Different by design | WORLD
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

Different by design

There’s a good reason why a woman can’t be more like a man—and vice versa

You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining. You've read all of your free articles.

Full access isn’t far.

We can’t release more of our sound journalism without a subscription, but we can make it easy for you to come aboard.

Get started for as low as $3.99 per month.

Current WORLD subscribers can log in to access content. Just go to "SIGN IN" at the top right.


Already a member? Sign in.

A BABYLON BEE POST: “Man thoughtfully responds to wife’s nine-page text about her day with a thumbs-up emoji.”

There are two genders, which is quite enough. Men are not women, a truth downplayed during courtship but dependably brought to light later. Generally speaking, men are (a) creatures of few words, and (b) emotionally truncated. If it took me years to come to terms with this, it is because all the treacly love songs you know are written by men, a fact I’m still puzzling out:

“Laura” (Dave Raskin); “Some Enchanted Evening” (Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein); “Unforgettable” (Irving Gordon); “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (Ewan MacColl).

Thirtieth President Calvin Coolidge reportedly sat near a woman at a dinner party who said, “I bet someone I could get more than two words out of you.” “You lose,” he replied. Or WORLD readers might like this Coolidgism: Mrs. Coolidge, unable to attend church one Sunday, asked her husband upon his return what the sermon was about. “Sin,” he said. When she sought amplification, he offered: “He was against it.”

Which exhausts both my Coolidge trivia and substantiation of claim (a).

For claim (b) take a scene from screwball comedy Dumb and Dumber, where two losers are lounging in a bathtub: “So why did your wife divorce you?” one inquires idly. “She said I don’t listen. Or something like that. … I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.”

In Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, a dating couple are driving in silence and the female counterpart, intent on finding out where this relationship is going, subtly brings up that it is six months since they first met. At this, her beau behind the wheel takes on a look of concentration and repeats, “Six months,” which the young lady takes as a good sign. They continue down the road, she ensconced in her romantic reverie, he trying to remember when he last had the oil changed.

As Professor Higgins said to Col. Pickering, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man? Would you be slighted if I didn’t speak for hours?” “Of course not.” “Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?” “Nonsense.” “Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?” “Never.” “Well, why can’t a woman be more like you?” (My Fair Lady).

So did God make a mistake? Why the mismatch of sensibilities and expectations?

Blimey, Pickering! I believe it’s by design! I believe it is on purpose! If a man could get everything he needed from a woman, and a woman could get everything she needed from a man, where would be the quest for God? If a husband didn’t have to work at living with his wife with understanding (1 Peter 3:7) and the wife didn’t have to work at bringing her deepest needs for intimacy to God, where would be the character development? If a marriage breaks over these things, it means that someone isn’t dying to self.

A word to the women. Knowledge is freedom, and to understand is liberating. One does not resent a raccoon for being a raccoon. Be wise and “knowledge will be pleasant to your soul” (Proverbs 2:10).

“No love affair between a man and a woman has ever been great enough to hang everything on. It will crumble away under your feet. And as the edges begin to break away the relationship is destroyed. But when I am a creature in the presence of God, and I see that the last relationship is with an infinite God, and these human relationships are among equals, I can take from a human relationship what God meant it to provide, without putting the whole structure under an intolerable burden. More than this, when I acknowledge that none of us are perfect in this life, I can enjoy that which is beautiful in a relationship, without expecting it to be perfect” (True Spirituality, Francis Schaeffer).

So let us all have a good laugh and bear each other’s failings. In any case, life is short and we shall be home by and by.

Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine. Her columns have been compiled into three books including Won’t Let You Go Unless You Bless Me. Andrée resides near Philadelphia.


Please wait while we load the latest comments...