Patsy Rae Dawson
The feminists flocked to the laboratories in the early 1970s to prove that no real difference exists between men and women. In spite of their efforts, a tremendous amount of evidence surfaced to prove God's genius in designing the male's and female's bodies and minds and the way they work together.
With the passing of the Equal Pay Act in 1963 and a feminist march in August, 1970, the equal rights movement began in earnest. The feminists promoted not only equal pay for men and women, but also equal job opportunities. The movement leaders claimed that any apparent differences between the abilities of men and women resulted from conditioning in the homes and schools. They denied that any inborn male-female differences existed at all.
The next fifteen years saw great reforms in employment laws that guaranteed women the right to pursue any career they desired. Welcoming this new freedom, masses of women left their homes and flocked to the marketplaces to take hold of new career opportunities. However, statistics show that women still lag far behind men in their climb up the corporate ladder.
A television special lamented that modern men still resent women's abilities and that they continue to deny women their lawful right to earn large paychecks. But does male hostility really keep women on a lower pay scale than men? Can women really do anything men can and better? Or are men and women really different after all? When the facts are all in, is the man's masculinity really worthy of respect?
During this same time, the feminists invaded the laboratories to conduct intense studies on how the environment shapes attitudes and abilities. Ironically, many researchers admitted conducting biased experiments in hopes of dispelling the idea that male-female differences really exist. More open-minded scientists expressed fear of publishing their results because of the hostile reaction of feminists. (David Gelman, "Just How the Sexes Differ," [Newsweek, 5/18/81], p. 72.) Other scientists simply gave up the research. One scientist was denied a grant that would finance his study with the admonition, "This work ought not to be done." (John Stossel, "Boys and Girls Are Different: Men, Women and the Sex Difference," ABC News Special Transcript [Denver, CO: Journal Graphics, 2/1/95], p. 5.) Still others refused to accept the logical conclusions of their experiments with such hedges as, "We don't know this"; "We have no evidence for that"; "Our experiments are inconclusive"; "Our knowledge is limited"; "We just don't know"; or "We have very conflicting data on that point. We need more research." (George Gilder, Men and Marriage [Gretna, LO: Pelican Publishing Co. Inc., 1986], p. 19.)
In spite of these drawbacks, instead of finding proof of the hoped for similarities between men and women, modern scientists discovered instead greater differences than ever. Thus, a tremendous body of evidence has surfaced during the last twenty years and continues to surface to prove beyond all doubt God's wisdom in creating them male and female.
The Stronger and Weaker Vessels
I Pet. 3:7: "You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow-heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."
Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Peter emphasized the inherent differences in men and women in this verse. When compared to each other, the man, in the normal situation, is stronger than the woman. Thus, a man must treat his wife as a feminine being and not a masculine one.
Understanding the significance of the word "vessel," which means "an implement," makes the male-female relationship much clearer. God designed the male and female bodies as "tools" which work together to serve Him. Just because the male tool is stronger than the female tool doesn't make it superior.
For example, suppose some men organize a work party to paint a building. They bring all kinds and sizes of paint brushes. Some bring big six-inch thick brushes for slapping the paint on the walls. Others bring small two-inch thin brushes for painting the trim around the doors and windows.
When compared to the six-inch brushes, the two-inch brushes are the weaker vessels or tools. However, no superiority or inferiority exists between the two sizes of brushes. If a man tries to paint a wall with a two-inch brush, it will wear him out. He can do it, though. But his arm will get tired before he finishes because the small brush will take three or four more brush strokes for each of the larger brush's strokes to do the job. A two-inch brush is not designed for painting walls.
On the other hand, suppose that after a man finishes painting the walls with his big six-inch brush, he decides to paint the trim. Instead of switching to a two-inch brush, he says, "Well, I've already got this brush dirty, no point in messing up another one." Then he goes ahead and paints the trim with his big brush, and he gets the job done in a hurry. Yet everyone knows that he didn't use the right size brush. They see where the enamel slopped over onto the walls.
Brush manufacturers don't design six-inch brushes to paint trim on a door or a window--they're too big to do a good job. But a two-inch brush paints trim very neatly. At the same time, both brushes can substitute for the other when necessary. However, they fail to perform with the same excellence as when they do their own jobs.
That's the way with men and women. God designed men to perform specific tasks. Obviously, men can replace women in their roles at times. Even so, men lack the natural expertise that women possess for nurturing their families. Likewise, while women can carry out the men's jobs at times, they lack their special skillfulness for earning a living. God designed both the male and the female tools for different, but equally important, work.
Humans design their tools for specific jobs the same way. Then when they use their tools, they choose the one that will do the best job. Sometimes they substitute one tool for another because they don't have the right one. But they recognize the problems that making-do with the wrong tool often causes. That's what God did when He created men and women. He designed the female tool for a certain job; He designed the male tool for a different job. Absolutely no superiority or inferiority exists--just different abilities and duties.
For this reason, God commands the husband to honor his wife because of her weaknesses. In other words, God wants a husband to deliberately assign great value to his wife because of her weaknesses. The man's strength needs the woman's weaknesses and vice versa just as the six-inch brush needs the two-inch brush to paint a room.
Scientists now recognize that sex hormones play an important part in the way male and female fetuses develop. At about six weeks in the male fetus, the Y chromosome causes the testes to develop and to begin to produce the male hormone testosterone. This hormone affects every part of the developing fetus from his brain to his physical structure. But at about the twelfth week, the female fetus begins producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone which create special feminine characteristics. (Jane Barr Stump, Ph.D., What's the Difference? How Men and Women Compare [New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc., 1985], p. 79.)
Men, especially young men, excel in pure brute strength. When men and women train equally, the woman possesses only about two thirds of the overall strength of the man. Yet the woman displays only about one third of the man's strength in her upper body. The man's massive bones, larger joints, and longer arms and leg segments all work together to give him greater leverage and power. The woman utilizes about two thirds of the man's strength in her legs. Only a woman's stomach muscles contain as much strength as a man's. (Stump, What's the Difference? pp. 135 and 191.) The woman needs the strength in her stomach muscles during childbirth.
Another source of a man's strength comes from his large muscle mass which results from the action of the hormone testosterone. During the man's adolescence testosterone builds his muscles by adding bulk and fiber. Likewise, a man's muscle cells increase in size until he turns forty. But a woman's muscle cells stop growing by the time she is ten or eleven. Men possess about 50 percent more muscles than women. (Stump, What's the Difference?> p. 134.)
In contrast, the female hormone estrogen creates a greater fat storage in the woman, 27 percent to the man's 15 percent, to make her soft and lovely in appearance. Weight and height charts easily demonstrate this as men always weigh more than women of the same height and bone structure. The extra fat in the female plus her lack of comparative muscle fibers significantly lowers her physical strength. The man exhibits greater physical strength than the woman simply because his body contains more lean muscles with which to lift objects and work.
While a man develops powerful muscles without effort on his part, a woman develops strength in her muscles only through vigorous exercise to overcome the action of her hormones. Even then she only achieves 60 to 70 percent of the strength of a man. (Stump, What's the Difference? pp. 134-135.) Thus, a man who never exercises, but simply lies on the divan all day watching television, still has more brute strength than a woman who exercises to her maximum limit. To do better, a woman must take anabolic steroids--artificial male hormones to stimulate muscle growth. Then she risks considerable health problems. (Eric Gelman, "In Sports, 'Lions Vs. Tigers,' " [Newsweek, 5/18/8], p. 75.)
A man's larger lungs also affect his physical strength by supplying him with about two quarts more air than a woman's do. He also has a larger heart and 20 percent more red blood cells to transport the oxygen to his cells. This gives a man more quick energy than a woman normally utilizes and explains why a woman is more prone to faint. Of course, when a man fails to exercise his body and lungs properly, he may get out of breath quicker than a woman who maintains excellent physical condition. However, in the normal situation a man enjoys a greater capacity for doing strenuous work than a woman. (Stump, What's the Difference? pp. 35, 72, 120.) God simply designed a man's body for more strenuous work than He designed a woman's body for.
Through the influence of the modern feminist movement, the workplace has conducted social experiments that also show the great differences in the physical strength of men and women. For example, John Stossel in an ABC news special titled "Boys and Girls Are Different: Men, Women and the Sex Difference" told what happened after the courts started forcing the hiring of women firefighters:
Firefighters need to be strong. On the strength test given applicants, women just don't do as well as men. That doesn't matter, said a judge in San Francisco, the department must do what the bureaucrats call a reach-down. Instead of simply hiring applicants who do best on the qualification tests, you reach down to women who score lower. . . . The department wants firefighters to be able to climb over a wall. This requires upper body strength many women just don't have. Likewise, firefighters need to be able to use an axe to chop through a door. They train on logs. The men can split them, but the women often cannot. Some of the women who can, don't want to work with these women. (Stossel, "Boys and Girls Are Different," pp. 6-7.)
Then Stossel interviewed Kate O'Beirne, a member of the conservative Heritage Foundation about the firefighters:
How is America better off if the real physical demands of a job have to be watered down to accommodate women? If I, as an all-suffering taxpayer, have to be evacuated from a building, I used to be carried by a male firefighter. I am now dragged by my ankles, as my head hits every single stair going down three stories. I prefer being carried. I assume most taxpayers prefer being carried. (Stossel, "Boys and Girls Are Different," p. 7.)
Next Stossel gave Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug, founding mothers of the modern feminist movement, a chance to reply:
Gloria Steinem: It's better to drag them out, because there's less smoke down there. I mean, we're probably killing people by carrying them out at that height, you know, so--I mean, you know, we need to look sensibly here at these jobs and what they really require, and not just some idea of what macho is.
John Stossel: The men in the fire department say the women aren't strong enough.
Bella Abzug: That's true.
John Stossel: They've had to change the test.
Bella Abzug: Well, that's all right. Institutions have to adjust. If there are still physical problems which prevent certain activities, those activities should be assisted, so that it--in a way, with technology, so that it's possible.
John Stossel: They should give them an electric axe?
Bella Abzug: Whatever is required. (Stossel, "Boys and Girls Are Different," p. 7.)
Even if dragging people from burning building was safer smoke wise and brain-injury wise from bouncing on the steps than carrying people out, Gloria Steinem fails to observe that men can do either one. Men can either drag the person out or carry the person down a fire truck ladder. Normal women don't have both choices as do men.
Likewise, Bella Abzug's remark that giving the women electric axes is not a bad idea if that is what is required for a woman to be able to break down a door misses the point. Men can use either an electric axe or an ordinary axe. The normal woman doesn't get to choose what kind of axe if she wants to rescue someone from a burning building. She has to use an electric axe that maybe some male firefighter carried in for her. When facing horrifying death or disfiguring burn scars, Kate O'Beirne's observation that the tax-playing public would prefer to be rescued by whoever could get them out of danger the quickest is, no doubt, accurate.
The feminists, who try to deny the differences between men and women, should pay attention to John Stossel's concluding remarks in his TV special, especially when he started his program by stating that he was biased in support of the feminist movement:
So why not celebrate them [the differences between men and women--PRD], rather than deny that they exist? Why not let people's natural inclinations take them wherever their potential allows? Furthermore, if we deny what science knows about human nature, how can we create sensible social policies? Isn't it better to act on the basis of what is true, rather than maintaining it has no right to be true? . . . I think the main point is that men and women may be created equal, but we're not the same. (Stossel, "Boys and Girls Are Different," p. 9.)
While John Stossel fails to give God the credit for the differences in the man's and the woman's strength, the design of the woman's body shows the efficiency of God's creation. For instance, many animals possess unique characteristics that help them adapt to their specific environments. The polar bear benefits from built-in sunglasses that other bears don't have or need. A duck's feathers contain natural waterproofing that other birds wouldn't use because they don't swim.
In a similar manner, the man's muscles and fast metabolism would be just as wasted on a woman as sunglasses would be on a grizzly bear and waterproofing would be on a chicken. For example, taking care of children and the home rarely requires the same strength and energy from a woman that plowing a field or doing construction work demands of a man. Powerful, gripping muscles don't help a woman teach and love her children, wash dishes, run the vacuum cleaner, or make the beds.
That God also considers the environment and specific jobs in His design of humans is easily seen in some of the differences between the races. For example, peoples native to the equator, the closest point to the sun, have the darkest skin of all races. Their skin color protects them from sunburn which leads to various skin cancers. The farther one travels from the equator, the lighter the skin becomes until one finds very pale skin and hair coloring. The fair skin found in the Northern climates is not for looks. Rather than blocking the sun as the darker skins do, fair skin enables these people to better absorb the beneficial rays of the sun that provide vitamin D for making strong bones. Thus, through skin color, God provides an ingenious way for the people of the earth to get exactly the right amount of sun absorption for good health. However, due to travel and immigration, men and women must now often use artificial means to either protect their skin from skin cancers or to get enough vitamin D.
Indeed, the differences between the races probably reflect God's love and concern for mankind by adapting them specifically for their various native environments. However, man's limited understanding of his own body and environment may prevent him from fully appreciating God's wisdom. The Eskimos serve as an excellent example of God's wisdom:
Eskimos live in the arctic regions where temperatures rarely go above freezing. Because they are short, average 5'2", they lose little body heat. They burn food rapidly, which regulates body temperature, and blood vessels are arranged so that more blood flows to exposed parts such as hands and face. Thus, Eskimos work in subzero temperatures with bare hands without any complications. (Philip Seff, "Our Fascinating Earth: Why Eskimos Survive," [OFE, 1988].)
Not only do racial differences reflect God's wisdom and love, but the differences between the sexes also show God's care. A woman's work involves industry--all the strength and energy of a woman--but not the robust output of a man. God gave the woman what she needs to successfully accomplish her work, not the man's. In fact, the woman's weaknesses bless both the man and woman:
Song of Sol. 2:14: "O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret place of the steep pathway, let me see your form, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely."
The Shepherd longed to be near the Shulammite maiden, whom he considered his "dove"--a continual source of peace and comfort to him. He wanted to see her lovely form, for God designed a woman's body, not to do a man's work, but to comfort the man after a day of hard labor.
A woman's voice sounds differently from a man's because her smaller larynx and shorter vocal cords give her a higher pitch. Her range of five tones to the man's three also produces a softer voice. (Stump, What's the Difference? p. 214.) In addition, she enjoys a way with words that few men rival. From the moment of birth, while baby boys ignore voices to busily observe novel objects and their surroundings, baby girls respond less to objects and more to what they hear. And so it will be for the rest of their lives. (Annie Gottlieb, "Men and Women: What Differences Do the Differences Really Make?" [Mademoiselle, 7/81], p. 80.)
Researchers think this excellent verbal ability is connected to the woman's "superior tactile sensitivity." For the most part, a woman's physical senses, such as touch, taste, and hearing are more sensitive than a man's. Bright lights, repetitious sounds, and loud noises often found in earning a living and freeway driving distress women more quickly than men. Yet these sensitivities translate into the feminine "affinity for precision and detail." As a result, women usually make better typists, bookkeepers, needle workers, and neurosurgeons than men. This devotion to detail helps girls talk faster than boys, carry a better tune, and remember conversations longer than men. On the other hand, boys are more likely to stutter, spell worse, and suffer more learning disabilities. (Gelman, "Just How the Sexes Differ," p. 73.)
A woman uses her voice tones and verbal specialties as either a blessing or a weapon. For example, a woman's soft, sweet voice soothes her husband into rest when he needs it the most; cheers him up when he suffers discouragement; and expresses soft, tender affectionate love when he feels alone. On the other hand, many a man suffers a nervous breakdown because the tension at home compounds the frustrations at work. A wife who acts like a hawk instead of a dove can easily destroy a man, even a strong man.
While biologically weaker, a woman possesses all the strength she needs to do her work. Plus, she enjoys a body which provides physical pleasure for both her husband and herself. Thus, her weaknesses become an even greater strength in lovemaking:
Prov. 5:18-19: "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love."
The expression "wife of your youth" refers to an older husband who still lives with the bride he married in his youth. They have grown old together. This chapter of Proverbs deals with the special charms an older wife holds for her husband as she becomes an exciting lover.
Solomon listed several qualities that a godly wife uses to keep her husband's interest throughout the years. Just as softness combined with free, spontaneous love causes men to cherish affectionate animals, these same qualities enhance a wife's appeal. God personally designed the soft and delightful nature of a woman's body to captivate her husband. That extra ten percent fat doesn't help open pickle jars, but it certainly satisfies a husband's physical needs. Then as a wife gives herself freely in love to her husband, her skin texture and form become beautiful to him.
A woman's thin skin also contributes to her soft and fragile nature. On the average, a woman's skin is 20 to 25 percent thinner than the man's. ("Women More Thin-Skinned," Spokane Daily Chronicle, 11/20/75].)
Just as God designed the woman's skin to help her express love to her husband, the man's skin comes equipped with special features to help him work in all kinds of weather. For instance, when allowed to grow, whiskers protect a man's face from mosquitoes in warm climates and from ice and snow in cold ones Also, a man's thicker skin withstands the rays of the sun and the harshness of the wind better than a woman's which helps him provide for his family year-round.
In His wisdom and love, God designed both the man and the woman with unique physical characteristics to enable them to expertly perform their individual jobs. In like manner, the man's emotional nature differs from the woman's to help them master the important jobs awaiting them:
Thanks to medical breakthroughs and the catalyst of feminists disputing that any mental differences exist between men and women, scientists understand the functions of the brain better than ever before. While many questions still lack answers, modern research continually unmasks previously unknown wonders of the male and female brains. David Gelman's excellent article, "Just How the Sexes Differ," discusses some of the findings. He explains how the sex hormones hold the "key to the difference" by "masculinizing" or "femininizing" fetal brains in the womb. These hormones affect the way the male and the female brains develop which greatly influences their mental abilities and temperaments. (Gelman, "Just How the Sexes Differ," p. 83.)
For example, the two sides of the male's brain work independently of each other instead of together as the woman's brain does. This gives the man an edge over the woman in mathematics, especially higher mathematics such as geometry and trigonometry. This also provides the male with visual-spatial abilities that women often lack. Thus, many mechanical tasks prove much easier for men than women because of their greater perception of space and depth. (Stump, What's the Difference? pp 38, 127-128.)
Likewise, the man's specialized brain helps him home in on the root of problems once he has all the facts and to solve them better than women generally can. (Gelman, "Just How the Sexes Differ," p. 81.) This gives the man the potential of becoming an excellent leader at work, in the home, and in the church when he develops this skill.
Furthermore, the design of the man's brain helps him concentrate on two thinking projects at the same time such as running a computer program while watching the news. (Daniel Goleman, "Special Abilities of the Sexes: Do They Begin in the Brain?" [Psychology Today, 11/78], p. 54.) This ability makes the man more suited than the woman for worrying about problems. He can worry and fulfill his obligations at the same time. While many women exhibit financial resourcefulness, personal problems can so occupy their thinking that it incapacitates them and prevents them from successfully doing their work.
While no measurable difference in intelligence exists between men and women, a woman's brain works much differently than the man's. The two halves of her brain are more closely connected and work together. Also, a woman possesses a larger corpus calosum, or bridge between the two brain halves, than a man. Scientists theorize that this gives the woman "more room for neural pathways" and better inner brain communication. (Stump, What's the Difference? pp. 54-55.)
This ability to transmit information back and forth more rapidly than the man produces the female intuition--the woman's ability to interpret facial expressions, bodily movements, voice tone, etc. Rather than being specialized like the man's brain, the two sides of the woman's brain work together on problems. This generalized way of looking at things makes the woman more perceptive to her emotional environment than the man is. (Stump, What's the Difference? pp. 106-107.)
Scientists first discovered these differences in the male and the female brains when they studied stroke patients. A woman who suffers a stroke can usually train the undamaged side of her brain to take over for the damaged half. Unfortunately, when a man suffers a stroke, the damage is more permanent since the two sides of his brain work independently of each other. (Stump, What's the Difference? p. 38.)
Due to advancing technology, these brain differences were actually seen by Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a behavioral scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine, along with her husband Bennett, a neurologist and colleague. Through a state-of-the-art form of magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan that showed brain-activity patterns, they tested nineteen men and nineteen women while they performed various mental tasks. The scans provided "definitive evidence" that men and women use their brains differently when thinking and coming up with the same answers. While many social scientists attempt to explain away the differences between men and women by attributing them to some phase in their theory of evolution, these doctors could not:
Dr. Shaywitz said she was particularly surprised to see differences between men and women in decoding words. Reading, she said, has nothing to do with basic survival skills or reproduction, for which men and women might have developed different brain functions during the long course of evolution. "This is a difference that involves cognition," she said. "And it is the most complex of human functions. Reading is the pinnacle of what humans can do." (Gina Kolata, "Brain Reveals the Difference Gender Makes," [The News Tribune 2/16/95], p. A1.)
In addition, women excel in analogies. (Stump, What's the Difference? p. 22.) This involves a woman's skill for drawing logical inferences based on the assumption that if two things are known to be alike in some respects, then they must also be alike in other respects. For example, a woman might observe her child do something that causes her great concern because of her ability to compare it with his earlier actions or even someone else's child. She recognizes a pattern of conduct as it begins to develop before it actually becomes entrenched. This enables her to tell her husband, "I'm worried about our son. He's done . . . which reminds me of what he did last summer. I'm afraid it will lead to . . . ." Giving the husband this information helps him make a wise decision about what to do. In this way, her keen perception combines with the husband's excellent solution-finding abilities to protect the children.
However, a woman's analogy-drawing abilities can get her into trouble. If she remembers everything her husband ever did wrong and never gives him the right to make mistakes and learn from them, then she usually views their problems as being much worse than they really are. Heeding God's regulations of forgiving and forgetting along with not judging motives prevents a woman from abusing her mental gift from God. A woman's intuition is not a righteous substitute for the principles of wisdom found in the Bible.
Likewise, a woman's single-mindedness serves as either a weakness or as an advantage in her role in the home. For example, while many a wife accuses her husband of not caring, the way her brain works helps her recognize problems long before her husband does. The man's ability to concentrate on two things at once enables him to work to earn a living in spite of the emotional atmosphere of the home. This is an asset for him.
Just the opposite, the woman's brain combines her quick perception of problems with a single-mindedness which refuses to allow her to forget them. So as a woman tries to read stories to he children or work as a secretary, her problems greatly affect her performance. Her preoccupation with her problems brings on irritableness or depression which drives her to find a solution. If she seeks solutions after God's wisdom, her single-mindedness becomes a blessing which benefits her husband and children. She soon becomes an expert and valued problem-solver who keeps a warm, happy emotional tone in her home. This brings out the best in her husband and children.
Many a man hungers for love and acceptance as much as his wife does, but he lacks the inborn know-how, the intuition, and the emotional depth that a woman possesses. When properly used, a wife's emotional makeup helps her apply God's instructions to the saving of her marriage. Many an unhappy husband desperately awaits a gracious woman to come along as the answer to his problem of loneliness. When such a woman accepts the challenge of filling her home with love and understanding, the grateful husband usually responds gladly.
The man's sex hormones also affect his temperament by promoting aggression. Women, on the other hand, must learn aggressive behavior. Little boys demonstrate this aggression in their rough and tumble play and competition with other boys. Most violent crimes are committed by young men at an age when their testosterone levels are the highest. While women speak with familiarity when seated next to each other, men display aggression when sitting close to other men with wise-cracking, fun-poking, etc. (Stump, What's the Difference? pp, 15-16, 152.)
In 1995 neuropsychologist Ruben Gur actually saw brain differences in the way men and women deal with emotions:
The emotions that trigger a man to fight while a woman reacts with words, facial expressions and gestures are not merely learned behavior but have a physical basis as well, university researchers say.
"We have known that men and women behave differently in all sorts of ways and one of the differences most striking is in the way men and women deal with emotions," Ruben Gur, director of the brain behavior laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, said in an interview. . . .
Sophisticated scanning techniques showed the part controlling action-oriented responses was more active in men. The part of the brain thought to control more-symbolic emotional responses was more active in women, the scientists write in today's issue of the journal Science. . . .
"The speculation is that the reason men are more inclined to express aggression instrumentally is because this is a part of the brain that is more active in men," he said. "Conversely, the part of the brain more active in women deals with more refined, symbolic means of emotional expression." (Harry F. Rosenthal, "Men Have Fighting on the Brain," [The News Tribune, 1/27/95], p. A3.)
A newspaper article said that the Russians discovered that if they sent a woman into space with a man, the cosmonauts endured the flight with much less stress than when they sent only men. The woman's more passive emotional makeup counteracted the man's more aggressive nature. The article added that NASA observed the same calming effect of women on their flights and also prefers to send mixed crews of astronauts. Obviously, it is not good for man to be alone, even in outer space!
While valuable in the close quarters of a space capsule, this lack of natural aggression inherent within women probably contributes to the small number of women succeeding as corporation heads. Sylvia Porter reported in 1982 that women made up only six percent of the corporate managers in the United States. (Sylvia Porter, "You and Your Money: The Truth About Equal Pay," [Ladies' Home Journal, 8/82], p. 22.) The televised ABC News report "After the Sexual Revolution" stated that fewer women served as corporate executives in 1985 than in 1982. The program asserted that "male hostility and suspicion" created the problem. (Peter Jennings, "After the Sexual Revolution," ABC News Closeup Transcript [New York: Journal Graphics, 9/1/86], p. 5.)
On the contrary, rather than men denying women their constitutional right to succeed in the commercial world, the women's own lack of a driving aggressive nature holds many women back from competing effectively. Even when women work their way up through numerous promotions, their different mental outlooks continue to affect their work performance.
For example, women generally make more sacrifices with their families for their jobs and appear more career-oriented than most men. Yet women commonly negate this work advantage by failing to efficiently utilize their authority and by bringing a nurturing quality to the office. They make themselves more accessible to other employees by leaving their office doors open twice as much as men. They walk among their employees to make sure everything is okay and encourage interruptions both on the job and at home. In contrast, men more often expect their employees to work on their own, and they depend upon their secretaries to protect them from interruptions on unimportant matters. Essentially, men conduct themselves in a more independent and businesslike manner than women generally do. (Stump, What's the Difference? pp. 12, 116, and 123.)
Consequently, if women want to compete more equally with men for higher-level corporate jobs, they might do well to take testosterone to increase their level of aggressiveness. At the same time, however, they should prepare to shave their faces daily, have their voices change as they develop an Adam's apple, and try to avoid flexing their new muscles. A better solution might be to accept the differences between men and women along with the different roles God created for them to occupy:
The Man's Role
When a man takes a wife, he assumes many God-given responsibilities that take advantage of his differing physical and mental capabilities. Paul outlined the husband's primary obligations toward his wife in Eph. 5:23-33 and showed that God wants the man to pattern himself after Christ:
Leads His Family
Eph. 5:23-24: "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."
The husband is the head of the wife as Christ also is the head of the church. As Christ considers the needs of the church and guides her wisely, a husband has the responsibility of leading his wife in all matters. God not only placed a big responsibility on the man's shoulders, but He expects him to perform it to the best of his ability.
Many a wife, who spends hours trying to persuade her husband to her way of thinking, fails to realize that God made her husband think differently from her to help him be a better leader. Being able to leave his emotions out enables a man to make wise decisions as he leads, protects, and provides for his family.
Likewise, the ability to disregard his emotions equips a man to better love his wife and to act in her best interest. For instance, after intense emotions die down, many problems take on completely different perspectives. While emotions require consideration, the wisest decision possible demands that the leader act according to the facts rather than his feelings.
God also gives the man the job of guiding his children wisely:
Eph. 6:4: "And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
Good News for Modern Man, a paraphrase or one-man's opinion of the scriptures, says, "And parents [emphasis mine--PRD] do not provoke your children to anger." However, God did not make a mistake and leave mothers out of this passage. While God designed an important role for mothers, this passage addresses the father's responsibility.
God gives fathers the special job of overseeing the complete education of their children. Even though many people consider this the woman's job, God places the primary responsibility on the man's shoulders. The woman helps the man in this area, but God gives the position of leadership in training the children to the man.
The man's leadership involves "discipline." God wants fathers to oversee every bit of their children's training in the home, the public school system, and in the Bible classes. This doesn't mean the father teaches everything himself. It means he stays abreast of the child's development and makes sure his needs are supplied. "Instruction" makes up an important part of the father's responsibilities. He gives his children verbal instruction to admonish them and to warn them about the dangers of life. Obviously, God gives the man a tremendous responsibility to lead his wife and children. Yet God expects more of him:
Protects His Family
Eph. 5:23: "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."
While the word "savior" carries religious connotations to modern people, it didn't to the Jews. They viewed their kings and leaders as saviors--men who protected them from financial, political, and physical harm.
Christ, the ultimate Savior, protects His followers from their sins and from physical and mental harm through obedience to His word. The husband portrays this same image of a deliverer and preserver on a lesser scale in the family realm as he protects his wife from mental and bodily harm. A husband cannot save his wife from her sins as Christ does, but he can foresee hazardous situations and avoid them. When necessary, he physically defends his wife. This job demands that a man stay constantly alert for hidden dangers, both physical and mental.
Several hundred years ago, a man more easily recognized his enemies. If a bear growled outside, the man knew he needed to get his gun and shoot him. If his children screamed, "There's a snake in the woodpile!" the man knew what to do. In addition, the man spent the summer preparing for the winter gathering wood and storing food.
Now many single women and mothers claim that a man in the house hinders their lives. Since few bears and snakes roam the earth terrorizing women and children, and since equal pay along with many social benefits and welfare programs help families in need, they advocate phasing out the man as leader and protector. "Who really needs a husband?" they ask.
What a disastrous attitude for society! Women need a strong man more than ever because modern dangers are cleverly camouflaged. Often people fail to recognize them until after the harm is done to innocent minds and bodies. In many ways, it would be easier for a man to fight bears than drug pushers, or to kill snakes than to refute the teachings of evolution in the public schools. A man could easily see if he had chopped enough wood to get his family through the winter, but does he foresee how sexual immorality on television warps and destroys his children?
Wives still need protection, too. Modern society makes it easy for a woman to over-extend herself so that she harms both her health and her emotional reserve. God expects a husband to lookout for his wife's best interest and to help her say, "No," to the children, the neighbors, the school, and even sometimes to jobs within the church.
Provides for His Family
Eph. 5:28-30: "So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body."
As Christ nourished and cherished the church, God holds the husband accountable for providing his wife with food, clothing, and shelter. In so doing, the husband must follow the standard of the "nourishment" he provides for his own body. If he feels cold, he turns up the heat or he buys himself a new jacket or he eats some food to warm his body internally.
In this day of easy welfare and a lack of shame for lazy and unproductive men, a good provider and manager of the budget is rarer than ever. Especially since many men, who work steadily, waste their incomes before they furnish the necessities of life.
Today men exercise less control over their ability to work than the average man did a hundred years ago when the majority of men worked in a family-owned business or on the family farm. Now many jobs are boring busy-work and don't require much imagination. Frequently, men must work for someone who doesn't fully appreciate their efforts which gives them little motivation to excel. Thus, too many times all a man receives for eight hours a day, five days a week, is a paycheck that is soon spent. Yet a man's aggressive temperament and ability to leave his emotions out enable him to keep working after the glamour disappears.
Providing for a family is not equal to turning a paycheck over to a wife for her to worry about stretching it to meet all the bills. When a man provides for his family, he makes sure his income covers all their necessities. Whether he writes the checks or she does isn't important. What matters is that the husband knows the financial condition of the family and controls it. The man's financial obligations also extend to his children as the verses about the elders and deacons demonstrate (I Tim. 3:4-5, 12).
The Bible nowhere tells a man that he must provide a high standard of living for his family, but it cautions everyone not to place their hopes in physical luxuries. As part of his leadership over his family, the man determines what their standard of living should be and maintains it.
Most husbands, even non-Christians, want to lead, protect, and provide for their families. Yet God wants every husband to balance these natural desires with a genuine love and concern for his wife. Loving his wife as himself serves as a safety regulation to prevent the man from misusing his authority:
The Guardian of Authority
"Guardian" means "one who guards, keeps safe, or secures, a custodian" (Webster).
As a husband goes about subduing the earth and filling it with people, God gives him the responsibility of guarding authority. A husband exercises this duty as he leads, protects, and provides for his wife and children through love. While God designed the husband as the custodian of authority, the wife serves as his helper. Her efforts aid in preserving authority as she works alongside her husband and shows respect for his leadership.
I Cor. 11:7: "For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man."
God didn't make a mistake when He inspired Paul to say, "Man is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of man." Certainly, God created the woman in His image along with the man in the garden of Eden; and she needs to reflect that image in her honesty, devotion, unfeigned love, genuine sorrow for the afflictions of others, humility, trust, purity, and intelligent reasoning abilities. However, God created the husband in His image in one area where the wife is not in His image--in the area of authority in the home. A parallel passage shows how the husband derives this likeness in authority from God:
Eph. 5:23: "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."
This scripture reveals a special job that the husband doesn't share with his wife--patterning his leadership after Christ so that he reflects the image and glory of God in the realm of family authority. Thus, God not only gave the husband a position of authority which He never intended for the wife to occupy, God also provided an example for the husband to follow in exercising his authority. When a husband fulfills his God-given position of leadership by following Christ's example, he glorifies God who created him differently from a woman (Eph. 5:28-29).
A leadership position contains no room for selfishness. It demands that considerate love control every decision and action of the one in charge. This type of love promotes trust--even when opinions differ. But when selfishness reigns, the home often deteriorates into a jungle where every man, woman, and child fight for their own rights with the strongest one winning. A husband, who disregards his wife's welfare, is not a guardian of authority even if he shouts loudly, "I'm the boss and what I say goes!" Such a husband shames God's image rather than glorifying it.
Feminists complain bitterly about selfishness on the part of husbands. But their solution of removing the man from the head of the family only makes matters worse. Even with the better educated and self-sufficient women of today, the man is still the best inherently qualified one to serve as the leader. Obviously, the solution is to remove the selfishness, not the man.
Before any marriage becomes a taste of heaven and reaps the blessings of God, mutual respect for the role of each marriage partner must exist. The husband must respect both his own role and his wife's. The wife, likewise, must show respect for her husband's position and her relationship to him. Where no respect presides for the spouse or the divine office that the mate holds, pure love fails to thrive.
The husband not only serves as the guardian of authority for his wife, but also serves as the guardian of authority for his children:
Heb. 12:7-9: "It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?"
As a father, a man should portray the image of God, the Father. Thus, a father who doesn't back-up his word teaches his children disrespect for what God says. God created the father as the stronger vessel, both biologically and psychologically, so he could be a wise guardian of authority as he leads, provides for, and protects his children.
The Woman's Role
Titus 2:4-5: " . . . that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored."
This passage summarizes a woman's responsibilities toward God, her husband, her children, herself, and others. This booklet just notices the overall quality of her duties--her love:
Loves Her Husband
"Love" comes from the Greek word phileo attached to the word for husband and means "1. to love, to be friendly to one, to love, i.e., delight in, long for; 2. to kiss." (Joseph Henry Thayer, Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament [Grand Rapids, MI: Associated Publishers and Authors Inc., n.d.], p. 3.) Wigram's lexicon defines this word as meaning "to manifest some act or token of kindness or affection, to kiss, to love, regard with affection, have affection for, to like, be fond of, delight in a thing, to cherish inordinately, set store by." (Wigram, Analytical Greek Lexicon of the New Testament [Wilmington, DL: Associates Publishers and Authors Inc., n.d.], p. 426.)
The love (phileo) that God wants a wife to learn to feel for her husband and children differs from the love (agape) that God commands a husband to manifest toward his wife in Eph. 5:22-33. Thayer describes the differences between phileo and agape:
As to the distinction between agapan and philein: the former, by virtue of its connection with agamai, properly denotes a love founded in admiration, veneration, esteem, like the Lt. diligere, to be kindly disposed to one, wish one well; but philein denotes an inclination prompted by sense and emotion. (Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon, p. 653.)
Phileo expresses an affectionate, emotional, and physical love that is manifest by patting, hugging, squeezing, and kissing the loved one. Matt. 26:48 demonstrates this by using a form of phileo for the word "kiss" when Judas betrayed Jesus. On the other hand, agape results from love based primarily on an intellectual estimation of the needs of the loved one.
Peter gives an example of the differences between phileo and agape by using them together in I Pet. 1:22: "Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, [philadelphian--combination of phileo and brother] fervently love [agapesate--form of agape] one another from the heart." Again, Peter uses these two root words together in I Pet. 5:14: "Greet one another with a kiss [philemati--form of phileo] of love [agape]."
The Jews had a tradition that demonstrates the affection of phileo. They considered weaving a woman's work, and unmanly for a man. They looked down on an unskilled man who could only weave for a living. However, if the man's wife proudly sat on the rooftop with him in the cool of the evening and visited with the neighbors as they passed by, then the Jews said the man married a wonderful wife who really loved him.
Phileo includes this type of admiring love. Regardless of what the husband does for a living, a wife's true emotional attachment to him makes her beam with pride. She considers him to be the greatest husband she could ever want. This kind of love comes easily during courtship. When a young girl dates a boy, onlookers often ask, "What does she see in him? How can she care anything about him?" These skeptics recognize that courting love is blind. In addition, men and women seldom marry without this type of love. Men seek it in their wives, and women insist on feeling it for their husbands.
Unfortunately, this type of love often disappears after marriage as a husband and a wife begin to notice irritating habits in the other. Then love often gives way to bitterness in the hearts of both. Married love isn't so blind. Observing that many a man marries a woman who truly admired him during courtship, only to find that admiration turn to contempt, the husband of the woman of great price declared, "Charm is deceitful" (Prov. 31:30). Those sweet feminine words that seduce a man during courtship often trap the unlucky husband in a loveless marriage. Earlier in the passage the husband of the woman of great price praised her, for his heart truly trusted in her throughout the many years of their marriage. The woman of great price was not like the wives of most men.
Consequently, after marriage most wives must learn once again to feel the excitement and devotion of their courtship days. Thus, God tells young women to learn how to restore that same innocent kind of love and how to keep it alive in their hearts. By a wife learning how to look at her husband in a very positive way and continuing to view him as the greatest husband for her brings out his best side. It also gives a husband a desire to succeed fully and to successfully provide for and protect his family. The woman's tender love balances the man's aggressive nature and channels it toward productivity. This type of love also brings the wife great personal happiness and fulfillment as it answers her deep emotional needs.
God didn't accidentally leave out part of the woman's metabolism or lean muscles when He created Eve. God made a woman exactly as He wanted her to be--a wonderful giver of physical and emotional comfort to her family. A woman's emotional and sensitive nature becomes a marvelous trait when she uses it to love others. Some male authors suggest enviously that women seem to possess a greater ability for giving and enjoying love than men. When women accept their weaknesses and their femininity, they become all that God wants them to be.
Sadly, many a woman moans, "I would give anything if my husband would just come up to me when I'm washing dishes and put his arms around me and hug me, just some little something like that." Due to Victorian morals, many a modern woman still views men as active givers of love while women passively receive their attention. Such a woman enters marriage expecting to just sit back and soak up all her husband's love. However, the Bible teaches exactly the opposite! The Bible portrays the woman as the giver of love and as the one to initiate affection. If anyone sits back and soaks up love, it should be the husband.
An executive, who teaches salesmen how to succeed, said, "The more manly a man is, the more restrained he is at displaying affection publicly. But such husbands yearn for their wives to openly express affection. A wife pays her husband a high compliment by publicly patting him on the knee, rubbing his back, or even kissing him."
One wife said when she and her husband visited another couple, she patted her husband on the knee. She was shocked when the other woman's husband immediately spoke up and said, "I wish my wife would do that! I wish my wife would pat me on the knee! But she never does."
The differences between their roles make it necessary for the man and woman to pay particular attention to different forms of love. For instance, many a man enjoys expressing physical love for his wife, but physical attraction alone doesn't help him lead with wisdom and justice. So God focuses on the husband's weaknesses and commands him to develop the type of love (agape) which prevents him from misusing his authority. Agape balances the man's leadership over his wife by eliminating selfishness. Thus, agape requires a husband to make an intelligent estimate of his wife's needs and to act in her best interest instead of his own desires.
Just as God shows His love for women by commanding husbands to intellectually love their wives as their own bodies, God shows the same compassion for men by commanding wives to learn how to openly love their husbands. Many women naturally enjoy expressing tenderness to their husbands, but many more fall into the trap of wanting to receive affection before they willingly give physical love.
Basically, affectionate love that pleases God comes from a deliberate commitment to satisfy the emotional needs of the object loved rather than a selfish desire to soak up all the tenderness possible. Many love-starved women suffer simply because they focus on receiving love rather than giving love. Women who complain that their husbands don't greet them affectionately often don't display any joy at their husbands' homecoming.
Many years ago I witnessed a conversation between my grandmother, Ethel McBride Collinsworth, who at that time had been married for over fifty years, and her older sister. My great aunt had been widowed once and then married a widower. She was then widowed again and was now married to her third husband. She had grown up with her third husband and had known him all her life, but he had never married until he married her when they were both in their seventies. My great aunt lamented to my grandmother, "You know when I was married to my second husband, a day never went by that he didn't tell me that he loved me. But it is not that way now," and she started to cry.
Without hesitating, my grandmother replied, "You have to remember that your second husband had had a wife before you to teach him how to love. Your husband now has never had a wife to teach him how to live with a woman."
I have told this story many times to women, young and old, who have, likewise, cried that their husbands didn't show enough affection. My grandmother's wisdom about the wife's role in love certainly blessed her life. She and my grandfather celebrated seventy wedding anniversaries before she died of the complications of multiple strokes. However, during those long years of paralysis and helplessness, her love for her husband and her family still came out in her embraces and halting words. Some of my most cherished memories are of the love my grandfather returned to her during those years. No matter how many times she asked the same question over and over, he always answered her each time as if it were the first time she asked. He would sit and hold her hand for hours. And when he thought no one was listening, he was overheard telling her what a great wife and mother she'd been.
One of the greatest lessons women need to learn is to place the emphasis on giving love instead of receiving love. God's command to learn how to love one's husband gives a lifetime of rewards. But a woman's tender emotional nature often causes her to turn her feelings inward to feel sorry for herself instead of outward to love her husband. Thus, God's command strikes at the wife's greatest danger for misusing love.
Ocie Lue C. Snodgrass, my mother, wrote a poem that highlights the rewards of freely bestowed love:
MARRIAGE . . .
Is like a savings account;
We must put something in
Before we can take something out.
The amount we deposit
Day by day
Is doing kind deeds
And kneeling to pray.
Love and sweet words
Will make our account grow:
With loads of hugs and kisses
We are millionaires
Next thing we know.
It almost seems humanly impossible for wives to fully understand just how much their husbands depend upon their love, given freely and without thought of reciprocation. A man without a wife affectionately and obviously loving him still endures deep loneliness, and he still searches for the answer to his problem.
Loves Her Children
When a woman truly cherishes her husband, she naturally treasures the fruit of their union, their children. God wants mothers to express the same kind of emotional tenderness for their children as they exhibit for their husbands--phileo. Little children soak up this display of warmth as if they were dry sponges and thrive on it.
A mother's nurturing nature helps her create a wholesome environment in the home for her children. She may not possess the man's muscles or aggressive nature, but her soft voice and calm spirit provide exactly what her children need. One woman observed, "My children misbehave the most when I'm tense and nervous."
Another mother said, "My children show more affection to both my husband and me when I have a calm day and take the time to visit and play with them. But when I keep a rigid schedule that doesn't allow for any interruptions, they pout and withhold their kisses."
A loving mother thinks her children are the best she could have even if they are homely and failed the first grade three times. She readily pats, hugs, squeezes, and kisses her children. She surrounds them with warm love to give them the self-confidence necessary to mature into stable adults. Her commitment of emotional involvement with her children continually finds ways of expression regardless of what the world thinks of them.
After hearing this description of a mother's love, one woman said, "I really appreciate the example of a mother loving her child even if he's failed the first grade three times, because my little boy really has failed three times in school. Not only that, but he has a bladder problem, and he's always wetting his pants. It's smelly and bothersome. I've really had a bad problem with my attitude and resenting him. Now I realize that I need to love him in spite of his problems because to me, his mother, he should be the most wonderful little boy I could have."
Irving Wallace's book The Two, about the original Siamese twins, provides a beautiful study of this type of love. It tells the true story of a mother in Siam who gave birth to twin boys joined at the breast. The sight of the boys so horrified the midwife that she could not finish assisting with the birth or clean up the twins afterwards. So the mother finished the birth and cleaned up her two sons without any help. The story describes the mother's extraordinary devotion to her sons and the way she molded their personality and character. In spite of their deformity, the Siamese twins grew up with healthy self-images, simply because of the way their mother loved them, taught them, and took care of them. (Irving Wallace, The Two [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978].)
While phileo for one's children comes naturally to some women, such as the Siamese twins' mother, many young mothers need help in mastering it. Mothers who feel trapped and worthless often label the toddler years as the "terrible two's." Other mothers abandon their children to day care centers to build defenses against neglect, indifference, and emotional coldness. In the eyes of many, caring for little children no longer holds any prestige for a woman, but instead leans toward public scandal.
One mother said that she couldn't wait until her child was old enough to put in a nursery so she could get back to more "human" work. What is so inhuman about loving a child? What is so degrading about teaching a child how to live? Where is the dishonor in raising a child to be a happy and loving adult? A woman who works outside the home receives only a paycheck for her labors, but a woman who works with her children produces beautiful adults and grandchildren for her efforts.
One husband said, "I used to think my job of providing for my family was more important than my wife's job of caring for the home and our children. But one day I realized that if my wife neglected our children and they grew up mentally deficient, then all my work to provide for them would be spent in vain. Now I consider my job as only a necessary means of enabling my wife to do life's most important job--properly caring for our children."
God gives the woman very important work to do. Neither her husband nor her children survive very well without her devotion to her duties. They need her weaknesses as they delight and feel secure in her love.
Cares for the Home
"Workers at home" doesn't mean "stayers at home, but keepers or guardians of the household." (Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1887], p. 342.)
Many people falsely equate being a woman with being a housekeeper. Instead, being a woman equals being a giver of love and comfort. But part of bestowing love on others involves taking care of the home and transforming it into a refuge and place of peace for those the woman loves.
Unfortunately, many times a woman reverses her jobs and takes care of her husband because he messes up her house. A man needs a loving wife more than he needs a housekeeper. Never should the home become more important than the family who lives in it. A woman is not to ignore her husband and children in order to be a spotless housekeeper. Neither should she go to the other extreme and embrace sloppy housekeeping, for this prevents the home from becoming a relaxed sanctuary.
The way a woman keeps her home reflects the love she feels for her husband and children. If she indulges in hobbies, clubs, visiting, watching television, or reading to the neglect of her home, then she loves herself more than her family. A woman's attention to her home tells much about her character and how seriously she takes her responsibilities.
If a woman wants a happy marriage, she must learn the art of relaxing and enjoying her femininity. In this way, she puts her whole family at ease when they step through the front door into her domain. If a woman does everything else right that God teaches about marriage--becomes a wonderful mother, an efficient homemaker, a marvelous cook, an exciting lover, and an adoring wife--but fails to make her home a palace of luxurious emotional comfort and relaxation, she fails to achieve the success she and her family desire.
A wife who quit her job told her husband that she felt more relaxed than when she worked outside the home. Her husband quickly replied, "I feel more relaxed, too." While only the woman changed, she set the mood for the entire house.
One young bride said, "After my wedding shower, my grandmother asked, `Now that you've gotten most of your wedding gifts, what do you need? I want to get something you need.' Before I could name some of the small appliances I wanted, my husband spoke up and said, `We need some pictures on the wall, some knickknacks and things that will make it a home.' So my grandmother bought us some pictures, but I wanted to choose those things myself."
A lot of times women discount little womanly touches to their homes such as throw pillows, flowers, and pictures. Yet men notice these things and miss them when absent. They may not say anything, but a woman's touch in the home creates an atmosphere that men like and appreciate.
The Guardian of Love
Certainly, love should be as much a way of life for a masculine man as for a feminine woman, for God commands the man to love his wife as his own body and to nourish and cherish her. Women thrive on this love from their husbands. By protecting a wife from the need to earn a living, God placed her in a sheltered environment where she can devote her total energies to preserving love in her family. Anyone who thinks that giving love isn't a full time job hasn't read the Bible's job description of a gracious woman.
Secular fields utilize many specialists such as doctors, nurses, scientists, electricians, mechanics, farmers, policemen, teachers, nutritionists, computer scientists, accountants, and on and on goes an endless list of professions. But serving as an administrator of love is not an unskilled or low-paying vocation. It requires a profound education, unwavering dedication, and unlimited endurance along with complete selflessness.
Unfortunately, many women fail to even understand their divine challenge, let alone become successful as guardians or protectors of love. Victorian concepts about love deceive women into thinking that the man is the guardian of love and that they are merely its recipients. On the contrary, the Bible, over and over again, portrays the woman as the chief initiator of love within the family.
It's impossible to adequately study the woman's role without appreciating the importance of the feminine expression of love. The following verses give a hint of how the woman functions as the guardian of love:
Song of Sol. 4:10: "How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine . . . "
A woman's outpouring of love is one of the most beautiful features about her. The Shepherd spoke of the value of the Shulammite's love for him, for he prized her love above all else. He had no need to numb his senses with alcohol because she smoothed over the rough spots of life and made the happy times just that much more pleasant. She knew how to listen to his triumphs and how to encourage him when he felt defeated.
The Shulammite promised the Shepherd that when they married, she would freely give her love to him (Song of Sol. 7:12). Likewise, she openly longed to unite with him in the embrace of love (Song of Sol. 2:6; 8:3). Everything about the Shulammite conveyed her love to the Shepherd: the way she looked (Song of Sol. 4:9), the way she talked (Song of Sol. 4:11), the way she acted (Song of Sol. 8:2), and the way she thought (Song of Sol. 5:10-16). Being a woman is synonymous with giving love.
The Shepherd valued the Shulammite's open, free love, and he begged her to never hide her affection from him:
Song of Sol. 8:6-7: "Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised."
The Shepherd pleaded with the Shulammite to keep her love for him as obvious as a seal on her arm and only for him. He didn't want her telling another man she loved him or that she thought he was great. The Shepherd wanted her to glorify him by freely giving her love to only him.
Floods of water cannot quench true love because honest affection comes from a commitment of concern and emotional bonding. A woman who functions as a helper meet for her husband continually gives him her love no matter what trials they face. Even when she is 101-years-old, a woman should be a picture of love to everyone she comes in contact with.
Statistics prove that married men, as a group, live longer than bachelors, and happily married men live longer than men with unhappy marriages. A man needs his strength to labor day after day, but he needs the weaknesses of his wife to survive the strain. A man's physical strength protects his wife from physical harm while a woman's tender loving care protects her husband from mental harm.
While a man desperately needs his wife's love, he cannot buy love. Tenderness must go forth as a free gift without thought of reciprocation to benefit the receiver. For this reason, if a woman refuses to bestow her love freely upon her husband, he cannot demand that she love him, for her affection will be utterly despised as duty instead of welcomed as love.
God uses a woman who voluntarily serves Him as a giver of love as a shining example of His love for mankind:
Isa. 66:13: "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem."
A loving mother who delights in bearing children and in caring for them provides an earthly example of God's love and concern for Israel. A woman's tender, loving emotions make her the perfect guardian of love for her husband and children. Her family should be loving individuals, but the woman can easily inhibit their love or bring it to the surface.
God honored the woman by creating her with the necessary qualities to be the perfect helper for man and to teach the world about God's love. God even made a woman's arms to cradle naturally around her babies. When a man stands erect with his arms hanging down to his side with elbows still and palms facing forward, his arms are straight. But when a woman stands in the same position, her arms curve outward from the elbow. This enables a man to throw a ball straighter and easier than a woman can, but a woman cradles her baby in a nursing position easier than a man can. (Gray's Anatomy [Philadelphia: W. B. Saunder's Co., 1973], p. 204.)
Two college students observed this same phenomenon of the differences in the arms by the way students carried their books. While wondering how to tell the boys and girls apart, one of the students said, "And suddenly, I noticed there was one thing, and that was the way they carried their books." She observed that almost all female students wrapped one or both of their arms around their books and either rested the books on their hips or clasped them against their chests. Just the opposite, male students almost invariably carried their books in one hand at the side of their bodies. During a year's travel to many different universities, the student and her husband found the book-carrying habit held true everywhere.
The two students speculated that morphological differences (body builds) seemed to cause the two distinct methods of book carrying. The most important was the fact that "in most females, the carrying arm was unable to hang vertically but angled downward." Their study showed that most girls carried their books in "boy fashion" until grade school, when they switched to typical "female carrying behavior." ("Sex of Student Determined by Way Books Held," [Spokesman-Review, 12/17/76], p. 27.)
Women may not like it, but the fact remains, unless a woman is unusual or goes in for special surgery, a woman's arm is not like a man's. The woman's arm demonstrates God's ingenuity in giving men and women the qualities they need to do their respective jobs.
Not every woman is a guardian of love, for some women display scorn for men and children alike. Only women who dare to live their lives according to God's wisdom portray God's love for the world through their love for their husbands, children, and other people. A woman honors herself by letting God's love shine forth from her life. Such a woman blesses herself and everyone whose life she touches.
While God's design of the woman as being primarily family centered is continually ridiculed and male bashing is a popular sport, this is one of the most exciting times in history to be a man or a woman. In large part this excitement comes from the feminist movement--from their trooping to the laboratories to prove no differences exist between the sexes. Now, if it is honest, modern science must bow its knee before a loving Creator who wondrously designed the woman as the weaker vessel--the guardian of love, and the man as the stronger vessel--the guardian of authority. Men and women are free to intellectually value and enjoy their masculinity and femininity as never before. Indeed, the creation of the male and the female and the wondrous way they work together and support each other reflects God's genius. What remains is to see if men and women are intelligent enough to draw the logical conclusions from science and rise to their full potentials as human beings and servants of a loving creator.
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Male and Female: God's Genius! by Patsy Rae Dawson. Copyright © 1996 Patsy Rae Dawson LLC. All rights reserved.
Male and Female: God's Genius! by Patsy Rae Dawson is available at PatsyRaeDawson.com. It may be copied for noncommercial use only, provided you do the following: 1. Retain all copyright, trademark and propriety notices; 2. Make no modifications to the materials; 3. Do not use the materials in a manner that suggests an association with Patsy Rae Dawson LLC; and; 4. Do not download quantities of materials to a database, server, or personal computer for reuse for commercial purposes. You may not use this material in any other way without prior written permission. For additional permissions, contact Patsy Rae Dawson LLC at Patsy@PatsyRaeDawson.com.
This booklet is composed of excerpts from two chapters in Marriage: A Taste of Heaven, Vol. I: God's People Appreciate Marriage by Patsy Rae Dawson. It provides a small sample of the wealth of exciting information found in the Bible about the differences between men and women and how they balance and support each other to give happiness to each of them. Vol. II: God's People Make the Best Lovers examines how the husband's and wife's minds and bodies join perfectly together to speak a beautiful language of love in each other's arms that transcends spoken language. Your marriage will never be the same after you read these stimulating volumes.