RELATIONSHIPS - (For Husbands)

There is one thing that is so fundamental to loving your wife that it warrants attention on a daily basis.

BE YOURSELF

Your wife married you----not your imitation of someone else.

Some of you are flamboyant, creative and outgoing individuals.

Some of you are steady, easy going, and introverted men.

You will most effectively love your wife by being yourself.

(Ignore the temptation to be what men are supposed to be)

Let’s look at the difference between introverted and extroverted men.

Extroverted men tend to look at life from the outside in.

(That means they look at the situations around them and assess life according to how in control those things are. For instance, extroverts judge relationships based on the external characteristics of the friendship. They ask questions like, “Are we spending enough time together? Have we talked this through to its conclusion? Am I fulfilling my responsibility towards you?”)

Extroverts assess their career based on how well it is going in terms of goals.

(They ask, “Am I progressing in the pursuit of my goals? Am I meeting the expectations of those I must report to? Am I productive in my areas of responsibility?”)

Extroverts develop their spiritual life based on the activity of spiritual growth. They ask, “Am I spending enough time in Bible study? Is my prayer life active enough? Is my church attendance active enough to promote spiritual growth?

The introvert, on the other hand, looks at life from the inside out. An introvert is more interested in how he is doing on the inside and how people around him are doing internally. An introvert judges relationships based upon how connected the people are. He will ask questions like, “Am I at peace with myself and with the important relationships of my life? Is my wife happy? Have my wife and I connected to the point that we understand each other? Are we content?

In his career, the introvert is interested in finding work to do that is inwardly satisfying. He wants to feel that his work is an expression of who he is on the inside. He asks, “Is this career a good fit for me? Does this job leave opportunity for my needs to be met? Do I enjoy going to work? Can I be myself in this position?

In his spiritual life, the introvert is mostly concerned with the closeness of his relationship with God. He asks, “Am I connected to God? Are the spiritual activities I am involved in personally satisfying to me? Is my church attendance a true reflection of who I am?

The thrust of this distinction is that extroverts need to be extroverts----introverts need to be introverts. An out-going, productive-minded man is not going to enjoy sitting around having long drawn out conversations with his wife, but he will be great at planning and implementing great evenings and getaways. An easy going, contented man will struggle with the flamboyant, enticing activities of romance, but he will have great potential for connecting at an intimate level in conversation.

There are two significant road blocks to making this happen. The extrovert gets frustrated and the introvert gets withdrawn. The extrovert gets frustrated because life is not efficient enough or fun enough. He gets discouraged with his family because they are late, boring, lazy or careless. The introvert feels his own needs and the needs of them around him so deeply that he can get overwhelmed. He has a natural tendency to feel responsible for making those around him happy. Now, if his skill level or maturity level is not sufficient to keep up with the needs around him, he will feel that he is going to fail and may shut down or become withdrawn to try to maintain peace. As men, we need to embrace our uniqueness and grow in it. Those of us who are introverted need to develop our conversation and compassion skills so that we can run with our desire to be connected with our wives. Those of us who are extroverted need to focus on our planning and coordination skills so that we keep our wives looking ahead to the next great time we are going to spend together

By: Pam and Bill Farrel
(Have a writing & speaking ministry to couples)
Bill is pastor of Valley Bible Church (706) 744-0474.

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