Three words mean so much for our civilisation—for men to be manly enough to respect the women around them; their wives, mothers, sisters and co-workers, particularly.
Yet, gutless, fearful men cannot bring themselves to respect women. Their abuse and neglect of women spurns from a pitiful lack within them, as they strive for their self-esteem through the folly of macho ends.
Perhaps as a father of three daughters, and being at times a very flawed husband, I will identify myself as a man who’s struggled to appropriately respect the women in my life. The failure of my first marriage taught me much about the importance of men respecting women. I’ve learned first-hand that treating women like one of the guys, or without the appropriate care, can be a big mistake. Not that I would’ve been described as anything abnormal so far as husbands are concerned. That’s the point. Men very often don’t get it. We must rise above ourselves to achieve a level of respect that God requires when it comes to women.
A mature man is one who knows how to treat a woman.
Women – The ‘Holier’ Of Human Creatures
What might sound ridiculous is, in my opinion, nevertheless true. Women might only be insensitive and uncouth when they’ve been exposed, even dominated, by the male culture around them. It may have been a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’.
Women, generally speaking, are much more principled than men are, and perhaps men have the additional pressure of the macho persona to uphold.
As I write that women are holier of the human creatures, I necessarily check myself. Is this true? Are women, generally speaking, further from tests and temptations than men are? Perhaps not entirely, but a woman’s test and temptation seems fundamentally different and more subtle than a man’s. They’re the gentler gender. Care is more their aim than it is a man’s. And without being seared beyond recognition, their consciences seem more able to be right-sized and redeemed. They’re also truer, more often than not, regarding the reality of their emotions than men are.
A Task Big Enough For A Man
Men must understand that women need to be treated like human beings and not treated as if they can be owned, utilised or used. Men can’t treat women like they often treat other men, not that other men should be treated anything less than human beings either.
The task big enough for a real man is to be sensitive enough to the needs of the moment, trying to sense and intuit how to treat the women in their midst. This is not about treating them any better than anyone else; but it’s about treating them as we would wish—if we were women—to be treated.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.