Someone asked a question on a platform I am a part of as to why is the social media flooded with posts directed at women on how to keep their husbands and not enough is being circulated about men being responsible enough not to require being “kept” by their women.
The issue of nearly legitimizing masculine insecurities, irresponsibility at home and infidelity without being fair to the female folk was the bone of contention. Here is what I shared with this group of friends. My hope is that this might benefit you too.
It is an established fact that men are the more easily sexually enticed of the two genders. The pull is always towards the woman. It is what is done with this attraction that’s the matter.
The Bible is rife with proverbial examples of the power of seduction in the body and words of women. From Delilah to to the strange women of Proverbs, the scriptures give warning after warning to men to keep it together. To this end, it is the scriptures, and not trending social media articles as we tend to believe, that first supplies the ageless wisdom …
Prov 5:15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
Prov 5:16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, [and] rivers of waters in the streets.
Prov 5:17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.
Prov 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Prov 5:19 [Let her be as] the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
Prov 5:20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
In other words, before social media came into being, the bible we carry around everywhere has been instructing men and women on proper behaviour responsibility and other social issues.
The scriptures did not here try to be fair. The reason is because it is not a matter of fault finding but rather supplying available strength to meet obvious weakness.
A woman is minding her business, not trying to be kinky, and she is at peace with herself, yet a man will be employing every weapon in his arsenal not to take that second look and this is not about lust. No matter how holy the woman is, she is the one with the difficult or impossible-to-hide body parts that move and shake the minds of men around her.
This can’t be helped, that’s how God made it. Remember the effect Eve had on Adam in the beginning. That is 50% of the vulnerability of the the male man – He is wired to be moved by sight.
Now to come to the woman, who knows the power of her body and decides to poke men in the eyes knowing that only a few would be able to escape unfazed. What do you expect would happen? The men would either have their heads shaved (like Samson) and lose their grace or shed their ranking identity coat (like Joseph) to preserve the grace only to still wind up in jail for a crime they avoided. And guess who the jailer would be? Of course, his wife.
If you realise that your husband is the sheep going out in the midst of wolves, should you not do what you need to protect him? Wisdom is profitable.
I learnt years ago that marriage is like a dance between a couple. There is the expected sequence of the dance routine for each person to execute. However, should your partner make the wrong move, the wisdom is for you not to insist on making the preprogrammed move but, rather make the complementary move in order to keep both of you on your feet and keep the dance going instead of stepping on each other’s toes or go sprawling across the dance floor.
Speaking of complementality, men also have their own share of protecting the sheep to do. Love your wife has two connotations.
1. *Love* your wife: This is the first one we quickly think of which as a matter of your duty to her. She needs the love, she has to be celebrated and cherished like Adam did Eve in the beginning… this is 50% of her vulnerability – she was wired to be recognised and celebrated. If she is exposed this way, a strange man would give her his ear and and collect her heart.
2. Love *your* wife: this is the part we don’t think of quickly. It implies that the male man is capable of love at an instinctive level, but as other scriptures corroborate, he has to learn to focus it only on his one wife.
Physical things show us how invisible things work (Romans 1:20 … My parphrase). During sex, the woman has only one egg for fertilization if she is even fertile at that time whereas the man comes with at least 40 million sperm cells each time. If he comes with less than that, he is said to have low sperm count.
This tells us that the man is capable of giving attention to several things at once. But the fact that the woman only picks one or two sperm cells to fertilize her egg means it is in her power to help him being out the best of himself and focus on that. At the end of the day they have far fewer babies than the man set out with but each baby comes well formed and beautiful.
Both the man and the woman are designed with vulnerabilities of different types, complementary types. The idea in the mind of God was that none would be complete without the other. So any effort to make one duplicate the other, whether in strength or weakness, is to rob the union of critical elements that make it whole. The issue is wholeness brought about by complementary defined roles. No role is weaker, less important or more stupid than the other. They are both equally necessary.
The picture of equality being paraded across the social media powered by humanist feminist movements and philosophies can therefore not work. It makes the couple struggle in futility to both play one type of role.
With the onset of woman empowerment, roles became mixed up. The initial intention was perhaps to empower women, make them less dependent for their survival and that of their children and thus secure the home. But, like everything human, it went wrong; what was considered good for women became expected and demanded of men. Men were now required to get in touch with that ever elusive “feminine side”.
“Malfunctioning” men began to fill the horizon. Nobody thought then that trying to fit men into women roles and mind frames was recipe for disaster. The best men could ever become were lousy women. But worse, a vacuum for masculinity was created; there were no more “men”.
Nature prevents vacuums and so the increasingly empowered women began to take on what they perceived was the “whole duty of men”. Providing for the family, climbing corporate ladders and ordering the members of the family around became more associated with women. Society became composed of malfunctioning men and misled women.
The only place men were still needed was in the creation of babies. However, with current science, though men still need to provide sperm cells on the whole, each particular woman now doesn’t really need to have a man in her life to start a family. She can visit a sperm bank and be done with it. (PS: I do not support this).
We know all this but we ignore the fact that we did this to ourselves and we who are Christians cast blame on the church, on scriptural principles and on God for our malfunctioning men. And who is complaining, who is the jailer? Again, it’s the woman.
There are feminist movements all over the world and even those women who aren’t actively feminist will instinctively get ferral once a woman seems to be in an unfortunate circumstance; objectivity is thrown out and it must be the man’s fault. Anyone who even suggests that the woman might have had a part in the process of creating the pain is vehemently opposed and in many cases vilified. Feminist basically now implies anti-masculine.
With such a prevalent philosophy, anything that remotely points to a course of action or role by women, from which men are to benefit, is vehemently tagged subjugation and victimization.
We fight the role description that puts a man in charge of his home ahead of his wife so vehemently that the momentum carries us beyond God who designed it all. We have subscribed to trending philosophies, taken up membership in the church of the social media forgetting one critical fact: the social media is a faceless entity that can not be held responsible for the actions we take based on the advice we receive from this “amorphous” counsellor.
Then there are those of us who will chant the trending mantra and hike the number of “likes” for others to follow but when the issue comes home to us, we still run to the same body of Christ whose views we have run down with our mouths and Android keyboards. We would yab folks for praying over issues and tell them to take action but when it happens to us, we find that all our action still requires prayer and that sometimes, prayer is the only possible action.
Two wrongs will never make things right. In any circumstance involving multiple persons, when things go wrong, it is always a summation of actions and inactions of all the participating members and as such solution can only be found by treating it as a team problem.
When God approached the first family, he sought for them using the man’s name but when it got to problem solving He held each accountable for their errors, even the serpent. Once you come out in defence of one party against the other in the forum of marriage, you’re already in error.
As I keep saying, with God, there is no “understanding” of cause and effect. He will not accept the failure of one person as the excuse for the failure of the other. My pastor said, “Christianity is not about how you’re treated but about how you respond to how you’re treated.” God will hold each of us responsible for our actions.
If a marriage is in trouble, it didn’t start today. So judging it based on the current symptoms is bound to be short sighted and problematic. Simply because the woman was first to cry out does not mean she is guiltless.
Prov 18:17 The man who first puts his cause before the judge seems to be in the right; but then his neighbour comes and puts his cause in its true light.
Finding out where things went wrong and bringing correction is always the bane of crisis resolution and for marriage, that is the only way true healing begins.
On a final note, for the benefit of the yet-to-be-married, there are always … ALWAYS warning signs. Look for them and respond wisely. Do not entrap yourself in a hell of a marriage because you didn’t take precautions.
“I didn’t hear from God per se, but I had peace”. Peace from where and from whom? If God did not speak, shouldn’t you at least wait? Every one who assumed the will of God and went ahead to take action regretted it. Abraham had Ishmael at Sarah’s inisistence and the trouble lingers; Jacob tricked Isaac to collect the blessing and though it was the will of God for Jacob to be ahead, doing it Rebecca’s way caused problems.
Granted, even those who heard God have problems. But the critical difference is that knowing they are in the will of God gives them the basis for faith to confront the problem and conquer (Rom 4:18-21) but when the same Abraham did things outside God’s leading, the problems created met with no faith to deal with them.
Prevention is better than cure. Some problems are simply better avoided.
In summary, the balance of the relationship, including problem solving, should always be sought through complementary role playing and problems can be and are better avoided. Always seek the balance as God designed it.