2 HAVE AND 2 HOLD SERMON SERIES
MEN ARE FROM MARS – UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF MEN
MAY 7, 1995
Imagine men are from Mars and women are from Venus. And one day the Martians were looking through their telescopes and they saw the beautiful planet of Venus. They noticed the gorgeous creatures called women walking around on that planet. They fell in love with these creatures and it motivated them to build spaceships. They then travelled to Venus. The Venusians welcomed the Martians with open arms and maybe they said something to them like this: “Ahhhh, ahhhh.” And they loved relating to the Martians. They did a lot of stuff together. And the relationships were based on harmony even though they were different, even though they realized men were from Mars and women from Venus.
One afternoon they looked and saw the planet earth and they decided to fly to earth and to live there for awhile and they did that. In the beginning everything was A-OK but one morning both the men and the women woke up with selective amnesia. Overnight they forgot the fact that they were different, that the differences were intentional and from that moment on Martians and Venusians, men and women, have been in conflict with one another. Men expect women to act, feel and think they way men do. On the other hand, women expect men to act, think and feel the way women do. And you have got problems. We forget that we are different.
To show you how different men and women are think about air travel. Over the last few months I have been doing a lot of flying and I notice the amazing phenomenon. The plane will land and as the plane is taxiing to the gate, even though the plane is usually packed, men are already thinking about being the first one off the aircraft. Even though they are at the back of the plane, they think they can get ahead of the guy in the row ahead of them and they have their briefcases ready, their shoulder bags in tow and they are prepared for the stop. And once the plane stops, the men will stand, even though they have a seat next to the window, they will stand. And they are cramped beneath the luggage rack and they remain that way and talk to each other for about ten minutes until the plane finally clears, and then they straighten up and they leave. Why do men do that? We want to get ahead. We are competitive. The women, they are not doing that. They are sitting there waiting patiently because they know there is no way they can walk ahead of 175 people and it will not help them to get off the plane quicker if they suddenly stand. That is just kind of a man thing.
How about the remote control. That is properly named, isn’t it? Men love control and we want to have the remote and control it. And we try to watch four to six channels at once. Lisa begins to laugh at me and finally she will just leave the room. I am bouncing between this channel and that channel and that channel. We are different.
Dr. John Grey has written a best selling book entitled MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS and he does a great job explaining the differences. However, Dr. Grey is talking about a subject the Bible has dealt with for thousands and thousands of years, that we are different, that God created us in His image and He wants men to be men and women to be women. The Bible says in I Corinthians 7:3 “A man should fulfill his duty as a husband and a women should fulfill her duty as a wife and each should satisfy the other’s needs.” Highlight that phrase, each should satisfy the other’s needs. God wants us to satisfy the other’s needs, however, we cannot if we don’t understand what those needs are. So over the next two weeks I am going to talk about the needs of a man and the needs of a woman.
Men are from Mars. Ladies, the next time you are tempted to say, men are from Mars, just remember that the word Mars spells out the four basic needs of a man. Dr. Willard Harley is a Christian psychologist from Minnesota and he directs a network of mental health clinics around the state. Dr. Harley has interviewed thousands of couples about the needs of a man and the needs of a woman and he has written a classic book entitled, HIS NEEDS AND HER NEEDS. I highly recommend that book. His research will be used in today’s message because he has lifted out the four top needs of a man and the four top needs of a woman. Let’s dive right in ladies, are you ready?
See the M word. It stands for managed. Write the word managed. A managed household. A primary need that a gentleman has is a managed household. A home is a man’s castle. He must seek refuge there. It should be a place of tranquility. And Dr. James Dobson talks about this need over and over in his writings. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 17:1 “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” Titus 2:4-5 “Women are to love their husbands and their children, to be sober-minded, to keep themselves pure, to manage their households well.” And ladies, it doesn’t say to keep a spotless household or to have a Good Housekeeping household or a Southern Living household. Some women freak out over this and think everything must be perfect, pristine, germless, odorless, and that is not the real world. It does mean, though, to do the best you can with your time limitations and your family situation. But make sure it is a refuge. The Bible then says, “Women to be gentle.” And look at this next term, it is one of your favorites, the S word. Submitting. “Submitting themselves to their husbands.”
I want to talk to you about submission. The operative word in the Bible for a wife is the word submit. The operative word for a husband in the Bible is the word sacrifice. First, the Bible says husbands are to love their wives in a sacrificial way, a Christ-centered way. Jesus loved us in a sacrificial way, He gave His life for us. We are to love our wives like Christ loved us in a self-sacrificing way and when we love our wives in a self-sacrificing way, our wives have no problem submitting to the husband. And the word submission entails the freedom to love back. And you love back because you first have been loved. Submission, though, is in function only. The man has been given the leadership role by God in the relationship. The Bible never says that men are superior and women are inferior. We play on a level playing field. However, we have the responsibility, men, of keeping the house together. Just the word husband comes from two words which mean house band, we are to band, we are to bond, we are to keep everything in order. Bill Clinton, our President, is not superior to any of us here. In function, though, he is our leader. Your husbands are not superior to you either, but in function they are the leader. “Submitting themselves to their husbands, all this to insure that God’s message should not fall into disrepute.”
I grew up in a home, to be frank with you, where my mother did most of the household chores. And men I am not going to let you off the hook here, because the word is managed household, it is not just a woman thing. Some men are saying, “All right, this verse says that I can just give all of the responsibility to my wife and let her do everything, the house is her’s and I’ll just make sure everything is taken care of in the marketplace. I can bring back the money and she can do whatever she wants with it. But hey, I will take care of myself, she will take care of the home and the kids.” It is not saying that. You can’t option off this responsibility. Yes, a woman is to take charge and to manage the household well but it is to be a co-manager. I am to be a co-manager, my wife is to be a co-manager. And because I grew up in a home where my mother did most of the stuff needing to be done and my father didn’t get involved in many of those chores and helping out, I go into marriage thirteen years ago with this kind of model. And you can take a wild guess what happened there. And it has been a struggle for me to help around the house. It really has. And over the last couple of years I have learned more and more and more about this exciting opportunity. Men, we must help. And let me tell you what it does when you help around the house. It adds tranquility to this managed household. It helps the children, it helps your marital relationship, it helps, it helps, it helps.
When LeeBeth was born, our eight year old, I didn’t get involved that much in changing diapers, or giving her a bath. I was kind of out doing my own thing. I would come home and you know when she was dry and clean I would hug her and kiss her and all that but that was about it. And then EJ, I did a little bit more and everything was kind of going along fine and then all of a sudden, we have twins. And that was a tough deal to figure out, what we were going to do with twins, because you are talking about four children, three under three years of age. And I am not known for my helping around the house, I need some major work in that area. So over the last year to year and a half, I have improved in this area. But let me tell you, men, I’ve got a long, long, long way to go.
But now and then, I would say at least once or twice a week I will clear the table off and I give the kids baths now and give them bottles some, which I really enjoy. And I have seen what it has done for our marriage and our home for me to play more of an active role in this regard. Hey, I see some elbows at work already. So, men, make sure you help. And here is how to do this. Because it is oftentimes easy to say, well help more. Great, what does that mean, that is kind of nebulous. I would suggest you sit down with your spouse and have some labor talk. Sit down and kind of divide up what you do during the day. And here is what we do, men. Well I am working so hard, I have all these pressures at the job. Let’s say your wife works part time and then the rest of the time she is a homemaker, which is work, even more so than in the marketplace. And you say, well I am working about 50 hours a week and when I come home I need to relax, I need to watch television. But as you begin to net out how much you work, it is going to be a sobering thing for you, men. And you can see how much your bride works compared to you. So, once you net out all of these responsibilities from the marketplace to the home, I encourage you to divide the specific tasks down. So maybe you want to do the lawn, and maybe your wife wants to do the bath. Or you do the bath, or whatever. Once you have everything divided out, compromise on what you do, kind of a give and take type situation, so you can be more involved in this process, so it is a shared responsibility. You can say, hey, we have got a managed household. And if you do that remember Titus 2:4-5, God’s message should not fall into disrepute. And what a great model for the kids. And I could go on and on about the benefits of a managed household.
- Affirming spouse. Affirming spouse, that’s a biggie. Women you might not realize this but men are much, much weaker than you perceive. They need your compliments, they need good words, they need applause, they need for you to say, hey you are good at this, I want to compliment you here. Proverbs 12:4 “A worthy wife (or you could say an affirming wife) is her husband’s joy and crown.” Circle the word crown. If you see a king without a crown, the king looks naked. And this word worthy could be affirming. An affirming wife is her husband’s crown. Every time you compliment your husbands, wives, you are putting a precious stone in his crown. And some men here, they walk proudly with their chests stuck out and a beautiful crown because their woman compliment them, affirm them. And they have these gorgeous jewels on their crown and everybody is going, whoa, isn’t this unbelievable, look at that husband. Conversely, there are husbands walking around saying, “Where is my crown?” Because women, you have nagged, you have picked him apart, you have cut him down. The number one complaint husbands have about wives is, they are trying to change me. They are trying to change me. And women it is fine to want to improve your husband but you have got to think about what you say and for many of you, where is the crown, where are the stones? They are out there in the yard, they are way across the street, who knows where. This verse continues, “The other kind of wife corrodes.” That is a gross word, isn’t it? Corrosion. Have you ever had some batteries corrode in your Walkman before? It’s horrible. “The other kind of wife corrodes his strength and tears down everything he does.” If your wife is ripping you apart, it affects every slice of your life. It will mess you around.
And I want to tell you ladies specifically how you can corrode your husbands character. The first way is complementing other husbands in front of your husband. Here is what I am talking about. “Did you see the ring that he gave her on their fifth anniversary?” “Have you seen how sweet he is to his wife?” It is taking one of those precious stones and tossing it away. Another way, ladies, that you can corrode your husband’s character is to correct him and put him down in front of people. Let’s say, and this is a little example, let’s say men you are at a party and you are telling a story. And you say, “A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to the Stars hockey game and it was, I believe, on a Tuesday night.” “No, it wasn’t, it was on a Monday night.” “Thank you. Anyway, we were sitting right by the ice on the front row.” “No, it wasn’t by the ice, we were on the tenth row.” “Anyway, as we were watching the game, we could feel the ice kind of coming onto our faces and dropping on our hair like snow.” “It wasn’t ice, someone threw a beer down from the upper deck.” Women, I know you have a better memory than men, but let them tell the story, please.
Ephesians 5:33 Amplified “Let the wife see to it that she respects and reverences her husband, that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, esteems him and she defers to him, praises him and loves him and admires him exceedingly.” Wow. That is some heavy stuff, isn’t it ladies?
I want to give you a couple of principles on how to affirm your husband right now. The first principle is what I call the 48 hour principle. Don’t let 48 hours go by, ladies, without complimenting your husband specifically on one of his character qualities. It could be his humor, it could be his leadership, it could be his sensitivity, I don’t know what it is. Compliment him at least every 48 hours and you will watch this man become a king. Another principle is called the audience principle. Affirm your husband in front of people regularly. And one of the best audiences you have would be the children. It speaks volumes to your children when you say, “Isn’t your Dad great at….” Another principle is something I call the tie principle. I like wild ties and now and then Lisa will surprise me with a tie. I will wear one next week, a tie she got at Foley’s, I think, for $12, and this thing looks like it is a $100 tie. And all of a sudden she will just bring one home, every four or five months, here is a tie. She knows that I like cool ties and kind of wild looking clothes and she does that for me. What has your husband kind of told you that he enjoys and what do you kind of remember he enjoys and how could you meet that need? It could be a tie, it could be, I don’t know, what? Special cereal in the mornings, that special restaurant. That means a lot and it affirms a man. An affirming spouse.
- Are you ready for this one. Recreational companionship. That is a major need of a man. Recreational companionship. I had a lady tell me one time, I was talking about this in a seminar, “Well, Ed, if I grew antlers, fins and if I could hit a golf ball 375 yards, my husband would really spend time with me.” Let me talk to you about recreation here. I love this verse, Ecclesiastes 9:9, it is kind of the “rap” verse. “Enjoy life with your wife”, spoken in rap tempo. It doesn’t say tolerate life does it? It says enjoy. Enjoy life with your wife. I have heard this before. I have heard pastors say this. “The couple that prays together, stays together.” I want to add something. The couple that plays together also stays together. Colossians 3:18 “Wives adapt yourselves to your husbands.” That is your Christian duty. What I am saying is this. Designate something that is your sport or your pastime or your thing, couples. It could be from stamp collecting to snowboarding. Make sure whatever it is that you have a shared like interest in something. What is it? I don’t know, that is for you and your husband to decide. Also, there needs to be some give and take in this realm. Your husband might really be into golf. Even though ladies you are clueless about golf, why don’t ride around in the cart with him now and then or try to play at least putt putt with him sometimes. Men, your wives could love to go antique shopping and you despise even walking into an antique shop but because it is a shared interest and you want to develop this you begin to do this. And I want to tell you something, once you begin to stretch in this realm, you will learn to appreciate other and new adventures and aspects of life. Adapting yourself.
A couple of weeks ago, Lisa went with EJ and myself down to a little pond near our house and we went fishing. And Lisa was kind enough to do that. And her favorite thing in not to bass fish especially in a mosquito infested little mud puddle but she did and she even caught a bass out of there. I couldn’t believe there were even fish in this place. And it was so exciting to watch how much that improved and helped our home, our marriage just by that. And when I have dome something like that with her, it helps. So recreational companionship is an huge one.
- What do you think that one is? Ha. Ha. Ha. Oh, me. Sexual fulfillment. Now, if you want to hear a whole message on this, you check out the tape that I did a couple of weeks ago. I did this on the Song Of Solomon and I promise you over the next year we are going to do a series on the Song of Solomon. It talks about romance. It talks about sex. It talks about so many things. We are going to do that. Let me read to you Proverbs 5:18-19 “Rejoice in your wife, (circle the word rejoice) let her charms and tender embrace satisfy you, (circle the words satisfy you) let her love alone full you with delight.” (Circle the word delight.) Redbook Magazine did a survey a while back on the sexual fulfillment of wives and they found those wives who had the highest spiritual conviction also had the highest sexual satisfaction quotient in marriage. Sexuality and spirituality are inseparably linked. And wives one day you will give an account before God on how you satisfy your husband’s need sexually. And husbands, the same thing is true for you regarding your wife. I Corinthians 6:20 “Use every part of your body to give glory to God.” Every part of your body to do this.
I want to talk to you now about a unique aspect of sex that has to do with a man’s need and it is found in I Samuel 16:7. “Man looks at the outward appearance (circle the word appearance cause that is the key word – appearance) but the Lord looks at the heart.” Here is a fact, wives. You men are not married to God. Appearance is important. It really is. And too many women say this. “I’ve got my hubby, now I can get chubby.” And husbands say this. “I got my wife, where is the fork and knife?” I am not saying to freak out over appearance. Too many people believe that everything has to be perfect. I am not saying that. I am saying though, do the best with what you have. And don’t worry about what other people are thinking. Worry about what your spouse is thinking. Stay in shape. I would encourage you to work out, to watch your diet, to wear attractive clothes. Not every second of every day, but try to do that. It is sad but you know on the wedding day we see the beautiful bride and we say, “Honey that is the most beautiful you have ever looked.” And what is tragic is, that is the last time they ever look that good. We need to encourage ourselves and others to look that good regularly. And think about the way you look. Because a man is visually stimulated. The Bible says the eye is the window of our soul. Think about the external.
But I Peter 3 encourages us to continue our quest for real beauty. I Peter 3 says real beauty comes from the heart, from the internal, from the inside. And I Peter says, women, I know you adorn yourselves and you worry yourself about your appearance and that is great, but says don’t stop there. Continue the process and make sure the heart and the spirit and the soul is right.
My wife and I know a lady and we could bring her up on the stage and when she walked on this stage every man here would go, “This lady is incredible looking. I mean this lady is beautiful.” We are talking about a knockout. But if you let her talk for about ten minutes, she wouldn’t be very beautiful to you. Why? Because her heart is messed up, her heart is not right. Conversely, we know a lady, we could bring her up here and she is in good shape and she dresses good and she is not some Miss Universe looking person externally. But if you let her talk for about 10 minutes she would become Miss Universe overnight. Why? Because the most important aspect of beauty is right and that is her heart. Appearance is important.
Mars. Men we are from Mars. I know it. We are. Ladies, I am going to end today’s session by giving you a test. Beside every letter M A R S, you will see a line. I want you without the help of your boyfriend or husband to do this. I want you to rank in order the needs of a man. One being the most important, down to four being the least important and I am going to give you 20 seconds to do this. Are your pens ready? On your mark. Get set. Go. OK. How smart are the ladies here. How well do they know men? How well do wives know their husbands? The husbands here are kind of getting nervous. I see that. Are you ready ladies? All right. Here we go. The number one need of a man, I have already given you the answer two weeks ago, what is it? Sexual fulfillment. That is number one according to Dr. Willard Harley. I hope that didn’t surprise anyone. I will not ask who did not have sex down as number one. I will not ask that question. The second most important need of a man, recreational companionship. Are you ready for that one, that surprised me. I mean, it’s important but that is surprising. This is Dr. Willard Harley now, now me. He is the one that interviewed the thousands of couples over 25 years. Read his book. I highly recommend it.
The third most important need. Who put third, affirming spouse? Well you are wrong. It is a managed household. And that surprised me too. And finally, of course, an affirming spouse. That’s it. That’s it. So ladies, did we get them all right. There you are kind of talking among yourselves. Are we kind of frustrated? No one is arguing, are we? So ladies, here is your homework. The last few words in I Corinthians 7:3 “Satisfy the other’s needs.” We talked about a man. Next week we are talking about a woman.