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Saturday, February 6, 2010
Last night Jenni and I attended one of our church’s men’s meetings (wives invited for this one) to watch a video presentation by Mark Gungor called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.”

First of all I have to say that the guy purposefully uses humor to disarm and to approach marriage issues from a light-hearted standpoint (obviously from the title).  Some of it was quite funny.  I will also say that what we saw was only a portion of what was in all a 3-day marriage weekend series. With that said, I’d like to touch on what I felt was the missing ingredient from the teaching last night.

Now there was plenty of truth in what he said. The focus was on the way men’s and women’s brains function differently and he rather humorously conveyed the concept that men think and act compartmentally, while women think and react to things in an interconnected fashion. Though I found his caricatures, especially of women, to be a bit demeaning, I understand that was done for humorous effect. No biggie.  To get the idea, you can watch a part of the brain function bit here on YouTube

However, the final segment was around the fact that women need emotional intimacy in order to feel sexually connected. Men, on the other hand, need sexual intimacy in order to feel emotional connected. I agree that God made men and women that way for a purpose. However, he used this bit of truth to convey the idea that in order to get what you want, you have to give what your spouse wants. “Be nice to the woman and you’ll get sex. Give the man sex and he’ll be nice to you.” It seemed like he was saying that the goal was to manipulate your spouse in order to get what you want.

What was missing from the discussion was this: love. I’m not talking about the goose-bumpy stuff. I’m talking about the sacrificial, whole-hearted, unconditional stuff. When Jenni questioned the notion that I would only be nice to her to get sex, a friend of ours said, “That’s because you want him to be like a woman.” I said to Jenni later, “No, it's because you want me to be like Jesus.” You see, Jesus didn’t love us and lay down his life for us in order to get us to do what he wanted. He did it because he wanted us to be his forever. He did it because of love.  The bridal paradigm isn't about what you get; it's about what you give.  That's the whole idea of a surrendered marriage.

And that was the missing ingredient from last night.


Jenni said...

Thanks for that, love. Truly at the early stages of our relationship, my love was more selfish and self centered. What have you done for me lately? kind of love. But now, it is so awesome to be completely loved without strings attached and to give myself fully to someone who lives to give himself for me. I love you!

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