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How Your Differences Strengthen Your Marriage

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
August 19, 2021 6:00 am

How Your Differences Strengthen Your Marriage

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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August 19, 2021 6:00 am

Family physician Dr. Walt Larimore and his wife, Barb, discuss how God designed the unique differences between men and women for our benefit, and how understanding and appreciating those differences can improve your marriage.

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Man I knew my marriage was falling apart. I just didn't know how to fix it. I felt like I would always be alone even if I stayed married at Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive. We offer hope to couples in crisis so they can have the marriage they've always dreamed for the first time I felt like my husband truly heard me. I received some great tools from the counselors of change my life and my marriage to begin the journey of finding health go to hope today I my name. I have the world better direction as we couple were married and you love each other but there are some things are just really different about the two and the question for you is this. Maybe wonder if maybe God purposely designed those differences to frustrate you, but to complement you and explore that on today's Focus on the Family focus presidents and author Jim Daly on John Fuller and the fun conversation. Jim, the next 25 minutes or yeah you know Jonathan God intended for both to happen. Sometimes the frustration sometimes it's a blessing that opposites attract. I think he knew what he was doing when he designed it. You know, newlyweds have to be quaking in their boots right now thinking oh now what if I would've I gotten myself into. Because they've seen at GNI we had that same experience. We went to premarital counseling thinking we are so much alike that's why were in love and we walked are going well. We are really different and could revel introvert, extrovert, all those things that we just heard really played out. Even in my own marriage. I think most people's marriages. But today were going to talk about it and were to talk about it with two great friends of the ministry. Dr. Walt and Barb Larimore and it is great to have you back your focus. Jim, thanks for having us we should know Jim that in addition to the Larimore's we have a number of our focus leadership Institute students joining us and it might be a little bit of a revelatory conversation for them. That's a big word to use a Tory like that Walt and Barb. You guys were here in the 2000 you spent time here. You are the official position in residence here. Focus on the Family Walton we so appreciated that service, and in that it's a great place to start when we talk about the brain chemistry yearbook his brain. Her brain highlights those differences in those distinctions for so long. The cultures been telling us were all the same. You know, biologically, there is no difference. There is, is there is no question that one of the leading feminists in our country had a situation where she decided as a single mom to adopt electronic she got the little boy, she decided she was going to raise him in a gender-neutral peaceful green home what she did.

We got about 2 1/2 three years of age when they she made a peanut butter sandwich and he chewed it into the shape of a gun and shot her several times with it and she said in a very honest editorial.

She said the only people who believe little boys and little girls come out the same people who are child is probably true because it we do see the differences from not only from birth in the womb that here's the reality. When I talked to wives, they I think gladly tell me there are differences. Barb is Walter the same now I knew from the get go that we were pretty comparable, but we were as different as night and day. Give us some examples of how you saw that all my goodness he is so in Paul said the non-risk taker of the family. I want to think it through will want to plan and now he's like you know on the spur of the moment, let's do let's go or you know she actually reach directions how we see the time I was put on pants this morning for the last five days.

I mean they were fine. They were nice and clean, and five but those differences that so dramatically draws together when were courting her, when were dating, early marriage can begin to drive us apart.

They can distract us. They can disrupt us if we don't understand them.

Jim they lead to divorce.

And so the purpose of this book was to recognize where those differences came from that. We believe their divinely designed and when understood, allow couple to realize your stronger together with your differences than you would ever be a part that's the good news. You know it's not getting big deal that you have to be ashamed for anything there because God has put them there.

Like Walt said to bring you together right in the more appreciation for the other person.

Well, let's start from the beginning.

I think it's a great place to start when you're in your mother's womb Walt you're the physician what is happening chemically to the little boy and the little girl that is different, something happens.

Even there, on the question of fact from conception through the first six or eight weeks. The little unborn baby is much more female than male, irrespective of whether it's available and will girl and then there's a surge of hormones that occur.

Spent about six or eight weeks and the little boy. It's a surge of testosterone and the little girl. It's a surge of estrogen and testosterone surge has a dramatic effect. For example, it makes his little developing bones much harder so little boys born with harder bonds will girl and there's one that is the hardest in him as he develops and it's his head. This is just too good. Another thing that the testosterone does is it makes his muscles more active.

We like to talk about his brain being Chester drawers and he's got a box for everything, but he can only operate in one box at a time because her connections and preserve she did not have the testosterone search she can multitask much much better. She just has one big drawer and that has wonderful advantages but it does make you different. One of the most wonderful ones we learned about was what I like to call the nothing box guys literally have a box that they can go to in their brain and their brain does nothing to great place and Barb for years, would asked me what you think about I would say nothing. Now let's see what make him want to avoid a conversation with me and you start getting in that little thinking, which is totally unproductive to really think and I thought he was just lying to me and trying to put me off. But that can become very divisive thing if she doesn't know that nothing box and now Jim the researcher showing the average woman, not even the great woman, but the average woman can hear and independently. Process seven different audio signals at one times she can be talking on the phone listening to Focus on the Family on the radio listening to TV in the other room listening to one child in another room. Another child in another room in the house and the garage and processing all at one time without problem. It sounds exhausting just thinking about this right average guy.

Nothing exceptional average guy can listen to and process one audio input at a time. If you don't know that that can be very destructive when we were driving to the airport and so we listen to radio and Barb started to talk to me of something I turned the radio off and she said you really don't have to do that to her brain. I didn't push it. Listen and talk and I said no, I do have to do that that used a cost division anger. Now that we understand the brain difference. She realized my turnoff I'm honoring her not dishonoring. So it's one of hundreds of samples we have in the book that couples can look at and Jim. Some of these male differences female members of our owners recognize that in themselves and some of the female different. Some of is a general rule, but as a general rule, different when we marry we recognize those differences and understand them actually strengthens us. Barb you seen this play out very practically because you like to mentor younger couples so you probably have seen is how as you have alluded to a couple times here. How have you seen it be destructive in those newlywed couples will think that they have to spend every waking minute with each other and yes you want to because that oxytocin level in her brain is soaring very high heel.

Good chemical and you know things are still going well and the fairytale is coming true that where you see all of this come together is when they start nitpicking at each other about the difference in their differences much time together give us some examples of catch it. Now she might be the neatnik to leave his close friend time he comes in the door from the door to the bedroom and you know pickup realized although I'll go there that does this is one of the things Reggie I I have. I keep kind of tidy piles of the shorts just you know the pants I will one day and then not dirty. Now I've got a pile for that so it if it was the T-shirt I wore from three to 8 o'clock last night. You know I can wear that one again.

I'm actually thinking about laundry and all that so I got that pile. Then I got those things that the shorts I wore the weekend and I helped stain the outside of the house and they're kind of dirty but next time I stain I can wear those again. These Piles Dr., Jean nuts. Obviously she doesn't know my categorizing should you do get a person like Jean who is very orderly and then you come on the scene and disrupts a lot what's going on in her psyche. Well, you know, Barb, and actually pretty orderly on some things, like the base to but I have been six years and that one is still she won't put the cap back on that thing for some reason. She says once Keturah uses in the morning well and you know the easy solution to that is to buy two tubes of tooth one with the But now we want to share what I said that's more like that's more probably more personality oriented than gender specific with Debbie for exactly, but another one would be odors, women, their ability to discern odors and fragrances almost 10 times greater Ashley when they're pregnant pregnant entering the cycle are cyclical changes so Barb will cite Helen Windows pants site. I don't know smell like in the closet, get frozen stinky and you know I really have to pulling upstairs and getting this now, I know you guys are giving me so much hope for my two boys right through my heart, Jim. We've gotten that's stunned us. How many letters and notes we've gotten from parents think this is a book written for married couples with a surprise for us was the notes we've gotten from teachers notes we've gotten from engaged couples in the notes we got from parents saying a mom like Jean saying. Understanding these differences allows me to understand those boys different well that something you said is important because again for Jean and Ivan in that discussion. It's not that she is being hypersensitive to she's more inclined to smell those orders. That's a big difference. The boys and I always cash mom just you know she's is over the top on that, but you're saying it's because she's overwhelmed.

What is important for me and I'm going to office to take care of patients, many of whom are female. Now, instead of being kind of resentful of Barb's olfactory skills now can appreciate it because she helps me when you're listening to our guest today on Focus on the Family Dr. Walt Larimore, his wife, Barb, I'm John Fuller host is Jim Daly and there is something that could disclose at this point I guess I can understand this difference that you lay out in the book is bringing her brain and communication. One of the frustrating things we have is Dena will will look at me and just say can't you say something over talking and I'm just thinking know I'm I'm letting it play out here you have a need to express and I'm knocking to try to director or step into soon. Is it me, avoiding a fight resent me just being a guy to be a guide for Windstream two chapters just talking about the not only the communication differences between men and women.

The processing differences between men and women.

For example, it takes the average male with a certain stress seven times longer to process that does the average female so it's critical to understand that that difference is your that's that with her right well and even more not even more important is for her to understand health because her brain is designed to verbally process her verbal centers, hearing centers and her emotional processing centers are very highly connected his emotional processing center isn't connected to his verbal processing at all. It's actually connected to the skull, the spine of thalamic tracks. It's his activity tracks when he is stressed either needs to get a loan or he needs to go out and do something Chuck would go fishing go for a run when she is stressed she needs to talk and most typically to someone who's a female. She cannot process without that talking that the data shows that women prisoners were put into solitary confinement are much more likely to die quickly than men in solitary confinement cannot emotionally process without that sonar marriage is been important for Withers a situation couple years ago where a local ministry have much staff in the van. The van racked in five or six of the staff were killed in a couple of others were in the hospital in the ICU and when we heard that my response that was on this needed some time to think about it pray about it process it or call her best friend Penny.

We just get mad about that. But why can't she talk to me once you talk to Penny or why does he go away.

Why can't you talk to me now we understand that but even better of the ways that Barb has taught me to talk thinking about his office situation in seeing patients that somebody wants to see him make an appointment so I thought one day to try death. I made an appointment with Walt.

I had him look me in the eye.

The TV was not on the radio was not on there were no children around, and I just went to him and just said. Walt could have a little of your time tonight, so I set an appointment and I told them I only needed 10 minutes so that let them off the hook. He knew that I would not be talking forever and ever and ever so is a limit form. I did said that I could tolerate. I know and patient will make an appointment for a specific need.

So I made the appointment and told him upright, the time limit and what I needed to talk about and you know he felt like a free man works of genius than that for us and she maybe she read his bring her Alaska tonight. They do this naturally with women are parenting a little boy will tell the little boy with me in my eyes because I know you so distracted with little girls.

They don't have to do that because she can multitask, and we talked earlier about. He has his boxes. It's very hard for him to transition from one box to another box it takes a little time to close the one so I see her monster this will cite Jimmy 30 minutes about 20 minutes to bedtime 10 minutes to bedtime with her little girls they cannot do that because it takes him time to get from that one box and Barb recognizing that differences from down writing yet in truth be told, I still have to practice out with him yet. I had dinner on the then almost ready to serve, I have to go downstairs and say Walt 15 and it still dinner. You think you can you know close that rapid and then I'll go down five minutes later and then five minutes till dinner where I'm serving whether your they are not freeing thing is in teaching him how to talk to me training him in that process is that no upfront whether I want him to fix it or if I want him to help me think through solutions actually opening the box he needs to go to. Yes, he's built to fix things. That's part of how God designed him to leave to fix to conquered conquests to be in projects to do is not nearly as relational she is. And so for her to say Walt, I want to talk you don't need to fix it and then I don't have to think about how I fix this.

Because if I do, she doesn't need that just angers her that pushes her away that that doesn't respond to her heart, which is what she needs me to do. Here's the one thing that I've noticed though.

Also in that environment and parenting, particularly when you're parenting a boy I think a mom can feel frustration because she sees it as disrespect that the little boys not responding but he truly in my opinion is. I've observed that being a boy when I paid attention to your talking to me, but my mind is think about superheroes and you know what I fight outside or not to play with your out there and moms going while want. I think that's why Peanuts cartoons, pretty well at the adult voice and the cartoon always going while all was here and knowing this allows you to parent a little boy differently than you can apparent little girl to know that he's not doing that because he's trying to anger you are he's disrespecting you when you understand how he was built and it's an evolutionary this isn't chance in time. This is God's divine design.

Scripture clearly indicates God made male and female different right and differently.

And we should embrace that understand and then learn from it. I would want to come to the defense of women, because I think again for Jean with her brain wiring and woman's brain wiring already there there there all connected integrated one big drawer and I think I can understand from that perspective how a little boy are her husband could frustrate her.

You feel that way.

Barb at times it's just frustrating because Walt doesn't get yeah it is that knowing the things that I know now it helps me kind of approach. What I want. The end result to be from a little bit different angle.

Yeah, like you said, my brain never turns off and you know sometimes I find myself same.

Yes you know your dog.

Let's get it but still is just the chemical concoctions in his brain that are making him respond to me the way he is responding and is not given me. The end result.

So I have to think it through. I can either be frustrated and ticked off at him or I can approach it from a different and that's good. Walt is a physician because this one kicks around here Focus on the Family that we get really difficult calls at times and and we want those calls to come, but people that are experiencing depression.

People that are having difficulty in their marriage because of these communication battles. How do you as a Christian and a physician much like Dr. Luke.

I'm sure bring your faith together were chemically charged you know God uses these elements in this life to create our bodies and our brain then we fire in certain ways. How do you reconcile that theologically, that when a person has biochemical depression.

How do you sort that there is a physician and a Christian, where is God in all of that. Jim is a fallen world.

It's not the world was created.

It's not the garden of Eden, and so since the fall. Since we as humans chose to go our own way things have changed so one way I lie like with my depressed patients because for decades in the Christian world. Depression was considered the result of sin or sinfulness. It wasn't same as it is a biological disorder.

So I would often have to explain to Christians who were suffering from chemical impression. This, like diabetes and diabetes, the pancreas isn't making as much insulin is supposed to its own principal sugar down.

So if you don't make as much insulin. The blood sugar goes up. Same thing can happen in the brain of the brain's not making enough say of serotonin levels low in depression goes up. Chronic stress can lower serotonin, certain types of diet can lower serotonin not having enough light can lower serotonin is a variety of causes including genetic causes as I find my patients that beginning to understand the brain's design is a little 3 pound organ, but it uses 20% of the blood flow 25% of the oxygen 20% of the calories we take him there or more connections in the brain per second than in all of the computers in Colorado in a minute.

I mean it's it's it's amazing organ man was made. One way is really interesting because the Hebrew word there. Jim is worth a choose for the making of a pot or a container. It's something that's a little bit rough but practical little bit rural but it's designed to protect something when you look at the Hebrew word that describes creation of woman is completely different work is a word that describes the creation of something very complex, very intricate, very precious, of great value, and then you begin to see at least for me when I understood those two words. Part of my design is to protect bar that she has great value in this way scripture in the New Testament tells me that's my responsibility to honor her to cherish her to nourish her. She's built to respond to that and she and scriptures given the admonition to admire and to respect and to complement me and I respond to that. With these differences. We have four chapters of these differences he needs respect. She needs love he needs conquest. She needs security. We talk about biologically were those come from, but biblically where they come from and jump the best picture I have in my mind is that you take two pieces of wood different species of what different grains different strength different purpose, but if there dovetails perfectly cut when those two pieces of wood are put together, say, as a drawer. They now have a new function. New purpose are stronger together than they ever were parked there. Still different. They have this new function is local design for his brain. Her brain for he and she is that if God's calling you to marriage is calling you to be something together that you never can be a part still different, but to remain different and differently Jim it's a great picture. Dr. Walt Larimore, his wife, Barb Larimore, authors of the book is bringing her brain and I'm sure people find it very helpful in their marriage, communication, and their newlywed steps great and insightful conversation with Dr. Walt and Barb Larimore today on Focus on the Family. It really is always great to have them on and to have that reminder about God's unique design for males and females and how marriage seems to really enunciate those differences between us. Larimore's book his brain. Her brain goes much deeper into the topic offering perspective, practical tools to help make those differences work for you. Mary would love to send a copy of the book's way of saying thank you, when you donate today to the ministry of Focus on the Family monthly pledge or one-time gift of any amount. Call 800 K working 800-232-6459 four. Look for the contact details in the episode on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back.

You and your family thrive in Christ. This is John Fuller and Focus on the Family is looking for talented writers and editors to help reduce our audio programs and podcasts go to Focus on the To learn more about these and other job opportunities. Focus

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