by Pam Farrel @PamFarrel
Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27
It was God’s plan to make us different from each other from the moment he imagined us. He designed estrogen and testosterone and God knew just how that would play out in a relationship. Those differences were by design and for a good reason, to complement each other.
But sometimes those differences are a quandary to our mate. When we moved to San Diego, we had a desire to be a light of love to our community. Because both of us were athletes, volunteering in youth sports was a natural place to begin. Bill served as the President of the youth basketball league for eight years and one day at the gym one the dads walked up to him and said, “I think something is wrong with my wife. I think she might be broken. Can we come in and see you?”
When they arrived, the husband turned to his wife and said, “Go ahead” which seemed to be a green light to begin talking. She began jumping from topic to topic to topic, and the husband looked at Bill with a panicked gaze and said, “She does this all the time.”
Bill, knowing social scientists explain the way women interact with life as “integration”, meaning everything connects to everything else, said, “Just think of her mind like a plate of spaghetti. If you look at a plate of spaghetti and follow one noodle around that plate, it looks like it touches every other noodle. She is traveling through her life connecting it to you. Because of this, women are natural multi-taskers.“ Bill taught the husband some listening skills, and his wife talked for 55 straight minutes. Then she sat back and sighed. With a smile she said, “That was great! If I am like spaghetti, then what is he like?”
“Oh, that will be next week,” Bill replied, because he wasn’t quite sure how he was going to explain how her husband compartmentalized things to easily grasp and integrate them into his life. He began to pray for a food illustration that would depict this. One morning our sons were making toaster waffles and up popped a waffle. Bill immediately thought, “Compartments!”
When the couple returned, Bill explained that men are like waffles because they think of one thing at a time. Each issue mentally goes into its own box or compartment. Because of this, men by nature are problem solvers. They like to go into a box, figure out the problem, apply a solution, then move on. The husband had an issue that he had tried to solve with his wife for years, and that day Bill was the compartment police. Anytime the wife wanted to hop to a different box, he would bring her back to the original topic. That day they finally solved the issue.
Bill came home and said, “Pam, today I used an illustration in a counseling appointment and it really seemed to help a couple. Then Bill detailed to me how men are like waffles, and women are like spaghetti. I replied, “It is a little corny, but if it worked, then I trust you, and I trust God. Yes, let’s use it at the conference we are teaching.”
Now, Men are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, has sold nearly 400, 000 copies and has been translated into more than 15 languages. We are sure the main reason why so many people seem to connect to the word picture is that it takes couples back to the garden. As we go back to the way God designed us, male and female, to value and appreciate the differences, we can learn to use our differences in all of our relationships.
Lord, help each of us show visible expressions of appreciation for the way you wired us. Amen
About the author: Pam Farrel. author of 50+ books, is an international speaker and co-director, with her husband, Bill of Love-Wise.com. Her newest book is Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament: A Creative Bible Study Experience (co-authors Jean E Jones and Karl Dornacher) from Harvest House.
Pam and Bill are the bestselling authors of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti(and small group DVD series); Single Men Are Like Waffles, Single Women Are Like Spaghetti; and the teen version: Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti.
Join the conversation: Do you see differences in how God designed you and your spouse?