What Makes Your Spouse TICK not What Ticks Your Spouse

Tom C Lacy cropped

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In this session we learn males and females are equal but they are different. This is not new information for most people, although I do not recall hearing a sermon on this aspect of marriage. But what is new is how this plays out in the realm of problem solving between a husband and his wife.

            Someone said there are no marriage problems; there are singles problems carried into marriages. In counseling, I deal with this in premarital counseling so they don’t affect the marriage.

Know What Makes Your Spouse Tick Not What Ticks Your Spouse

            The above caption will be a continuing theme for the next several lessons.

            This title evokes many thoughts – some positive and some negative.

This statement may be deemed purely salesmanship on my part. As a Christian writer, teacher and Bible-based counselor it is designed to attract the curious and set the stage for teaching vital lessons in understanding the dynamics of a man and woman becoming husband and wife.

            In a previous lesson I quoted Dr. Ed Wheat, M.D., from his book, Love Life for Every Married Couple ©1980:

“The twenty-two words of Genesis 2:24 sum up the entire teaching of Scripture on marriage.” But these words do not explain the changes marriage crates or the role changes brought about through marriage.

            Genesis 2:23-24 states: “And Adam said, ‘this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one* flesh.

Don’t miss the vital point of this brief word study. Knowing this teaching has restored many troubled marriages. These two verses, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, defines what happens instantly when one man and one woman say, “I do” and establish their marriage bond.

*One flesh: properly united, i.e. one, or (as an ordinal), i.e. of or pertaining to an order. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

            The connotation of this word one is of profound importance. It explains how God has, by Divine Authority, ordained when one man (born a man) and one woman (born a woman) merge into a one-flesh relationship through marriage.

What is so significant about this?

Just as connoted in II Corinthians 5:17 that we become a new creature in Christ; in a God-sanctioned marriage the man and woman become a new creature through their God-ordained one-flesh relationship.

Outside of a God-sanctioned marriage there is no other one-flesh relationship that exists – only after marriage between one mand and one woman does this newly ordained relationship exist.

To my way of thinking, this union is a miracle second only to the salvation experience because it is invoked by God.

            When a couple exchanges marriage vows, in the name of God, they walk away from the altar as a new couple and also as new individuals.

They enter a new state of being that requires new rules for living and need a new understanding of their roles as husband and wife.

Deuteronomy 23:21 states, I believe, unequivocally: “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.”

To lay that foundation, this ministry endeavors to explain these changes by showing the differences between males and females and their supporting characteristics. Although some are different and some are opposites they are all complimentary.

            That the male and female are equal is irrefutable. Genesis 1:27 states: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.”

            Many of us learned this principle early in mathematics: Quantities equal to the same quantity are equal to each other.

            Although equal in every respect, the male husband and female wife are different in many respects – by Divine Design – from the ground up so to speak.

            Genesis 2:7 states: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

            Genesis 2:21-22 states; “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

            How more different can the male and female be? Adam was literally made from dirt while Eve was literally made from living flesh.

            As we follow the development of Adam and Eve through Chapters 2 and 3 we find each was given at least four separate areas of responsibility:

Adam’s Responsibilities

  1. Provider
  2. Teacher
  3. Protector
  4. Leader/guide

Eve’s Responsiblities

  1. Companion
  2. Helper
  3. Child Bearing
  4. Home Maker

*(In a properly managed marriage performing these areas of responsibility does not prevent a wife from being a Proverbs 31:10-31 Wife.)

            Listed below are commonly accepted male and female characteristics that aid each in performing their God-assigned areas of responsibility – all of which are opposites (different) – all of which are positive in their proper use.

            As you appraise the characteristics you will see how appropriately they fit the males and females needs in accomplishing their husband and wife areas of responsibility.

            The sum total of this teaching will be applied to problem prevention and problem solving in marriages as the next several lessons are taught.

Commonly accepted Male and Female


Thought processes:

            Men think logically    whereas women think with their emotions. Men normally look at the big picture while women look at the immediate needs. Coupled together these traits give them the proper perspective in meeting needs and for problem solving.

Physical & Emotional attributes:

            Normally men are deemed stronger than women. The phrase weaker vessel in 1 Peter 3:7 doesn’t imply physical weakness applied to women, but rather it denotes females as being more delicate than men – not weak.

Providers & Companions

            To perform as providers and protectors men demonstrate aggressiveness and may tend to be risk takers, whereas women in offsetting roles as companions and child bearing are more careful and cautious.

            To be effective providers men must be insensitive to be competitive in the market place. This attribute, if it can be called that, is certainly necessary to be a protector.

            To fulfill their responsibilities women by nature are more sensitive. Men must be suspicious to stay alert, whereas women to be alert must be more trusting.

            In closing this lesson, realize these are generalities that become specifics to be applied properly to maintain a Godly family atmosphere.

Next Time: The Two Elements of Personal Worth

Tom C Lacy cropped Rev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

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