Read an Excerpt
What Every Man Wants in a Woman/What Every Woman Wants in a Man
10 Essentials for Growing Deeper in Love/10 Qualities for Nurturing Intimacy
By John Hagee Brilliance Audio
Copyright © 2006 John Hagee
All right reserved.
Has Your Marriage Lost Its Sizzle?
THERE ARE THREE stages of marriage: lust, rust, and dust! Right now you know into which category your marriage falls.
In forty-six years of pastoral ministry, I've married hundreds of couples in every conceivable format. I've married them in churches, in magnificent cathedrals, under oak trees on a family farm, in public parks on a beautiful spring day, and on ships at sea with hundreds of our television Salt Covenant partners looking on during the John Hagee Ministry's annual cruise.
I have never been to a wedding where the room was not charged with joy, hope, and a sense of absolute delight for the future. The scene is always similar regardless of the setting.
The bride is glowing like an angel. Her face is radiant with joyous storybook expectations of the marriage she is about to speak into covenant. This is the pinnacle of her dreams. She holds the hand of the man she has chosen to be her partner for life and makes her covenant before God, saying, "I do."
Six months later, all hell breaks loose. She's in my office with tears dripping off her cheeks, gasping with convulsive sobs,saying, "What did I ever see in him?"
The groom stands in front of me holding her hand tenderly, pledging before God and man that he will "love, honor, protect, and provide" for his radiant bride. She is to be the queen of his life. She is the one whom God has sent into his life as the Proverbs 31 woman whose "price is far above rubies." She's priceless! You don't need to be Sigmund Freud to know that he has the urge to merge. A hormone hurricane is rapidly approaching category five just as he says, "I do."
Six months later, he's weeping in my office, head held in his trembling hands, sobbing like a child who has been slapped by a schoolyard bully, blubbering, "How did this ever happen to me? I thought I knew her. Who is this person I've married?"
I want to prevent this from being you! So, let's examine some of the basic reasons this scenario happens to good people just like you.
Entering Into Marriage With High Expectations and Low Preparation
It's absolutely amazing to me ... no, actually it's unbelievable, that the courthouse will give any human being with brains enough to find the front door a license to get married. My father, who pastored for fifty-three years, often said, "If you have half a mind to get married, do it; that's all it takes."
Think about it! You must take a four-month driver's education course, learning how to put the key in the ignition, step on the gas to go forward, step on the brake to stop, work the windshield wipers when it rains, and turn the signal light right and left for the appropriate turn before you can climb behind the wheel of an automobile alone. This is not brain surgery. After four months, you get your license, and then you learn the really dangerous things like talking on the cell phone or putting on your makeup and lipstick while driving to work in rush-hour traffic. The state turns you loose on a freeway as financial fodder for every radar gun in your state.
A highway patrolman pulled a young executive over. The patrolman walked to the window of the Mercedes 500SCL and said, "Sir, your taillight is out."
The young executive leaped out of his car, ran to the back, and stared into space, screaming, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God! How could this ever have happened?"
The highway patrolman said, "Sir, don't become so emotional. It was just your taillight." The young executive responded, "Taillight? I don't care about my taillight. Whatever happened to the fifty-thousand-dollar boat I was pulling?"
The point is this: You are supposed to know something about cars before you drive one. And you're supposed to know something about pulling trailers and boats before you do it.
Consider the science of cutting someone's hair. You can't cut someone's hair or trim their toenails without a license. You can't fish in a lake, a stream, or the ocean without a license. You can't go squirrel hunting or deer hunting without a license. If you're under fifteen years of age, you now have to take a gun safety course that costs fifty dollars to hunt something that can't shoot back.
But to get a license to get married, a license that empowers you to create new life, destroy your life, or crush the dreams and hopes of your spouse and family, all you have to do is have twenty-five dollars, and you are an instant player.
One man said, "Marriage is like fishing; you buy a license and take your chances." Marriage is made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.
One old maid said this concerning marriage: "What do I need with a man? I have a stove that smokes, a parrot that curses, and a cat that stays out all night." At least her expectations were realistic!
I asked a beautiful young lady just out of college, who sat in my office gushing about the "perfect marriage" she was going to have, "What kind of man would you like to marry?"
She joyously responded, "I want a husband who can dance, looks good, and likes what I feed him."
"That's great." I responded. "You've just described Trigger." (For those of you who have just recovered from your last case of acne, Trigger was Roy Rogers' show horse. Trigger could dance, he looked great, and he certainly enjoyed everything he was fed.)
Conflicting expectations are the source of most unhappiness in marriage. Which of the following expectations do you have that cause conflict with your spouse? Which of the following statements do you say?
"You must like my friends and want to socialize with them."
"Be sure you make our family priorities more important than your work."
"You have to include me in all your activities."
"Never do anything that upsets me."
"Lose weight and stay in shape."
"Make me happy-or else, because: 'If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.'"
"You have to agree with me."
"I wish you'd start making more money."
"You need to be more affectionate and attentive."
"You better never be attracted to anyone else."
"You have to be the first to make up when we argue."
If you have these expectations, you are going to be extremely disappointed. There's more to marital readiness than a blood test. How sad that we spend so many years training for a career and so little time preparing for marriage.
A hasty courtship can often lead to a marriage relationship that is a disaster. Delaying your marriage by choice or because of financial or educational circumstances is usually beneficial. The passage of time allows all infatuation to die, while it tempers and develops true love and spiritual attraction.
Trying to escape from an unhappy home via marriage is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Over 60 percent of teenage marriages end in divorce. The more mature you are at the time of your marriage, the greater the probability of your success in marriage.
Marriage is more than a honeymoon; it's a lifetime contract. Through sickness and health, for richer and for poorer, marriage requires devotion and a mature ability to commit when it's the last thing you want to do. Marriage is the act of two incompatible people learning to become compatible via compassionate compromise.
Men and Women Fail to Recognize the Differences Between the Sexes
A man was walking along a California beach and stumbled across an old lantern. He picked it up, rubbed it, and out popped a genie. The beautiful genie said, "Thank you for releasing me from the lantern, kind sir. Ask me any wish you can imagine, and I will grant you your wish."
The man thought for a while and finally said, "I've always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I'm afraid to fly, and I get very seasick on a ship. Could you build me a highway from my beachfront home in California to Hawaii?"
The genie laughed, "That's impossible! Think of the logistics. How would the support beams ever reach the bottom of the Pacific Ocean? Think how much concrete and steel would be required, and imagine the engineering impossibilities of such a feat. Make another wish."
The man thought and finally responded, "My wife thinks I'm insensitive. Help me to fully understand women. Why do they cry when they are happy? Why do they cry when they are mad? Why do their moods change instantly and for no reason? Help me to fully understand women."
The genie looked at the man and said, "Do you want that highway to Hawaii to have two lanes or four?"
First Peter 3:7 gives the following command for all men: "Husbands, likewise, dwell with [your wives] with understanding ... that your prayers may not be hindered." The fact is that before marriage, opposites attract; after marriage, opposites irritate.
Someone has said, "Women's faults are many. Men have only two: everything they say, and everything they do."
One of the major sources of friction in marriage is the inability or refusal of men to "dwell with [your partner] with understanding" (1 Pet. 3:7). The differences between the sexes remain when differences are misunderstood or unappreciated.
On one occasion, scientists gathered to determine if a computer should be called she or he. They divided into two groups, men and women, to discuss the differences in men and women.
The women scientists said that a computer should be addressed in the masculine gender. They gave these three reasons:
1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
2. They are supposed to solve problems, but half the time they are the problem.
3. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that had you waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
The men scientists concluded that computers should be addressed in the feminine gender, and they gave these three reasons:
1. No one but the creator understands their internal logic.
2. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory.
3. As soon as you commit to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
Both men and women must accept this fact: men and women are different, and those differences will never change. You must understand those differences and dwell together according to knowledge.
Here are four differences every married man and woman must learn to accept.
1. The woman's right-brain caring vs. the man's left-brain logic
In 1981, Dr. Roger Sperry won the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for his breakthrough study on how the brain functions in male and female babies. Dr. Sperry discovered that between the sixteenth and twenty-sixth week of gestation, boy babies have a chemical reaction in their brains that girl babies do not have.
Two chemicals are released that slow down the development of the right side of the brain, which is the caring side. Dr. Sperry found out what all women already know-that all men are born brain damaged.
This right-brain and left-brain feature affects every phase of your married life. Mister, you may truthfully tell your wife that you are not rejecting her and are not being insensitive-that's how your brain works.
This right-brain/left-brain feature affects the memory of men and women.
For instance, my wife, Diana, can talk on the phone with her sister for thirty minutes, and when she gets off the phone, she wants to give me a word-by-word replay of the complete conversation. I do not care. I do not want to hear the conversation. Does that stop Diana from telling me every blessed word of that conversation? No.
When I talk to my mother for about twenty minutes, Diana will ask me, "What did your mother say?"
My response is, "Mother is fine!"
Diana probes, "What else?" Diana wants a word-per-word translation of what my mother has said over the past twenty minutes. It's just not going to happen.
This right-brain/left-brain feature is manifested immediately when a man and woman get married. Ask a man about his honeymoon, and he'll be able to remember he took one. Ask his wife, and she remembers what she was wearing on her wedding day, what she and her new husband wore every day of the honeymoon, the name of every restaurant they ate in during the honeymoon, how much they tipped the doorman when they left-and every other detail of the entire time! Why? Because a woman's memory is far more detailed in the right-brain caring area.
All husbands know that sinking feeling that comes when your wife asks you, "Do you remember when ...?" Then she describes the event in vivid detail-and you can't remember it ever happened. Why? Because the caring side of her brain is far more advanced than that of a man.
Ladies need to realize that there is a physical reason why men cannot remember. It isn't just that your husband doesn't care-his brain works differently than yours does. This is a scientific fact.
The right-brain/left-brain feature affects the way we respond to crisis. For example, where were you when John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot?
I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was a senior at Trinity University, waiting in the men's dorm for football practice to begin. When Walter Cronkite came on CBS saying that the president of the United States had been shot in Dallas, the world stopped.
I left the men's dormitory and ran down to the athletic center, where everyone was gathered around the television to witness that the impossible had just become reality. The Prince of Camelot was dead. The final football game of my senior year was canceled. It was a time of grief for our nation such as we had never known in our lifetimes. The American people dearly loved John and Jackie Kennedy.
How did men react to the crisis? We were asking each other, "Who's in charge of the country right now?" "What if Russia attacks right now?" "How many missiles do we have to respond to a crisis?" "How many soldiers do we have under arms?" This is left-brain logic.
What were the women saying across the campus? "Poor Jackie!" "Poor Caroline!" "Poor John John!" It was an entirely different way of seeing the same crisis. But it is a perfect illustration of right-brain caring vs. left-brain logic. There were two completely different reactions, neither wrong, but each dramatically different from the other. You must adjust to that reality, or your marriage will never have harmony.
If you apply this right-brain/left-brain feature to your marriage problem and try to solve marriage problems through pure logic-the man's forte-or pure emotion-the woman's disposition-you will experience perpetual disaster. Neither logic from the man nor emotion from the woman is the basis for settling marriage disputes.
Excerpted from What Every Man Wants in a Woman/What Every Woman Wants in a Man by John Hagee Copyright © 2006 by John Hagee. Excerpted by permission.
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