Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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How Are Men and Women Different?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: “Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of.” You’ve probably heard that nursery rhyme that I think originated in the nineteenth century. Now I know it’s just a children’s ditty and probably not really intended to be taken seriously, but I think that the questions posed by that nursery rhyme are valid. What are boys made of and what are girls made of? Is there a difference? And if there is what implication does that have for our lives?

Leslie Basham: You’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, March 6.

Do you understand the hearts of guys? Today we’ll take a look at the unique purpose and design that God gave men. Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Mary Kassian address this topic in the new workbook True Woman 101: Divine Design. Now they know this book is a study of true womanhood, but in order to grasp God’s design for women, it’s helpful to understand how He designed men. Nancy, Mary, and a group of friends are discussing “Snips and Snails” chapter two from True Woman 101.

Nancy: We have some new guests with us this week, and I want to introduce them to you. To Mary’s left is my friend, Kim Wagner. She’s a pastor’s wife, a mom, a grandmom. Kim, we are so glad to have you on our set this time—our Table Talk.

And then in the middle, Karen Loritts, married to Crawford Loritts. He’s a pastor and a broadcaster and an author. Karen and Crawford have been my friends for many years, and we’re glad to have you with us. Karen is also a mom and a grandmom. How many grandchildren now, Karen?

Karen Loritts: Eight grandchildren. They’re growing.

Nancy: Wow! Bless you! And we are so glad you are able to join us. And then to my right, Carolyn McCulley. Carolyn is a filmmaker. She makes . . . what do you call those?

Carolyn McCulley: Documentaries.

Nancy: Documentaries, a certain kind that have social causes. You have a real heart for people for issues that need to be surfaced and people need to get greater understanding of. We’ve been friends for a long time, and that’s what this True Woman Table Talk is. It’s Mary and me getting to talk with some of our friends. So this is a lot of fun for us, and I’m glad that as we are talking about guys today that we have some different seasons of life represented. We have moms, grandmoms, single women. Mary, you have all sons.

Mary Kassian: All sons. Grown. They’re grown, and I have my first daughter-in-law which is great. And it just even showed more profoundly how big of a difference there is between girls and guys.

Nancy: Like when you choose movies at your house?

Mary: When we choose movies—that’s a big one. I mean,  I have never been able to watch like chick flicks. It’s just a big deal.

Nancy: Just you and the sons.

Mary: Let me tell you what it absolutely floored me. Clark and Jacqueline got married, and Jacqueline was hanging out at our place. I come home from a shopping trip and I’ve got bags in my hand. I came in with the bags and normally I just go upstairs and put them away in my closet. I hear this voice from the living room and Jacqueline’s there, “What did you buy? I want to see.” And so anyway, now that Jacqueline is in our household it’s turned in to this big joke because I was just so blown away that I was asked to interact on what I had purchased. It’s just so much fun to see that and just to enjoy those differences in adulthood between male and female and to enjoy those.

Carolyn: Well, I’m so excited we are talking about the differences between men and women today because I love talking about men. It’s one difference I’m changing. (laughter)

Kim Wagner: We just witnessed the differences right here as we were getting ready to record. Karen and Mary and I were talking about, “Oh, what color are you? What season?”

Karen: It was such a big thing. Can you imagine our husbands saying that? “Oh, what season are you?”

Kim: “I’m like an autumn.”  

Nancy: I can wear orange.

Mary: You can’t, you’re not an autumn.

Nancy: I’m not an autumn.

Kim: And so, some of the men on the engineering crew were standing up here and heard what we were saying. One of the men turned to the other one and said, “What season are you?” (laughter) Another camera man said, “Well, are you talking about deer season? Or time season? What do you mean?” There are differences.

Karen: Men are . . . they are different. A couple of weeks ago, we had three of our four grandsons at our house. We went up to a friend’s house to take them into the pool to do some swimming. One of the little guys was jumping off a ten-foot wall into the pool, and I’m screaming, “No! No! No!” And then the other one jumped and got his foot jammed, had blood, and I’m screaming.

Mary: Oh, blood. That’s almost a prerequisite for fun. It’s a boy’s thing. It’s a good play time when there’s blood.

Karen: It’s a boy’s thing. I want them to calmly swim, like my granddaughters. But no, they do the boy’s thing as the grandmother, the woman, is screaming because of blood.

Mary: My husband always used to describe our kids, three sons, torn between the desire to build or destroy. Like it’s not a good play time unless something has been built and something has blown up. Like you need both.

I used to just cringe because I used to go to my girlfriends who had all these little girls. They were so well behaved. They would sit there coloring and fussing with their little girl things and whatever tea sets or whatever it was. And my boys would be ripping the place apart. The lamps would be falling over; they’d be running. Finally, I just gave up and said, “You all come to my house because my house is boy-proof; yours isn’t.”

I was asking myself, “Am I like a bad mother?” Like, they are just so different. It’s just the way they are. I mean I tried to neutralize it, but it just didn’t work.

Kim: And when we fight against those differences rather than appreciating them and embracing them, it’s really harmful to men.

Mary: It’s harmful for them. It would be very, very harmful.

Karen: I remember one story growing up. I’m from a single parent home, and we lived in the projects. We had those old radiators back then.

Mary: Old What? Radiators?

Nancy: Radiators.

Karen: Radiators. (laughter) So I would be cooking toast on the radiator, and my little brother would be crashing cars up against the wall in our home while mom was trying to sleep. So we saw the differences. He was like four and I was eight, and we saw the differences early. But I was cooking, and he was banging around.

Nancy: My mother had, in her first five years of marriage, six children, three girls and then three boys. Two of the boys were twins. She said it was just night and day differences between the energy level, what it took to parent. Of course, the differences when they are children, the boys are more physical and the girls more verbal. But then you get to the teenage years and you have differences, too, in terms of the emotions and the hormones.

Carolyn: Boys become a lot easier in the teenage years and the girls—whoa, drama!

Mary: Well, you grew up with sisters.

Carolyn: Yes, my poor dad was the only male in the family. Even the dog was a female. So I think by the time we added brothers-in-law, sons-in-law to the family, he was really happy. In fact, he and one of my brothers-in-law aligned over the fact, “On Father’s Day, we don’t want any big activities. Just leave us alone. We just want to do our own thing.” They had an alliance. “No more family events. We just want to be in our man cave.”

Karen: Isn’t it just special that you didn’t have to teach the little boys what they’re supposed to do with the little girls. You go into a nursery and see the differences? No one has set down and taken them to Gender 101. It’s God that has created them to be that way.

Nancy: In spite of all the attempts of sociologists and psychologists and social engineers to say there are no differences. If you have had kids or watched kids, you just know that from the time they are little, little, little those differences start to come out.

Mary: It’s so very different. It really grieves me in our culture, having raised men, just how much culture tries to shame the maleness out of men. All those things that God has poured into them as such positive, wonderful, wonderful things, that guys are really shamed so that they are embarrassed to be men.

Nancy: We had a young woman post on the Lies Young Women Believe blog yesterday. They were blogging about this whole True Woman project we are doing. One of the gals, the young women, wrote this. She said, “Could you define why God made guys and girls so different as in why we think and act so differently? Sometimes it gets so frustrating. Like, why can’t guys see things the same way we do?” Here’s a teenage girl who’s saying “Why are we different? Why can’t we be the same?”

Mary: We think different.

Carolyn: I am so glad that men and women do think differently. I have been served so well, especially in the workplace, between the differences between men and women. I would come in and I’d be all upset about something, and my boss would just look at me and cut to the chase. “Well, this is the issue.” Boom. Done. Just the clarity of that.

There have been times when I’ve sought counsel from men. They just hear it. Then, here’s the problem; here’s your solution; go. It’s more compartmentalized, and I appreciate that. I appreciate the, “I’m taking you to the bottom line. I’m not trying to waste time or cut you short, but here we are.”

Now, my brother-in-law has taught my sister. He’ll just look at her when she gets going and go, “Is there a point here?”

Mary: Brent just says, “Let me make sure that I understand your point.” There was no point! I was just emo-bing. Okay?

Karen: Some of our longest conversations in forty years of marriage, I can remember, I’m trying to have this discussion (we call marital adjustment times) with Crawford.

Mary: Marital adjustment.

Karen: Not arguments. We call it marital adjustments.

Mary: Adjustments.

Karen: Yes. We were sitting there, and I have all this information I want to get out, and Crawford is, “Just land the plane, Karen, land the plane. What is the issue? One thing at a time.” He helps  me because I was all over the place, and it really wasn’t helping our relationship. But it is different how they just help us focus. They can have the patience to hear our heart, but help us to get right there.

Nancy: Now I’m sure some women are sitting here thinking, listening to this discussion and going, “Okay you are making women sound dizzy and emotional.”

Mary: There are personality differences, there are. I tend to be much more of a logical thinker and a linear thinker than a lot of women are. That’s just my personality. I tend to clarify things and get down to the point more so than other personalities. But there are physiological differences that are responsible for this. It’s the way that the two sides of the brain  are connected with male and female. The men are more, I think, left-dominant, where they are better at special relations and mathematics and those types of logical, linear thinking.

Nancy: You realize what you are saying is not politically correct.

Mary: I know it’s not politically correct. 

Nancy: You know people have lost jobs over making comments like what you just did.

Mary: But I’m just saying there’s a reason our brains are connected different. Women are more holistic. There’s greater connection between the hemispheres. So we tend to look at issues in a much more complex, holistic, relational, global way. And tie in to that also our emotions. Neither is better or worse, they’re just different.

Karen: I think we have to celebrate that differences are not wrong, differences are just different. It’s just different. One of the things I am always concerned about in recent days is that we are trying to do away with those differences and make us all the same, and we’re not all the same. And generalizations are generalizations.

Mary: Yes.

Nancy: That’s why we need to go back to Scripture as our plumbline and say these differences are not the result of chance or biological accidents. God dreamed this up. God thought this up. So back to Genesis, we see how God created male and female with distinct mission and calling and purpose—both created in His image. So there is equality but with magnificent diversity—as God has in all of His creation.

Carolyn: In fact, that should always be our starting point when we talk about these differences, is to start first with the fact that there is fundamental equality because we both carry an image of God, and there is a purpose in doing that. So even as we look at and celebrate the differences, it isn’t to evaluate, which is a human way of thinking. “Oh, one is better; one’s worse.” It’s not.

The differences are there so that together, in working together in community and marriage and family that these things celebrate a wholeness of God that we can’t even begin to consider because our finite minds can’t wrap themselves around who He is.

Nancy: And that together as male and female, we glorify God which is what makes us infinitely different than the animals or the plants or the rocks or anything else in creation. That together we bring glory to God.

Mary: And, Carolyn, I love that point, because I think ultimately, the danger when we talk about differences is to have that “us” “them” or “one is better than the other” or to think division. But that isn’t what God is thinking when He’s thinking differences. He’s not thinking this compartment over here; this compartment over here. Scripture just shows there’s this wonderful complementarity that the differences actually contribute to the unity and mutuality. They contribute to the oneness and the one piece.

It’s this beautiful picture of complementarity which is actually intended to image who God is. You have the God who is the Triune God, three distinct individuals in terms of who God is, and yet God is one. The overriding thing, God is one. God is One—the Shema of the Old Testament. God is One.

And that’s really the aim, I think, that God had in mind when He created male and female. You do have these distinctions, but there’s a oneness and an equality and a unity that is absolutely profound.

Karen: Yes, isn’t it the sovereignty of God that He’s the master designer of this male and female, so He knows the whole plan. He has a plan for each one of us, and we have a purpose and a reason and this master designer has a great plan.

Mary: It’s breathtaking.

Nancy: We are going to talk later about how the enemy has messed up this plan. Satan came in and created the battle of the sexes, focusing on the differences becoming a means of irritation or annoyance or conflict. But we want to go back and see how what God made in those differences and that equality is good. So as we look at Genesis chapter one, we see this big picture of the creation. Then we get to Genesis chapter two, and it’s like a replay with the details coming out.

Mary: You know how appropriate that is for the guys. Like a sports re-start.

Nancy: Instant replay.

Mary: Real guys zoom in, and we are looking at the guys.

Nancy: One of the things that comes out that and some of these you don’t notice when you’re reading through Genesis the first time, it doesn’t stand out as being really significant. But when you get to the New Testament, you realize these things are significant, such as the fact that God created the man first.

Now you say, like big deal. But it becomes a big deal in New Testament theology. God puts the man in the Garden of Eden. He commands him to work, to keep it. He gives him the rules of the garden and has Adam name the animals. And Mary, one of the things we reflect on is this chapter is that those details have significance as to why God created man and what man’s male purpose is.

Mary: What maleness is all about.

Nancy: What maleness is all about.

Mary: And again, we put it through the grid that we talked about in last session of all of this is for the glory of God. All of this is to give that WOW factor to showcase who God is. And that’s why God created male and female. We have to put it through that grid when we approach this, but each detail is significant.

I think God was so very, very intentional in the way He created. I mean, He could have just boom, here we are male and female. He could have created one sex. He could have created us so that we are just creatures that pop out like amoeba’s divide. But there was a message that was so important that He wanted us to get it and to actually have it on display everywhere. And that is the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message about truths of who God is.

So God creates the male. Have you ever thought about where the male was created? He wasn’t created in the garden. He was created out in the wild, and then God takes him and He puts him in the garden.

Nancy: Whereas the woman was made in the garden.

Mary: So right off there’s a huge difference.

Karen: There’s a plan there.

Mary: There’s a plan there. Then he took man and put him in the garden. I think that’s really significant because later in the chapter we see that a man leaves his place of creation to establish a new family unit. So I really think that it’s an incredible picture that God created men to take initiative. That’s one of the core aspects of what it means to be a man.

Nancy: Each one of those core aspects is going to correspond to a core aspect of womanhood that we’ll talk about in the next session. So, man the initiator, woman the responder. We’ll see woman being responsive. All of that is pictured in the early creation there.

Mary: It really is.

Carolyn: What I love about that picture, too, is that the man is the initiator. But really God is initiating the issue of relationships because we have no record that Adam said, “Well, where’s my partner?” or that “I’m alone” or anything. It was God who recognized that and God who wanted to institute that relational tightness, that bonding and intimacy.

It’s like, “Okay, now we’ve gone through all the animals, but now I’m going to bring someone to you who is your perfect complement.” And God who exists in fellowship wanted to make sure His beings would exist in fellowship, too. But as a single woman, I take great comfort in the fact that it’s God who notices when a man needs somebody. You don’t have to worry if everyone around you seems to be oblivious.

Nancy: God has designed women, also, to complement men, and God’s the ultimate matchmaker.

Mary: Yes. And this whole think of initiation really comes down to . . . I always ask people, “Well, what do you think we’re telling guys when we’re telling them to “man up”? What are we telling them?

Kim: Take leadership. Fulfill what you’ve been created for.

Karen: Step into the role for which you’ve been created for. God created you with a purpose. Step up and show who God is.

Mary: Because there’s not the same sort of a saying for women, is there?

Kim: We don’t tell, “Woman up, girl. Girl up.” 

Mary: You just don’t say that.

Karen: That’s a good phrase.

Mary: Maybe we should “Girl up. It’s time to girl up.”

Karen: No that doesn’t sit. 

Mary: It doesn’t fit, but it’s because it has a very specific meaning.

Karen: Isn’t it a reminder? It’s a reminder that when you’re getting lost in who you are, and another man will say to him, “Man-up. Be on the stand. This is what you’re created to be. I’m calling you to step up to manhood.” 

Mary: You don’t even need to be a believer because that’s just an intuitive thing. I mean, there’s been a lot of articles, Carolyn, lately about difficulties in manhood. I’m sure you’ve read some of them.

Carolyn: Yes, especially in certain communities and sub-cultures where adult men aren’t present for a variety of reasons. Younger men need that. They need the role model. So I love it when I read about men who are sacrificing their time and energy and effort to go into communities where younger men don’t have those role models so that they can see this is what responsibility looks like, this is what benevolence looks like.

I mean, one of my favorite phrases to describe what masculinity is, is that benevolent masculinity initiatives that kindness that reflects God. So there’s a leadership that is oriented toward serving others. When we think about leadership, we put it in our American individualistic terms, our consumeristic mindset.

Nancy: Take over.

Carolyn: Take over and everybody is there to serve me.

Mary: Authoritarian.

Carolyn: Exactly. And abusing authority. You’ve written so wonderfully in the chapter that authority as Jesus defined it was to serve. It was to bring others to be more conformed to the image of God. It wasn’t to conform people to your desires and your pleasures and your preferences. So I love it when I see men who turn around and they notice needs of others around them, and they take the initiative to do something whether it’s to serve widows or orphans or to rebuke bad theology in the church or to care for others. I mean that kind of initiative in serving is incredibly attractive.

Leslie: Carolyn McCulley has been describing  biblical masculinity in a discussion we’re calling “True Woman Table Talk.” Karen Loritts and Kim Wagner were also part of that conversation. So were Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Mary Kassian who have written a new workbook called True Woman 101: Divine Design. Today’s conversation was based on chapter two from that book, looking at God’s design for men.

When men and women embrace their God-given design, the gospel is displayed in powerful ways. Whether you are married or single, you can be a part of showing the world what God is like by embracing biblical femininity.

This new workbook, True Woman 101, will help you discover your design and to be the woman God wants you to be. The book was just released days ago, and you can order at a twenty percent discount this week. You can get your copy by calling 1-800-569-5959, or visit ReviveOurHeart.com. At the site you can also find out more about using the True Woman 101 workbook and video in your small group. Again, just visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Today’s guests, Mary, Kim, Karen, and Carolyn have all been involved in True Woman events in the past. What you heard today is a small taste of the heart and the message you’ll hear at the next conference coming in September. It’s called True Woman’12: Seeking Him Together for Spiritual Awakening. Mary Kassian will be one of the plenary speakers, and she’s here to talk about her excitement for the conference.

Mary: True Woman 2012, ladies you need to come. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Not only will it be fun with the girlfriends and good worship and good teaching and good instruction, but I think that you will receive nourishment for your soul. You’re going to be challenged. You are going to be challenged in terms of how you do life as a woman, and you are also going to be challenged in terms of just making your life right with God because I think that’s what true womanhood is all about.

I think that’s what we’ll be emphasizing at True Woman 2012 is the connection between saying "yes" to the Lord in terms of how you do your life as a woman. How that is really connected to spiritual revival and to revival in our homes and in our churches and communities and in this land.

Leslie: Mary Kassian is excited about True Woman ’12. Other speakers include Janet Parshall, Joni Eareckson Tada, Priscilla Shirer, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and many others. To get all the details on joining us in Indianapolis this September, visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Well, how can a woman encourage the men around her to provide and protect? True Woman Table Talk will pick back up tomorrow with that question. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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