What Does a Woman Want From a Man? Part Three

Part 3 of a three part series which began on April 14, 2016Middle Aged Couple Relaxing In Countryside

Because most men have asked that question, God had Solomon write a book to show us what a positive, loving relationship between a man and a woman looks like. He called the book The Song of Solomon, or literally, The Song of Songs.

There are certain qualities found in a man and a woman that make a close relationship possible. God gives them certain needs that only the other can fulfill. And for a marriage to succeed at its highest level, each looks for those needs to be met.

What can a man do to create a better relationship with a woman?

Because of the way she has been made by God, what does a woman need and want from a man? First, Strong Character, Second, Loving Leadership, and Third . . .

A Passionate Faithfulness

A woman wants a man to be devoted to her. The life of a Christian woman is bound up in two men. First, in the man who bled and died on the cross for her and now lives to make intercession for her. And second, her heart is bound up in the man she gives herself to on the day of her wedding – the day she began rehearsing in her mind when she was a small child. If you have a daughter, you’ve seen it in her.

This is why when a man fails to live with his wife in an understanding way and to honor her, God will not listen to that man’s prayers. God made her as she is, and He loves her absolutely.

            You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. I Peter 3:7

A woman wants to know that, after God, her husband loves her above all things. This is probably the most important factor in a positive relationship with a woman! Even when a couple is struggling, the courage a man shows, as he patiently communicates his love day by day, makes all the difference.

A woman wants to be close. Her sense of closeness spells happiness. We see it throughout the book, but most vividly in three verses,

            2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his . . .

            6:3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine . . .

            7:10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me . . .

With so much at stake, a woman asks for a central place in a man’s thoughts and actions.

            8:6 Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm.

In Solomon’s day, an engraved stone or metal seal was used to mark ownership of a person’s valued possessions. She wants to be his most valued possession: To have her name written on him. And it was right for her to ask it, because love will either lift a person up, or destroy them. In obedience to Christ, a man must choose to live with only one woman in his heart, and in this life, she must be his most valued treasure.

Paul says in Ephesians 5:25,

            Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself up for her;

The Song of Songs shows us what a close relationship between a man and a woman looks like. It shows us both the high value and the beauty of a man and a woman in love.

These are the character qualities written in The Song of Solomon that define a close relationship. The book also describes the qualities in a woman that a man needs. But that’s a topic for another day!

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     April 21, 2016

 

 

What Does a Woman Want From a Man? Part Two

Part 2 of a three part series which began on April 14, 2016Middle Aged Couple Relaxing In Countryside

Because of the way she’s been made by God, there is a second thing that a woman needs and wants from a man

Second, Leadership with Love.

A woman wants to be led. And while some might say that she only wants to be led because she’s been taught to follow. In reality, a woman responds when a man leads in a loving Christ-like manner.

We see this in the heart of the young woman from the very beginning. In chapter one, verse four she says,

            1:4     Draw me after you and let us run together.

These are not the words of someone being pressured to follow. She’s ready to go anywhere with the one she admires. The key to his leadership is his love. And she wants others to know it. In chapter 2, verse 4 she says:

            2:4     His banner over me is love

This banner meant security and stability, inspiring and cultivating her own growth in humility and strength.

Notice the loving words spoken by the man as he invites her to follow him.

2:10   Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along.

And again, 

2:13  Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along.

She was his companion, to have and to hold. And because of how God formed her, she needed his strong character and loving leadership.

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     April 19, 2016

What Does a Woman Want From a Man?

Part 1 of a three part seriesMiddle Aged Couple Relaxing In Countryside

Because most men have asked that question, God had Solomon write a book to show us what a positive, loving relationship between a man and a woman looks like. He called the book The Song of Solomon, or literally, The Song of Songs.

There are certain qualities found in a man and a woman that make a close relationship possible. God gives them certain needs that only the other can fulfill. And for a marriage to succeed at its highest level, each looks for those needs to be met.

What can a man do to create a better relationship with a woman? Because of the way she has been made by God, what does a woman need and want from a man?

First, Strong Character

She wants to admire him. Solomon is described by the young woman as having strong character and a good reputation.

            1:3     Your name is like purified oil.

A man’s name is his character, a good woman wants it to be pure. The woman describes her man as vividly standing out from other men. Among them he was a true man.

            5:10  Outstanding among ten thousand . . . This is my beloved and this is my friend

He was both her true love and her closest companion – her friend. A woman is raised or lowered to his level. She wants to be raised.

We are not told in the text. We have to wonder if Solomon isn’t writing about what could have, or should have been. One of the purposes of the Song of Solomon is to give us a sharp warning. The day will come when a man will either talk about what should have been true in his life, or what actually was. The choice is his today. Solomon started well. But he was like a brilliant medical doctor who blesses the world with a cure for cancer, only to die himself, an alcoholic. He was gifted by God with more wisdom than any man, only to be overtaken by his own foolishness and sin. Solomon concluded in the book of Ecclesiastes,

            Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, . . .Ecclesiastes 12:1

As we grow older, let’s do what it takes to one day talk about what has been, rather than what could have been. If Christ delays in coming, we want to be able to tell others about the love we won and cultivated with the woman God gave us. Proverbs 5:18 says,

            Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Love demands courage. Circumstances allow some people to demonstrate courage in extreme ways. But most of us are simply called to be brave as we face the problems of each new day. Marriage is like that. Great acts of courage are practiced through the more simple deeds of patience, forgiveness, and kindness. Their reward is rarely seen in the present, but with the passage of time they are described by words like: strength, honor, and goodness.

A description of a man’s character in the future will be the sum total of his smaller deeds in the present. A man’s wife wants to admire him. And corresponding to that need, a man has a deep desire to be admired, to be respected and looked up to. This is affirmed by Paul when he discusses the responsibilities of husbands and wives in Ephesians 5. It says in verse 33,

            . . . each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

Within the marriage relationship, God has wired a man to grow and change through his need for admiration. A woman brings out the best in a man!

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     April 14, 2016

Seven Rules of Life From The Book of Proverbs

Seven Rules of Life From The Book of Proverbs

  1. Never Forget God (Proverbs 1:7)

Jesus said: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

  1. Listen And Learn (Proverbs 1:8)

Jesus said:       “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

  1. Make Wisdom Your Goal (Proverbs 2:1-6)

Jesus said:       “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

  1. Earn a Reputation for Unwavering Love (Proverbs 3:3-4)

Jesus said:       “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34

  1. Choose the Right Path (Proverbs 4:14-16, 18)

Jesus said:       “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14

  1. Love One Woman (Proverbs 5:15-20)

Jesus said:       “. . . a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh . . .” Matthew 19:5

  1. Work Hard (Proverbs 6:6-11)

Jesus said:       “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” John 5:17

Jesus made this response when the Jewish leaders persecuted Him for working on the Sabbath. He also led by example: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”  Mark 1:35

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     April 11, 2016

The Seventh Rule of Life: Work Hard

The Eighth Part of an Eight Part Series on The Seven Rules of Life Which Began on March 21, 2016 

Solomon gives us Seven Rules of Life in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. The First Rule is the most important: Never Forget God. Rules Two through Seven involve factors that enable a productive life. All are important, but the Seventh insures that they will happen:

Work Hard:

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.

How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,

and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.  Proverbs 6:6-11

The sluggard is a key person in the Proverbs. As the name suggests, he is lazy and sluggish. “The wise man will learn while there is time. He knows that the sluggard is no freak, but, as often as not, an ordinary man who has made too many excuses, too many refusals and too many postponements.”

Kidner, D. (1973). The Proverbs An Introduction and Commentary (p.40). Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press.

The ant is a picture of hard work. They don’t have anyone to tell them what to do, which makes them a classic example of self-motivation. Preparing in the summer and gathering in the harvest. She works today for a future payoff. Meanwhile, the lazy person’s excuses and daily delays have the opposite effect. There is no future payoff, and what they might have gained is stolen by a poor work ethic.

People who have wisdom understand that this could be them. Fear of failure is a great motivator.

Jesus said:      “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”  John 5:17

Jesus said this when the Jewish leaders persecuted Him for working on the Sabbath. He also led by example: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”  Mark 1:35

The Seventh Rule of Life: Work Hard

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     April 7, 2016

The Sixth Rule of Life: Love One Woman

The Seventh Part of an Eight Part Series on The Seven Rules of Life Which Began on March 21, 2016 

Solomon gives us Seven Rules of Life in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. The First Rule is the most important: Never Forget God. Rules Two through Seven involve factors that enable a productive life. The Sixth Rule is critically important:

Love One Woman

Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.

Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?

Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe.

Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.

Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?   Proverbs 5:15-20

Of the first nine chapters of Proverbs, two and a half are devoted to the serious topic of faithfulness in marriage: chapters five and seven, as well as half of chapter six.

In chapter five, Solomon writes a beautiful appeal for marital contentment that shares a similar tone with his book The Song of Solomon, describing the passionate mutual love of a man and woman.

The man is encouraged to rejoice in the wife of his youth – the one he married and committed himself to for life. To always find joy in her beauty and be “intoxicated” in her love. And by keeping his focus on her, he will allow his fountain to be blessed.

This fountain is described in a number of ways as streams of water, springs, a well, and a cistern. Water is essential for life and anything that grows. Experts say that we can only survive three days without water. “If you’re ever stuck out in the wilderness, remember what survival experts call ‘the Rule of Threes’. You can live 3 minutes without air, though we don’t recommend trying. In a harsh environment — it’s snowing, say — you have 3 hours to survive without shelter. After 3 days, you need water or you’ll perish. You can make it 3 weeks without food, though we promise you that won’t be fun.”

http://www.livescience.com/32320-how-long-can-a-person-survive-without-water.html

Solomon is saying that just as water is central to life and should not be wasted in the streets, neither should a man’s love be wasted on a stranger – a person who is not his wife.

Jesus said:       “. . . a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife,

and the two shall become one flesh . . .” Matthew 19:5

The Sixth Rule of Life: Love One Woman

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     April 5, 2016

The Fifth Rule of Life: Choose The Right Path

The Sixth Part of an Eight Part Series on The Seven Rules of Life Which Began on March 21, 2016 

Solomon gives us Seven Rules of Life in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. The First Rule is the most important: Never Forget God. The Second Rule highlights the value of parents, while the the Third instructs us to hunt for God’s Wisdom. The Fourth encourages us to have a reputation for unwavering love. And the Fifth Rule:

Choose The Right Path

Do not enter the path of the wicked, 

and do not walk in the way of the evil.

Avoid it, do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.

For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;

they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,

which shines brighter and brighter until full day.    Proverbs 4:14-16, 18

I don’t know why there are sick, evil people in the world. But there are. Now actually, I do know why – it’s because Adam fell and sin entered the world. We learn that in the book of Genesis. But why do some people choose to be as bad as they can be? That’s a dark question. What I do know is that my choices need to follow the path of the righteous. And, of course, avoid the path of the wicked – To have the courage to say, Don’t go there.

Solomon uses Path and Way to describe the course of my life, and the methods that I will use to make progress as I travel through it.

The trajectory of a person’s life is marked by a series of choices. The path of the righteous is like the first light of dawn. We don’t know what the journey holds, we only know that it will shine brighter and brighter as the day unfolds. Our first choice on the journey is to place our faith in Jesus Christ who died for our sins on the cross, our next choice is to continue on the path He gives us.

Jesus said:       “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  Matthew 7:13-14

The Fifth Rule of Life: Choose the Right Path.

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     April 3, 2016

The Fourth Rule of Life: Earn a Reputation for Unwavering Love

The Fifth Part of an Eight Part Series on The Seven Rules of Life Which Began on March 21, 2016

Solomon gives us Seven Rules of Life in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. The First Rule is the most important: Never Forget God. The Second Rule highlights the value of parents, while the the Third instructs us to hunt for God’s Wisdom. And with this foundation, we are encouraged to add a reputation for unwavering love.

Earn a Reputation for Unwavering Love

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; 

bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.

So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.  Proverbs 3:3-4

Steadfast love and faithfulness – When Solomon says bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart, he means that we should not let them slip away from us. They should be permanent aspects of our character, as if they were written on our heart, or forever tied around our neck.

What is the quickest way to seriously disappoint another person: be unfaithful in your love for them. What causes a person to lose faith in another? He said he would always be true to me, but when I most needed him, he said he wasn’t interested anymore. Or, She lied to me, I guess, I’m not quite sure. She said she loved me, but my best friend saw her at lunch with someone else today!

Steadfast love and faithfulness is God’s definition of love. If we set out with a mission to Love Everybody, We may not know exactly what to do. God wants us to think in consistent terms: kind words and actions, giving an honest answer, and seeking to be know by those closest to us as strong and dependable in our love for them.

Jesus said:       “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34

The Fourth Rule of Life: Earn a Reputation for Unwavering Love.

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     March 30, 2016

 

The Third Rule of Life: Make Wisdom Your Goal

The Fourth Part of an Eight Part Series on The Seven Rules of Life Which Began on March 21, 2016

Solomon gives us Seven Rules of Life in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. The First Rule is the most important: Never Forget God. The Second Rule highlights the value of parents, while the Third Rule is something we all need to search for: Wisdom.

Make Wisdom Your Goal

My son, if you receive my words, and treasure up my commandments with you,

making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;

yes if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,

if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding;   Proverbs 2:1-6

 How wise we become depends on how badly we want it

As soon as you decide that having God’s wisdom is the most important thing in your life, and you pursue it like hidden treasure – refusing to give up; God will give it to you. Wisdom is best described as skill in living – The ability to make good choices. If we are honest, most of the events of the past that still embarrass us have some connection to a bad choice.

Solomon is telling us that we can grow in our ability to make the best choice at the right time. And we will not look back with regret. But searching for and discovering wisdom, understanding, insight, and knowledge must be our passion for the rest of our lives. For any given subject, problem, or focus of my attention I need to ask: “What has God said about it? How have others understood this problem? Is there anything I might be missing? What will the consequence be if I move in this direction or that?

Never forget that the Lord gives wisdom. You may have to probe life longer than expected for answers, but like a search for precious metals and hidden treasures, the time spent will be worth the effort.

Jesus said:       “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

The Third Rule of Life: Make Wisdom Your Goal.

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     March 28, 2016

 

The Second Rule of Life: Listen and Learn

The Third Part of an Eight Part Series on The Seven Rules of Life Which Began on March 21, 2016

Solomon gives us Seven Rules of Life in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. The First Rule is the most important: Never Forget God. The Second Rule highlights the value of parents.

Listen And Learn

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 1:8

Life operates through some fairly simple principles: Say please and thank you, show some respect, don’t cut in line, take responsibility, work hard – and other things our parents and grand parents taught us. When practiced over time, they become a part of our nature; and if held tightly, our character.

In the Proverbs there is a close connection between God and parents. And this makes sense, since every child looks to a mother and father. First, for complete protection, and then as each year passes, a progression toward complete independence.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 was at the heart and center of Israel’s relationship with God. There is only One God, and they must love and obey Him alone. This passage contains some clear directives for strong, godly families:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (v.5).

“In some respects it can be argued that the whole book of Deuteronomy is simply a commentary on this one verse.”

(Christensen, 1991, p. 143. Word Biblical Commentary, volume 6A, Deuteronomy 1-11. Dallas: Word Books).

Moses spoke to the families of Israel and reminded them to love the Lord supremely. He was to be the object of their love. Today God intends for our homes to radiate our love for Him, and for our relationship with Him to be more important than work, hobbies, money, or anything else. Healthy families need a solid foundation built on the love of God.

Set God’s Word on your heart (v.6).

Merrill states that,  to be upon the heart is to be in one’s constant, conscious reflection.

(Merrill, 1994, p. 167. Deuteronomy (Vol. 4) In The New American Commentary. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group).

The commitment the Israelites had to God and His Word was to be more than just a mindless ritual. The Word of God was to be within the hearts of parents. When we were children, God desired that our parents model to us a deep personal closeness with the Savior and adherence to His Word. He intended for us to consistently see, hear, and experience our parents’ love for God.

Teach your children to love God and His Word (vv. 7-9).

Israel would “ensure continuity of this allegiance and this covenant faith by diligently teaching her children.”

(Thompson, 1974, p. 121. Deuteronomy: Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press).

Parenting must be intentional. Parents must make a concerted effort to communicate to children their relationship to God and love for His Word. Healthy parents seek to instill a love for God in their children. Deuteronomy 6:7-9 explains how and when God’s Word should be taught: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Deuteronomy is actually a sermon preached to Israel by Moses as they prepared to enter the promised land. These principles are timeless, and God wanted the people to remember them forever.

Jesus said:       “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

The Second Rule of Life: Listen And Learn.

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     March 24, 2016