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How To Transform A Struggling Marriage

Author A.R. Bernard discusses relationships, marriages, and what is needed to succeed in both. Read Transcript


What does a man know about what women want in the relationship?

Plenty, if that man is Pastor AR Bernard.

Take a look.

NARRATOR: AR Bernard founded New York's Christian Cultural

Center.

Today, his church has over 37,000 members.

This influential pastor has spent decades

teaching and counseling couples.

He's witnessed relationships in every stage of life.

In his book, "Four Things Women Want From a Man,"

Pastor Bernard shares what he's learned and helps men and women

discover what it takes to have a healthy, lasting relationship.

Please welcome to the "700 Club," Pastor AR Bernard.

It's good to have you here.

Thank you, Terry.

Good to be with you.

Well, a new book-- "Four Things Women Want From a Man."

Let's talk about this.

I'm sure ears are all tuned in.

[LAUGHTER]

And it's funny, the question you asked,

what does a man do telling women what they want.

The number one complaint that women have about men

is that men don't listen.

So when I finished the manuscript on this book,

gave it to my wife.

She looked up at me after she read it, smiled.

And she said, you've been listening.

So that book is a credit to her.

Well, you say that one of the reasons we struggle

in our relationships is that most of us

are looking for self-expressive connections.

What do you mean by that?

That's where the motivation for marriage

has developed to from the traditional shelter, provision,

protection, you know, relationships,

in sexual fulfillment, et cetera.

But after the 1960s revolution, everything changed.

So now, the motivation to get married

is self-actualization, self-discovery.

And--

What have you done for me lately?

Yeah.

What have you done for me lately?

85% of relationships are doomed to fail, because people are--

85%?

85%.

40% to 50% of first marriages end in divorce.

Wow.

And 60%, when it's the second time around.

And I wish I could say that in the Christian world, it--

It was different.

It was different.

But it's not.

So we need tools.

So these four things, maturity, decisiveness, consistency,

and strength, really summarize what women are looking for.

Well, it take time in the book to really delve

into what those things mean.

It's just words until we define that.

Let's take maturity first.

Yeah.

What is a woman looking for in maturity in a man?

What does that look like?

That's a great place to start, maturity.

Because you could have a man that's

60 years old and immature.

Boy, that's true.

You could have a 20-year-old young man who is very--

Very mature.

Very mature.

So maturity doesn't come with age.

It begins with the acceptance of responsibility.

I cannot tell you how many women I interviewed who said to me,

I just wish he'd grow up.

Well, what does she mean by that?

She means two things, responsibility and decorum.

She means, I just wish he would accept responsibility

for his words, his thoughts, his motives, his actions,

and his attitudes.

I just want him to be responsible for them.

And secondly, decorum.

I want him to be aware of and know

how and when to conduct himself in any given situation

or circumstance.

Because usually, when a man is intimidated by a situation,

he regresses into adolescence.

And when he does that, he forces the woman to become his mother.

And then he gets mad at her for mothering him.

That's it.

That is it, really.

And it's true.

You say women mature faster than--

Yes.

Men do, just generally, I mean, that's

just kind of a rule of thumb.

So they want a man who will lead in that department.

Exactly.

So talk about decisiveness, because that's

a big part of leadership, too.

Well, it's a double standard, OK.

It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.

But men, we have to be decisive.

But men, not so much.

You know the story.

Honey, are you hungry?

Yeah.

Would you like to get something to eat?

Sure.

Where do you want to go?

I don't know.

Uh, OK.

Well, do you want to go to that restaurant we went to?

No, I don't want to go there.

So women--

Yes.

Try to figure out what I--

Women, try to figure out, you know.

But decisiveness means the ability

to make decisions quickly and confidently.

And in order to do that, we have to have

a set of values and principles that guide

our decision-making process.

Well, and you have to know that it's important.

I mean, that's really what you're doing here.

These are not things that we don't know of.

But we maybe don't know the significance of them.

Exactly.

Exactly.

And your values are what you consider to be most important,

what you stand for in life, what you're

willing to pay the price for, and what you're

willing to die for, really.

Yeah.

So what about consistency?

Ah, consistency-- when a man's words, and actions,

and his values align and they're congruent.

That's important to a woman, because it gives her

a sense of security and safety.

She doesn't expect a man to be perfect.

But she does expect that his actions

line up with some degree of consistency

with what he claims to value and considers to be most important.

Men may not realize that.

And I realize we can't make sweeping statements

about every man or every woman.

But there is something in a woman that wants to feel safe.

And consistency makes you feel like you can sit down and rest

on the relationship you're in.

Yes.

Yes.

Relationships are based on trust, all right?

And when a woman can trust and feels

she can trust in that man, she feels safe.

She feels secure.

And women look for that.

They need safety and security in a relationship.

And strength, number four.

Talk about that.

Strength.

And that is not some macho thing.

Yeah, we're not talking this.

No, no, no, no.

Quite the contrary.

Strength is a man's courage to live out his convictions

in the face of opposition, peer pressure,

all types of pressure.

So you kind of have to know who you are.

Yeah.

You have to have the identity crisis resolved.

Yes.

You have to know who you are.

These are my convictions.

This is what I live by.

This is what I stand for.

And I'm going to live that out.

It also means the ability to be gentle and kind.

Because when you're strong, you can be gentle.

You can afford to be.

You can afford to be.

You know, I think there has been such a loss of fatherhood

in America.

And that's where these traits would be learned.

So if you don't have these traits in your life,

are they teachable?

Are they learnable?

Absolutely.

They can be learned and developed over time.

When I talked about decorum and a man having decorum,

that comes through intellectual, and social, and moral

development.

And there's no school that we go to.

When I got married, I was 19 years old.

We were in love with each other.

And we wanted to formalize the relationship.

You've walked the journey together

and learned much along the way.

And now, AR Bernard shares that with all of us,

"Four Things Women Want in a Man."

Wonderful information.

It's available wherever books are sold.

Well done.

Thank you so much, Terry.

Thank you so much.

Great to have you here.

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