Doing Battle From the Man Bench

This post is an excerpt from Doughnut DevotionsEnjoy.

Never are the differences between the sexes on greater display than when the two go shopping.

Let me explain it from the male perspective.  In general, men don’t like to shop.  When we do shop, we approach it as a hunting expedition.  If I need a pair of brown shoes, I go to the first store I see, stalk the brown shoe aisle until I see a potential prey.  I pounce on the shoe and try it on.  If it fits, I’m done and I drag my kill to the cash register so it can be bagged and tagged.

Ladies, on the other hand, can turn shopping into a social event.  They’ll invite their friends, go browse random items whether they actually need anything or not.  My wife will walk around and fill up a shopping cart with various items and when she’s got it out of her system, just leave the cart and go home.

Visualize the typical shopping scenario with me.  The husband will usually let the wife take the lead since this is her natural habitat.  Men will pray for extra doses of patience while the wives proceed to pick up and examine every article of clothing in the store.  Praise the Lord that He has shown mercy to men everywhere by leading store owners to create the greatest invention of all time – the man bench.


Yes, the man bench.  A refuge for manhood found in malls all across America.  Walk up to any man bench area and you’ll hear a similar conversation:



“What’re you in for?”

“The Gap.  You?”

“Old Navy.”   With pleasantries out of the way, we both start reading our email on our smart phones.  The silence will continue unless there’s a disturbance in the Force.

“Look at that guy.  He just went into Bed, Bath and Beyond with his wife.”

“Poor guy must be a newlywed.  He’ll be out here with us soon enough.  Well, good luck.  My wife’s waving at me.  She needs the credit card.”

Kidding aside, I’m grateful for the differences between my wife and me.  She sees things in situations that I don’t and vice versa.

God gave us instructions in Ephesians 5 for negotiating those differences in the Christian household.  If I had to boil it down, a successful marriage is all about submitting to each other in love and putting each other first.  Every day should be a fresh challenge for meeting each other’s needs.  Sounds simple, but judging from the out of control divorce rate, it’s certainly not.  Selfishness is in our nature and has to be battled every day.

Going shopping with our wives is a simple example, but in reality, we are placing our wives’ desires and needs over our own.  So, the next time you see guys on the man bench, just remember, they are doing battle for their relationships…and they are winning.


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