Shaunti Feldhahn is one of my favorite authors.
She is a social researcher and Christian author who does large scale, statistically accurate surveys of men and women to discover how we think and relate to each other. What a blessing to the Body of Christ! Her book, “For Women Only,” was the book that most helped me begin to understand men in general – and was a fantastic place to start to begin to understand my own husband. It gave me a starting point to begin having some fascinating discussions with Greg about his masculine world, his perspective, the way he thinks, and the issues he faces as a man.
One of the most difficult chapters in the book, “For Women Only,” for many women, is the chapter about how men are “visual” and what that means in real life.
For lots of women, much of the information Shaunti shares from her surveys of men – is new information that we didn’t ever understand or even hear much about before. Some women handle learning this new information well – but a minority of women completely freak out.
The point of learning about these things is that we might be better informed, equipped, and empowered to BLESS our men, our future marriages, our sons, our brothers in Christ, and to please the Lord.
One of the reasons Shaunti teamed up with Craig Gross (pastor and founder of http://www.xxx.church.org) is to explain the whole “how men think” and what it means that men are “visual” in a bit more detail – and to better equip us as women to respond in HEALTHY, productive, godly ways to this information. That is what I want for each of us.
If you believe that you are not able to read about this topic without freaking out in a destructive way – I would encourage you NOT to read my review or Shaunti’s book until you have prayed and believe you are emotionally and spiritually stable enough to read about this. And, if you are not handling this topic well – please seek appropriate godly counseling (in person, one-on-one) to help walk you through this.
- There are resources at http://www.xxxchurch.org and http://www.menarevisual.com that may be helpful, as well.
Please keep in mind that each man is unique. There is a continuum with how much men struggle with this just like there is with how much women struggle with PMS. (For some women, PMS barely exists at all. For some, it is an inconvenience and a hassle for a few days, or a week or two each month. For others, it is devastating and destructive to all of their relationships.) Shaunti’s book opened the door for us to bridge a large gap of misunderstanding that I didn’t even realize I had. I used to think that everyone thought just like I did – regardless of personality or gender. Now I understand that men and women have very different brain structure and brain chemistry – which makes a large impact on how we think and what we think. And, of course, there is room for lots of individual variation between different people, as well.
THIS IS A TOUGH TOPIC
Admittedly, the issue of the struggles and temptations men face (especially battles that are different from the ones we primarily face as women) is probably one of the most difficult topics for women.
The enemy doesn’t want us to understand, empathize with, or offer grace to our brothers in Christ or our men. He doesn’t want our men to understand, empathize with, or offer grace to us in our particular struggles as women either. He wants to continue to create division, resentment, bitterness, and hatred between men and women, husbands and wives.
The hallmark of believers of Christ is that we have God’s Spirit. And when His Spirit is in charge, not our sinful flesh, we will have His unconditional love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), His Spirit of unity, His peace, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, and His power in our midst. THAT is the goal, my dear sisters!
PLEASE PRAY WITH ME:
How I pray that You might prepare each of our hearts to be soft, humble, fully submitted to You, willing to hear Your truth, and receptive to anything You want to share with us as we study the topic of how men think and the temptations they face. Help us remember that each of these men are dearly beloved sons of yours for whom Christ died – or they are wayward sons for whom Christ died and You long to receive them to Yourself.
Together, we lift up every reader of mine and of Shaunti’s who will read about this topic and who will read this book – that the Holy Spirit might work ahead of time in her soul – and that God might use these difficult discussions to break down barriers, bridge the large gap of misunderstanding between men and women/husbands and wives – and bring healing to the Body of Christ, to marriages, to families, and to relationships all over His church in our country and around the world. Stop divorces in Your Body, Lord! Heal wounded marriages. Heal broken wives and broken husbands. Reconcile marriages and strengthen them by Your Spirit’s power to properly display the mystery of Christ and His church for the glory of Your Gospel! I pray that with our increased understanding and knowledge, that we might use this information for GOOD in our homes and churches as You desire us to.
In the Name and power of Christ,
One of the most heartbreaking things I read in Shaunti’s new book is the sentiment that many Christian men in our culture today feel guilty – just for having a male brain – just for existing as men or being masculine, not feminine.
This should not be! My precious sisters! What a tragic thing that our fathers, our husbands, our brothers, and our sons may feel that they are “wrong” just for being men. Our culture has been trying to squeeze men into a feminine mindset for many decades now. We have labeled many ways that men think, talk, and act as “wrong.” We have demanded – in our marriages, in our families, and in our churches – that men should think, talk, and act like women. We have all been marinating in the idea that “women are spiritually/morally superior to men” and that women’s sins are not as bad as men’s sins.
These ideas are not biblical! We are ALL equally sinful before a holy God. We ALL equally and desperately need the blood of Christ to cover our awful sins that grieve God’s heart. We are ALL on level ground at the foot of the cross. None of us are “better than” the other. If we think we are, that is pride and self-righteousness – which are both sins.
God made men and women both in His image (Genesis 2). We are of equal value in Christ (Galatians 3:28). He made our differences to be a GOOD thing and to be a reflection of Christ and the church. We need godly masculinity and godly femininity – and the two are VERY different! How I pray we will learn to celebrate the wondrous differences between men and women in the church and the family and how God can bring a man and woman together in unity in marriage for His glory!
I long for men to feel safe and supported being masculine as God intends them to be and I long for women to feel safe and supported being feminine as God intends them to be in our families and the church.