To the Guys: Right up front, I want you to know that I’m on your side as your ally; I’m writing this to give you an honest glimpse into the heart of a woman, believing it will encourage you forward in your relationships not only with women but with other men and children. Feel free to comment below or contact me if you want to write a guest article to share a guy’s perspective. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I’ve had some experiences with guys the last few months. Many positive experiences and one very negative experience recently. It’s created quite the contrast for me and highlighted some key things about relating between the sexes, which I’d like to share with you.
My recent experiences have strengthened something I’ve discovered over the years. I’m especially aware now of the fact that one of the most powerful things about a man is [drumroll] …his kindness. Yes, I repeat, his kindness…
…towards other men (seriously, this is bigger than you think)
…and towards children and young people
Kindness is POWERFUL. It’s the weapon that real men of respect fight with.
Real men fight for kindness.
Kind words and acts of kindness are the setting for which the power of a man is shown off in brilliant clarity.
I have had such a positive experience over the past few months in a new community where I have felt honoured, respected, HEARD, acknowledged, embraced, cared for and valued by the men. Men, young and old, in this community have been KIND to me. It hasn’t made me think less of them as men. In fact, it has shown me how much more I need to respect and honour the men in my life. Men are awesome, and we women need you!
The kindness of these men has disarmed me, in the best of ways. It has clothed me with dignity, and empowered me forward into fresh vision for the future.
I don’t know if they realize (or all of you guys reading this) how powerful the kindness of a man really is.
Guys, do you realize just how powerful you are? Your words and your actions can completely transform a woman, a child, another man, a group, a community, a city, a nation, and a globe of nations. But how are you choosing to use your power? Are you transforming people for better, or for worse?
Your publicly-paraded “macho bravado” does not make you powerful, in the way that you probably wish it did. If anything, it highlights how un-powerful, in-secure and small you must feel inside that you think you must parade around and show off your supposed “strength and power” with neon signs that scream out “Notice me! Be impressed by me!” Women can see this. We can see the guys with the flashing neon signs above their heads looking for significance, and we can see the guys that don’t need anything flashy to show us who they really are.
Maybe you don’t realize that your kindness gives you the real power in the room. You will certainly garner the respect of the women, I’ll tell you that much.
I can’t speak for other guys or for young children, since I am neither, but I can’t emphasize enough how much a woman will respect, honour, stand up for and fight for a kind man, who treats women, men and children with respect, honour and dignity. We can trust a kind man. And whom we trust, we give our respect and allegiance to.
Just recently, I spent some time away from this encouraging community. Talk about relational culture shock! I’d gotten a little used to being treated kindly, so I was totally unprepared for what happened recently when I went away for a little bit.
And what I experienced from one guy was straight-up un-kindness (if there is such a word).
It caught me off guard just how much it hurt. It really hurt.
I consider myself a strong woman. I grew up with brothers. I’ve been a part of ministries that are made up of a majority of males, so I feel I can “hold my own.”
But I was totally unprepared for the onslaught of unkind jabs, public hurtful comments, and temper-flaring bursts of anger.
It felt like, where I was previously covered and protected and safe, I was now stripped down, exposed and vulnerable. I started to put walls up because I didn’t know when this guy would say something to humiliate me publicly. I also saw how he treated other guys, how he would put them down and treat them harshly, and how he could not take constructive feedback without getting defensive. It all just deflated me. I started to wince when I approached this guy, because I didn’t know if what I would say would incite his temper and cause him to be harsh with me. I’m talking about a GROWN MAN here. Maybe, I could understand it in a young boy who’s still learning the ropes, but a GROWN MAN?! I was shocked, but in truth, I was mostly just hurt.
There’s something that happens in the heart of a woman, when a man loses control of his tongue and his temper, and becomes verbally agitated towards her, and towards others. A certain trust gets violated and bruised.
I can attest to the truth of this Biblical proverb,
“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)
A man’s patience IS his power. A man’s self-control is his power proven through his restraint.
I learned a thing or two from my interaction with this guy. I learned that it is wise to exercise self-control and restrain my tongue from throwing verbal mud back. I don’t have to defend myself. God’s got my back. He’ll vindicate me and He’ll send helpers to back me up.
And that’s just what He did!
God, being the kind and powerful God that He is, sent me some bodyguards. He blessed me with other men in the room who immediately stood up for me, who came to my defense, and protected me. Covered me. Vindicated me. With their words and actions, they called the guy out on his disrespect of me.
These men showed me a kindness. They returned my dignity to me. I looked at these men and all I could think about was just how powerful they were. How much I respected them for their act of kindness. In walking in gentleness and kindness, they exposed just how un-powerful the other guy was.
These men showed me what God is like. We can learn a lot about what God is like through the men in our lives. And what is God really like? Well, it says repeatedly through Scripture,
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8)
So, in my situation, after being defaced, I got my face back. These men made me beautiful again. I definitely think this is something that God does. He makes all things beautiful. This, to me, is what Paul is describing in Ephesians 5:24-29 where a man’s kindness, his cherishing of the woman, makes her radiant and beautiful. She rises to the occasion. She becomes what the man says of her.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” (Ephesians 5:25-29)
It appears that a man has a lot of power. Just as Christ has so much power over the Church, so a man has the same power over a woman. It appears that a man is so powerful that he is able to sanctify a woman; he is able to bring her into a state of splendor, through his nourishing and cherishing of her.
Wow, that’s power. So, guys, how are you using that power?
It seems that if a man degrades a woman, she will degrade herself and put on rags.
If a man celebrates and honours and lifts up a woman, she will put on beautiful garments and shine brilliantly.
I think we can safely say that Paul is trying to get the point across that the state of a woman says much about how the men in her life have treated her. What these men have said about her and to her.
The great thing is that no one loses in the game of honour! When a woman is celebrated and honoured by a man, she will doubly honour and lift him up. She will have utmost respect for him and give him all the power he wants in the world.
So, he wins.
And she wins.
Everyone gets EMPOWERED.
And all that simply from a little kindness.
[If you are not reading this directly on my website, to write a comment, click here]
I am an interesting woman: I’m a combo deal of serious and silly, deep and dorky. East meets West. I’m a “plant-roots-at-home” and a“go-ye-into-all-the-world” woman. I’ve followed Jesus all around the world over the years and now He’s brought me back home to Canada. If my adult life has taught me anything, it’s to say “YES” to becoming as soft and childlike as possible in the hands of the Father so He is free to set all of His love upon me as His daughter.