A Man’s Greatest Gifts to His Wife – Knowledge of Self

One of the greatest gifts a man can give his wife is his knowledge of self.

Todd Beal

Women in general experience life from on the inside.  Men in general experience life from on the outside.  Men try to understand how the world works and women try to understand how people work.  When a man decides to meet his wife on her own terms, he opens himself up to what she is naturally good at, understanding who he is on the inside and how that shapes his outer world.  Men identify more with dreams and goals, everyday problems and solutions, and lack the means to think or talk about the person that lives inside, except in terms of life principles and how that shapes their character.  Women on the other hand naturally think in terms of the person that resides exclusively, internally.  With right motives and a loving heart, a woman uses this ability to both understand and coach her husband into becoming the best he can possibly be.

Opening up in this way is initially a most unsettling experience for most men, but the wisdom and personal strength a man gains in return far outweighs the perceived risk.  Entrusting himself to her intimate care allows both him and his wife to know him better.  Intimacy increases, the love between them deepens, and trust abounds.  He will begin to use this new knowledge to confide in her, learn from her, and teach her about himself.  She will begin to learn about the man he is trying to become, about the man she wants to look up to, and about the man that craves her respect.  Her love for him will grow strong and so will their marriage, continually.

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About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
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6 Responses to A Man’s Greatest Gifts to His Wife – Knowledge of Self

  1. A Man’s Greatest Gifts to His Wife – Knowledge of Christ (Philippians 3:8) for in the knowledge of Christ comes one’s self-knowledge and not vice versa. It is in the knowledge of Christ that one’s marriage grows strong; for He, Christ Jesus, defines the true meaning of marriage: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

    Thus if it possible to have self-knowledge but not of Christ’s, all is meaningless (rubbish in Paul’s language), at the bottom. I am in the early stage of married life, and I by the grace of God, discovered the greatest truth; I cannot give what I do not have. My knowledge of self is solely in the knowledge of Christ. Therefore; A Man’s Greatest Gifts to His Wife – Knowledge of Christ.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      I do agree with your comment; however this statement is addressing the fact that men, in general, are naturally very illiterate when it comes to understanding personality, as well as the ‘unsaid’ that is communicated apart from words. Men, in general, see life in very literal terms. They talk to each other about their careers, their latest projects, their goals, a woman’s natural beauty, self-discipline, providing for their family, etc. Understanding those things that reside beneath the literal does not come naturally for most men: including feelings that are masked by the absence of an accompanying facial expression, personal intentions and motivations, and the subtle internal nuances that makes the world go around for the woman in their life.

      Again, I agree with your comment entirely, but keep in mind that our knowledge of Christ should be the model for knowing our self; they go hand in hand – we must know our self intimately.

      What you are saying is certainly true, but in all honesty not only non-Christian men, but many Christian men as well, unknowingly trample on their wife’s feelings and tender heart, not because they are intentionally mean or uncaring but because they will not allow their wife, much less their self, to see and make friends with the vulnerable person who lives inside. Unlike women, this terrifies most every man. Unlike men, women are naturals at understanding what goes on internally (the subtle and non-literal aspects of people); and they are certainly well-equipped to understand their husband in this way (their most intimate life-companion), providing their heart is in the right place.

      If a woman can build a career and physically work hard while still maintaining her femininity (a difficult task for any woman), then a man can also open up to his wife and make himself vulnerable while still maintaining his masculinity. A woman needs to know her husband in this way for the deepest intimacy to flourish between him and her. The moment a man learns to trust this, is the very moment he will wonder why he never did it before.

      My statement is not meant to, in any way, preclude or exclude the truth you so carefully laid out in your comment. It is meant for shedding light on a crucial subject that, all too often, is either overlooked or disregarded as foolish by most men (Christian and non-Christian men alike).

      As a final note, too many men – who are truly Christians – do not love their wife as Christ loves the church. Instead, they are rejecting her through their unwillingness to give their whole self to her (including their vulnerability), and not loving her the way she needs to receive love – on the inside where her vulnerable person lives. Ultimately, if a man is not completely opening up to his wife, then he certainly is not completely opening up and giving his whole self to Christ; if he were, then he would automatically give his whole self for his wife because he would already be open.

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  2. 4roots says:

    I would add that women must begin learning who they are on the inside (their sense of self) before they begin wondering who they are in relation to the world (their sense of identity). Too many women allow others to define who they are…without asking themselves who they are and who they are evolving into. THIS is a truth I’ve discovered throughout this year…why I started my blog. I am still learning, but am now better able to engage in real dialogue with others.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more (and by the way, I recommend your blog to anyone who would like a first-hand look at self-honesty. Your posts serve as a personal wakeup call each time I visit).

      Regarding your comment, women usually approach life in one of two ways: “I am my own person, and not my parents or my husband, or anyone else, will infringe on my independence”; or they are so relationship-oriented that over time they build their identity, along with their likes and dislikes, based on those people to whom they relate – essentially borrowing or assimilating the individuality of the people around them.

      It is hard for a woman to both build and maintain who and what she is on the inside, but even more difficult to do this while relating to others. Without the conscious determination to both relate well and develop the uniquely designed person that lives inside, the balance that a woman craves remains elusive.

      Thanks for your comment. I hope you get the chance to counsel other women; they need your insight.

      Todd

      For content directly relating to our conversation, see the Truth Behind Reality post, “All Things to All People”.

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  3. Michael Knudsen says:

    I’ve found this to be true in my 22-year marriage. We almost didn’t make it to 10 years due to my selfishness and inability to humble myself and accept the gentle coaching you attribute to women. Although I believe a man has his place at the head of the household, the exercising of “unrighteous dominion” can result from impurities in his thought, or self-centric behavior. Now having weathered the worst of that storm (I won’t claim that there haven’t been disappointing relapses), my appreciation for my wife is many times what I ever imagined it could be as a twenty-one-year-old kid at that altar.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      I don’t know what to say except that I feel profound humility each time I reread your comment. I wish every man could read this short excerpt of your life and resolve to follow your example. Thank you for this comment (the whole thing).

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