A Woman’s Perspective on Christian Men
Ephesians chapter 5 and more!
I remember watching the Sonny and Cher show when I was a kid.
Raquel Welch would belt out the lyrics of a song, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you’re a man. ‘cuz I’m a woman’”.
At the impressionable age of 7 years old I remember thinking; “with talent like that who needs a man?”
In our society the roles of women have undergone considerable changes in the last 30 years. When my mother got her masters in the 70’s, she was one of the few female students to graduate with her MA in education from USC. Now, around half the graduates are women. More women are taking on the primary provider role as well as keeping the primary caregiver role. It is a huge bill to fill and it is no wonder that many of us stay awake at night worrying about whether we can manage it all.
Delegation and Changing Roles
Here lies the problem of delegation. If a husband delegates something to his wife, whether by co-mission by stating it directly, or omission by simply not doing it; the wife will pick up the task and will do it. After all we ladies have more opportunity than ever and resources at our disposal.
However, there is a price to be paid. Physically we don’t handle stress well. That is obvious when we look at the statistics of the increase in stress related diseases that women suffer from.
More is being piled on our shoulders without anything being removed. This becomes a breeding ground for resentment. Husbands need to be aware and careful of what they are delegating to their wives. Knowing that a 40 hour week is going to be more physically draining on her than it is for a man.
Ephesians 5:28 – The Message – says…
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
Most Of The Men I Talk To Want To Please Their Wives.
Yet it is interesting how this can become a stumbling block in the relationship. She asks for the responsibility to provide and he, thinking that giving her what she wants will please her, encourages her to work. Obviously this redefines her role as a provider. She has now slipped into the ranks of “Career Moms.”
What is often overlooked is how it redefines his role as provider. He has slipped from sole provider into role as co-provider or maybe not providing at all. Husbands who sit by passively and follow the wives decisions may want to reconsider this course of action.
In Genesis Adam Took A Passive Role In The Fall Of Mankind.
Eve was the one leading out strong.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6 (NIV)
God, in His usual way, liking to invert things: the first shall be last; if you want to lead – serve; the meek will inherit the earth, instructed Adam to lead and Eve to follow. It is humorous that this was part of a curse. It is a curse for men to lead and women to follow as much as it is for childbirth to hurt and weeds to grow. It’s like God was saying “Now that is going to take faith from both of you”.
Initiating a New Conversation
When a woman feels overworked, or underappreciated, it seems like her husband is the first to hear it, but the last one to listen. This may be due to the downward spiral of the conversation. The wife says something that comes across as demeaning and the husband responds in a defensive manner. This is where a husband can love his wife like Christ loves the church, by choosing to initiate a new conversation rather than responding to the negative. The content of the conversation can remain but the direction changes.
Mankind was in tough shape when Christ came to earth. There were futile attempts to keep the law and we were lost in sin. However, Christ came to initiate a new conversation. Just as Adam plunged us into a downward spiral of sin, Christ, came to change the direction of that spiral to bring it up toward God.
Likewise men have the same opportunity to change the direction of a conversation. The good news is that husband’s don’t need to respond to their wives sin but rather change the direction of the conversation and bring it to a place of healing. This takes faith from the men to initiate and lead the relationship, rather than just simply delegating.
“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.” James 1:19-21- The Message