This post formulated in my head this weekend after observing two separate things. It got me thinking…. A lot! Now this subject is ALWAYS touchy and for some reason when anyone mentions the word chivalry or feminism fur rises and people start to hiss, like animals….. So, everyone just calm down and hear my heart on this.
If anyone was to hate the male population in its entirety, I think I have deserved the right. That being said I most definitely do not! I really admire men with valor and honour. I have suffered loss and extreme pain at the hands of men, but not all men are the same. God has given us all the freedom of choice. Some men choose to do good and some choose to do bad. My heart totally breaks when I see people suffering at the hands of others who choose to not honour them. Honouring someone is always a CHOICE.
The first thing I observed was a video clip I found on a blog. In it, a young couple with two babies break the news to a teenage girl that they have been fostering, that they wish to adopt her into their family. It is such a beautiful and emotional moment – someone has honoured her, respected her and seen her worth. Wow! Isn’t that just so encouraging!?
Although the man in this video is young, he is a man of strength in my eyes! He is making a difference and doing what he feels is the right thing. No one is perfect (I will publicly admit that I too am FAR from perfect) but what I refer to when I speak about a man in strength is a man, who knows he is not perfect but is willing to learn and do what is necessary to help himself and others. A man in strength is one who knows he is broken but turns to the one who is Healer and asks him for help and guidance. A man in strength is a beautiful site to witness!
I long to see an army of men rising up (just like in the Jesus Culture song, Break Every Chain) where an army of men will rise up to break every chain, every stereo type, every bad mould to break chains in the lives of others! I long to see men stand up for what they believe in and not back down or compromise! I’m sure guys are SO sick of hearing woman whine about ‘stepping up’. I’m not talking about bringing in the bacon, or knowing how to chop a tree down for fire wood (yes, obviously all of these are handy in life) I’m talking about thinking of others first and respecting them in the decisions you make too. I’m talking about knowing the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong and then acting upon it. I’m talking about taking responsibility for your actions and not blaming others for the choices YOU make.
Yes, manners do play a role. Regardless of our gender we all like to feel respected and considered. Wouldn’t you want to do your best to play a role in that? And if stepping aside for a lady whilst she enters a room makes her feel important, crikey then DO IT! And ladies, please please please let these men do this for you. Why be miserable and moan about it but not give them a place in your life to actually honour and respect you. In the same breath, if you are not being honoured and respected and you are allowing it- really now. Respect yourself enough to be respected.
You teach people how to treat you!
The second thing I observed this weekend… It involved a soccer match. A final. So need I say more? I still feel disheartened. There was a group of guys and ladies present. What saddened me is not one male offered their seat. All the females were sitting on the floor. Yes, the floor! Something is wrong here!? When is it ever okay for woman to be sitting on the floor whilst the men are sitting on the comfy couches! These woman were even watching the soccer match-yay for us!
So what can be done to remedy this you ask? Lots! Firstly, we as woman need to allow men to honour and respect us, so we too need to behave in an honouring and respectful nature. (no I am NOT saying we must act like Jane Austin’s girlfriends or be a Stepford wife but command respect in your actions) we need to work hand in hand with the guys and show them how we wish to be treated.
Guys? You need to stand up for what you feel is right. Not for what all you friends are doing. No lady likes a sloth!
Mothers? Yes, mothers you play one of the biggest roles… Let your boys be boys whilst growing up. Let them get dirty and make mistakes, how else are they going to learn responsibility and consequences of their actions. Let your sons help you, let them cook with you and wash cars with dad. Let them cut the grass or clean the pool. How else are they going to know how to do things if you are doing it all for them? How else are they going to learn their strength if you are denying them the right to do things for themselves? I am not a mother yet, but I have seen it happen with many people.
Fathers? Lead by example! If you are not treating your wife lovingly, your daughters will learn that this is the standard to expect and your sons will learn to treat women the same way.
What do your actions tell others and how can you command respect in a better and more encouraging way?
Very often the reason we are not treating others properly is because we are acting out of our own wounding. Wounded people wound. I urge you to examine your heart and ask God to reach down into those deepest darkest places where you are hurting and ask him to do a cleaning and a healing. Once you treat yourself with honour and respect and love yourself, you will only then be able to let if flow to others.
I am oh so blessed to have a father who is a man in strength! He fights for me, defends me and treats me like a princess! I wish more men were like him! I have watched him treat my mom with utmost dignity and tender care. One of the blogs my dad reads is http://artofmanliness.com/.
I hope this has been of benefit.
All my love, Cayly.