Okay, alright. I didn’t provoke any fights. Heaven knows I felt like it. At the same time, I’ve lost a lot of the will to fight. I don’t like fighting and know only one way to do it; fight to win. And there can really be no winner, here. So, I’ll just hunker down and make the best of it.
I have a book called The Joy of a Promise Kept, which is a compilation of writings by 12 wives of various well-known pastors and preachers. Wives of Gary Smalley, John Trent, Max Lucado, Tony Evans and others. At least well-known amongst the evangelical crowd. I thought maybe Arwyn might read this one since it was not about sex at all. She occasionally reads Christian books, although I’m not sure if she ever finishes any of them. To my knowledge she’s never cracked it open. But I’ve been reading it in short bits and pieces.
Jeanne Hendricks (Wife of Howard Hendricks who doesn’t ring a bell with me, either) had written something which struck me this morning. She wrote, “No man is ever too spiritual, too old or too mature to succumb to various sorts of foolishness.” She then talked about the foolishness of Noah, Abraham, Moses and David who were all deeply spiritual men, advanced in years, who nonetheless did dumb, foolish things.
She then goes on to list several things a woman could do to help insulate a man from such foolishness. She pointed out that deep lonliness and sadness seem to precede such foolish acts of dishonesty, anger, adultry, immorality and even murder in the case of David. I thought about this, and it is true. I’m ever more susceptible to doing seemingly stupid (if not dangerous) stuff as when I’m feeling lonely and sad. This may be true of women, as well, but not being a woman I’m not as prone to say. I invite the ladies to think and write on it in their perspective blogs.
And so it is with men; we are prone to doing impulsive foolish things. Ms. Hendricks gives the following suggestions for wives seeking to fortifying a husband against foolishness:
Be a good friend. This is where she mentions that being a pleasant and reliable friend can help generate warmth and energy in a man and anchors him emotionally which minimizes brooding sadness.
Be a faithful lover. That’s self-explainatory. Being loved and being loved well.
Be a woman of excellence. She harkens to Proverbs 31 and the woman described there as being more precious than gems.
Be a fascinating person. She refers to being well-read, growing in creativity and self-expression in order to stimulate him to know her better. Okay, I can only relate marginally to this one but sort of see what she’s driving at.
Be a Godly woman. This is a christian book, written by Christians, so I would expect nothing less. “All of the charm and beauty a woman may have amounts to nothing if her ambitions are self-centered.”
These could all easily be turned around and applied to men, but remember this is a book by women, for women…being read by a man. I do think men might be more prone to impulsivity as that is the darker side of initiative. We do things often without thinking it through. Women have historically had a greater capacity for nurturing while men protected and provided. Do modern women still have that capacity? I don’t know. It seems I’ve come across more that one woman’s blog where she feels overwhelmed by the task of caretaking of a family. Women in the news abandoning their babies or even drowning them. In an era awash with modern appliances and convenience, there appears to be more stress. My grandmother raised 4 kids, and when she wanted dinner, she had to catch the chicken, chop its head off, pluck it, gut it, cook it in a coal-burning stove. And she never cooked small meals. Ever. Meat, potatoes, vegetables and bread. I’m not sure at what stage she quit baking the bread. She canned the vegetables after raising them in a huge garden. The wash machine was a giant tub with an agitator with a hose running to it and a wringer on top. She taught the 3 boys as well as her girl to wash dishes and sew enough to repair their clothing. And she was married for 65 years to the same man. She made crafts and sold them, went to garage sales, had an orchard where she sold apples as well as selling extra eggs from her chickens. She seemed to embody the Proverbs 31 woman. Her biggest weakness was that she was absolutely compulsive about dirt. Amazing she survived the farm, but she thrived. Her home was spotless. On a rainy day you walked in on newspaper until your boots/shoes came off. While she never felt repressed, those around her occasionally did! She wasn’t perfect. When I told her that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” wasn’t in the Bible I got a good thump on my head for sassing my elders.
Have women really progressed? Are they truly better off today? The job laid out to them is enormous, even without canning vegetables and plucking chickens. Arwyn doesn’t even know how to cook! I see women who prepared to work in the workforce just as ill-prepared as the men they marry for the job of nurturing a family. The glue they once provided that kept everyone together seems to have been lost somewhere.
So is it now up to the men to pick up the slack?
I’m just asking.