the hardest, greatest lesson i’ve learned in marriage.


the hardest, greatest thing i have learned since getting married is that my husband is first a person, second a man. 

i grew up hearing that men and women are so different. opposites. things about venus, mars, and spaghetti. 

* * *

men need sex. women need emotional intimacy. 

men need respect. women need love. 

men watch sports. women go shopping. 

* * *

over the weekend i read yet another christian list of “ten ways to show love by respecting your husband!”

be kind. don’t interrupt him when he’s speaking. show interest in sex. join him in activities. etc.

and as i read this list, i thought, i want every single one of these things from my husband.

even in our own childish answers, we give away what we will not admit:

love is a universal language, and humanity is one species, not two.

love is an individual language, and humanity is billions of hearts, not two.

* * *

nearly every difference, struggle, or misunderstanding between my husband and i has hinged not upon the fact that ‘he is a man’ and ‘i am a woman,’ but that we are not the same person. 

nearly every failed expectation i have found in my marriage was created by the idea that my husband, a person, would be a very specific type of person because he was a man.

and that me, the wife, would be able to solve the problem in a very specific manner, as a woman.

* * *

when we read books about marriage and relationships, particularly in the christian circles, we tend to study the opposite gender – as if to discover and prepare everything about a person before we meet them.

the God of the universe has not created more than nine million species of animals, only to create two types of people.

he has not created more than three hundred and fifteen thousand species of plants, only to create “a man” and “a woman.”

he has created, instead, billions of wildly unique individuals.

billions of wildly unique individuals with souls and spirits so deep and complex that he says only he will ever know each of us fully.

how, i ask you, could we ever know them by a book about men, a sermon about our differences, our parents’ advice about women, a conference, a blog.

how, i ask you, could we ever know them by anyone other than they themselves.

* * *

every relationship i entered into has been shallow, broken, and distanced.

i entered them as a woman, and not as lauren.

i held relationships with ‘men,’ and not with the living, breathing souls that God created in his image.

in the past, i have sought to understand ‘men’ instead of the person right in front of me.

and i have expected myself to be ‘woman,’ ignoring my very own heartbeat.

i missed out on living life with another real person, because i thought i simply needed to learn how to live successfully with ‘a man.’

* * *

a man who defines love by sex, respect, or authority shown is an emotionally stunted man.

a woman who defines love by gifts, flowers, or acknowledged beauty is an emotionally stunted woman.

love is so full, so deep, so wide. and we must give it to the person that we have married, not to the gender.

love is so full, so deep, so whole.  and we must give and receive all of it, every piece, every part, every side, as our true selves allow.

* * *

my soul has cried out through the sudden pain of isolation and condemnation on sunday mornings when jokes are made from the pulpit about “men just needing ____ from a woman”  as it clashes badly with our marriage.

i have looked around at the empty faces of the women around me, knowing that their hearts are crying out to hear that they are okay if they don’t fit every gender role, every gender expectation. that their husbands are okay if they don’t fit every gender role, every gender expectation.

i have seen us be so damaged by the church falling for a secular ploy that men and woman are so opposite, so different, so unlike one another.

we have fallen for it so fully that the church is now commonly known as the original source for gender roles, and we march forward, responsibly protecting one of the most life-limiting, God-contradicting lies ever bought by mankind.

we walk through the doors on sunday morning, our spirit craving a place to rest in the individual that we are. yet, so often, we arrive only to be tweaked and trained and pushed and expected back into ‘man’ or ‘woman.’

* * *

the hardest, most painful, greatest, most incredible thing i have learned in a year of marriage may be one of the greatest lessons i ever learn in my lifetime.

that we are people first.

gender second.

and that gender exists in order to create a spectacular, infinite, unconstrained life.

not to destroy it.


/ / / / leave love

  1. Abbey says:

    This is very lovely and heartfelt post! And I totally agree with you for the most part.

  2. As someone married for less than two months, I found this beautiful and very true. I think in our effort to create “god ordained gender roles” we have stereotyped the sexes. It is now somehow unmanly for a man to be emotional, and men are thought to be more thinking/rational then women, etc… We have a very “un-typical” marriage, I talk more than Sarah, and more open than her at times, etc…

    • Kamber says:

      Yes, yes!! I am embarrassed to admit that I recently got really impatient and frustrated with my boyfriend when he was expressing himself emotionally. It wasn’t the first time that he cried around me or anything, but for some reason, I had this thought process in my head that “he needs to stop”, “he needs to shake it off”, because he’s a man. But, he is human. We are all human. We have emotions and feelings-not just women! Wow, I didn’t realize until now how those stereotypes have been so engrained in my mind, no matter how much I like to say that I’m “open-minded”. They are destructive. I am thankful for this blog post-I feel like God is gently leading and teaching me with this! 🙂

      • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

        Isn’t this amazing? I can’t tell you how many times my husband has done/said something that has thrown me into shock or surprise. But it’s pretty awesome hah.

  3. Angela says:

    Beautiful. <3 Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Kamber says:

    Beautiful. I think we have crafted all of these different ideas in an effort to keep truth in boxes again! I think we like to make things “Tangible”, understandable, easy. That’s where LAW comes in! What ONE person fits into an exact mold or idea of what a “proper” gender should look like!? I think there are a lot of truths to how men need respect, or women need love, or other things. But when we take those things and solidify it into an iron fist, it dehumanizes us all. And maybe “de-genders” us too! I think you are spot on. As a single 21-year-old young woman who is dating someone who I will most likely marry, this is extremely helpful and encouraging to me. This helps me to remember to LOVE! LOOK! and LISTEN to my boyfriend, and it also encourages me in those times when I feel that I don’t “measure up” as a woman according to societal or “church” standards.

  5. Kate says:

    Lauren, this is an incredible post. I am in the most spectacular, thrilling, and completely non-standard relationship with a Christ-loving, Spirit-filled man and I found myself nodding at the end of every period, thinking, “Yes, this is so true!” Our expectation-hangovers and miscommunications seems to stem a lot around the issues you’re talking about. Thank you for sharing.

    p.s. the blog re-design is lovely.

  6. Hannah says:

    Wow. I have… felt this inside me, wishing this were true almost. So I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for putting your heart on paper so mine could go, “yeah! That’s what I meant!”

    Congratulations on your first anniversary!! 🙂

  7. Fire Fairy says:

    This is fantastic. I totally agree with you, and you’ve put it into such beautiful words. Thank you so much.

  8. Bethany says:

    I appreciate this one, Lauren. My husband and I both live outside the bounds of stereotypical gender roles, and it does feel lonely and bewildering when messages from leaders and loud voices don’t connect with who we are and where we’re at. I agree – the lesson of learning to know and love the other person in their complete, unique makeup is the most important charge given to us as spouses. Thanks for the affirmation, and all the best of love and grace to you and Max.

  9. Erwin Rodriguez says:

    Great insight and heartfelt as always. Funny enough I was teaching on Genesis 2:4-25 this past week in our community group. While, yes, we were all made in His likeness and image. Both great and humble at the same time yet differences that are meant to compliment each other in the same way that Father,Son,and Holy Spirit are One but 3 persons. The brokenness in our world and in us blurs what we were meant to be for each other.

    A relationship between a husband and a wife were meant to reflect that of Christ and his church. A relationship of selfless love, sacrifice, humility, not prideful nor arrogant, and yet an understanding that He leads and we are called to be ‘Helpers’ for Him. These are the roles that both men and woman should have for each other. Only Christ can fully reflect the image and likeness of God the Father, which is why we all need Him to be the center of our marriages, relationships, and lives….

    Coming on my 3rd year of marriage I’ve learned to love and be thankful that my wife is nothing like me. She’s my helper in every way not just in household duties etc.. but in helping me realize that only Christ can be my all in all. She wasn’t given to me to satisfy my entire being but instead to help me reflect God’s likeness and image better in me. In turn I lead her to help her reflect God’s likeness and image in her. I’ve learned I must be humble enough to know I need her help and be willing to let her help me.

    The best piece of advice I got in my first year of marriage was to study my wife and never cease to learn something new about her. Wives are called crowns in the Word and represent an extension of glory, power, and majesty for that king. Without that crown he’s powerless and unable to reign the way he was meant to.

  10. Haley k says:

    Love this. Spend last night with old roommates myth busting “sexpectations” as I like to call them, which have been the biggest hindrance to true intimacy on my first year of marriage.

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Ahhh this is awesome! I would love to know what some of them have been in your marriage!!

  11. Amanda Rose says:

    Great words of advice. Thank you.

  12. Alyx says:

    This is so insightful and encouraging!! I’ve been a Christian for seven years and have become a little frustrated with the way the Church and Christian culture portrays romantic relationships, especially in the face of realizing that we’re all human beings, and not everything works for every person, or every couple. Thank you!

  13. sarah says:

    I love the premise of what your sharing. That we are all people first, and that you cannot CANNOT have expectations of your husband (or yourself) completely based on the fact that he’s a male or your a female. However, I have to say that in my marriage it has HELPED my husband and I to know that some of our disagreements and differences are fairly common among other couples, and seem to be common because of gender differences. I do think that “gender differences” are not a universal rule, they are as with most characteristics of a certain people group, a generalization. Just wanted to share a somewhat different view point from my personal experience. I do agree with you, I appreciate the different perspective, the bravery in speaking out, and I personally also HATE the whole “men need/want sex more than women” thing.

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Thank you! Yes, definitely. There are definitely some “female-true” things of myself, and some “male-true” things of my husband, and it has been comforting for us to know that it’s okay to feel those things. For example, sometimes my husband feels WAY more stress about his job and financial provision than I do – although not always. But it’s been helpful to know that its natural for him to be extra concerned about being able to take care of both of us.

      The gender roles that I have found most incorrect or inaccurate in our marriage have been:

      – interests
      – preference in time spent
      – household chores
      – sex drives
      – hospitality ‘giftings’
      – cooking

      And so on, hah. We’ve found that we are pretty backwards in a lot of areas that we were taught were “black and white” for guys/girls.

  14. This is such a great call to love the person based on their own needs/desires/longings, not attempt a love that everyone says the gender will want.

  15. Sarah Lorain says:

    Love this. Ever notice how this stereotyping makes it difficult for couples to also be best friends? Talk about damaging.

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Totally. I think another side effect of perceiving the opposite gender to be “totally different!!!!” than ourselves is putting them on a pedestal or just assuming that they won’t be able to relate/understand you. All the jokes about how men will never understand women? Uhhh…my husband understands me pretty much perfectly. And when he doesn’t, it’s because I haven’t shared my thoughts with him. Not because I have boobs, haha. 🙂

  16. Chloe says:

    THIS IS SUCH AN AMAZING ARTICLE LAUREN. Seriously, sometimes it’s like you’ve looked into my head and written what you see haha. thank you so much for your continuing honesty and super-greatness.

  17. Jamie Baron says:

    Mmm… Yes.
    Both my husband and I live outside ‘typical’ gender roles, and truth be told, we were nervous for marriage for that very reason. But in each other we found incredible freedom and grace for the parts of ourselves we initially thought to be ‘wrong’ or ‘too different to be loved.’ And after two and a half years of marriage, I’m still learning how to be ok with this. How to rest in it, even if the whole world says we’ve missed it somehow.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one. Thank you.

  18. Sarah says:

    THANK YOU. Sharing with my fiancé. giving us good perspective, some room to breathe too.

  19. You know what I love about this post? It’s balanced.

    You’re not discounting that there are some real differences in gender that if talked about might help us understand, but you ARE saying that we are people first and foremost. Your last few lines sum it up so perfectly.

    I remember being so confused when my husband, who I’d been taught would need sex and alot of it, wasn’t as interested as I thought he should be, all because someone once told me that men need it __X more than women. So silly and that’s just one example! Bravo for one year of marriage teaching you this…it has taken me seven but I finally learned it! 🙂 What if taught couples, instead of gender roles, to simply talk with their future spouse, to really develop relationship with that person. Wouldn’t that be a concept right?

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Thanks Alex! This was a really big thing in our marriage too for the first year. I was SHOCKED to find that sometimes I wanted to have sex, and he wasn’t really into the idea at the moment. I was like “you are a man and you’re supposed to want sex 24/7, and if I’m naked in front of you you should instantly want to have sex RIGHT NOW.” Haha. It was a crazy process of learning that he’s a person just like me, and sex drives operate pretty similarly to hunger. Just because one of us is really hungry and ready to eat doesn’t mean the other person will automatically be starving either. We don’t get offended or hurt when we’re talking about dinner, but we do when we’re talking about sex!

  20. Emily says:

    I think, when I really look at my history of studying “men” and trying to turn myself into the mythical woman that “men” want, my heart has been in desperate need of control.
    Because if I could just figure out what “men” want from me, then I could be it and at least one man would choose me and I wouldn’t be alone.
    But it doesn’t work like that and I’m not alone.

    • erin a. says:

      No, you are not alone in this Emily. You dug down deep into the truth of much of this gender typing obsession!

      • Emily says:

        Thank you for saying so, Erin! Isn’t that wonderful that singleness doesn’t have much to do with aloneness? I LOVE the community of women and men who are on this vast and diverse and beautiful kingdom team with me.

  21. I really enjoyed reading this post!!!

  22. Lauren S. says:

    What? What! WHAT?! Are you telling me I got married to a person not a stereotype?!
    Joking aside, Amen! Outside our house, my husband and I fit pretty well into people’s stereotypes so we don’t get much flak on the subject (he has a job, I stay home) but we certainly know better than to treat each other based on them. He needs respect and I need love? So, I won’t mind if he loves me and disrespects me? If he loves me and belittles me? How does that work? He needs respect but won’t mind if I give it to him begrudgingly? Or dutifully? Or without love? Maybe other men do but not mine!

    He wants sex but I want emotional intimacy? Um, no. We both want both. Go figure. As you have written multiple times (thank you) I initiate/want sex at least as often as he does and actually, he “gets” the emotional intimacy thing in some ways better than I do.

    While I’m on the topic of emotions, niether of us are particularly outwardly emotional but he is definitely better at emotions than I am. He has spent a lot of time trying to convince me that mine are worthwhile and should not, in fact, be killed. Something he learned from his own experience with his own *gasp* emotions.

    He doesn’t care much for sports and I am having to learn how to shop. Can’t decide yet whether I like it or not.

    I appreciate very much what you say here. We are individuals first and that must be what our relationship is built on. I didn’t marry “men” I married one very particular man. Thank you.

  23. Allegra says:

    I LOVE this post! When my husband and I did premarital counseling we felt totally put in a box – it was all about our gender and not about who we were as people/as a couple. I wish more people were willing to look at marriage/life the way you do…thank you for writing this!!

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Ah, I’m sorry to hear this. 🙁 I’ve been hearing it a lot lately, too. It’s so important to find a counselor that aligns with your personal beliefs, and it can be SO challenging. I’m sorry that you guys went through that!

  24. chels says:

    this is amazing.

  25. erin a. says:

    Lauren – THIS is so what has been blowing up my mind lately. You are so right on and said this so well.
    We can only live with our spouse as whole people when we put down the books about the gender divide and come together as the people we actually are! It drives me mad that this is seen as the cure to marriage. I generally see it just making the gender discussions into talk about how hard all this is and it remains a battle and the coming together in unity is still not happening.
    Put down the book. Look at your spouse. Converse with your spouse. See who they are. Reveal who you are. Come together. A marriage is about the unity of those two people. Not about the unity of the genders in general!
    Bless you guys!

  26. I LOVE THIS POST! Applied to any and all relationships, your comments/observations are incredibly pertinent. I’m a single mom and a preschool teacher, and I often get annoyed by others trying to pigeon hole my son and my students based simply on their genders. I am pinning this and sharing it. Lovely!! Thanks so much for this — I needed to read it today. I’ll be checking out the rest of your blog soon, as well. 🙂

  27. Rebecca says:

    Wonderful post! My husband and I have been married for a little over six months now and are having to discover this same thing for ourselves. You put it very clearly and beautifully. Sometimes it’s easier to just feel like I need to embrace what people say it means to “be a women” rather than embracing who I am as a person. But it is always more fulfilling and definitely more spiritually/mentally healthy when I choose myself as a person rather than pursuing an image of who I “ought to be.” And it certainly makes my relationship with my husband ten times better.

  28. Julie says:

    Beautiful. And why I believe that love is love and beyond gender. Thus, I have no issue with gay marriage, none at all.

  29. Ashley Smith says:

    I love this. EVERY part of it.

  30. Maggie says:

    I agree with what you said completely and it hits the nail on the head with the current gender stereotypes we have today that is affecting everyone.

    This issue has really been affecting me for some time now. It really first started when I got together with my old bible study group before I moved for school last month. All of the girls were pretty much the epitome of the perfect woman stereotype, loves to cook, bake sew is always gorgeous and so on and so forth and I always felt (and still feel) self conscious being around them because even though we know each others hurts and hang ups, I still feel like I don’t fit in with the woman atmosphere that I would be better off being a man because I really long like doing any of the girly stuff and even being around guys seems more natural to me in a friendly non-flirtateous way.

    I mean even with my relationship with Sunny (my beau) a lot of the “gender roles” aren’t what you’d think it’d be, even though we really are pretty much each others’ best friend. It makes it hard for me to accept myself not only as a person, but a woman, because how are things going to look in terms of how things work in the future when I get married, when we have kids, what kind of work will he (or both of us) do and how will that affect our dynamics.

    It really is hard to talk about this even with someone like my bible study leader or Sunny because even though we are all Christians, it makes me feel like I’m trying to make a big deal out of nothing, or what if this really is a big deal? I guess that’s all I got to say other than a fantastic post.

  31. Nka says:

    Hmmm. Very deep & insightful. I absolutely agree. Thanks for sharing ({})

  32. Renee says:

    This is exactly the post I needed; especially in this period of my life. It’s not just the Church that tells us men are emotionless, sex addicts; it’s Western culture at large that has contributed to those stereotypes.
    This article makes me appreciate my man even more. Just this past weekend, I knew he wanted sex and kept teasing me for it, and at the end of the day when he came home from work, he just said, “I just like to fall asleep on your chest instead of having sex. Sometimes just being close to you on the bed and holding you is better than groping you.” His comment struck me deeply, although it is not what the culture or the Church would call “masculine”, it resonated his heart and his deeper needs. Everyone wants to feel safe, to belong, to be known, to be loved. I am so thankful to be his girl.
    This reminds me that the man I love is first a human being, with a heart to be won and a trust to be secured. Our relationship would be ruined if I took the advice of well meaning magazines and blogs that say all a man really wants is just sex and that he has no emotions and that I should approach him as a woman instead of myself. Our love is so deep and so unspeakable at times, and we try to make our relationship a place of peace and goodness and safety. While we celebrate our sexuality, not our stereotypical gender roles.

  33. Abby says:

    So true and liberating, Lauren. Thanks so much for writing this with such honesty, grace, and conviction. I only wish more Christian couples could read it. When we went through premarital counseling, we had to watch this video series that was entirely based on this premise that men can only be loved through RESPECT and women can only be loved through… LOVE? It was idiotic. I was so irritated by it, by the reductionism, by the shortsightedness. After we’d been married for a few years, I felt like we weren’t falling into these traditional gender roles (I was the breadwinner, he was the primary chef, par example) and we were judged by conservative evangelicals for that. But this? Your words? So true. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! No more gender binaries.

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Abbyyyyy. I love you. <3 Thank you so much. Do you mind if I ask what video series you had to watch? I'd be interested to know. Ah, and yes - I've felt so judged externally, but (interestingly) primarily internally, for the same. Feeling guilt that he's the one who cooks the most, and I'm not SuperWife, him feeling guilt that he isn't making the most money, etc.

  34. Scotty says:

    Last night, I Google searched “cross-cultural relationships” to, you know, help me with mine.


    Near the end of the night in tears, all I could do was say, “You know what? I’m not in a relationship with a cross-cultural man named X, Y, or Z. I’m a teammate of this one guy who stole my heart. Let’s work on that.”

    So — “here, here!”

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      I can’t imagine the kind of nonsense that you came across. I’m so sorry. And YES – – I am so glad that was the conclusion you came to. We’ve been talking about doing a month on cross-cultural, cross-racial experiences and relationships on sometime in the near future…would you be interested in that?

      • Scotty says:

        YES. Sorry that I just now checked back here. But I’m a big follower of Good Women Project, and I am in a cross-cultural (and cross-racial, and cross-lingual if that’s a word, haha) relationship right now, and that would be so interesting and helpful for me!

  35. Nicole says:

    Holler! Neither my husband or I really fit into traditional gender roles and loving him has helped me become so much more comfortable with myself. I always expected that once I became a wife, I would become a “wife”. You know, the sweet, gentle, and domesticated kind of wife. But that hasn’t happened, and it’s totally okay because that just isn’t me.

  36. Priscilla says:

    Dear Lauren, thank you so much for sharing this!!! What a wonderful thing for me to read. I have a little girl heart when it comes to fairy tales and sweet romantic stories. I’ve had to learn that this part of me is totally ok and God given and God created. I used to read the josh Harris type books and they frustrated me because I wasn’t like that and I wanted to be because it seemed “right”. But my mom preaches to toss the how-to marriage and child rearing books because every individual is different and they might help some prepare for marriage and parenting, but they don’t for a lot of us. (Not to discredit people who do read them, if they help then yeah!!!)For me, I’m finally learning everyone is an individual and needs to be that individual. Your post helped me see my dad differently, too, as he cries at when we “make” him watch chick flicks with us. 🙂 he is such a romantic heart and it helped me see that the “gender roles” don’t fit him!!! And they don’t need to!!! It helps me for someday when I am in a relationship and then get married, to not expect a man to be the boxed set type man. And it helps me see that I don’t have to be a boxed set type woman. I’m me. And I’m very much a girly girl…..but who isn’t just that, I’m me. So thank you soooo much for this!!! Totally blessed me!!! Hugs, Priscilla ps I love your new look and your pic is priceless!!! 🙂

  37. Lindsey says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this! I grew up in the homeschool/Christian community, and am a very strong believer myself. The misplaced emphasis on learning about the other gender, instead of about the other person (among other hurtful emphasis) was very damaging to me, and led me into an incredibly destructive relationship. Thankfully, the Lord spared me from that relationship long-term and brought me a wonderful husband, and I was able to cast aside everything I had been taught growing up, and embrace this “new individual” in my life because I was looking for his character. I was open to whatever he could share with me and contribute to a conversation, not what I expected him to. I wasn’t looking for male “checkpoints” to make sure that he would love me in ways that I didn’t need him to, I was sharing honestly and vulnerably what I really needed, and was learning to be responsive to what his real needs were. I feel like there is so much emphasis on learning gender roles, and finding the right person based on a “checklist” and doing things “right” by someone’s legalistic agenda, and less encouragement to learn how to love unconditionally, to learn skills like conflict resolution, and grow character traits like loyalty, trustworthiness, and commitment.

    • Kamber says:

      Lindsey, thanks for sharing. I’m so glad that Lauren has shared this blog-this is opening up such a beautiful conversation for all of us. That word “checkpoints” really clicks with me. You are so right! 🙂 We try to entrap people’s hearts in boxes, and it’s so damaging. God did not create us this way! 🙂

      • Lindsey says:

        Agreed, and there are truths in some of the books, and traditions, that get lost because there’s no emphasis on balance, or moderation, or building healthy emotional relationships with others, let alone learning how to be emotionally healthy yourself. I’m not sure when we became so all-or-nothing. One of my biggest peeves is the hurt that is produced when young adults coming out of the community I grew up in, try things the “right way”, and “court” someone in groups that they’ve only ever met from afar…and then things work out badly and they are saddled with the guilt of a “failed courtship”, and feel forever tainted because of it. 🙁 I’ve seen this happen to so many friends, and always try to simply encourage them with scripture, and the truth of GRACE. If HE can give us grace, then we certainly shouldn’t be above giving it to each other…or —more importantly—ourselves!!

  38. patti says:

    I’ve been married for 12 years. I’ve been in the Church for way longer. I served as a campus minister and a Sunday school teacher. You have articulated my utter frustrations. It is my hope as I continue to serve in the church, my marriage and my family that someday this will no longer be true. Thanks for putting this into words.

  39. Paige says:

    Lauren thank you so much for your very real blogs. In currently single but your blog posts have really helped to heal my heart from the pain of the way religious Christians can view gender roles and marriage etc. I’ve been reading a book recently with a good overall message but there’s been a bit of sexism in it and it has really harmed me, so I came on here to receive the pure of truth of Jesus accepting people as they are, not wanting them to be forced into gender stereotypes. Love you my sister in Christ, thank you again :).

  40. Sharon says:

    Now I’m interested in marriage, thanks Lauren.

  41. Rachel says:

    Hey girl– thanks for your honesty in this post. I’ve recently gotten engaged, and my friend referred this post to me to read as I prepare for marriage… this is probably some of the best advice I’ve heard so far. I find myself becoming a little worried when I think about how my fiance may expect me to act more like a “wife/woman” rather than just “rachel”. This is a good reminder that I can let go of that fear, and he and I can talk about this together.

    Be blessed, Lauren 🙂


  42. Amy says:

    My small group is reading Love and Respect and I am hating it. It is not coming off as something from God even though that’s the claim. Then a friend shared this post and I thought, “This. This is what my heart and mind have been trying to say.” My husband can’t be fit into a box of “man needing respect”, nor can I be simply, “a woman who needs love.” We are more than that and to boil it down is to deny all our other facets. Thank you so much for beautifully writing truth.

  43. abbey says:

    And I find out that the girl with my same unruly hair is also a Christian! What a wonderful day! 🙂 The whole person vs gender thing was a struggle for me for a long time. after I got married I thought that I had to fit into my perceived Christian woman mold- and what I thought that was is not who I am. It sounds funny but to put it simply, I really wanted to be a Mary and thought I was being told to be a Martha. I want to study, I want to grow in the knowledge of God and point others to Him, and I thought that because I was a woman all I could do is make food to fill peoples bellies and play with kids. I was so obsessed with seeking what it meant to be a godly WOMAN that I began to be unhealthily controlled by my gender. The Lord finally showed me that though He did make me with gender and it does play a part, He made me me, and that plays a bigger part.


  1. […] gender second. I found an article via Twitter that completely blew my mind. It was titled “The Hardest, Greatest Thing I’ve Learned in Marriage,” by a gal named Lauren, who also runs Good Women Project. (Side note: This site is a […]

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