There was a catch in my throat this Father’s Day. Why? Well, my dad has been gone now for 11 years. I miss him. His infectious laugh and hugs. I miss his wisdom which he sparingly doled out unless you listened closely to his conversation. His constant belief in me. I miss the feeling I got while wrapped in his arms.
Also, it’s been one year since my father-in-law left this earth. A different relationship, but still a valued one. I miss his booming laugh and seeing him exercise every day. His precise way of doing just about everything. I miss seeing him read his Bible in the sunshine flooding through the windows.
While I miss these two men, I know I will see them again soon. They weren’t the only reason for the catch in my throat.
More often than not, I hear men being belittled or ridiculed for being men.
Almost every sitcom ridicules men in some way. The women are portrayed as smart and sexy, but the men are often cast as losers and dunderheads. Pay attention to television ads (which I tend to skip thanks to my DVR) which usually portray the man as a slob or idiot contrasted by the accomplished, successful woman.
Why do we do that? Why can’t we celebrate the awesome uniqueness of each person? God created male and female and said that it was good. Two sexes. Two unique designs.
Men are hard-wired to protect.
Think back to John Wayne, often referred to as a man’s man. He wasn’t necessarily soft and cuddly; he was tough and fearless. There’s a mentality in our men that says, “Pardon me, boys, there’s something I’ve gotta do.” And what does he have to do? Rescue and protect the woman he loves. We need more men like this today. Men who are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their wife and family. Men who are caring and gentle as well as determined and focused. Why do we think we want men who are more feminine than masculine?
Men don’t think like women and that’s great.
One of the biggest blessings in my marriage is my husband’s perspective. He thinks through issues 180-degrees opposite of me. Yes, this is frustrating at times. But, he also challenges me, which is always a good thing. I don’t want him to think
like I do, I already do that. I need his perspective.
Men find part of their identity in providing for their families.
A man who doesn’t provide for his family struggles deeply with self-esteem issues. He may not tell you that (because he’s embarrassed), but it messes with his psyche. When my husband’s job was eliminated, I observed this firsthand. Even though none of this had anything to do with his work performance, he still felt like a loser, like he had failed me. He hadn’t. But that’s what it felt like to him. He also felt like everything he had done for several years didn’t matter. The job loss greatly affected his self-image. Getting back out there to find a new job took courage and strength. And he did it. Because he was determined to provide for his family.
Men are necessary for balanced family life.
Ask any widow, now single mom, if she wishes her husband were there to help with parenting. Unless he was a total deadbeat dad (and there are some), she misses his input and insight. Who will teach her boys about what it means to be a man? My husband parents differently than I and our kids’ benefit. My sons learned what it meant to be a Godly, loving, tender, and responsible man from their father, not me. Without my husband’s brilliant and different insights into our children, my kids would never have learned about the G62 push, or changing the oil in the car, or how to wash windows well (I’m horrible at it no matter how hard I try), or how a wise, strong man treats a woman.
Men crave our respect.
You may think your husband doesn’t care what you think, but you’d be wrong. The next time you compliment your husband or thank him for what he’s done for you, watch his mannerisms. Observe what happens in his behavior for the rest of the day. A man who knows his wife respects him will do whatever he can to continue earning that respect. He also becomes more loving and caring toward you. What woman doesn’t want that? When we love and respect our husbands for being strong men, they respond in more romantic and gentle ways. As Emerson Eggerichs says, “Unfortunately, a wife’s usual approach is to complain and criticize in order to motivate her husband to become more loving. This usually proves about as successful as trying to sell brass knuckles to Mother Teresa.” Ladies, do yourself a favor. Treat your husband with respect in your words and actions.
Please understand, there are men who deserve the bad rap they get.
But to lump every man in the world in the same bucket is unfair and foolish.
As a woman, I wouldn’t want to be lumped in with moms who walk out on their kids. I’m not perfect, but I’m doing my best. My husband is the same, and he deserves the same respect I crave.
Our children need us to treat each other with respect.
Our boys especially need to see healthy male role models. If dad isn’t in the picture, then I hope there are other men in your circle of influence who will step into that role. Our girls desperately need healthy male role models as well. I think back to my relationship with my dad and am grateful for his example in my life. There is a special bond between a girl and her dad. It’s a role only he can fill. At least that’s how it was for me. My dad wasn’t perfect, and at times he frustrated me, but I miss him to this day.
God made two sexes. They are distinct and different. Feminine and masculine—both have their strengths and weaknesses. Working together, we accomplish much more than apart and at odds.
It’s time to stop the male bashing. Instead, let’s celebrate the uniqueness of each person.
If you are married, decide to place a high priority on respecting your mate. You aren’t perfect and neither are they. It’s not about perfection anyway. It’s about joining forces and becoming the best you can be—together.
What is one way you can show respect to your spouse today? Leave a comment below so we can encourage each other to change our negative culture.
If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.