When women act like women, men act like men. Nothing calls forth the true, noble, masculine nature so surely as pure femininity. Men naturally want to use their strength and skills for the protection, comfort, and happiness of women. When a woman unconsciously leans upon a man’s strength, he will rise to the occasion to which he has been called. This is their instinct; and, I confidently say, it is a woman’s instinct to want to lean.
The hard-wired male is driven by valour, the admiration of constancy and an intrepid mind. Men are born to lead, protect, resolve, explore, conquer and build. Grief stirs deep within me as I read a list of synonyms for intrepid: heroic, fearless, spunky, courageous, plucky, bold, daring, dauntless, gritty, lionhearted, resolute, stalwart, unafraid. Where have all the men gone? Where are the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Davy Crockett, and Stonewall Jackson?
A sickening realization emerges that because of a fear of that daring and dominating spirit in man, woman has pulled the reins back so tightly in an effort to feel some measure of control and to keep her world comfortable that she has used these reins to strangle the spirit of man.
To emasculate means, “To deprive of masculine strength or vigor; to weaken; to render effeminate; to vitiate by unmanly softness.” Many and disturbing are the ways we women seek to gain power and control over the men in our life. I have realized the shocking level of emasculating that occurs on a regular basis and that passes as normal in our culture today.
Here is a very partial list of things I have observed: criticism that demeans; publicly contradicting him; regularly questioning his decisions; using tones and body language to convey that he is worthless, useless or stupid; being impatient and demanding; speaking when he is speaking; using words as weapons; sharing his weaknesses and flaws with others; knowing his preferences but choosing to ignore them; not maintaining a neat and fit appearance; not making him a priority; keeping secrets from him; rolling your eyes in disgust in front of him or behind his back; or being competitive rather than supportive. Do you recognize these behaviors?
If you are treating your father, brother, co-worker, boss, husband or son in any of these ways, you are wrong. Women manipulate quite naturally and very often without even realizing it. It is our self-centered and self-exalting nature that drives this behavior. The devastating result of our disobedience is the near extinction of the male as he was intended to be.
There is no fear to be had in acknowledging a man’s strength, abilities, and authority when our trust has first been placed in God. When rightfully executed, among these attributes will be the safest and most enjoyable place for a woman to live. She will be held high in a place of honor in his heart, and he will cross those hills of difficulty and scale great heights to see that she is safe and secure. Are you willing to be fully feminine and allow the men in your life to be fully masculine? Do you trust God that His design is best?
He is not leading, you say? Then something is very wrong. First, go to God with a repentant heart acknowledging to the Saviour that something is broken in your relationship with Him and, more than likely, something is wrong with his relationship with God. Make sure your motives are centered on God’s glory and the good of the relationship, not your comfort or your pleasure.
After diligent prayer, and a ransacking of your own heart, humbly approach him and be very specific about where you are seeing a lack of leadership. There are areas that he alone must handle, but you may discover in the process of clarifying your frustration that there are many areas that you have the freedom in and the ability to move and so to genuinely help your husband in the running of your household. Lack of activity can cause anxiety. If you are able to do something then do it.
The male authority in your life is human, he is not your Saviour; Jesus Christ is your Saviour. Your authority needs your respect, your support and your prayers as he leads. If you have a husband you are specifically called to be his help meet, his partner, his reliever. “Help meet” means, “help, succor.” To succor is literally to run to support. The chief goal of the wife is to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to deliver from suffering. I believe this role is to be learned in the home and practiced on the significant male authorities in a girl’s life prior to, or continued in the absence of, marriage.
The word, succor, is used of our Lord in Hebrews 2:1, “He is able to succor them that are tempted,” and of our God in Psalm 33:20, “Our soul waitheth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.” Of course in order to succor one must stay close and be ever aware of her beloved’s condition and be ever prepared to provide for his comfort and relief. As the woman in some man’s life, whether that man be husband, son, or brother, are you adding weight to their life or are you relieving their burden in some way?
In fear of the male authority in our life leading the way and steering our ship we kick and scream and claw and cry until get our way and successfully grab control of the wheel. A man can withstand deprivation, difficulty, and torture in the face of an enemy but falls victim to the continual strife and contention found in the face of a woman he loves. Her happiness and admiration is the rich spoil he hopes to gain in the battles he faces with life. And when this he lacks, his strength is sure to fail. We, the Delilah with his head in our lap, have cut the source of his vigor and no longer can he go forth and conquer. After we have plucked down the walls of our own home we stand naked, afraid and unprotected; and then we turn and blame our male authority for our woes as we still grip the scissors in our hand.
This ought not to be. Return to trust in God’s plan and a grateful heart toward those He has placed in authority over you. Read Isaiah 55:6-9 carefully:
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:6-9
As seasons of life change, Elizabeth happily remains desperately dependent upon her God. Two of her four children have now branched off to begin their own families. She is a homeschooling veteran and a faithful wife of almost 30 years.