Voices :: Shaunti Feldhahn

Posted on

Sunday, July 30th

The Secret Thoughts of Men and Women

Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning!


  1.  What stood out / intrigued you from this message?
  2. Can you relate to what you heard in the message? Has this same idea/challenge come up in your life before, or is it new?
  3. How does what you heard affect your life right now (maybe it speaks to somehting you are going through, struggling with, looking into, etc.)?
  4. What challenged you?
  5. What is your next step to apply what you heard?
  6. Is there someone you feel prompted to share with about what you’ve learned from the message?



Here are some takeaways Shaunti Feldhahn has shared from her research on men and women. You can find more at


1- He looks confident – but has so much self-doubt.

Despite his “in control” exterior, your man often feels like an imposter. He deeply wants to be a great husband or dad, but is worried about being found out as inadequate (his most painful feeling). You can hit this vulnerable, raw nerve without intending to (“Why did you do it that way?!”). But affirmation builds him up into the great man he is longing to be. (“You are such a great dad.”)

2- He needs respect so much he would give up love to get it.

Just as inadequacy is a man’s most painful feeling, his greatest need is feeling that you respect him. You need to know he loves you even when you’re unlovable that day, right? Similarly, he needs to know you appreciate, respect and trust him even when he makes mistakes. He might get angry or withdraw if he feels your disrespect – even if you didn’t intend it – and will light up if he hears “thank you.”

3- For him, sex is primarily an emotional need.

At the most basic level, men want to be wanted sexually – and it has a profound emotional impact. Feeling that his wife desires him gives a man confidence and a sense of well-being in all areas of his life – where feeling that you don’t desire him can create a sense of dejection and lack of well-being.

4- He will process something best when there is time to think first, then talk.

During conflict when you’re pushing to ‘talk it out’ to get resolution and feel reassured, he often needs to pull away… not to avoid the issue but so he can think it through and better talk about it later.

Bringing It Home: Questions For Him

  • What do I do or say that most makes you feel respected and appreciated? What makes you feel disrespected and unappreciated? 
  • To help me see this, can you give me an example of a time I really made you feel trusted? A time when you felt I didn’t?


1- She needs to know every day, “he would choose me all over again.”

Just because you said “I do,” doesn’t make her feel permanently loved. Inside even the most confident woman in a great relationship, is an underground, “am I loveable/would he choose me again?” insecurity. When that insecurity is triggered, she may seem unlovable right when she most needs reassurance. And your simple, daily actions of pursuit (e.g. taking her hand) show you care and often prevent insecurity in the first place.

2- She wants emotional security more than financial security.

Your wife’s primary need is not financial security but emotional closeness. So when you give more time to work (because you love and want to provide for her), she feels work is a higher priority and is insecure about your love. She wants your family attention more than anything else you could provide.

3- If she wants less sex, it’s about her brain chemistry not your desirability.

Although you think her lower interest means you’re not desirable (a depressing thought), it’s usually just a physiological difference. Where men often have “assertive desire” (tied to testosterone), women often have “receptive desire.” She enjoys sex just as much when it’s happening, but doesn’t think about it as much and needs “anticipation time” to have the same interest. She also may need to feel closer outside the bedroom.

Bringing It Home: Questions For Her

  • What are some situations or words that make you worry about us, or whether I truly love you? (Just for the record, I do love you! )
  • What are a few day to day things I say and do that most make you feel reassured that I do love you and will always be here for you?