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Some thoughts on Men, and particularly women, inspired by today's sermon

(Sun May 8 15:29:38 2011)

So, today in a sermon series on marriage, our pastor used Ahab and Jezebel as a picture of how NOT to do marriage. I'm down with that. We followed the sermon with a mass child dedication, which is pertinant to my thoughts later.

I know that, as a man, it is dicey to give direction to women publically. But, it bugs me when someone, anyone, apologizes his socks off for addressing a perfectly reasonable common problem in women, and then lambasts men. It isn't that then men don't need it. It isn't that the women don't. But, by apologizing for the encouragement/direction/instruction, it dimishes it's impact. It makes it feel like, no matter what it said, the women aren't really the problem. It just HAS to be said to appear equal. Sigh. Women are at LEAST half of the problem in marriage. We are usually the Jezebels: controlling, manipulating, expectant. If we don't get called out for that, WITHOUT apology, will it ever prick our hearts? Will we ever realize it's our problem, too???

Andrew and I said it might be nice to have a mens/womens ministry series along the lines of 'men's ministry:women only' and vice versa. There, women can talk about, frankly, our typical failings that are leading to our husbands being less than their potential. How can/should we be ministering to them, building them up, encouraging them, supporting them so that we can stop nagging, complaining, manipulating, controlling and whining at them. A guy really has a hard time saying that in this day and age of the feminist clap-trap, and I get that. So, we have to step up and call ourselves out.

Along those lines, at the child dedication afterwards, I was finally able to piece together my ill-ease with single-parent mothers. It has to do with what Matt talked about a husband's role being: protector, provider, etc. In a single mom home, Mom has no choice but to fulfill those roles. In a dysfunctional marriage, as Matt mentioned, sometimes the woman is controlling too much and repressing the necessity of the man. That CAN be changed. In a simgle Mom home, it really can't. If mom doesn't provide, protect, cultivate, nurture, support, etc., no one will.

My ill ease is not a result of the reality of single-moms: I know they are strong, amazing women. It comes from the ripple effect of this being a fallen world and drifting from God's ideal. A Single mom becomes a Mom-Dad because she has to. Just like in a marriage, that is not the intended role/position a woman should assume. A mom isn't a Dad/man. Trying to be Mom-Dad changes a woman, intrinsically to the point that it is VERY difficult to recant control. In other words, it will be very difficult to let a man in, because Mom has had to do both, and will try to continue to do both, because she knows best what is best for her children and for herself. Outside the structure of marriage, it is almost impossible to rework ingrained roles. So, men are beasts and jerks....sigh.

I don't say any of this mailiciously toward a mom or any mom. It is the result of a fallen humanity. I'm just trying to picture for myself the dilemma of going against the natural order and how it changes people.

Then, there are the children of single moms. They have a Mom-Dad. They will grow up seeing a dominant female figure as a natural family head. If entering into marriage as adults, this seems likely to predispose the wife to try to be the controller, the dominant, even when she needn't. Be. The sons, may well be either prepared to be domineered, or to rebel to the opposite and be oppressive. Then we are back at a mess. This breaks my heart to see!

I really pray for more girls who find themselves pregnant and alone to make what will initially be the harder choice: adoption. Your darling child will have a complete family unit. Your sweet heart will not be blunted by the intensity of trying to be a woman and man to your child, and the child will, hopefully, have a healthy understanding of their God-designed role as a husband or wife. So many lives will be saved grief, hurt, and irrevocable harm.

So, that's the discomfort I have. Odd that a sermon on Jezebel and Ahab would reveal that to me...

And for those who are single moms: I pray every manner of blessing over you. But just now, I especially pray for you to have a soft, malleable heart that will yield control, whenever it can. Don't forget what the designed portrait should be. Help your children to know it is possible. Be the best Mom (not Mom-Dad)you can bring yourself to be, with God's help. I love you all, my heart turns toward our Father on behalf of your families, and I know that there are beautiful things in store for you. Amen.

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