Be Quiet and Listen. (Or, SHUT UP!)

Teens ArguingEach person is unique in many ways, including how they respond to stress, to a threatening or difficult situation, or to the unknown. But men and women often display characteristic patterns in how they deal with life, and with each other.

Women, on average, score higher on the relational scale than men. They tend to sense early on if there is something amiss in an important relationship. And sometimes they may over-dramatize what may otherwise be “normal” bumps in the road.

In many ways this relational sensitivity can be a gift. A woman’s intuition has saved many a relationship when both parties involved are working hard to make things right.

I recently wrote to the men who tend to run when they don’t understand or can’t fix something. And I promised to talk to women as well. So here it is.

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Don’t Run: Do SOMETHING!

Boy HidingMen love to fix things.

That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing! It’s the way they’re made.

After all, if men didn’t like to fix things, there would be no point in a Honey Do list!

But when a man can’t understand or fix something, he will often withdraw. He’ll try to ignore or deny the problem. Perhaps he’ll run. He’ll withdraw into his own world and hide. Or he’ll find some place to run away to.

That running may lead him to long hours at work, to alcohol or other substance abuse, to an affair, or other dangerous or unhealthy ways to get away from what he can’t fix.

And if the problem is in his marriage, this tendency to run or hide can be devastating.

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Perspective: What Do You See?

Airplane Through CloudsThings look much different from 30,000 feet in the air.

Some things are hard to see. Roads and rivers are small. You need a very sharp eye to make out swimming pools. And individual vehicles are definitely hard to distinguish, if not invisible.

But some things are much easier to see from this vantage point. The size of towns and cities, especially when they light up at night. The small size of hills compared to the whole landscape. Cloud-to-cloud lightening. How “shallow” most weather is.

Isn’t it that way with our lives? We so get easily myopic – near-sighted. Our little problems become magnified. The way someone commented – or didn’t – on Facebook. Forgetting a necessary item at the grocery store. Missing a deadline. Forgetting to pay a bill. The thoughtless way a friend neglected to call when you expected them to.

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Wisdom to Know the Difference

Child Looking at the Future“God is in control.”

What statement could be more spiritual, more mature than that?

Certainly God is in control. As the song says, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” For many, that’s a matter of faith. I share that faith, and I’m glad that’s settled.

But is there anything God is NOT in control of?

That may sound sacreligious, and we’re not going to get overly theological here. But think about it: is God in control of YOU?

I’m not talking here about your eternal destiny: that’s another discussion. But think about it. Is God in control of what you had for dinner last night? How about what you said to your children yesterday? Or what time you came home from work? Or the balance on your credit card? Or how long it’s been since you had a date night with your spouse?

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Contraception, Health Insurance, and You

Oral Contraceptive PillsOne of the most controversial political battles recently has involved issues of health insurance coverage, gender issues, realities of economic disparity, and strong religious convictions. Also involved are questions of the role of government in lifestyle behaviors, and one’s hierarchy of moral values.

How’s that for a thorny problem? But is it really all that difficult?

At issue are the regulations put forth by the Obama administration in the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, and the mandate that every employer (with the exception of churches, synagogues, and such overtly religious bodies) provide health insurance that covers contraception for every enrollee without co-pay or other cost to them.

I’m an OB-Gyn physician. I’m a woman. I’m an ordained Christian minister. From which of these perspectives should I respond?

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