In the mid 1990’s, Mike and I had the wonderful privilege of teaching/leading a young married couple’s bible study in our home. The group consisted of seven couples (most of whom had attended out pre-marriage class that we taught for 13 years at the Chapel on the Campus in Baton Rouge, LA.) I’m very happy to say that all seven couples are still married today.
One of the books we read was The Silence of Adam by Dr. Larry Crabb. Overall, the book was pretty good. One topic that stood out to me was the idea that husbands are usually fantastic performers at work, but when it comes to relationships, family dynamics, emotions, personal setbacks, illnesses, or tragedies, husbands don’t know exactly what to do. In these situations, according to Dr. Larry Crabb is men/husbands tend to act one of two ways:
- They will move into the situation/chaos like a bull in a china closet and try to strong-arm a solution via CONTROL. They will attempt to control the people, dynamics, conversations, thoughts, ideas, and emotions.
The second option is:
- They will shut off their emotions and capacity to think. They often withdraw physically as well. They become PASSIVE.
What’s the back story to these two trends among men and husbands?
Most men thrive at work. It’s an environment they understand. If they are highly successful, it’s because they comprehend workplace dynamics, problems and personalities. They use their years of experience, intellect, training, and imaginative problem solving skills to resolve issues in the work arena. Most men get a deep sense of their masculinity from work.
Conversely, when issues arise in relationships (marital, parent/child, friendships), it is not so easy to come up with solutions to complex and sometimes chaotic situations. Commonly, when a guy doesn’t know exactly what to do, they will lean toward doing nothing.
What might God expect from these guys whom we love and respect?
Dr. Crabb said that God does not expect men to move into chaos by being controlling or by being passive. God asks men to do something they can ALWAYS DO. A man can always hold his wife and gently remind her that God is in control and God will lead every couple (or person) through difficult situations. All we have to do is follow our precious Father God as He leads us.
So, the next time your husband says, “I don’t know what you want from me?????”
Simply ask him to HOLD YOU FOR 15-30 seconds and ask him to say, “I don’t know exactly what you need right now, but I do know this: God is good. He loves us. And He will show us what to do or say in any given moment while we are in that moment.”