Well, that seems to be the prevalent attitude these days. Men let you down. They only want one thing. They don’t listen, they don’t show emotions and they don’t do anything that a woman can’t do. Worst of all, they make more money than women!
Hmmm…sound familiar? And we’re not just talking about secular society… regrettably we see this attitude in the Church as well. Many women have bought into it, consciously or unconsciously. Even more amazing is how many men have gone along as well.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I tend to look at popular things and attitudes with a jaundiced eye. If the masses seem to be in lock step, I get concerned. Most TV shows you turn on today offer a never ending buffet of male bashing and clever put downs to the husbands, fathers and men on the shows. It may all be in good fun (or not) but after a while you just have to realize there’s a bigger issue here than meets the eye and it’s had a grave impact on our culture.
For years we’ve heard these feminist tirades against men. Issues like equal pay for equal work are hard to argue and too many have been cowed into submission without really understanding how these attitudes, supposedly in defense of women, have seriously undermined the very happiness so many women crave.
As a marriage counselor for more than two decades now, I can tell you that one of the biggest obstacles to marital happiness is the withholding of respect from men, “until they earn it”. Much like withholding water from plants and expecting them to thrive and produce fruit to nourish you, withholding respect from a man will diminish his self-worth akin to what kryptonite will do to Superman. Ultimately it will reduce your knight in shining armor to either a court jester or brutal warrior who runs ramshackle over your need to be cherished.
It’s amazing in the famous chapter from Ephesians in which St. Paul tells wives to be submissive to their husbands, that he gives a clear command to husbands to “love their wives as their own bodies” but he never gives a command for wives to love their husbands. Why is that? Women usually love pretty readily, it’s part of our makeup. Assuming that men are like women (the big lie!) we try to love our men by taking care of them and expressing our devotion the way we would like them to behave toward us. But men and women are significantly different in this regard. Whereas a man would like to feel loved too, he will rarely feel it if he is disrespected. Men and women have different voices within – the woman is always asking “Does he love me?” “Am I beautiful and desirable?” The man on the other hand, is asking “Do I have what it takes?” “Am I capable?” That’s one of the reasons they hate being told what to do or how to do it…or asking for directions. Answer their question first by showing them the respect they need…and deserve…and your chances of receiving those loving gestures that you crave will increase exponentially.
- “Husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies.
- He who loves his wife loves himself…and a wife should respect her husband.”
- Ephesians 5: 28-33
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