A Woman’s Vital Role
As I grow older I find myself becoming something of a people watcher. At first it was just a general interest because people can be really funny. Now I watch because people are amazing. I learn so many things just by watching how people react and respond to each other, how they handle tough life changing situations, how they handle children and what comes out when they reach their tipping point.
As I continue work on my book, Addicted to Love, I find myself watching couples quite a bit. I digest their conversations, the way they physically respond to each other, the way they approach each other. Of late, I have really noticed the decision making dynamic. In some couples, the man makes the decisions and the wife goes along with it. In some, the woman makes the decisions and the man carries them out. In others, it is very much a group decision. Which is the best? Is there even a best?
Some time ago I wrote an article that might have trumpeted the ability of men to make wise decisions. That article was entitled “Monarchy” and I stand by the sentiments in it. They are generally correct. But my spirit in writing it might have been slightly prideful of a man’s role in the family dynamic. Thankfully, my spirit is teachable. I want to present a slightly different opinion that has been wrestling in my heart.
Men and women are different. Shock, I know. Honestly though there is more there than the physical differences. As a man, I realize that I am very goal oriented. I relate to things by accomplishment. If I am given a list of things to buy at the grocery store, I am all about getting those things checked off and in the cart as soon as possible. I love getting things done. For a woman, the items are important, but so is the journey through all the isles. Everything has a relationship to everything else and women love to understand and feel those intricacies. Needing to get the peanut butter reminds them of the tin foil they were hoping to use for the pie they were bringing to Melissa, who just had a baby. Life is a series of relationships rather than accomplishments.
I knew about these differences, in a general sense, but have recently gotten to experience it firsthand. I work with some really smart women. This has been a great thing, iron sharpening iron, except when I have been wrong. Now I have always taken pride in my own cognitive ability. Maybe too much so, that when I am wrong it is hard to admit it. Maybe that is my maleness taking over, wanting to be strong, independent, self-sufficient, and wanting to keep that appearance.
Yet, in each of these situations, when I pushed away my wounded pride, I realized these women were right. They had good ideas to bring to the table, ideas that might even have been better than mine.
Then I read something that really jumped out at me. 1 Peter 2:14 “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them [wives] with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” Now most people jump on that weaker vessel thing. But what is a vessel? It is just a container holding the elements within. Maybe it is a glass jar holding the juice. The juice is what is important. Maybe it is a clay pot that holds the soil and the ripe tomato plants. But so many people focus on that weaker part and miss that the verse is only talking about how women are not as strong physically as men as a general rule, how their skin bruises easier, how they might not be able to run as fast. It has nothing to do with their worth or mental ability.
The part that is really interesting is the “being heirs together of the grace of life.” That means that when you get married, and you join together with the woman God brings into your life, then you both have a bit of God given grace and ability. Each of you is just a part of the whole. Each of you have different gifts and abilities that compliment each other. There are things women are graced to do and offer that men just can’t do. None of us guys would want to be mom, would we?
I love this truth. My wife is going to be just as capable as me in making decisions. And sometimes, she is going to be more capable of making the right decision that is going to benefit our family and my life. God just might give her the answer I am seeking.
© Seth Crossman
image courtesy of GettyImages