The awakening of his heart is essential if a man would truly love a woman. Look at things from her point of view. What does she long for in a man? Every little girl dreams of the day her prince will come. Look at the movies women love—the hero is a romancer. He pursues her, wins her heart, takes her into a great adventure and love story. And notice—what is the great sorrow of every woman in a disappointing marriage? Isn’t it that he no longer pursues, no longer romances her? Life has been reduced to function and problem solving. What she longs for is what you are meant to become.
So when it comes to loving a woman, the great divide lies between men as lovers and men as consumers. Does he seek her out, long for her, because really he yearns for her to meet some need in his life—a need for validation (she makes him feel like a man), or mercy, or simply sexual gratification? That man is a Consumer, as my friend Craig calls him. The lover, on the other hand, wants to fight for her—he wants to protect her, make her life better, wants to fill her heart in every way he can. It is no chore for him to bring flowers, or music, spend hours talking together. Having his own heart awakened, he wants to know and love and free her heart. The sexual difference between lover and consumer is revealing—read Song of Songs and ask yourself, “Does this sound like our bedroom?” The lover wants to “make love” to her. The consumer—well, there are any number of crass phrases men use to talk about getting into bed with her.
Of course the stage of the lover brings with it great pain and suffering, because we are speaking of the heart, and the heart, as we all know, is vulnerable like nothing else. Resilient, thank God, but vulnerable. The heights of joy this stage ushers in are greater than any other, but with them comes the potential for sorrow as deep as the heights are high.