In her book, Girl Perfect, former supermodel Jennifer Strickland talks about the feminine desire to be validated by a man. Speaking from her personal experience in the modeling industry, Jennifer relates how a woman feels valuable if a man affirms her but feels the opposite if he tells her differently. The truth to her is his perspective of her. Our culture is, of course, slanted toward unwholesome affirmation in this regard.
But, what about the positive side of this fact? Why are women tuned in to the cues, affirming and otherwise, given by men?
I think we need look no further than the beautiful creation account in Genesis 2. In this record of God's great work, we read that woman was created to be the prized companion to the man. In I Corinthians 11:9, the Apostle Paul tells us that woman was created because of man.
Despite the squawk of the femininists, God's Word indicates that woman was created to fill a certain place, not as a counterpart to man, but as a compliment to him. This is not insult, but honor. The top tier of the mighty pyramids was set last; it is neither as large nor as strong as the foundation, but it is the crowning touch and the peak which is seen for miles. Indeed, Proverbs 12:4 says "an excellent wife is a crown to her husband." (NKJV) A king is known by his crown, and a woman has that power in the life of her husband.
There is a great difference between equal worth and equal place. How we should value the diversity exhibited in the way God created the two genders! He, whose heart is pure love, could only create what is good and beautiful. If our human relationships do not seem beautiful, we should look for another to blame. And it will not be hard to see the Enemy's tracks.
Men are wired to appreciate and women are designed to desire appreciation. It is the hand and glove pattern that we see reflected numerous times in our world. God makes the complete set; He has no 2 + 2 = x equations in the natural world. He could never leave a missing link. The only factor we have to search for is His presence and He has promised that even then, if we seek Him, we will find Him.
So, it is true that women are influenced by the gaze, words and reactions of the men in their lives. It is a good thing designed by God. The value a Christian man places on his wife is important because He is representing God to her and showing the love that caused Jesus to give His own life for us. That's part of the mysterious and wonderful way that marriage represents Christ and the church. And the desire and efforts of a Christian wife to please her husband are so profound because she is to mirror the devotion the church has for Christ. It is a beautiful, reciprocal relationship with divine meaning.
In a culture influenced by self and sin, the system often doesn't work properly. That's why men and women seeking authentic relationships have to look to One whose eyes and words always convey truth. When the attitude or behavior of either is twisted in the direction of self, the power of relationship becomes destructive. And we have all felt the impact of painful relationships, whether our own or someone close to us.
How glorious that Christ continually beckons us to find the joy of relationship aligned with His Word! He is the vital factor in every union. He supplies what is missing when we rely on His strength. And the result of that equation fulfills and makes content because He fills in the gaps with His love. Then we can more fully see for what we were made.
For more study on this topic, see Chapter 5 of the soon-to-be-released book
Reflecting Beauty; Embracing the Creator's Design.
To order Jennifer Stickland's book: