Usually women send me “women kind of stuff” but this week two men sent me this link.
This article couldn’t have said it better or any “righter.” (I know, I know, not a word but I like it anyways)
But it has occurred to me that some of our fatigue and fading is our own fault.
The article makes the point that women tend to be the main care takers of everyone. That’s usually true. And exhausting, might I add.
Perhaps the thinking that women are more relational than men perpetuates this kind of living, exhaustion. If women, by God’s design, are more relational then men, then it makes sense that women take care of everyone (husband, kids, aging parents, in-laws birthdays, holidays, and the social calendar.)
But what if it’s not true? What if, by God’s design, men are not less relational than women? Now that doesn’t mean we aren’t socialized, we all are and perhaps our culture has taught us to be a particular way, but what if it’s not as God intended?
I don’t think Scripture supports the idea that men are less relational than women. For example, take Genesis 1: 26-28 where God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals; and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Fundamentally God, or the Godhead, is relational. One of the ways we, male and female, image him is to be relational; in relationship with each other. In the beginning man was highly relational. And what about Jesus? He was (is) maleand was (is) highly relational. Think about his time on earth. Who was he relating with the most? Men. And what about how Jesus relates to us today. I find him highly communicative in my life; totally engaged.
So if men are relational too…then why do we buy that they aren’t?
I think men need to own up to some responsibility here. And my husband Steve will be commenting on that but for now let me address us women.
Is it possible we women like believing this because it gives us control? Control over those we love. It means we get to decide all the kids stuff, who we hang with, what activities we are involved with etc.
Or maybe we want or need to believe it because it helps us rationalize why our husbands are checked out on us. There’s real pain in that. And there’s fear in believing he was made to relate with you and the kids. If you believe it is true then you have to do something about it. Live as if it’s true. That means risk. That means inviting him over and over again to engage relationally. Not letting him off the hook, conflict, ugh I hate conflict. And what if he doesn’t rise to the occasion, then there’s disappointment.
Let’s just stick with what we have, fatigue and fading.
But really? That’s what we are willing to settle for, less than? I mean we are going to live with our brothers in the new heavens and earth for eternity. And as in the beginning we will be relational there. Doesn’t it make sense if we are going to live that way for eternity that we start learning how to do it in the here and now?
How ferocious is our love anyways? Doesn’t real love fight for the best for those we love? Why are we okay with our brothers being less relational, less human?
Isn’t it time we stopped being the only ones responsible for everyone? Let’s give up control. Let’s invite our men back into a relational life.
And perhaps as we do we will be more energized and present too.