CQM Blog: Concepts That Build Christ-Likeness

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Marriage | Discovering the Heart of a Man

Discovering the Heart of a ManHE IS CHALLENGE-MOTIVATED by Ken Nair

Most men derive their sense of personal value from what they can do, or the challenges they can meet. They believe the better their ability to mechanically perform, the better they are as people.

Most women derive their sense of personal value from how acceptable they are as people. The better their relationships with their husbands, the better they feel about themselves.

This difference is brought sharply into focus by examining the events surrounding courtship and marriage. At first, a certain guy’s style is noticeably attractive to a girl. He interacts and responds to her in a very appealing way.

She presumes his actions are a result of his understanding of, and devotion to, their relationship. Then later, after marriage, she becomes very discouraged when all his attentive and romantic ways start disappearing. His actions are now centered around his desire to enhance his own world, and seem to be almost strictly designed for his own personal gratification.

Many women are deeply offended when they discover their husbands are basically motivated by the challenge to “manage this woman.” Instead of being motivated by deep feelings of devotion, along with a longing within him to make a commitment to his wife…he is mechanically, challenge- motivated!

But, don’t forget, men are instinctively challenge-motivated; their actions will center around their need to possess, own or control. When honestly evaluated in light of relationships, most men’s motives are not relational, they are “possessional.” Men are not trying to be deceptive while courting, nor are they trying to trick women. It is all so instinctive it happens naturally. In a typical courting situation, seldom does a man set out to develop calculated plans which are designed to fool a woman. For many years I’ve observed this instinctive attitude phenomenon in most men. In order to help women understand what to expect, or comprehend what has happened, I’ve boiled my observations down to this: Before marriage, a woman is treated as a person because a man wants to win her; after marriage (in his mind) she becomes, and he tends to treat her, as a possession.

I realize this is a very degrading attitude for men to have. Most men do not consciously reflect upon women that way. In fact, they would probably agree that such attitudes are unacceptable for men to have.

However, because this is an instinctive matter—not conscious—the same men might be acting as though their creed was to make wives their possessions. That’s why it’s so important for a woman to measure a Christian man by his willingness to be Christ-like before marriage. If she notices unChrist-like ways, she ought to discuss them with him, observing carefully whether or not his response to criticism is Christ-like.