Christian living- dealing with one 'oops' at a time…

Posts tagged ‘maturity’

‘Women Are Emotional’ -Biblically Debunked

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One of the fallacies perpetuated in the church is that women are emotional while men are not. While, in truth, this statement does more to deprive men from healthy emotional expression, it is also commonly used to put down and undermine women in the church. So let us look at scripture, as it pertains to emotion:

1. Women cry, men do not.

Men in scripture cry, a lot. And for many, many reasons. Being reunited with estranged relatives (Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers), for the death of loved ones (Jacob, Abraham), because people are speaking badly of him and life seems to be overwhelmingly (David), when their inheritance is lost (Esau), for the state of a nation (Jesus) and when they are in real danger or pain (Jesus, David). Weeping is not reserved for women, and there are more scriptural examples of men crying loudly about life’s injustices than we have of women doing the same.

Men Weeping In Scripture (usually loudly): Gen: 23:2, 27:38, 29:11, 33:4, 42:24, 45:2, Num. 14:1, Jdg 20:23, 1 Sam 20:41, 30:4, 2 Kings 8:11, Job 2:12, Is. 16:9, 33:7, 38:3, Jer. 9:1, Lam. 1:16, Hos. 12:4, Micah 1:8, Mal. 2:13, Mt. 26:75, Lk. 19:41, 22:62, Jn. 11:35, Acts 20:37, Rev. 5:4 (This is an abbreviated list.)

2. Women are easily deceived.

Although Eve was deceived, Adam sinned purposely and brought death into the world. Sinning on purpose is always worse than sinning because one was deceived, so it makes little sense that this is used as an argument for why men are more fit to lead. But deception in scripture is not limited to the female. Jacob, Isaac, Laban, multiple kings who believed Abraham or Isaac’s wife was their sister etc were also deceived. There are also lists for what to do when you realize you have sinned unintentionally. Being deceived is not limited to the female, nor are the majority of examples in scripture of people being deceived of women. Deception seems to be an equal opportunity problem. Perhaps this is why a man is to choose a wife who is wise and offers good counsel….

Examples of deception in the Bible: Paul Rom. 7:11, the church 2 Cor. 11:3, James 1:16, Eve 1 Tim. 2:14, Laban Gen. 31:20, Kings Gen 12:13, 26:7, Isaac Gen. 27:35

3. Women do not have the fortitude to lead.

There are many examples of women in scripture demonstrating leadership qualities and saving the day while the men were somewhat confused. Samson’s parents (Judges 13): The Lord speaks to Samson’s mother, not his father, first. When the Lord appears again, his wife takes him along to hear what He has to say. The husband then freaks out a bit, and his wife uses logic to reassure him that the Lord would not give them a prophecy then cause them to perish from being in his presence. There is also Deborah, who leads in battle when Barak is overwhelmed, the daughters who build the wall with Nehemiah while some elite men deem themselves to be too good for physical labor (Neh 3:12). Then there is the women who throws the millstone to save the city (Judges 9:53), as well as the one who has Sheba’s head over the wall (2 Sam. 20:22). The Queen of the South is also used as a witness to the wisdom of Solomon as a result of her testing (1 Kings 10:1, 2 Chron 9:1, Lk 11:31, Mt 12:42). Even Abraham was told by God to listen to his wife Sarah even though her wishes regarding Ishmael were in conflict with his (Gen. 21:12). (Sarah’s role as a parent becomes even more apparent when one realizes that Abraham had many sons, while Sarah had just the one. Gen 25:1-6) Women, good women, are typically portrayed in scripture as having wisdom, and making sound decisions that people respect and obey.

4. Women are nurturing, while men are less so.

God Himself uses feminine, nurturing adjectives to describe Himself. If Jesus Himself weeps and uses nurturing imagery to show Himself as a man who longs to gather His people to Himself, then a true man, walking in His footsteps should be able to do the same.

Paul too uses traditionally feminine imagery to describe himself and the others with him. (1 Thess 2:7 They were like nursing mothers.)

God as a nurturing mother: In labor Is. 42:14, Dt. 32:18, Suckling children Num 11:12, Is. 49: 14-15, comforts children Is 66:12-13, as a mother who births and protects Is. 46: 3-4, maternal Ps 131:2, Job 38:8, 29, Prov. 8:22-25, 1 Pet. 2:2-3, Acts 17:28, as a seamstress Neh 9:21, midwife Ps 22:9-10, 71:6, Is 66:9, as a mother bear robbed of her cubs Hos. 13:8, and a hen gathering her chicks Mt. 23:37

For more Biblical references to God exhibiting  traditionally feminine characteristics go to: http://clubs.calvin.edu/chimes/970418/o1041897.htm

5. A woman’s role is to teach other women and children.

There are more admonitions for men to teach their children than there are for women to do the same (though there are enough examples to prove that both are to instruct their offspring) and God states that on the new earth He will teach the children himself, indicating that teaching the children is the most important job there is (Is. 54:13). The Queen of Sheba tests a man, Solomon’s, wisdom, Priscilla co-teaches Apollo with her husband, Phoebe delivers the letter to the Romans and Julia is an apostle. The women are also the first to be charged with the message, ‘He is Risen.’ Women throughout scripture do more than work with children. They are a vital part of Jesus’ ministry, supporting the men financially (Lk 8:3). Women also run vineyards, work as shepherds, build cities, lead wars and make brave, quick decisions that lead to the defeat of the enemy (Judges 5:26). They also serve as leaders, prophets and have jobs at the Tent of Meeting (which seem to disappear after Eli’s sons rape them, not the women’s fault.) Women are more than capable of emotionally handling much more in life, and there are women in scripture for them to look up to as they do.

Further Jesus gathers the children to Himself, even though the disciples tell them to go away. Jesus, a single man, loves and is comfortable with kids. He also allows them to be present when He teaches (something not done during this time in history). Paul also has children he is close to who pray for him (Acts 21:5).

6. Men are stoic.

The psalms contain some of the best examples of worship and praise as well as examples of crying out loudly and emotionally to the Lord. And ironically, they were written by men, and many by a great warrior named David. He poured out his heart and soul in everything he wrote. Strong emotions resound, yet David is a man…

7. Women are better at relationships than men.

Many women do excel at relationships, but men in scripture are not lacking in this department. Isaac is caught caressing his wife in public, David and Jonathan are often used as an example of true friendship and the greatest love song ever written, The Song of Solomon, was written by a man. Men have relationship skills and, if allowed, may excel in this area as well.

8. Men are protective, while women are nurturing.

Except the Bible describes women as the protectors as well. It is the mama bear, robbed of her cubs who is fierce (Hosea 13:8) and God describing Himself as a mother who rescues you. (Is 46. 3-4) While men do feel a need to protect their young, it is not limited to the masculine.

Joke: A comedian once said, ‘Women traditionally have had no interest in auto-racing, but if you strapped a baby needing to be rescued to the pace car, no man in the world would be able catch up.’ Women too are protective.

9. Women are weak.

While men tend to possess more physical strength (though this differs on a case by case basis, and women tend to survive harsh conditions better so there is a trade off) the type of weakness attributed to women is often not a physical, but a psychological weakness. Again, referring to scripture, there seems to be more cases of men falling in the area of moral fortitude than women, especially when it comes to the female. Lust takes down more men in scripture than their female counterparts (though we do have Gomer…). It is therefore the male, not the female, who has much to learn in this area. But that is the point. We are to learn. We are to mature and overcome. Scripture is not about staying weak, but about becoming a mature, stable, capable human being. And this admonition to emotional maturity is not limited to the male.

So, men, as well as women, are to be fully emotionally equipped. But those emotions are to be handled maturely, and there are examples of mature men and women who showed both wisdom and self-control throughout scripture. To say that ‘women are emotional’ is to not address her need to mature out of petty things. To say that men are not emotional is to deprive a man of his right to express what he feels. Neither is good. Emotions, when handled appropriately, are a God-given gift that every member of the Trinity also possesses. To deny or belittle their place in the human experience is to be less than the image-bearer of God, and to deny that we are to love Him with all of our strength, mind, heart and soul. (Luke 10:27) Emotional maturity is therefore the goal for all Christians, male and female.

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DORM LIFE…

Photo by Matija Barrett

Photo by Matija Barrett

Over the years I have noticed that there is a difference between the people who lived in the dorms during college and those who did not. And I love the fact that I did.

Living in the dorms teaches you that life is not always the perfect, well-planned event you thought it would be.

College dorms are perhaps an extreme in life. Whoever thought putting hundreds of 18 to 21 year olds in tight quarters with minimal supervision for nine months of the year was a good idea was probably on crack- but every year millions of kids go off to live on campus and, for the most part, it works.

It also matures you.

As strange as that sounds, since most dorms do not resemble any living style that would normally be considered ‘mature,’ it does.

With all of the immaturity, differences in background and just plain idiocy going on most people learn something important in life.

They learn not to sweat the small stuff. Lots of stuff happens in the dorms. If you get upset with it all you will not last for long. Thankfully most people figure out how to let stuff roll off their backs without needing the help of a trained psychologist. (Though there are always a few psych students who think they can help…)

They learn to stand up for what is really important to them. Not everything counts as ‘small stuff.’ What is ‘big’ is different to different people. Communicating what someone can and can’t do in your space is an important skill, and the only way you are going to truly protect your precious stash of Ramon Noodles is to set clear boundaries. Really clear. Ramon Noodles are very popular with hungry co-eds. Buy some frozen fish and it will be all yours.

They also learn to respect other people’s boundaries. Sure, you may think that everyone likes to listen to KISS FM at three in the morning, but you may be wrong. Grouchy suite mates let you know in ways that get the point across so you never, ever do this again.

They then learn not to hold a grudge about anything said by grouchy people who are awakened by KISS FM at three a.m. If you are going to cease being friends with anyone who says anything you don’t like and hold a grudge then you will not have many friends in the dorms.

They learn to live together. Living with a variety of people in close quarters takes talent. One must realize that they will have to bend and that life will not always go the way they want it to. This makes marriage so much easier.

They also learn that many of the ‘rules’ in life are optional. These are not moral codes, but things like, ‘Use a spoon, not your fingers.’ In the dorms you learn to be flexible and use what you have. You also learn that you can go nine months without vacuuming and no one will die. These are not lessons your mother will necessarily appreciate, but they will allow you to properly prioritize when life gets busy and some things need to be ignored or you will never sleep. Children do better when parents sleep, so these are lifesaving techniques.

They also learn to be themselves. They can no longer blame things on their parents, so they must fess up and tell people they really just like going to bed at nine pm. They also cannot hide their little idiosyncrasies. When you are packed in like sardines your suite-mates know everything about you. And surprisingly, unless it is really annoying, they don’t care. You are you, and they are they and it is all okay. This is perhaps the greatest gift dorm life has for a person.

So, packing young adults into living conditions we would consider immoral to house the poor in actually works. It is not always fun, but in the end I think we ended up as better people for it. (And we all have some really funny stories we promise never to share if any of us runs for public office…)

Some things we learned include…

Everyone needs a cooking buddy, everyone.

Some rules need to be written down. These rules involve cooking.

When your friend holds a funeral for a fish, you join in, even if you don’t know the friend and were just walking by. Everyone grieves in different ways; respect it.

The person you woke up at 3 a.m. wakes up at 6 a.m. Expect retribution.

Ferrets do not like being wet.

If you cook fish, not your friend’s fish, you will find there are new cooking rules for the dorm. (Fish cooked in enclosed spaces smells, especially if it is cooked in a microwave…)

Playing hacky sac with Ramon Noodles is not a good idea. But surprisingly it does not require a vacuum to clean up.

Giving everyone a care package at the beginning of the year that includes shaving cream is not a good idea.

Female shaving creams act like carpet freshener- an unexpected side effect after the expected shaving cream war.

Don’t expect to use your shaving cream for shaving. There will be a day you will find yourself in need of arms…

The cleaning lady must love you. There’s no other explanation for why she keeps this job. Treat her well. (We love you Gail!)

Mugs can be used for soup- if you can call Ramon Noodles soup.

Mugs that have been left too long without cleaning should just be thrown out. Some things cannot be cleaned.

There are people, usually male people, who think it is okay to eat the best things off your plate. It is okay to stab said people with your fork.

Male people are good for opening jars. Their masculinity requires they do not give up without succeeding. It is therefore best not to stab them too hard and hinder their abilities.

When bored, one will watch anything on T.V. Case in point: We owned one VHS tape freshman year. We watched it over, and over, and over. I cannot for the life of me remember what movie that was… T.V. is therefore a great way to turn off one’s brain when overworked.

Falling asleep during a lecture by the dorm administrator is not seen as a sign of respect. And your dorm mates will not wake you up and help you out of this one. The longer you sleep the funnier it is, especially if you snore.

Parties in the honors dorm do not resemble parties. This is why the dorm administrator cannot find them. But it really upsets him when he sees the t-shirts for them after the fact.

Garbage cans make good punch bowls. Lampshades do not.

“Sharing your most embarrassing story” does not work as an icebreaker for the beginning of the year RA lecture. Anyone living in the dorms for over a year already knows your most embarrassing story and they are not telling since you know theirs as well. But don’t worry if you are new, you will soon be privy to all the stories. They are too good not to repeat, usually at 3 a.m.

Christmas trees planted by the dorms are sometimes rare, exotic trees that the university is very attached to and should therefore not be used for Christmas trees.

It is always best not to buy a dish brush that in anyway resembles a toilet brush and leave it in the bathroom.
If someone comes to your door selling expensive brownies it is good to be frugal.

Certain foods should be treated with care. These include jello, brownies, and raisin ice cream.

Things You Learn in Professional Jobs That Mature You.


I was talking with a friend and we noticed that there was a great divide in our community. There were discussions we could have with some people, that, when we tried to have the same discussion with others, resulted in our being accused of speaking meanly about the person. Since we knew this was not so, and since we both had conversation about people in our respective jobs and knew that this type of talking about people was necessary, I wondered why some people look at life differently. The common thread seemed to be whether, or not the person had a professional job that required them to supervise other people in some capacity.
Professional people realize quickly that everyone has weaknesses. This is a fact. Once a weakness is identified one must then decide if the person can learn and improve, or if this is an area that they are just not suited for. This is not mean. This is life. And you can apply it on a personal level. I am a great public speaker, but do not ask me to act. Pretending is not part of my nature. Sometimes points can better be made through drama. I would not be the one to ask this of. Similarly, if you wanted a flash-mob for advertising or to boost moral, I would not fit in. Identifying someone’s strengths and weaknesses and then deciding how to proceed is often necessary and not cruel. Even on a personal level one must assess what a friend can and cannot handle. It’s okay. Some people like random visitors. Others prefer a phone call on a not so regular basis. It’s not personal. It’s just the way they are.
People in professional jobs also learn not to equate criticism with hate. Criticism, when done well, is a loving act designed to help the other person improve. Occasionally I look over other people’s projects. They love that I am willing to do this for them, because they do not want to make unnecessary mistakes. If I were afraid to criticize them this would not work.
They also realize that they do not need everyone to be just like them. Eventually, when working in groups you realize that it is good that the people around you have different skills, and begin to see people who are talented in areas you are not as assets you want to have around. They are not competition that makes you look bad, but people on the same team that are going to help you succeed.
These jobs also teach you that people can have different points of views and still get along. Disagreeing with someone, especially about something that has no relevance to what you are working on, like politics, is okay, and even healthy. All of your friends do not have to think the same as you. You will learn much from their perspectives, and they from you. If you go home upset because you cannot believe your friend thinks that way and do not want to speak to them because of it then you have some maturing to do. Professional situations help people learn to do this, because the environment forces people to be polite, and you must see each other, and be cordial, again. Strong negative emotions just because you don’t like something they said must therefore be dealt with, or you will be the one without a job.
You also realize that people change, but you must deal with who they are now. There are too many times you must deal with people repeatedly, like it or not. Some are just having a bad day, but you must still get them to accomplish what you need them for. You must therefore change your tactics to achieve your goal. You can make nice tomorrow, but today this has to be done. Others improve over time. They will now be very useful where they were not before. If you write them off completely you may lose out on an excellent opportunity to use them where they now shine. Re-evaluation of people is not a bad thing. This is how we give people a second chance. Honest evaluation however is a necessary thing, and it is okay to admit the person is not in a position to be useful at the moment. (I once had a position left open for me because they wanted me, and could wait, but they did not want me with all of the responsibilities I currently had because they knew I would be unable to perform the job to their satisfaction while juggling everything else so they were waiting to make an official offer. This is wise.)
Recently, speaking to a friend I said that a certain preacher had a great ministry and was very effective, but he was just not my ‘flavor.’ It surprised her. But we don’t have to like everything. We can admit that some things have both good and bad points (advantages and disadvantages) and that everyone is not going to be all things to all people (that’s Christ’s job, not ours). And it’s okay. There are plenty of niches for all of us. The beauty of it is, is that when you find your niche, you shine and are very, very happy there. Just remember that it takes longer to find your niche if everyone around you flatters you and tells you how wonderful you are and there is no one who is willing to tell you uncomfortable stuff and lead you to where you could actually do well.

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