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Lessons About Men and Women

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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May 26, 2021 2:00 am

Lessons About Men and Women

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 26, 2021 2:00 am

On Day 3 of Bob Lepine's farewell week, he shares with Dave and Ann Wilson about great FamilyLife speakers who have talked about the differences between men and women.

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And welcome to Family Life Today. Thanks for joining us. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. I'm Bob Lapine.

You can find us online at And we haven't talked about this much, but back at the turn of the year, you guys went through a transition. Yes, we did. After 30 plus years of being a pastor, a founding pastor at a local church, you stepped away, handed it off to the next generation and said, it's in your hands, right? It's in the Lord's hands, but it's in yours to take it from here.

Yeah. I mean, obviously it was a big moment for us to make that decision and hand it off. It was like throwing a pass, hopefully for a touchdown to the next leadership and stepping into full time and the future with family life. And the full time here, pretty exciting. I mean, we're excited because I, again, I don't know how many of our listeners have recognized this the last two years, and it's been a little over two years now that you've been hosting family life today, but you've been sharing your time between your duties at the church and what's going on at family life.

Beginning the first of this year, you're fully engaged with what's going on here. We are, and we love family life. And it was a bittersweet stepping out, but also it was time. I don't mind a big deal about this either, but for the last 13 years, I have been dividing my time between what happens here at family life. This has been my full time focus and responsibility and my job. But in my spare time, I have been helping to plant and launch and lead a local church. I've been like you guys committed to the ministry of the local church ever since Marianne and I got married.

The local church is where God's at work and the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. And so wanting to be a part of that, I've been in lay leadership in local churches in three different churches, pretty much regularly since the mid 80s. So the church has always been dear to us. And we helped plant this church back in 2008. I've been the main teaching pastor at this church since that time. Let me just say that's pretty remarkable that you've been doing family life today.

You've been producing, you've been doing an amazing job. And this being a pastor and founding this church is no small feat. Well, God's grace has been all over that. As you guys know, anything you do like this, apart from the grace of God, you're going to stumble.

And even with the grace of God, you'll still stumble, but God will cover a multitude of those mistakes. And as we've shared with our listeners this week, this is a transition week for me. You guys will be in the driver's seat fully engaged.

You won't have to wrestle me for the steering wheel anymore from going forward. We're not petrified at all. You guys are going to do amazing.

You really are. And I've loved watching and hearing how listeners are just connecting with you and are so grateful for the leadership and the guidance and for what you've brought to family life today. After 26 years with Dennis and with Barbara being engaged, and you guys have just stepped in, the key is that the mission of family life hasn't changed at all. It's still the same mission. It's still practical biblical help and hope for marriages and families. It's still effectively developing godly marriages and families one home at a time. All of us are replaceable parts in that mission. And now is just the time to be more actively involved in the work that our church is doing to help strengthen it and get it ready for next generation leadership.

Anytime anybody's in Little Rock, you're welcome to come visit Redeemer Community Church or check us out online on a Sunday if you don't have anything else going on. But we are spending time this week looking back at, I've called this 28 lessons I've learned in more than 28 years co-hosting family life today. This started back in 1992. So it's really been 28 years. I'm just going to say I'm crying.

This is what happens when you have a girl in studio. She really is crying. I am crying.

It's like it is bittersweet. Yeah, it is for all of us. Well, we're going to focus today on lessons that I've learned and all of these are things that just sitting in this chair with hundreds of guests over the years sharing insights about marriage and family. I mean, every day I'm walking and going, huh, that was good. I need to remember that.

I need to apply that. But some of these things just jump out at you like those kind of big defining moments. One of them, and we don't have a clip to play for this because I think this was not something somebody said, but really something I began to learn the more we started talking about the differences between men and women, which are real.

When you talk about gender differences, my son likes to call them genderalities. So there are some things that are not universally true, but they are for the most part true. Men are like this mostly. Women are like this mostly.

That's by God's design and it's his good design. But one of the things Marianne and I learned early on in our marriage, and family life played a role in this, is that those differences between us, gender differences, personality differences, different perspectives, those differences aren't necessarily wrong. Sometimes it's just different. And early we thought if you think differently than me, you think wrong.

Right. We're trying to change each other. Well, if I thought your way was the right way, we'd do it your way.

But I think it's this way. And I had to recognize Marianne's perspective broadens my understanding of whatever issue we're looking at. And sometimes she will bring a perspective that I just never stop to think about. I will say something to her like, you know, we ought to do this and we ought to have these people over or we ought to do this kind of an event. And she'll go, well, have you thought about this? And I go, no, I hadn't thought about that.

That's great. So she's kept me from stumbling into so many ditches. Now, Marianne is quick. If she was here, she would say, I know you like to say that different isn't always wrong. Sometimes it's just different. She says, sometimes it's wrong. She will say, sometimes let's just acknowledge your way of looking at it is the wrong way. And she's right.

There's a right and a wrong. I'm not trying to say this is all relative. But her perspective as a mom, when it comes to our kids, she has different wisdom and insight and intuition than I had as a dad. Her perspective as somebody who is more nurturing is different than my perspective. And we've both learned from those differences. And today we would say we are grateful for what we used to be irritated by. And I think if couples can come to the point and say, okay, you look at this differently, that's a plus, not a minus. That's not just annoying. No, this is something that we can benefit from if we can learn to value the difference rather than be annoyed by the difference.

Yeah. And I know that for way too long, and I mean at least a decade or more, I tried to change Anne. I was trying to make her like me. And I mean, you talk about selfishness. How can you not look in the mirror and see that you're not the prototype?

You shouldn't want anybody to be. But I didn't like her perspective because it was different. And I thought for many years, my perspective is right.

Yours is wrong. You should change. And then one of the things we teach at The Weeknd to remember is your spouse is not someone you compete with. They complete you.

And when you start to understand they're uniquely designed by God differently on purpose and together you can complete one another and reflect the image of God to the world, that's a beautiful thing. And that you need each other because you lack what the other can bring. I used to feel like I shouldn't need your help or Dave's advice or his input.

I should be able to do it on my own. And now I find myself thinking, oh, I want Dave's input. I want his perspective. And I think that comes through maturity and realizing we do bring a unique part of each other into the marriage. Well, I remember one of the other kind of aha principles related to men and women. And this was back before Emerson Eggrich had written the book Love and Respect, which big book, big principle.

I don't know that I'd fully understood it. I think I first got this from reading Robert Lewis's book Rocking the Rolls before we interviewed him. But then when we had Shanti Feldhahn on and she had done research on this idea that men care more about respect than they do about love, women care more about love than they do about respect. And I'm sitting there going, that's so true. Here's how she said it. Listen to this. And I was really surprised on my survey when three out of four men said if they had to make a choice, which they wouldn't want to have to make, but if they had to, they'd actually choose to give up feeling that their wife loved them if they could just feel that she respected them and that she believed in them and trusted them and admired and appreciated them and all those things are more important, it turns out, to the average man, even then feeling that his wife loves him.

That was a huge shocker to me, but it makes sense. If you're dealing with the sense of do I measure up? Do I know what I'm doing? Then you're going to be so touched by the feeling that this person respects you. And I was shocked to find out that the most painful feeling for a guy is feeling inadequate and that anything that hits that, you know, I think you were inadequate, oh, for a guy, that's his version of feeling unloved. So is it different? I presume it's different. A woman would say three out of four times I'd rather be loved than respected?

Yes, it's usually flipped and actually the numbers are higher usually on the woman's side. Like, nobody wants either of these feelings, obviously. But if you had to, most women are like, you know what, I will feel inadequate.

Just don't make me feel unloved. Like that to them is what they would give up. So I'm flashing back to that conversation and thinking, I'm just nodding my head going, that's so, so true. You know, what's really crazy is a friend of Ann's heard that broadcast and family have today. So she bought Deshauncy's book for women only. And it was my friend and she sent it to me to read because she said, this is unbelievable.

Yeah. All I know is I walk in the kitchen and there it is laying there and Ann hadn't read it yet. You know, she said, yeah, Michelle told me I should read this. She heard Deshauncy, the author on Family Life Today. And I look at it and it says for women only, you know, understanding the lives, the inner lives of your men. So you go, I'm reading this.

I did. I'm not kidding. Ann hadn't even read it. I'm like, what does she know?

You know, how is this something that she really understands about men? And so I pick it up. And I didn't know Deshauncy at the time. And I see all this research. And I mean, I devoured that book in like a day.

It's pretty short. I'm like, honey, read this book, read it now. Which is exactly who I am.

Which made me not want to read it. But it is true that Dave and I were really struggling at the time. And this was why we were struggling. Dave felt like I wasn't respecting him. And we've told Deshauncy.

And I wasn't loving her. And we told Deshauncy many times that this topic really put us on a new path, a new healthy path. Well, and Mary Ann bought copies of this book and gave it as wedding gifts every time somebody was getting married. Because when you can understand that deep inside a man wants to know he is affirmed and appreciated and admired and respected. You don't have to love us. Just admire us.

And for a woman, it's the opposite that she wants to be loved and know that she is cherished. Boy, that was just a major paradigm shift. Now moving from that, this was actually even before Shaunty was here. We did a series early on family life today on romance with Dennis and Barbara Rainey. This was before they wrote the book, Rekindling the Romance. And so we were just exploring the romantic relationship between a husband and a wife. And Barbara made an observation about women and romance that was, again, one of those things that stopped me and went, okay, I'd never thought about it that way.

Here's what she said. The things that are romantic to me aren't necessarily a situation or an act or a thing or a gift. All of those things communicate romance.

It is the relationship that she has with her husband. I am married to a man who has absolutely been a savior to me because of the love and the acceptance and all that kind of stuff. And I have been attracted to him because I'm realizing what he's done for me relationally. So it's not like he thought, I want to romance my wife, so I'm going to go buy her flowers.

And so A plus B equals C. And this is the reaction and the response I'm going to get. Although I think that's very romantic. And I love it when he does those kinds of things because that communicates sacrifice. It communicates he cares about me. He's willing to go out of his way.

He's willing to spend money that, you know, we may or may not have in the budget for that. Those are all things that are very meaningful because it speaks to a woman that she is special. She's unique.

She's different from the average. I mean, it sends all kinds of messages that are very positive, but it may not necessarily produce the desired response. In other words, if he's doing it to produce a response, he is very often going to be disappointed. That's why I go back to the relationship. To me, it's the relationship that is ultimately going to fuel the romance. I think women don't want to feel like they're that easy to figure out and, oh, he's got me pegged and A plus B equals C and it's going to always work that way. And I think she wants to be more complex and more intriguing and more of a challenge.

Yes. And I think she would also begin to fear that she'd be taken advantage of. And I don't mean taken advantage of sexually. I mean being taken advantage of in any way, just assuming on the relationship and therefore there's no more motivation to continue to pursue.

There's no more motivation to make the relationship unique because if he's got it figured out, then why, why work at it? Here's what I remember about that conversation with Dennis and Barbara. I just remember thinking it would be so nice if, I mean, I want to express to Marianne how special she is.

I would like to have something where I know if I do this, you're going to, you're going to feel the value and the warmth and the appreciation. And some days she does. And some days the same thing doesn't work.

Bob, you want the formula. It's so maddening. Every guy does. It's like, I did this yesterday and it produced this. Why is that happening today? Why is he doing it again today? Like doesn't he know I feel different today?

It's so different. And I get it for you guys. Like that would be so frustrating because you guys kind of do have a formula. Maybe it's easier for us as women. But is it true what Barbara was saying that you don't want to be figured out? You just want to be pursued.

We want to be pursued. Yeah. Yeah.

And I think there's a fear of being manipulated. Right. Yeah.

Or, oh, you're just doing the steps so that you get this. I know what this is all about. Yeah. Yeah.

I mean, a good, it was a good aha for me when it came to guys understanding who I was as a man. You've referred to this many times. When I first read Robert Lewis's definition of manhood and really the key ideas of a man accepts responsibility and rejects passivity.

That was kind of a duh. In fact, we'll play this. We'll play Robert explaining this because this is so helpful to me.

And then I'll share a story, a text I got from one of my daughters recently. So, here's Robert Lewis talking about what is a real man. What I realized is I read through the Scriptures looking for some kind of definition, because you're not going to find a place in the Bible where it says, a man is, and it gives a specific definition. But what I realized is how often the Scriptures point to two men as the summations of not only humanity, but also of masculinity. And the first is the man Adam, and the second is the second Adam, Jesus Christ.

And in them is a summation, according to Herman Ritterbos, the theologian, he said, in them are the summation of two ways of life, two identities, two humanities, and two masculinities. So, I began to dig and look at the life of Adam and look at the life of Jesus Christ, and I began to press those two lives together closer and closer. And what came out of that comparison were four distinguishing differences between the first Adam and the second. The first component that came out was that a real man rejects passivity because the first Adam collapsed like a black hole into passivity and abrogated his leadership in the garden in a passive way that allowed his wife to go off chasing an illusionary equality even with God. On the other hand, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, was not only not passive, he was not passive even in his pre-incarnate state. He looked at humanity, and when the Father said, look at this fallen world, he was up on his feet saying, I'll go.

The second distinguishing characteristic is that a real man accepts responsibility. You know, the first Adam rejected responsibility in three key areas. He rejected the will of God to obey, the work God wanted him to do, and the woman God wanted him to love.

But you know what? The second Adam did just the opposite. He accepted responsibility. He said, I've come to do thy will, O God. See, he was always a man under authority. He was always wanting to do the will of God. He came to do the work of God even when it meant his own execution. And the last thing Jesus Christ did, he loved his woman. And his woman was his bride, the church. We get in the scriptures, husbands love your wives just as also Christ loved his bride, the church.

Third, a real man leads courageously. He gives protection, he gives direction, and he makes provision. Adam didn't make provision for Eve. He didn't give her direction when she was standing there interacting with the serpent.

And he certainly didn't protect her. And yet, you know what a real man does? He does what Jesus Christ did. He started out giving direction. What was his opening words?

Follow me. He was a man who knew where he was going. And he said, I lay down my life for the sheep.

He was one who gave protection. And he gave provision. He says, I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly. And the last thing that summarizes real masculinity, this definition, is a real man expects God's reward in life, God's greater reward. You see, one of the things that men are after is they're after the gold of life.

And they try to get that by squeezing it out of the world in a career, in pleasure, in possessions. But the real gold is the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ said, it was for the joy set before me that I endured the cross. We were all looking for the reward. It's just where is the reward? And the reward, I believe, that the second Adam tells us, it's in the things of God.

It's in his calling, his kingdom. And when we pursue that, what we find is that life becomes sweeter and sweeter. On the other hand, the conventional manhood gets more and more bitter. Listening back as Robert Lewis talks about his definition of manhood, all three of my boys, we could call them right now.

They could give you all four of those points. They know them. So could mine. And our daughter, one of our daughters sent me a text recently, and she said, Dad, I was on the phone with a friend of mine talking about challenges in her marriage.

And I said, he needs to reject passivity and accept responsibility. And my friend said, that's gold. Where did you hear that? Where did you learn that? And she just laughed because it's, it's been part of the environment she grew up in. And she said, I heard it from Pablo P. There you go. She knows exactly where I heard it from, because for a man to understand my natural gravitational pull is toward passivity.

That's what I'm going to default to. And I need to step out of that. And I need to step into taking responsibility or as Dennis Rainey would say, I need to step up into manhood. And in fact, the last two things related to understanding manhood really come from Dennis and his work in the book, stepping up.

I thought there were two really amazing ideas in that book. The first thing was he said, most men he meets today are straddling the step between boyhood and manhood. They have one foot in boyhood and they're keeping getting pulled back to wanting just to be a boy, which means no responsibility. Just do what you want, do what you feel and manhood, which is where you accept responsibility. He said, it's the battle that's going on every day.

Here's how he said it. Now I got to confess to you that for the first few years of our marriage, I would have to say I straddled these two steps. I would have to say I was part teenager and part man. I believe our churches and our ministries are full of young men who are just like I was. They are young men who have one foot on adolescence and one foot on manhood.

And they have not turned from the lust, the selfishness, the passivity, the rebellion of the teenage years to become what God called them to be. When I was sharing this material, a guy who runs Asher Auto Salvage, his name is Pod Bowie. Pod came to me and he said, two times this week, Dennis, I stepped up from being a teenager to being a man. He said, can you believe it?

I'm 63 years old and I'm still struggling with being an adolescent. And he grinned. But did you hear what he had to say? Two times this week, I stepped away from being a teenager, from being childish, from being immature. And I stepped up to being a man.

That imagery helped him assume responsibility and become God's man for what he was doing. Well, it's fun listening back to that and listen to Dennis talk about stepping up. And I have to tell you, every guy can relate to that battle day in and day out, right?

Yeah. Whether you're 16 or 63, listening to Dennis's voice is, he shaped my life with that content. You know, really helped me become the most amazing man.

You are the most amazing man. It really did help me become a man because I didn't know. And Dennis, in many ways, for me, and I'm sure thousands of others, was a father figure.

Well, and for me too. It's part of the legacy of 28 years here doing what I've been doing. His book Stepping Up, the video series we produced, God used all of that in my own life to help me understand what I'm supposed to be as a man. And there's a last point, we won't play a clip of this, but Dennis, in the book, he said, you get to the manhood step. He said there are five steps. There's childhood, there's boyhood, then there's adolescence, then there's manhood. And most guys get to manhood and go, I'm here.

That's where I'm supposed to be. And he said, no, there are two steps beyond that. And he gave me a vision for my life that goes beyond just stepping up and being a man. He said, the next step is to be a mentor and to spread that to other men. And then the last step is to be a patriarch. He said, that's a dirty word in our culture, but a patriarch in a biblical sense is somebody who takes responsibility for the community.

Somebody who looks and says, I am not just a man in my home, I'm a man in my community. I'm here to help shape what this culture is supposed to do and be. And to step into that and say, it's broader than just my wife and my kids.

I don't neglect them. But to be a patriarch, and you can't be a patriarch at 42, you can't be a patriarch at 42. You have to kind of grow into that to where people turn and look to you and say, where should we go? And you say, I know where to go because I've been in the scriptures, I know the Lord, and I've lived enough life that I can point us in God's direction here. And you are a patriarch, Bob.

Yeah. And you have been for 28 years on this show. You've been a father to many, many people. And you've led so many of us, you and Dennis. It's been a long process. I don't know that we can say I've been that for 28 years. But along the way, maybe I've stepped into some of that.

And you know what? So have so many of our listeners, the letters we've gotten from people over the years, the men and women who have said these kinds of conversations have helped me recognize my own shortcomings, where I need to grow, what I need to aspire to, how I can step up as a husband, as a wife, as a mom, a dad. It's one of the reasons it's been such a privilege to be a part of what God has done through the work of Family Life Today over the last 28 years. And I imagine some of our listeners would benefit from having these conversations we're having this week, just have them as a reference to be able to go back and remind themselves of some of these core principles. We've put these conversations on a flash drive that we're making available to you. When you make a donation to support the ongoing work of Family Life Today, the flash drive is our thank you gift to you.

And by the way, this is a critical week for us. We're hoping that many of you will make a donation this month. We've had some friends in the ministry who have agreed to match every donation we received this month, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $350,000.

We're not there yet. To get there, we need you to go online or to call and make a donation. You can go to or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY to donate. Along with the flash drive as a thank you gift, we'll send you a couple of books by Erin and Jamie Ivey, a book for husbands and a book for wives about marriage.

The books are called Compliment. And if you decide this week that you'd like to join the team of people who really provide the financial foundation for this ministry, who make it possible month in and month out, our monthly legacy partners. When you sign on this week as a new legacy partner, we're going to do two things. First of all, each donation you make during the course of the next year will be matched dollar for dollar. As long as there are funds in the matching gift fund, your donations get doubled. And we'll send you a certificate so you and your spouse can attend an upcoming Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway. And the certificate is transferable.

If you want to give it as a gift to someone, you can do that. That's for our new monthly legacy partners. When you join us and agree to make a monthly donation, we'll send you that gift card for the Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway, along with the flash drive and the books from the Ivies.

So there's a lot there. You can find out more when you go to or call 1-800-FL-TODAY. But I hope many of you listening today will make an investment in the ongoing ministry of Family Life Today and what God has planned for the future. I hope you'll go to and be as generous as you can be. Now, tomorrow, we're going to look back at some of the most significant things I learned in 26 years co-hosting this program with Dennis Rainey.

He left a tremendous mark on my life. So tomorrow, lessons from Dennis. That's what we'll focus in on. Hope you can tune in for that. I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, got some extra help this week from Bruce Goff and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life of Little Rock, Arkansas, a crew ministry. Hope for today, hope for tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-12 22:28:37 / 2023-11-12 22:40:38 / 12

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