Like their life is over because Pryor made mistakes and the Buckeyes lost a game. Boys are silly.

  11. Rachelle

    I am wondering if my husband’s habits are inherent from his dad? For instance not putting his dishes in the DW, rarely doing laundry or cooking supper. And, can I train my boys differently or will they act like daddy not matter how hard I try?

  12. Mindy may

    The one thing I will never understand about men … or maybe this is just my boyfriend … is how they can spend so much time learning about computers, cars, or video games so they can figure out what makes it tick but when I want to have a simple conversation about my feelings he has the attention span of a fruit fly?

  13. Emily Kay

    Ooooh, toughy! For one, I ditto the one above me…why is it impossible to respond to me or do what I ask (come to dinner, pick up the baby, etc.) WHEN I ASK IT? If he asks me to bring him scissors or something, I don’t wait 5 minutes and THEN respond….I bring him the scissors! Men…

  14. Amy

    Oh I second the dishwasher thing! Thanks sweetie for rinsing your dish and putting it on the counter on top of the dishwasher. Why when I tell my husband that dinner is ready does he wait 5-10 minutes to come to the table? Biggest pet peeve ever.

  15. Denise N.

    Why do they never put the toilet seat down? Not so much my hubby – he’s good about it, but the boys in my family never do and when I used to be a home, I’d always end up almost falling in the toilet, I mean really – it isn’t that hard!

  16. Susan

    My husband will rinse his dishes off, be NEVER put them in the dishwasher. I mean, I know I should be thankful that the first step gets done, but how much harder is it to place them inside the dishwasher. I have asked several times and it still never gets done,

  17. deanna

    I still don’t understand the whole toilet lid thing. I mean really, how hard is it to put down? I have a small child who has fallen in more than once because his Dad left the lid up and small child didn’t notice!

  18. Marlen

    I do not understand that they do not have a need for details like when someone calls to let us they had a baby if my husband answers and takes the info. all I know is that they had a baby and maybe what the sex is, but that is it. Sometimes I get a name, but not all the time. I mean I need to know the size and weight and did she go naturally or have to have a C-section?? What time was the baby born and are they in the hospital or was it a home birth??

    Puzzling to me every time….I should not let him answer the phone….ever!

  19. jess

    ^i obviously didn’t spell check…so..i apologize for typos. i’m FREEZING and my children are talking to me…so i’m a little distracted. 🙂

  20. Marla Taviano

    Good morning, Zac. You are so right. No gender studies course here. Just speaking from personal experience. I’ve found quite a few “outdated social constructs” to be not so outdated after all.

    Bottom line? I believe God created me (and you), loves me (and you), knows what’s best for me (and you). You believe something else.

    And this here blog? Is my opinion. Not fact. Anyone and everyone who reads it is free to disagree.

  21. jess

    comprozac—i dont think it takes a gender studies course to understand the typical desires of a man & woman (are there varying degrees of thse desires, yes. are there those who stray from the norm? yep.). i think it’s pretty obvious that men are after respect (taking it to an extreme–men missing respect try to force it w/ rape, violence and agression. i.e. “You WILL RESPECT ME AND GIVE ME what I want. I WILL be in charge.) and women want love (taking it to an extreme–throwing themselves into the bed of any man that will have them. i.e. “You WILL LOVE ME if I give myself to you. or you will LOVE me if I have your child.) it’s rarely the other way around.

    I think it’s definitely NOT outdated.

    God designed plants in the beginning, and I’m pretty sure they’re still working the same way. They need the same things even thought they’ve been around forever. Man’s could say a million times, “No. Plants don’t need water or sunlight. That’s outdated. That might be what they needed thousands of years ago. But not now. The worlds not the same as it was thousands of years ago. Man can say it as much as he wants because he wants to belive God’s design no longer works. But it doesn’t change it.

    just sayin. Not picking a fight. I just assumed (based on what I’ve seen you say before on this blog) that you headed over here for a little controvery anyway. So…I thought I’d chime in.

    I respect you for speaking your mind. (do you mind? me respecting you?)

  22. comoprozac

    Ah, presenting gender stereotypes based on outdated social constructs as fact. Interesting. I’m going out on a limb and guessing that you’ve not taken a gender studies course. Just a hunch.

  23. jess

    well, now, THAT’s a loaded question!!!! It’d be a shorter response if you asked what I DO know about men (mine in particular).

    I’m afraid there are too many issues in the forefront of my mind that’ll taint my question and that it’ll become more of an “i don’t understand when/why my hubby….?” does a, b, c or d than just a men in general question. so…i’ll go for the really, really, really broad–one that doesnt’ pertain to him at all; so i don’t inadvertantly complain about him. we gotta work out our stuff w/o me throwing it up all over a blog, ya know?!

    why do men feel the need to hoot and holler and whoop and whistle at a woman walking by when they can’t even see her face (or her body–i’ve seen it happen when baggy clothes are involved, too!). seriously. do men have a clue that women are in a tough situation b/c we’re the ones that are typically preyed upon? do they really feel like they need to do that to impress buddies (sure isn’t impressing the girl!). don’t they know it can be slightly threatening?? i don’t get it. i mean, i get it…i know the reasons, i guess…but i think men who do that just don’t think about the implications to a woman. it’s scary to be a girl—and then you get some men making cat calls and it’s a little intimidating! drives me bonkers—thankfully it hasn’t happened to me in at least a decade!

  24. krisco

    i know you probably have no interest/reason to read Bringing Up Boys by Dobson BUT his first 2 chapters deal heavily with why boys were created how they were and why this CAN be a very positive thing when they are men. I can get caught up in thinking that there is something wrong with my very boyish boys who seem to run towards danger and anything perilous BUT the book enlightened me to understanding my husband as well. And seeing the why God made him the way He did and why that is positive and not always negative. Like you said, different doesn’t always equal bad. 🙂

  25. Holly V.

    The hilarity of body sounds and odors. Why do some guys think this is so blasted hilarious? I thought that most people outgrew that stuff after 2nd grade……

  26. Rachel

    This is similar to above, but it’s how they can “listen” to you talk about something that you are passionate about and not respond. At all. They just sit there! Maybe women just talk too much 🙂

  27. Krysten

    How they can have no opinion on a topic or decison that has to be made. My husband and I have gotten in heated discussions because he does not have an opinion. I figure he has to have one if he would just think about it.

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