Summary: Part 2 of a series entitled "Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships". Part 3 - "What Men Wish Women Knew About Men"
I have to begin this morning by letting you know that this sermon could in fact be the last sermon I ever preach, for today I am being presumptuous enough and perhaps even foolish enough to stand up in front of you and tell you what women in our congregation are thinking. If I get this right I’ll be a hero but if I screw up… well, you know what they say about the fury of a woman…
With that said, this morning I want to turn my attention specifically to the men in this congregation. And not only do I want to speak to those men who are married but I also want to talk to those who are single whether having never been married or divorced or widowers. Because I believe that within the scripture readings for today lie lessons for each and everyone one of us as we seek to be the men God has called us to be.
Last week I gave an introduction to this series entitled, “Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships” and I suggested that there are few topics with as much significance to the life of the church today than these. We discovered our preoccupation with these topics and I suggested that within our studies we will discover meaningful information for each and everyone of us no matter what stage of life we are in.
And before we begin this morning I want to pause and review what we covered last week. If you follow along in your outline you’ll notice that I’ve added something new this week. I frequently have people come up to me after the service and ask me to fill in a point because they were too busy listening and missed the word. If that’s you then you’ll find the answers at the bottom of the outline from now on.
Last week we discovered four primary things:
First of all, men and women are different. We know that. And second the combination of these differences and the human condition make it hard to have a relationship. No matter how hard we try our relationships will be strained because of our sinfulness and our differences. Third, as crazy as it may seem, God designed these differences so that we might compliment each other. We balance one another out. And fourth, marriage is a sacred calling from God. It’s not something we do when our hormones start acting up. It’s not something we do for a tax-break. It’s a relationship which we enter in order to serve one another.
Several weeks ago I passed out surveys to both the men and the women in my two congregations and asked them two questions: First, “When do you feel closest to your husband/wife?” and second “If you’re single what are the qualities you find most attractive in a man/woman.” I want to look at some of those responses this morning.
Men, our goal today is to listen to what the women have said and try to discover how we can become the men God wants us to be.
In order to do that I want to present two metaphors to you to help you better understand women. They’re metaphors that have helped clarify things for me and which I’ve seen work for others as well. The first was coined by a well known author named Willard F. Harley the author of a book entitled His Needs, Her Needs. What Dr. Harley asserts is that a woman’s heart is like a love bank. The higher the balance the better the relationship between a man and a woman.
Think about newlyweds: when they’re first married their love banks are overflowing. We’re attracted to people with positive balances. Throughout our dating relationships we’re constantly making deposits into that account by spending time with each other by giving little gifts by doting over each other. And even through the ordeal of the wedding the love bank remains high. We go off on our honeymoons and chase each other for a few days making deposits and withdrawals and then one day we wake up and discover reality. And what we forget over time is that the balance in that love bank diminishes with time. When our wives perform the daily tasks that we so often take for granted we are making withdrawals from that love bank. When they care for the kids, when they prepare a meal for us, all of these are small withdrawals. But none of these withdrawals are significant as long as we continue to make deposits in that account.
Most of those small withdrawals go unnoticed by our wives until we make large withdrawals like forgetting a birthday or blowing up at her when we come home from work.
And just like a bank account withdrawals without deposits result in an overdrawn account. If I spend more money than I have in my bank account the bank notifies me immediately. But my wife doesn’t send me such a notice. Instead what happens is that relationships get to the point where one party is in such debt to the other that the lender decides to close the account and the two parties go their separate ways. That’s why so many marriages end in divorce today.