This question is sent in response to the article "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." Are all women relationally oriented? What about the introverts out there? What about the goal-oriented women?
Being an introvert myself, I have had to work at caring for other people and reaching out, as God commands. I naturally want to do things by myself and for myself. When I get stressed out or upset, I withdraw from people into my "cave."
I am also goal-oriented. I cannot multi-task. I can only focus on one thing at a time. My motivation is achieving the goal. I strongly dislike group projects.
My fianc is the opposite of me. He is very relational, loves to be around people, talks a lot, and is not as goal-oriented.
In my experience, there are many people like us. How can this be explained? If God designed woman to be relational, then why am I (and many others) not wired that way?
I do think that at our core, women are relationally-oriented, which you will probably see once you have children and the concept of "family" becomes much more important to you. Particularly in American culture which has been so steeped in feminism, women's mindsets have been shaped to be more male-like, and there are more and more women saying the same thing as you.
When Ray and I give our "Mars/Venus" lecture, we run into couples like you and your fianc from time to time, where it looks like somebody switched the labels. <smile> But the interesting thing is, you guys still find each other! There is still a beautiful complementarity to the male-female relationship where each person's strengths and weaknesses are balanced by the other person's strengths and weaknesses.
Sometimes people become independent and self-reliant not because of their gender but because of their family dynamics. That doesn't change what it means to be a woman at the core of your being, though. Your experience of being independent and self-reliant is going to be different from a man's experience. And honestly, they are both a challenge to living as God wants us to--depending fully on HIM instead of on ourselves. Being fiercely independent can be a curse; it's a way of digging our own cisterns (Jer. 2:13) instead of going to the source of Living Water in complete dependence and neediness. But you didn't ask that question, so I'll get off my soapbox now! <grin>
I'd be interested in having this discussion with you a few years down the road after you're married and hopefully have children. I wonder if you would still see yourself as not being relational anymore. If you think of it, pop back in and let me know, OK?
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
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