Monday, June 16, 2008

What Every Man Wants

Interesting thoughts from the website. A young lady (I assume) sent a question about what men should look for in a woman of God because boundless had covered what woman should look for in a man. The first answers to the question are your normal: "be a Christian, love God, etc." answers but here is where it gets interesting. Disclaimer: I didn't say this,

"While both husband and wife must be open to the blessing of children, and teach their children to fear, love and obey God (Malachi 2:15, Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Ephesians 6:1-4), wives must be willing to bear the babies and take primary responsibility for their physical care in the early years (Titus 2:3-5, Proverbs 31:10-31)."

I don't see what exactly is wrong with this statement but there still is something which stings when reading it. I know I can't bear children (no matter what Oprah tells us) and I know that my responsibility will be kids as well. But the primary responsibility is the ladies? Why does this seem like it shouldn't be said? The list continues:

"Where men should be striving to have the qualifications of a spiritual leader, women should be developing the qualities that will make her a help to her husband. (Genesis 2:18) They include being self-controlled, pure and kind, as well as effective home managers."

I find my hesitation to these comments does not come from Scripture but comes from my own perceptions about how and what women think. I have no problem admitting that I look for this, even if that means people perceive me as wanting barefoot/pregnant, but I also think hidden in this viewpoint is that men are actually men! I find it interesting that even I had a hesitation towards admitting that this is what I'm looking for and this article was written by a woman? Maybe we men have been so beat up over what to look for that we no longer know what to actually look for? If there is no difference between the sexes, which is the main thesis of today's world, then there is no way for any man to have things to look for in a woman. Ladies, wonder why guys don't pursue? This would be one reason!


Jessica said...

I wonder if much strife comes to marriage because women are expecting men to be equally attentive to young children. I wonder if women place an unnecessary burden on men to also play this role when it is not a man's role to play?

I think men should also take care of little ones, but they have the burden of leadership and provision and should not also have the burden (responsibility) of caring for young children. Women therefore have the burden of care for children and home. I think far too much is expected of men! No wonder they have no more energy left to lead and provide!

I wonder, too, if this (women expecting to have an equal role in caring for little ones) is why many men are reluctant to have children. I hope I will cheerfully care for my young children and home so that my husband can be free to lead and provide.

I'm going to take this to heart when I have children. I will take the primary burden of care for my little ones (if I ever have them!). Thanks for this blog! It really made me think!

Jenn said...

I'm not sure I agree with the idea that it's just a woman's role to take care of children when they are young. Where exactly does it say that in the Bible anyway? Some of the best times of Christian's day are when his daddy does bath time or reads him books or when daddy puts him to bed. God created a home to have a father and mother because he knew that their influence was of equal importance. One and two year olds need their daddies to be involved in their physical care too! It's a lot more fun for Christian when daddy brushes his teeth than when I do it! I think marriages have problems when you compartmentalize every aspect of the home and begin to make rules about who is responsible for different things. I know that my home functions smoothly NOT because my husband and I have divided up the responsiblities but because we both have the attitude that we want to serve one another. If that means I need to take out the trash then I'll do it. If that means he gives the baby a bottle, then he'll do it. My husband does not seem burdened by giving baths or putting pjs on. It gives him joy to be able to make dinner so I don't have to. I have found submission to be easy because who wouldn't want to submit to someone who has a servant's heart and who puts themselves before you all the time. I get what the author you quoted is saying, but real life isn't that cut and dry. I know at 7am this morning I handed my four month old over to my husband so I could get some sleep. I had been up with her for four hours (she's sick) and he didn't mind giving me a little extra rest and he certainly didn't mind having some special time with the precious girl that God gave him.
Just a few thoughts from a happily married woman :)

Judy said...

Ahhh.. I just made a mistake. The comment that says it was left by Jenn was actually left by me...Judy! I was signed into Jenn's account because I was changing her background for her and I forgot I was signed in and lef the comment under her name. Sorry!! I'll let Jenn know what I did! Oops!

Amy said...

Ok, first I think it's hilarious that Judy accidentally posted as Jenn! Too funny!

Like Jessica, this post really made me think. I am now in the role of the primary bread winner, as well as the primary caretaker of my children and home. It's an interesting perspective to listen to this discussion from. I have never had any problem being the primary caretaker for my children, even when I was married. However, I think that husbands and fathers would be giving up a tremendous blessing and a tremendous joy by not being even more involved and "hands on" with their children than they already are! Raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is not a command given to mothers only. Men are blessed by having a quiver full!! Not so they can watch someone else raise them, but so that they can be intimately involved in their children's lives, their joys, their sorrows, their boo boos, their interests, their discoveries. How heartbreaking would it be for a father to NOT know what his daughter's favorite bedtime story is, or what pajamas his son HAS to wear every night. Dad's would be missing out on all the joys of all the little precious moments in life!! And they're involvement wiht their children should not be out of some burdened obligation, but out of the joy of sharing life, of serving their wife and children, of sharing in all the delights of having young children, and of loving their wives in a sacrificial way just as Christ loved the church. Maybe my perspective is a little different these days. But a father who truly finds joy in all the aspects of his children's lives, at any age, is a very, very precious thing.

Charlotte said...

Personally, I'm feel marriage should be a partnership of mutual servanthood and shared responsibility, as opposed to defined (and often gender based) roles where the man is the "head" of the home.

I think my feelings on that are influenced by the fact that my own dad was a terrible husband and father when I was growing up. Because my dad couldn't (more like wouldn't) meet his responsibilities as a father and husband, my mom stepped up to the plate and took up the role of "leader and main provider" of the home. I thank God that my mom was able to shoulder that burden, because that and the grace of God were the only ways we survived when my dad left and my parents later divorced. So, when I hear someone say that the man is supposed to be the head of the household and presents a theory of marriage based on defined gender roles, it makes me kind of mad, mostly because my dad was a poor example of what the "head of the household" is supposed to look like, and my mom was an excellent caretaker, provider, and leader. Does that mean that my family and my upbringing was wrong or unbiblical?

I just figure that if married couples would equally share the responsibility of family and home instead of imposing defined roles, things would go a lot smoother, and each person in the marriage would have equal and ample opportunities to experience everything that comes with marriage, especially raising kids.

Then again, I'm coming this topic as a single person with no dating or relationship history. I'm only using what I've observed in my parent's marriage and the marriages of other people I know.

Sorry this comment turned into a novel where I gave you my life story! I have some really strong thoughts and feelings on marriage, and I guess I really needed to get them out.

Jessica said...

Thank you to Judy, Amy, and Charlotte for balancing my perspective as my opinions often swing too far to the side of imbalance. I guess I was just exploring in my comments whether we decompartmentalize roles too much sometimes. I guess I look at myself and notice a complaining heart and that I often expect too much of men. I just wouldn't want to do that and would want to accept my role in caring for young children and not complain or grumble about it EVEN if my husband was unattentive and did not help at all.

I do think men should care for young children too and that a good man with a servant's heart will want to. I do think (to some extent) that the primary responsibility is on the women and that they shouldn't expect their husband to share equally this responsibility.

I do believe that men and women have some separate primary responsibilities but I do not think it is a sin or unbiblical if a the roles overlap at times. I think that's a far too legalistic way to live.

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14