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Emotional Differences in Young Men and Young Women

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Emotional Differences in Young Men and Young Women

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Advice for the guys (from Jennifer)

As husband and wife of over 20 years, Jennifer and Jay have discovered a few keys to better understanding the emotional differences God created within each gender and would like to share what they’ve learned with you.

Guys, have you ever wanted to find out what girls need and want from you? Well, here is your chance! Over the years I’ve struggled sometimes to understand what I really needed emotionally from my husband. As a teen I had no idea of the important emotional differences between guys and girls, but I wish now that I had. God mercifully opened my eyes later on and has continued to teach me all along my journey. Your Creator wants you to have healthy relationships and to become men of strong character and leadership. Don’t forget to ask God for help every day and pick one or two of the points below to begin practicing right away.

Five things girls need 

1. To feel understood

Pay attention when a girl begins to share her feelings or thoughts. Ask questions (without offering solutions) until you understand how she truly feels. Girls process thoughts and emotions most often by talking them through, and occasionally they will even cry. Don’t be afraid of a few tears; it’s a perfectly healthy way for her to process emotions when they get too heavy! Pray for the understanding and compassion you may need to let her work through these important steps. It may take patience, but this simple kindness is often the most meaningful and appreciated gift you can offer.

2. To feel protected

Many guys underestimate their ability to be protectors, and that doesn’t necessarily mean physically. Sometimes protecting a girl means being patient with her feelings, being a gentleman around her and making sure you don’t stray into compromising situations. Your responsibility as the protector is to always put her wellbeing first. Remember that godly love is always self-sacrificing, never self-serving. Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 2:3-4 [3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
American King James Version×
says: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

3. To feel supported

Girls often carry the combined emotional weight of multiple concerns on their shoulders. Occasionally she may need you to be a patient supporter when the weight becomes too much. Let her know that you are able and willing to be a support in whatever way is needed. Knowing that she doesn’t have to worry about burdening you will help her to open up and share her struggle. Though pertaining to a married couple, you can still gain insight from the words of 1 Peter 3:7 1 Peter 3:7Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
American King James Version×
: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” This doesn’t mean that women are inferior in any way, just that they require more tenderness and gentleness emotionally than may come naturally to a man.

4. To be valued

Girls and how they operate may seem confusing to you at times (even after decades of marriage!). When feeling frustrated, focus on what you appreciate most about her. Let her know often that you notice and truly appreciate the things she contributes. Her contributions may be very different than yours, but that is by God’s design. When a girl does not feel valued in her life, she may be tempted to go along with things that she normally wouldn’t. A need for approval and affirmation of worth may leave her more vulnerable to making mistakes that can cause long-term emotional damage. Proverbs 27:7 Proverbs 27:7The full soul loathes an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
American King James Version×
says, “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” This scripture means that a person who is satisfied is not seeking anything to fill them, but someone who is unsatisfied may seek out even the wrong things to try and fill the emptiness they feel inside. By sincerely acknowledging a girl’s value on a regular basis, you can be a source of strength for her.

5. To be led

This is specific to engaged or married couples. However, as young men it’s important to be practicing and praying about the awesome responsibilities involved. Being a good leader means gaining the loyalty and trust of those around you and providing a positive example for them to follow. You can do this by praying often for God to shape you into a man who follows Jesus Christ’s example of servant leadership. The goal we’re aiming for is stated in Ephesians 5:28-29 Ephesians 5:28-29 [28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. [29] For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:
American King James Version×
: “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”

So even though girls are different from you in some important ways, practice recognizing those differences and ask God for the ability to understand and appreciate them. With self-sacrificing love, honoring the differences between girls and guys can become a great strength in any meaningful relationship you have with the opposite gender. I pray for God to bless you and help you to become a strong man filled with godly character and faith.

Advice for the girls (from Jay)

Girls, you may have a hard time relating to the guys in your life—and for good reason—we were created to be very different from you! My hope is that you can take the tips below and use them to strengthen your healthy friendships and relationships with the opposite gender as you grow older.

Five things guys need

1. To experience an example of kindness, gentleness, confidence and joy

You might be surprised to know that young men are not as simple as pop culture makes them out to be. They are not dumb or purely concerned with the outward appearance of girls. In fact, often what is most attractive to them is joy, kindness and confidence. These qualities are attractive because it makes everyone feel better just being around a person who has them. Philippians 4:4-7 Philippians 4:4-7 [4] Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. [5] Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. [6] Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×
says: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (New International Version).

These godly traits create the type of beauty that won’t fade with age. Ask your Creator God often for help in building these characteristics. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 Proverbs 31:30Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
American King James Version×
).

2. To be needed

Guys love to be around confident, independent girls, but we also have a strong desire to be needed. So be mindful about allowing the young men in your life to step up when you see they are trying. If you need help with something, don’t be afraid to ask. And if you see an opening for him to serve, suggest it to him. The process of growing into a godly man doesn’t start out perfectly. If a guy friend offers to help with something, even if you aren’t sure you need it, consider accepting his help. Think of it as helping him build his “servant-leadership” muscle.

3. To be encouraged

It’s worth a lot to a guy to have an encourager who’s there even in times of failure. Sometimes he will act before he thinks through a situation as carefully as you might. So he’ll appreciate a girl who doesn’t criticize too harshly when he almost kills himself jumping off the roof into the pool or nearly receives a concussion while sliding down the stairs in a flimsy cardboard box. Learn to laugh with him and just be a friend. If you are an encourager rather than constant worrier and critic, he will feel safe to share his deepest thoughts and hopes with you when he’s ready. “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24 Proverbs 16:24Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
American King James Version×
, English Standard Version).

4. To have a little space when needed

Sometimes guys need to have emotional distance. Generally, it takes us longer than girls to process emotions, and we do not usually “talk through” the process as girls do. If a guy pulls away to do an activity that may seem a waste of time to you, it may seem as if he doesn’t care enough to spend that time with you or share his thoughts and feelings. But it’s just a way of decompressing, processing whatever he’s going through and recharging. Guys can be a little like a rubber band—pulling away to process emotions, and if you’re patient, snapping back, eager to spend time with you again before long.

5. To have moral support in the Christian walk

More than you might realize, a lot of guys desire to become men of God—but can sometimes use help. A guy will usually appreciate when you encourage him to become a better version of himself. You can help him see major flaws and shortcomings by bringing them up gently while letting him know that you still believe in him. Proverbs 27:6 Proverbs 27:6Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
American King James Version×
puts it this way: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend . . .” His guy friends are great, but they can’t help in this area quite like you can, because they may not be as open to talking about these kinds of things. He’ll value when you listen to the fears and struggles he has in his attempt to walk with God. There are very few things that mean more to us guys than to know that you are a true Christian ally.

So ladies, you should know that guys really do like that you are different. They even like the mystery of not always understanding you! And you should know that we genuinely love being able to share this crazy world with you.

Always seek God’s purpose in your life, and may your Creator God multiply and bless your efforts as you honor His purpose in your relationships!

Learning about the differences between genders is an important process that does not come easily to most people. As you journey toward adulthood, it will be helpful to understand how to relate emotionally to the opposite gender, from siblings and friends to eventually a spouse.

Our marriage greatly improved once we began seeking God’s instruction in how to relate to one another. Even friendships will benefit from a prayerful consideration of scriptures such as those referenced in this article and many others.