Men and Women is a book that describes the struggle that men and women have when they relate. The struggle they have happens when men and women relate to one another because they are self-centered and do not recognize and honor the God-created differences between men and women.
The book begins with a number of stories that serve as examples for later discussion. These stories create interest in the subject and show how men and women misunderstand each other and why. The auther then turns to Bible passages and psychological theories to begin a discussion of the problems presented in the stories. The book is then divided into twelve chapters that discuss specific topics. The author then concludes with his opinions and own recommendations.
Yes, the author uses illustrations. On page 67 he describes a simple illustration to make his point clear. A husband arrives home late, detained at the office by pressing deadlines. His wife greets him flatly. Many defensive reactions occur to show how the man and woman feel neglected and poorly treated. This story sets up a simple example of how husband and wife have to reconcile by admitting, explaning and examining their own behavior.
The main sections of the Bible the author uses for his main idea are:
(12) For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
The words in the Bible are alive and function in life. Gods word is sharp and digs deep into the soul and sorts out problems. Then the issues are decided and the better way is made known. This process should also happen between men and women in a marriage.
(23) Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
(24) See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
This is a plea to God that my life be examined and that my heart be known. The reason why God is asked to do this is so that any bad habits be known and God can show me the correct way that lasts forever. This passage is used to encourage married men and women to look at themselves for the problems that are inside us before we look to the problems inside others.
(27) The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches ot his inmost being.
The light of God reveals the heart of man and and goes even deeper to shed light on the most personal thoughts that are deep inside. The author used this passage to support his main idea that God will do personal surgery on men and women so that they won’t fail. In fact, with this process, the author believes that men and women will be succesful.
A major theme of the book is the selfishness of men and women. Being committed to ourselves is a deadly problem that men and women share. This makes good sense but this seems unclear in the explanation. The Bible teaches that we are to search ourselves and find our own problems. Proverbs 139:23-24. What seems unclear to me is how I can look at myself and fix my problems and not be committed to my myself. Stated another way, how can I be concerned about my wife and still solve my weaknesses?
The first thing I thought about the book was, that I have major problems in understanding Larry Crabbs thoughts, because I’m not married. I struggeled with the difficult vocabulary and the authors experiences that I thought I don’t have. I tried to understand him and to learn. His real events seemed to be right out of the authors environment so that I could imagine the weaknesses or strength the people had. By working with this book many thoughts came to my mind and I felt that I should look deeper in the authors ideas. Then I noticed, for the first time, that this book does not just describe the problems of marriage but it also talks about daily differences in thinking between non married men and women and even between two people. The recomendations of this book teach the best way to deal with each other issues.
Page 11: Marriage in America sometimes resembles business – lean and leveraged. For many, marrying is little more than a credit risk or a friendly takeover. Expectations of short term benefits, no-load advantages, and good diversity crouch in the hidden agenda.
Page 13: Two trends in the Christian world disturb me. First, the gospel is gradually being reduced to the message that Christ provides us with a new identity to replace the damaged one we acquired from being raised in dysfunctional families.
Page 21: Sometimes we labor so carefully to define proper roles for husbands and wives that we produce a pharisaical code of conduct that gives birth ti stiffly courteouse relationships.
Page 41: For some of us, the morning alarm means another day of fighting overwhelming temptations to binge onj food or of living with diviant sexual urges nearly impossible to keep under control.
Page 61: Anger is too revealing an emotion to handle by either denying its extent or finding its cause in someone else, the two natural ways to deal with it.
Page 79: Carefree happiness often characterizes people caught up in self-indulgent living, people who refuse to face matters of deep morality.
Page 110: Clearly, if I am to learn what it means to be a godly man, I must do something about my natural tendency to worry more about me than about you.
Page 123: There is a time, however, when the most biblical thing to do is to set aside matters of specific content and to probe deeply into the personal reasons that make someone want to maintain a certain view.
Page 145: A common solution to the problem of inescapable pain in our masculine and feminine souls is to anesthetize the part of our being that has been most deeply hurt.
Page 157: Although God delegated authority over the earth to both the man and woman, it is difficult to escape the impression that God intended the man to move into the world in a way that differed from his intention for the woman.
Page 175: A wife exercises her authority to serve by prayerfully evaluating how her unique resources as a woman can best encourage her husband as he moves into his home and works.
Page 192: Most of us agree that submission never requires a wife to support her husband by following him into sin. But why? Does she refuse to cooperate with a husband’s sinful wishes only because she’s obeying a higher authority?