Monday, April 8, 2013

Crosses and Arrows

The earth is populated with billions of people. These people are broken down into categories by age, social status, religious views, etc., but one of the most important categories is gender. There are men and there are women. There are boys and there are girls. Due to the creativity, design, and nature of God, men and women were meant to live together in harmony, intimacy, and equality.

But here's the problem: We're all big, fat, selfish jerks. 

Recently, there have been circumstances that have lead me to really evaluate the relationship between men and women. There's no doubt that we have our differences; not even the most intelligent of geniuses can figure out why men and women do some of the things they do. Men claim that there is a secret hidden somewhere within the universe that will unlock all knowledge and understanding of women. Unfortunately, it's not that easy, but I am going to let all of you men out there in on why women do some of the things that we do so you can't go on being clueless and treating us like the assholes the entire male gender has been stereotyped to be. In case you were wondering, this is what we need from you:

Number one, women have these things called emotions, and they range from angry stampeding wildebeest to total aquatic nuclear meltdown. Just in case you haven't noticed, these emotions drive everything, and I mean everything, that we do. At some points in time, these emotions are extremely heightened, and can literally endanger you life, i.e. when it's "that time of the month." And as an important side note, during this said period of time, we rarely have control over our inner raging wildebeest; therefore, making a comment about how we turn into Mrs. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde during this time is not a good idea. Now, just because we are largely driven by our emotions does not mean that they make us unfit to lead a country or a large business. While you may joke that if women ruled the world there would be a lot of countries not speaking to each other, I would suggest that's a better outcome than blowing each other up, sirs. 

Because women are driven by emotion, women need to be and want to be understood. We don't always have to be agreed with or told we're right, believe it or not, we just want you to listen to what's upsetting us, hurting us, making us uncomfortable. When you understand where a woman is coming from, you have shown her that you care because you took the time to listen and didn't brush it off as "just a girl problem." So turn the TV off for ten minutes and just talk to the woman in your life, be it a wife, girlfriend, sister, or classmate. 

Secondly, like women want to be understood, we want to be fought and cared for. Women were created to complete men, to have covenant and companionship and most definitely intimacy.  We are your fitting puzzle piece whether you like it or not. The thing is we aren't going to fit perfectly, you are going to have to fight with us and for us in order maintain the big picture. Sometimes you even have to fight yourself. God had called men to be the head of the household. That doesn't mean that Eve stays home and does all the domestic chores and cutesy feminine crafts and has babies, or that Adam is the bread winner, grass-mowing, oil-changing, sperm donor. The Bible says that women are God's most beautiful creation and men are the protectors of them. (So have some self-esteem ladies, God made you with a purpose and you are beautiful no matter what anyone says. Seriously.) And here's what that means: the man would give his life to protect his family, treats his wife with respect and kindness as an equal, and makes the final decision. It means that the wife submits to her husband's authority whether or not she agrees with him after they have discussed the matter, and she trusts that if his decision is the wrong one, Jesus will reconcile and extend him grace. She also encourages him, prays for him, and appreciates him. And makes him a dang sandwich with a glad heart if he wants one.

Thirdly, women MUST have respect. It is one of the most important things in the world to us, and I could list thousands of reasons why. When a man respects a woman, he extends the same grace, forgiveness, kindness, and unconditional love to her that Christ extends to everyone on a daily basis. If you respect a woman, she will undoubtedly return the favor. Another important side note, sex is a very important relationship aspect to men (which it should be to both parties); it was created to be the most intimate, sacred, holy of fellowships with your spouse, so why on earth would I ever want to share that experience with you when you treat me like I'm nothing more than a sack of potatoes? To both men and women, I know the society we live in plus the seemingly uncontrollable hormones instilled in our bodies make waiting an incredibly tough feat at times, but I can promise you that once you meet the right person, you'll regret not waiting for them. Don't be the girl that gives the milk away for free, and don't be the guy that goes around pestering the poor milk maids.

Finally, Men mean everything to women. Yes, many of us are confident, independent, have great careers, but our number one thing in our life is our man. When a woman is single, her girlfriends tell her the typical, "Oh girl, don't you let having a man or not define you." Well, whether we have a man or not doesn't define us, because Jesus is the only man a woman needs to pursue, but the relationship that we have with our man validates us. A great man and a great relationship is what we want in the deepest, most secretive crevices of our hearts. For a man, it is his job and his success. Somehow we have all fallen guilty of allowing everything BUT Jesus Christ to validate us. Regardless, a woman will love her man with every ounce of her heart and do anything to keep him and make him happy. (Until the two of you have been married for quite some time, then things change a little bit, but still...) So, when something goes wrong at work, and you take it out on us, our soul is literally crushed. We feel unworthy, disrespected, and like we can't do anything right, just because of some silly words said out of anger. Men, you have the power to absolutely crush us, and maybe not even realize it. So, think about what you say, how you conduct yourself, and how you treat us whether we're friends, family, or lovers. 

Very quickly, so I'm not considered a crazy feminist, Ladies, this is what men need from you:
One, men need to be trusted. - Men are called to be leaders. They are pressured from the days they are born to be examples and guides for EVERYONE to inspect and criticize. They are thrown right into the fire of judgement whether they're ready or not. That's no easy thing, because failure is their biggest fear, no matter what. So, encourage them, support them, and compliment them in front of others. And don't take away their ability to lead. Since men are indeed called to lead, they need opportunities to step up. Laziness, stupidity, and straight up de-masculization (there's a new word for ya) is a huge problem the media of America is pushing on men. Stop being wusses guys. You have drive, aggressiveness, and an ego for a reason.

Two, men need acceptance for who they are and how they are. Trust me, they aren't changing for anyone, and that's alright, because the only person who should force change is Jesus Christ. I'll let him handle my man's flaws, as well as my own any day. Acceptance is an important thing for human beings in general, but particularly for men. Women love to nag and nit-pick, and to that I say STOP IT. Whether or not your man tucked in his shirt tail on Easter Sunday or not does not matter as much as the fact that your man was simply at church. Is making your man feel like the scum of the earth because he forgot to put the toilet seat down really worth anything? Women, really examine where you hold your values. And just on a broad note for both genders, judging anyone at anytime is super wrong and you shouldn't do it. 
Three, men need  to be appreciated. Really this need goes for everyone as well. Humans take everything  and everyone for granted, hence why we judge them like I mentioned before. It's like that stupid country song by Tim McGraw, "Live like you were dying." You know the one about going sky diving and loving deeper and eating all the best fatty foods (okay, maybe that last part wasn't in there, but that sounds like the best way to go.) 

The thing is, we should go through life living like everyone was dying. Because everyone is dying. You don't know when you or your loved one's last day is. Don't go to sleep angry. Don't say things you know will hurt someone. Don't be bitter. Forgive, forget, and find peace. I truly believe that those who live to serve lead the longest and most joyful lives. Who in the world has ever felt bad for doing something right? "Well crap, I just bought a homeless guy a meal, I really should've used that money for a new iphone car charger." 

Yes, this was certainly an attempt to allow a glimpse into the mind of a woman, of hopefully most women. There will always be exceptions to every rule. But most of all, this is a call to just be decent to people. Who knows what that girl serving coffee is going through, or what that basketball player is dealing with. We were made for each other; to support, encourage, accept, grow, help, and love.

So let's start acting like it.

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