By Janet Walgren
It is interesting how often we open our mouths and say things without ever knowing the scope or the consequences of our words. How do they play on others’ minds? Do we offend ignorantly albeit without guile? Are we even cognizant of the extended meanings of our words?
Today in our women’s meeting at church we were talking about the women’s role in the family and society. The teacher started telling us that women are different. They can multi-task whereas a man can only think about one thing at a time. Men are the providers and the women are nurturers. Then, one woman got up and talked about how terrible her life is now because, when she was ten, her father’s health declined and her mother and father had to do a role reversal. She said things like, “My mother left us to go to work… Because my mother left us, I have big holes that need filled. I don’t know how to do… Men can’t fill the role of nurturer.”
I wonder if she ever stopped to appreciate the fact that her mother rescued her family. It probably wasn’t her mother’s first choice to go to work, or her mother’s fault that her father was incapacitated. It probably wasn’t her dad’s ideal choice either. Did she appreciate the fact that if it were true that her dad couldn’t work to support his family, it was also true that her dad’s health would have prevented him from properly taking care of the family. Good grief – he was probably pretty sick. Surely he wasn’t/isn’t the prime benchmark for evaluating all men.
I certainly admire a woman who steps up to the plate when necessary. Being a double parent is not the ideal. It is a tough job…I know from experience. However, I would hate to think that all men are single minded. That would mean that God could only take care of one of us at a time. And, if men can’t nurture, I wonder why an omniscient God picked Jesus Christ to atone for our sins? The scriptures teach us that the Lord is our shepherd, that we are His. Perhaps at times men and women nurture differently but I think that we are more alike than we are different.
I think that one way we are different is in respect. If someone started women bashing in the men’s church meeting, I don’t think that it would last for a second. I think that women need to repent. We need to respect ourselves and each other. And, we need to appreciate the scope and majesty of manhood and give men the respect that they deserve.