4. Are you a “battleground” or “resting place”? I’ve often read women stating emphatically, “I am independent, with a strong will, and opinionated”. Lady, the US is in two wars. Terrorist threats are a part of our daily lives. Communities are increasingly violent. In a down economy, the workplace can be a ‘dog eat dog” haven. The last thing a real man wants after walking the daily gauntlet is another battle in his relationship.
Somewhere a woman is reading this and asking, “What if the partners disagree on a major issue? Should a woman remain silent so as to keep the peace?”
Well, it depends. As a rule, real men are looking for a woman who manages the affairs of her household well. [Proverbs 31:27] Real men are NOT looking for Stepford Wives, automotons who know only to bow to the whimps of a man. Show me a manager who does not exercise judgment, prudence, and intellilect, and I will show you a manager who headed the way of the Beta videotape!
God has not given the world what Adam lacked in order for that creation to lose herself in a man or forfeit the common sense God gave her. And let’s be honest. A woman who walks in capacity of sound decision-making is critical to future generations and, for that matter, our nation. According to the government’s 2005 mortality estimates, 82,642 of the 1,207,675 (or 6.84%) male deaths in the US occurred with individuals between ages 25 and 49. That means 226 families per day are effected by deaths of males in the age group. We can be certain that a consider number of these men are married and/or have children. Ultimately, a woman will be left to manage the affairs without a partner. A real man appreciates a woman who is comfortable with decisions that transcend the old male territory vs. female territory demarcation. In some cases, she will need to exercise those decisions in the aftermath of her partner walking through death’s door.
The Biblical story of Ruth illustrates the awful predicament a woman without certain capabilities finds herself in when mortality makes its appearance. Both Naomi and Ruth (along wth Orpah) lost their husbands. Naomi and her faitful daughter-in-law, Ruth, re-entered Bethany. Times were uncertain and the culture was unforgiving for women who were not married. On one particularly evening, Naomi ill-advised Ruth to go under the cover of night and lay on the threshingfloor inside the quarters where Boaz would arrive for his night’s sleep. Ourt of desperation, Naomi essentially sends Ruth to have sex with Boaz unlawfully, assuming that he would follow with marriage. Desperate times do often lead to desperate measures. A real man values a woman’s ability to navigate in society. A resting place ethos does not diminish this reality.
However, couples will at times find themselves at a crossroads where two people of goodwill disagree. Discussions, analysis, counsel, and other resources can at-times leave a couple with different perspectives. Such is the case for any organism and organization. Governments have Presidents. Corporations function under a CEO. Athletic teams have captains and assistants, but recognize the authority of a head coach. These structures do not diminisf youh the role of any participant. But the structure must function. As politically incorrect as it might sound, this only suggests that the vow speak loudest during these times. God has ordained the man to head the household. That office is not subject to alteration. And with the exception of leadership that directs the household down the path of breaking God’s law, heaven has laid the foundation. If you ascribe to a vow, your answers as to what must a woman do during these times is answered in the vow. Ask it prayerfully and receive what it conveys.
Is this fair? I don’t know. That is above my pay grade. Quite frankly, God does not operate on “fairness”. And I thank him for that. After all, it would have been fair to allow me, the chief of sinners, to burst hell wide open. Is it fair that a thief on a cross, in his last breaths, utters a few words that resonate in eternity louder than the millions some philanthropists will give to causes? Is it fair, in the Book of Acts Chapter 12, that King Herod had James the brother of John, murdered by the sword. But Peter, for whom the early Christians were also praying (as they did for James) would escape execution. God operates in an entirely different economy. His thoughts are not ours and his ways, foreign. [Isaiah 55:8] God is sovereign. Having created us, he is just in the structures he establishes. He ordained the man to head the household. Such a structure is not to set the stage for a man to impoe a kind of tyrannical rule. But man is accountable for headship.
Just remember, there is a battleground on every corner and in every corporate setting. Where to rest, however, is another question altogether. Be a resting place, somewhere for a man to reveal his hurt, fears, dreams desired and dream unfilled, his hopes, and his vulnerability. Be that resting place, not as a weakling, but as an ethos to “study war no more” in your relationship. God knows that I have the capacity to ratchet up debates with the best of them. But in all of my days, I cannot remember a single point of contentious exchanges as being one of my most cherished memories. Be that place of calm and you will realize all good things you desire from a real man.
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