One day an English professor wrote these words on the blackboard, “Woman without her man is nothing.” He directed his students to punctuate the sentence correctly.

The men wrote, “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

The women wrote, “Woman! Without her, man is nothing.”

These answers don’t surprise me.

Throughout the years, I have suggested that many of my young male and some of the female students read John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart. I seldom recommend a book to my readers other than the Bible (or one of the books I have written). I make an exception for this one. It clearly sets forth God’s original intent when He designed men. Of course, the enemy’s deep desire is to thwart the plans of our Creator. In today’s American culture, he has been successful in confusing gender identity and how we relate to one another as male and female.

I think we men should arrive on earth with instructions so women understand how to take care of us (after all, even a goldfish comes with instructions). Allow me to lay out some basic universal “man” truths. As a man, I must hold the remote control in my hand while I am watching a television program. Ever since the first man picked up a club to hunt for food, men have had a deep need to hold something that helps them conquer the world. If my socks are missing, I don’t bat an eye, but I will turn the house upside down looking for my remote control. Once, when I could not find it, I was able to survive by holding a calculator.

As a man, when I am sick, I am near death. I need someone to wait upon me hand and foot, since even the smallest cold paralyzes me. Make soup. Bring aspirin. Come running at my faintest groan. By the way, since women do not get as sick as men, I will not need to take care of you when you are sick.

As a man, I don’t cry. Oh, I might tear up when my favorite football team loses the Super Bowl or become very emotional when the biggest fish I ever caught breaks the line and escapes, but I do not cry during movies. In fact, you never have to ask me if I liked a movie. If you are crying at the end of it, I almost certainly did not like it.

As a man, I have a wonderful wardrobe. Everything in it can be mixed and matched! Men have the unique ability to combine plaids with stripes, which always look great together. Since we experience this phenomenon, we think the same thing should apply to you. Therefore, I think whatever you are wearing is fine (I also thought it was fine when you asked me five minutes ago). Either pair of shoes is fine. With or without the belt is fine. Either pair of earrings is fine. Your hair is fine. You look fine. Can we go now? You do not have to ask me anything else. It is fine.

As a man of the 21st century, I have been liberated to understand my role in the home. I will share equally in the housework. You do the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning and the dishes. I will do the rest.

I feel sorry for any man who believes the preceding statements. The whole intent of biblical manhood is for us to become like Jesus. What did Jesus say about himself? “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

Biblical manhood means we serve our sisters in Christ, our wives, our children, our neighbors and our enemies. The more we have the love of Christ in us, the more we can walk out the life of Christ. I have a dear friend who goes into prisons and ministers to the juveniles and men who are incarcerated. Many of these men never had a role model, and if they did have one, in most cases, it wasn’t someone who walked out the life of Christ in front of them.

There is a big difference between “living with” and understanding” someone. Prov. 3:13 (NASB) says, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.”

“Understanding,” used 115 times in the Bible, is the godly application of wisdom. Our homes need people who are willing to take the time to listen to and understand one another. Being understood helps people feel significant and special. It tells them, “You matter to me.”

As a man, I am confused about why the Bible emphasizes that “men” need to find understanding. But I’m sure my wife will explain it to me.