As a Notary , I have the opportunity to witness many young couples executing ante nuptial contracts to regulate their marital regime. It pains me to see so many of the men shrinking back and allowing the woman to steer the conversation and make major decisions pertaining to their future.
This got me thinking about the trend that is evident in our society today where women are becoming more and more dominant. Feminists would be quite pleased with this trend but ironically, women are lamenting about the lack of real men in the world. Songs like “I need a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler has been replaced by “Hero” from Mariah Carey in which she tells essentially that we can be our own heros. Great right? Many women have also become physically stronger and able to defend themselves or protect their children.
So why then are many women looking for “real men”?
Historical Romance novels are so popular because the male protagonist is invariably rich, strong, clever and handsome. Some are dukes, lords or barons.
Like Bonnie Tyler’s “hero”, this protagonist is strong, larger than life and “fresh from the fight.” Movies like “Fifty Shades” continues the recreation of the ideal man, but adds a vulnerable twist to our male protagonist, making Christian Grey, the new ideal man. Jesus is the only man that has all the qualities we find so attractive. He is rich, mighty, loving and defnitely our hero. We need only to look to Him for all our needs. What our husbands then give us is a bonus. We are Christ’s bride and He will be coming to fetch us soon.
Not only are our males held to a fictional standard, we as women, are killing “men” in the traditional sense of the word (our sons are no exception as we pamper and enable them). With the advent of sexual equality and opportunity in the workplace and the world, we are empowered economically and can make a contribution to our families. In some cases, the woman is the dominant or sole breadwinner with the man being unemployed. This reversal of roles has led to a distortion in the family structure.
This imbalance reared it’s head with the first World War , when all the men were fighting on the battlefield while women were being employed in the factories to manufacture, ammunition etc for war. The traditional roles of women being home-makers and care-takers of the family, was altered. With the return of the men from war, men found that they were replaced in the factories by women. No longer were they needed to “provide” for their families because women could and were doing it.
Their traditional role as provider gave men their purpose. It was simple: Go out and work to provide for your family. If a man brought home the paycheck he was considered a “good man”. He felt like the hero because he was seen as such. No “vulnerability” was shown and no “getting in touch with his feelings”was encouraged. He did not have to be this superman because his purpose was fulfilled. His masculinity was in place. Women also knew their roles and the family as a unit was secure.
Today we are a far cry from the women who were content to stay at home and take care of the children. We are educated and accomplished. Many women earn far more than their husbands and this has put the balance of the family structure off-centre. Women drive their own cars and some have their own businesses. This has emboldened the women to go as far as saying “I don’t need a man. I can buy my own clothes, pay my own bills and take care of my own children.”
Some women verbally degrade and insult their husbands who don’t measure up in some way. We compare our husbands to what we think other husbands are like. The truth is, no person is perfect. We want a protector and a provider but we don’t want to respect and honour them as the head of the home (even though they might earn less than the woman). Many women even boast about how they pay for this or that. Some even go so far as to demean the man’s sexual prowess.
Men have a need to be praised. They are drawn to praise. The more you praise Him, the higher he will come up. I heard Joel Osteen liken it to a container with water and a cork on the water. The more water you added to the container, the higher the cork rose. The water represents your praise and encouragement of your husband while the cork represents your husband. The Bible even teaches us to “praise , honour and revere” our husbands. Men have an ego that needs to be fueled.
This demeaning of our husbands in word and deed, is witnessed by our children. Their respect for their father diminishes with your every word or roll of your eyes. His authority in the home is undermined and he is incapable of leading his children because they will follow what they admire. Sadly this disrespect can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anger and violent outbursts in some men.He then wants to enforce his sense of authority by force.(This behaviour is not acceptable)
For many men, the role of being the provider and protector has been taken over by the women, some due to a leadership void left by the men. So a blurring of identity has taken place. Although we cannot create jobs for them, or earn less in order for them to feel significant, we can build them up with our words and deeds. We can show our children how to honour and respect their fathers. Even though we love the “superman”, we must show our husbands that “Clark Kent”is just as loved and respected.
We can create an environment where the heart of the man fully trusts his wife. Women are creators. We should create an environment where our husbands feel safe to show his weaknesses without fear of reprimand or ridicule. Our home should be his haven and he should be the “KING OF THE CASTLE”
We women have the power to build or tear down. The bible says “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish woman pulls it down with her hands.” Prov 14:1
The Bible teaches us to submit to our husbands. As women, we have a responsibility to honour the purpose and plan of God for the greater good of the family. Some husbands are not wise and make decisions that will be harmful to the family. From Abigail in the bible (1 samuel 25 ), we see that Scripture honors women who were anything but quiet, fearful, submissive, or weak when it comes to discerning the will of God and obeying Him. God consistently honors their boldness, not in being aggressive toward men or others, but in their wisdom and obedience to God.
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit with strength, wisdom and love. God has equipped us for our assignment. We have a Grace (divine enablement) to do what God calls us to do. Each of our tasks are as unique as our fingerprints. We must not compare ourselves with any person because we are not equipped to run their race. By looking to God we can build up our husbands and our homes. We cannot humiliate our husbands in public in one breath and in another ,ask him to be our hero.
I can just feel how your ire is rising at me for daring to suggest what I am suggesting. Well, I am not suggesting it, but merely pointing out that that was the original blueprint for marriage and family that God ordained. I too , balk at the thought of treating someone like a king when he does not treat me like a queen sometimes. But the truth and reality of the matter is that we might be in danger of creating two-headed monsters in our homes. Where there are two heads, there will be two visions. There will be division.
The children are disrespectful and out of control because their is no authority which they recognise. Mothers then call the fathers to “sort out” the unruly teenager or child, but forget that she “modeled” how to be disrespectful in the first place.
In order to save this ” endangered species” called men, women have to play an active an prayerful role. Let your husband know how much you appreciate him (find something, anything that he does well or is worthy of praise and THANK HIM for it). Like the cork on the water, he will rise to meet your praise.
Proverbs 18:21 says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue...” so use your words to speak life.
No man is meant to be everything to a woman. Jesus is our provider, protector, defendor, our vindicator and the lover of our souls. As Mariah Carey’s song says, “the Hero is in you”, meaning the Holy Spirit of God.
We are to look to Jesus to fulfill our needs and help us to walk in love, building our families.
Share your insights on this topic and let’s talk around Jesus, or send prayer requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you