“Men are like waffles – women are like spaghetti.” – Bill and Pam Farrel

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” – Bible

Men and women have been assigned particular roles by God. These roles are different; not better or worse, just different.

To begin with an oversimplification, men are designed to conquer, and women are designed to connect.

This doesn't mean that men can't connect and women can't conquer; they both can and do.

What it does mean is that in the long run, relationships and cultures operate better when men and women function primarily in their intended roles.

Down through the ages we see the man in the role of rescuing the woman and providing her and their offspring with protection.

In the Bible we have the story of Deborah, a prophetess. She was asked by Barak, commander of one army, to help him conquer Sisera, commander of another army.

Deborah was obviously a lot sharper than Sisera. She said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.”

Because of the difference in roles assigned to men and women by God, they also have some other differences, to enable them to carry out their responsibilities.

An obvious difference is the fact that only women are able to have children. Hence the woman's body is designed to handle the extra physical stress, while the man's body is designed to provide protection and provision for the woman, especially during this time.

This doesn't mean women aren't able to care for their families themselves, but they weren't designed to do it alone, and those who must do it can attest to the challenges it presents.

In today's environment the workplace is where men attempt to be the conqueror.

No longer do most men have to fight on the battlefield with weapons of war.

The battles on the job may be just as debilitating but very seldom is any blood spilled.

The world is a very performance-oriented place, and the successful conquerors get the promotions and the big bucks.

One of man's greatest needs, and wives would do well to act upon this, is to be respected, and most men attempt to earn it through performance.

Men who are without work feel emasculated. Even retired men need something to “do” to feel fulfilled.

Golf may work for a while, but if you're not a golf professional, it won't last forever.

Many of our younger men today are drifting through society, being financially sustained even though they aren't “conquering” and hence they feel defeated and useless.

Connection is vital to women. Some studies indicate women talk more than men; others say that's not true. However, what most agree on is that in general, women tend to talk more about relationships.

Their everyday conversation is full of pronouns. Men tend to talk more about sports and gadgets, and their focus is on numbers.

Men would do well to remember this for their wives, since the need for connection is directly related to a woman's desire to feel secure in their relationships, particularly with their husband. They want to know their husband truly loves them.

To illustrate, in the workplace most men would prefer to be respected by their peers; they wouldn't use the word “loved.”

Women, on the other hand, desire that security that comes through connecting compassionately with others.

What this means for wives is that they are able to function more effectively in the marriage, the family and even out in society and the workplace when they know their husband is fulfilling his role as protector and provider, if not in whole at least in part.

I encounter many couples who are unhappy because their design roles have been blurred or even reversed.

Men were designed to conquer and women to connect. Carrying out our design function is very fulfilling.

The Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken, Inc. (FAMCO) provides resources for you to succeed in your marriage and families. Roger Rollins, executive director, FAMCO, 803-640-4689, rogerrollins@aikenfamco.com, www.aikenfamco.com.