The problems in marriage are not due primarily to the differences in gender, because God intended the genders to fit perfectly with one another (Genesis 2:18-25). However, the differences in the genders can exacerbate sinful tendencies. Have you seen this story floating around the internet?
Let me kill the humor by over-analyzing it. The truth is, a guy wouldn’t really care if another guy was distant, and a girl would probably be more in tune with another girl’s emotions.
However, the pastor/counselor in me not only sees the differences in gender in this story, but also the unloving tendencies on both sides that caused this to happen. A more considerate attitude or a few simple words from the guy about his motorcycle would have saved the girl hours of doubts, insecurities, and self-pity. A more loving attitude from the wife would not have assumed the worst about her husband, and she would not have brooded over the issue.
These are sinful tendencies. These sinful tendencies infect every relationship. We should not reduce them to amorality by claiming this is the result of the axiom that “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.”
Let me contrast it this way:
Without sin: It does not matter if the girliest girl and the manliest man on earth get married; there would be no fights, no insecurity, and no problems. The relationship would be perfectly loving.
With sin: It does not matter if the man speaks “woman” and the woman speaks “man”, or if the man has read the complete guide to understanding women, or if the woman loves sports, pizza, and sex; there would still be fights, insecurity, and problems. The relationship would still be messed up.
The Biblical Answer
James 4:1-2a What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.
If I picked up the newest book about marriage at the bookstore, I might mistakenly think that if I only understood my wife, then I could help our marital problems. But my theology informs me that the root of our fights is sin, not misunderstanding. Therefore, if I merely add knowledge about women to my marriage, I will tend to take that knowledge and use it to my advantage, manipulating to get my way.
The good news of the gospel tells us that, although we are terribly sinful to our spouses, our sins cause even more problems in our relationship with God. Our selfishness and pride in our marriages are only a few of the many sins that plague our lives (Romans 3:10). Each of these sins demand God’s justice and punishment (Romans 2:4-5).
The gospel tells us that God sent his Son to die to take our punishment for us, so that we could be forgiven and loved by God. Christ gives us new life and power to turn from our sins and love him. The gospel is intended to right our relationship with God. As we find peace with God and our lives are filled with his love, we are free to have peaceful and loving relationships with others also.