"Men are stupid. Men are babies. Women have to be mothers to men. Men are impossible. Men are rude. Men are selfish. Men are disgusting. Men don't care. Men don't listen. Men don't do what is asked of them. Men are pigs. Men are high maintenance."
This is the stereotype. These are the the standard 'jokes' women use. These are the disappointments women have to live with. Why?
Because in most cases, they're true.
In general, men have created a stereotype for themselves and not enough is being done to reconstruct that stereotype. Am I bashing men? Uh...I am a man, so no...
But I realize that things are not the way they should be. Not enough men are being real men! From Biblical days through the Second World War, most men acted like men should. By the end of the Fifties and through the Sexual Revolution, men have changed, negatively.
Think of the Medieval Knights and their codes of chivalry. Is chivalry dead? No, but it is dying. I've seen many men who LOOK LIKE they don't care enough about the women in their lives. Here are some observations:
1) Some men make/let women pay for everything.
2) Some men don't hold door, but let her open the door herself.
3) Some men don't give up their seats for women.
4) Some men don't say Please and Thank You often enough or at all.
5) Some men don't clean up after themselves.
6) Some men don't clean up in the first place (e.g. wash hands, shower).
7) Some men don't speak to women nicely.
8) Some men ogle women, automatically (even unconsciously) turning those women into sexual OBJECTS, not respectable PEOPLE.
9) Some men can't get their hands off of women (see number 8 above).
10) Some men don't offer to help with things and let women take care of everything.
11) Some men say, 'I've been working all day while you've been here with the kids--why don't you do more?' Um...have you babysat children before? Yeah...often more exhausting than a 12-hour job...
12) Some men don't listen when women speak to them.
13) Some men degrade women with jokes and other inappropriate humor.
14) Some men don't want women to be more independent (Um...America...home of the what? Oh, yeah! Free...).
15) Some men complain all the time and expect other people to take care of them.
16) Some men don't care about learning or education.
17) Some men aren't interested in doing difficult things (aka Lazy).
18) Some men don't care about how a woman is feeling.
19) Some men really don't take care of themselves (financially, physically, psychologically, emotionally, etc.).
20) Some men really only care about themselves; how they feel, what they're doing, where they're going, and what they can get out of life.
These are why so many women are frustrated! Women do so much to try to make us happier and we take it for granted and do not give back! Men, when we act in these ways, we're not acting like Men, we're acting like animals.
God designed man to keep Him company, honor Him, work the land, and to be pure, strong, and obedient to Him. Then God designed woman to help the man and make him 'Complete.' Even outside of marriage, it's possible to help other people become 'Complete.' God did not design women to do all the work and men to take it for granted. God did not design men to be lazy, not care, and forget their manners. God designed men to be 'gentlemen,' following simple rules of etiquette to be able to honor God and honor the creation of woman that God gave to man.
There it is: women are a GIFT, men! Why are they treated like refuse--stuff to be discarded when the job is done? Each woman that is in your life is a gift from God--to help you, encourage you, and make you a better person. However, God said that woman was a 'help-mate,' or a partner. A PARTNER! This means equal responsibility, equal respect, equal sharing, and equal love. Men cannot operate to their full potential on their own and neither can women, so men and women must work together...as partners!
Here's what I'm really trying to say: Men, I challenge you to be REAL MEN.
1) A real man loves and honors God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
2) A real man honors God's creation.
3) A real man gives of himself so that others benefit.
4) A real man gives all he can, for God's glory.
5) A real man does all he can to avoid sinning and so helps others not to sin. (Men are very influential--if we are good examples, our world could be a much better place.)
6) A real man refuses to take anything for granted.
7) A real man works for what he wants/need, but depends on God's grace and love to help him use such things honorably.
8) A real man refuses his own pleasure so that God is honored and others benefit.
9) A real man practices the Fruit of the Spirit.
10) A real man uses his Spiritual Gifts wisely.
11) A real man seeks to lead by positive example, honor, and dignity.
12) A real man helps his help-mate(s) (this could be anybody--wife, sister, friend).
13) A real man listens and cares.
14) A real man presents himself well (hygiene, etiquette, language).
15) A real man cleans up after himself.
16) A real man takes the initiative.
17) A real man speaks the truth.
18) A real man owns up to his mistakes and does what he can to make it right.
19) A real man does what he can to understand as much as he can so that he can be more helpful when he is needed.
20) A real man seeks to always do what is right, no matter how difficult the task may seem.
Being a real man is doing the hard things in life--the uncomfortable, the inconvenient, and the seemingly impossible. Real Men do what they can do to TRY. Women appreciate the effort--even when we don't completely succeed--TRY.
The world needs more gentlemen. The Chivalrous Knights need to ride again. When men and women work together in faith, love, hope, and peace, the world can begin to be healed. Men, are you ready and willing to rise up and ride again?
Here are a few suggestions to help you get back on your horse:
1) Hold the door when going in and when going out--let her go through first.
Why? a) Prevent her hands from getting dirty, b) Let her be the first one seen to enter the room, c) If they're elderly or have some handicap, save them the muscle strain or time, d) It tells her, "I care enough about you to serve you"--it's like a gracious bow.
2) Open the car door.
Why? See number 1.
3) Pay the bill/check.
Why? Save her time, save her money, and give of yourself to serve her.
4) Keep your hands off (except when necessary or when hugging).
Why? a) Temptations are minimized, b) She does not feel used, c) It frees your mind and hands to do other things to serve her, d) It gives her the space she needs/wants.
5) When a woman is dressed in an inappropriate way, literally turn your head away.
Why? a) You're not as tempted to have bad thoughts, b) She is not objectified, c) You are saving yourself for your Bride (present or future), d) You can get your mind on other things, e) It sends a clear message to her that that's not what you're looking for in women.
(SIDE NOTE: Women, PLEASE do us a favor and dress more modestly, covering all cleavage and avoiding form-fitting things...here's why: You'll be respected and honored and we will not be as tempted to think bad things--it will be easier for us to honor you and avoid sinning. If you make this little change, it will make a HUGE difference for us. Thanks!)
6) Carry things for her.
Why? It saves her energy and tells her, 'I'm willing to give of myself for you.'
7) Do more chores for or with her (WITH is better).
Why? It gets the job done sooner and tells her that you care.
8) Practice effective communication skills.
Why? Women are emotion-based creatures--many of them need that communication to meet their emotional needs. Besides that, it gets the job done sooner, it prevents messages from getting mixed up, and everyone is on the same page. Look into Gary Chapman's books on love and communication.
9) Treat her to nice things every once in a while (e.g. Teddy Bear, drink, game).
Why? It tells her that you are thinking about her and that you care.
10) Let all women and elderly be seated first at a meal--men sit down last.
Why? This ensures there are enough chairs, you're able to go get something else that's needed since you're still up, and it functions as a bow of respect.
11) Offer her your seat (even when there are other chairs, but usually when all other seats are taken).
Why? So she can be comfortable--giving of yourself to honor her.
12) Stand when a woman enters the room for the first time and when she departs for the last time.
Why? It makes seats available and functions as a bow of respect.
13) Escort her with your weak arm.
Why? Escorting her with linked arms steadies her, prevents separation, and lets others know she's being protected; Weak arm so that you can use your strong arm to open doors, carry things, or defend her if needed.
14) Walk between her and the road (especially on rainy days).
Why? It keeps her safe and it can keep her drier if a car causes a splash--men's clothes are often easier to clean.
15) If there's only one left of something, give it to her. Why? Self-sacrifice means a lot to many women--it honors her and tells her you're thinking more of her than you are of yourself.
16) Be willing to TRY to get up and go if she ever needs your help (sometimes we can't, but TRY).
Why? Be a chivalrous, gallant, horse-back rescuer; be there for her when she needs someone; see number 15.
17) Before a meal, YOU pray over the food.
Why? Spiritual leadership; if she wants to pray, that's fine, but if no one offers, take the initiative.
18) When she speaks, you LISTEN.
Why? See number 8.
19) When she asks a question, give an honest, but gentle (non-defensive) answer.
Why? Women want to know you care and they want to know what you think, how you think, and what you appreciate; They also want the truth...always--no matter how much it hurts.
20) If there's an opportunity to help, ALWAYS ask if she would like assistance (she may not want or need it, but at least you've taken the initiative and offered).
Why? See number 16.
I know that we are not living in the Victorian Era, but these things STILL make a difference for interpersonal relations. I hope they will help you see the value in bringing chivalry back in full force. Yes, it's tough...it's uncomfortable, it's inconvenient...but it's what Real Men do...and what Real Women appreciate more than we understand.
Women: We need your help. Some men are pigs, but many WANT to be gentlemen, honoring you and connecting with you in meaningful, God-honoring ways. Be understanding, patient, and encouraging. Help us see where we misstep, tell us what you'd liked (some women don't want help, some want to pay for everything, some want more physical contact, etc.). We're men, not mind-readers. Help us out as we learn and grow. Also, allow us to do the same for you. We may need to be brutally honest with you. We may need to challenge your steps and correct your misconceptions or biases. Let us prove ourselves to you, but please prove yourselves to us, too. Thank you.
So, Real Men...Are you ready? Are you willing? Will you ride again?
Copyright (c) 2011, Kevin A Elliott.
Kevin Elliott is a psychology student, game designer (www.cosegames.com), and writer of many genres. He seeks to use his training, experience, and goals to reach out to everyone he can in Jesus' name.