One of the most powerful and eye-opening concepts in the Love and Respect approach to marriage is the difference between pink and blue.
We aren’t talking about how to decorate a nursery here.
We are simply pointing out how God made men and women as different as the colors pink and blue.
The analogy is simple: a woman looks at the world through pink sunglasses and it colors all she sees; a man looks at the world through blue sunglasses and it color all he sees.
Men and women can look at precisely the same situation and see life very differently.
Inevitably, their pink and blue lenses cause their interpretation of things to be at odds, some more than others.
To carry the pink and blue analogy a little further, men and women not only see differently, but they also hear differently–God created men with blue hearing aids and women with pink hearing aids.
They may hear the same words, but receive very different messages. Because men and women wear these figurative sunglasses and hearing aids in different colors, they see, hear and behave differently in countless ways.
For example, consider the statement, “I have nothing to wear!” She hears “I have nothing new,” while he hears, “I have nothing clean.”
Or when she wants to talk face-to-face and he just wants her to sit next to him and watch football without talking, there is a pink and blue difference.
When she wants their ten-year-old son to be more careful while riding his bike and he wants his boy to ride that bike the way he himself did when he was ten, there is a pink and blue difference.
When she wants to clean the kitchen, launder the sheets and vacuum the carpet right away and he wants her to forgo these chores to play with him and the kids, this is a pink and blue difference.
Many couples arrive at our conferences suffering from “colorblindness.” They don’t yet understand the profound impact that the pink and blue principle has on marriage. But when they leave, their colorblindness is gone.
They make observations like these:
“I never saw that before. I thought we were the same.”
“Now I understand how men and women are ‘wired’ differently and why it takes a lot of work to learn about each other’s needs.”
“I am able to view conflict totally differently now. Instead of seeing my husband as an egotistical maniac, I have some peace and confidence about who God made me to be and who God made him to be, and I’m not feeling so frustrated about our differences.”
Refusing to get frustrated is the key.
When differences arise (and they always will), remember this is part of God’s plan.
Neither one of you is wrong, just different. A major step toward a happy marriage is accepting differences and working them out with love and respect.
Relax, and even rejoice. “Vive la difference!”
PRAY: Thank you, Lord, that in the very beginning you created male and female, blue and pink. We ask you for patience and an ever-growing understanding of how men and women see and hear differently. In your name.
ACT: When the Crazy Cycle threatens to spin over a pink and blue difference of opinion, try saying things like, “Here, put on my pink sunglasses so you can see what I see,” or “Here, try my blue hearing aids so you can hear what I just heard.”
Want to go deeper into the pink and blue principle?
This blog post is an excerpt from our husband-friendly devotional, The Love & Respect Experience. This 52-week devotional reviews the core principles of Love and Respect, while also inviting you as a couple to discover what God’s Word says to you both, individually and together.
You and your spouse will find discussion questions and additional ideas to consider on page 216 in the appendix.