Thursday, November 18, 2010

P4E.191 Releasing Liz

I did not know you.
I wanted to help you and yours.
I tried to get your attention.
You ignored me.
Your disregard was purposeful.
I walked away.
You insulted me behind my back.
I turned and asked you a simple question.
You denied being who you were.
The consequences would fall on yours.
You sent a child to apologize for your offense.
It hurt my heart as it was not her place to apologize.
It turned out you were who you said you were not.
You lied.
You lied on top of your lies.
You excused yourself with more lies.
Instead, you accused me.
I only wanted to help.
I apologized if I offended you.
I shook your hand and gave you a hug.
I release you from your offense to me.
I hold no grudge.
No ill will do I bear you.
Go in peace.
When we meet again it will be for the first time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

P4E.190 Do You Think Your Wife is Stupid? Part 2

Some Christian men hang their hat on what they think Scripture says to justify their prejudice that women are inferior. I Peter 3:7 immediately comes to mind,

"You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." (NAS)

Although we men would like to think so, this is not a belittling of women. There are so many explanations for the use of this word in this context. In the Greek the word for "weaker" is "asthenes" and it is used 25 times in the New Testament. Its use is certainly not limited to women. Its definition ranges from "sick," "helpless," "strengthless," "powerless," and "deficient."

Far from defining women as lesser human beings, in the context of I Peter 3:7, husbands are being encouraged to understand their wives. It would make no sense for Paul to demean women at the very time he is encouraging men to honor them as co-equal "heirs of the grace of life." What does he mean then? First, I think it's a nod towards the zeitgeist of 1st century Christians. In that culture, women were not considered first-class citizens and were powerless to elevate themselves in their society. Paul was actually attempting to elevate them in Christian husband's minds. I like to think that Paul is encouraging men to highly value their wives and treat them with special care, as one would a delicate, fragile, crystal wine goblet. In this verse, God is acknowledging that men can be rough and might normally handle women like a cast-iron mug. He is also acknowledging that women are more relationally, spiritually aware and this makes them appear emotionally fragile to the physically minded man. But their very fragility should cause us to "HANDLE WITH CARE."

PS -  Men are seemingly imbued with incredible power over women. The word-picture that helps me is that of one of those gigantic car-crushers with the powerful clenching fingers used with enough gentleness and finesse to pick up a crytal goblet without cracking it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

P4E.189 Do You Think Your Wife is Stupid?

The Real Reason That The Allies Won WW II! 

Recently, friends (who shall remain unnamed) came to visit. While they were there, my son Ben saw something he thought was funny and shared it with us on his Blackberry. It was the image shown above. Ben showed the husband first. He laughed and said "She won't get it," meaning his wife. She understandably bristled and said "What? Let me see." When she looked at it, she said to her husband, "Why do you think I wouldn't get that?" He said, "Well, it had Winston Churchill and Hitler and I just didn't think you'd know who they were." His wife was obviously hurt and just shook her head.

In his book "Discovering the Mind of a Woman," Ken Nair says that there are some prejudices that men carry around and one of them is that "Women are Inferior to Men." Ken describes how God used a visit with a lawyer to show him his own prejudice towards his wife, Nancy:

""Walking back to the car, I asked Nancy, "Do you remember when the lawyer talked about such and such?" She replied, "Yes." And with a desire to help, I inquired, "Do you know what he was talking about?" She answered, "Yes." Doubting, I questioned, "What was he talking about?" She proceeded to clearly explain the topic to me...God is clever. All of a sudden the thought hit me: You know what, Nair, you really think your wife is stupid.""

To my shame, I have done exactly the same thing, questioning my wife about how something is supposed to be done or how the dogs or horses are supposed to be trained. Gwen's response many times is "I think I know what I'm doing, Kim. I've only been doing this about 40 years."

So, what about you? Do you think your wife is stupid? God help us to overcome this male prejudice.

From The Honeymooners:
Ralph Kramden: "Men have done all the great things. Men! Men are the reason that the world is in the shape that it is today!"
Alice Kramden: "Well, I'm sure glad to hear one of you admit it!"