Saturday, June 14, 2014
Christian Manhood: Women are Lovely Creatures
Women are not men and thank God for that. I was reading today in Matthew 8, starting with verse 14, the story of Simon Peter's mother-in-law. Jesus came by Peter's house to visit and found the poor woman in a terrible state. She was running a high fever and couldn't get out of bed.
It's interesting the words that Jesus used next. He didn't wave his hand and say "Be healed." He didn't mix up any mud or say "Your sins be forgiven thee." Matthew says he "rebuked" the fever. I can see that in my head. Jesus seeing this lovely elderly woman in distress, he tells the fever "Shame on you for bothering this lovely woman. Get out of here and don't come back!"
He rebuked a sickness.
I remember when my daughter was in about 8th grade, a young man approached her in the hallway of her school and began talking trashy to her. My daughter, who has all the self-confidence of a bull rhino, brushed him off, turned and stalked away in a huff. When the young man turned around, he came face to chest with Meghan's older brother, then a senior in the high school which shared the building with the junior high and elementary.
I say face to chest because Micah was about 6'3" or so at the time and weighed around 250 pounds, played basketball and ran track and had been recruited by several high school football coaches who wanted him rather badly.
The young man looked up into Micah's face and his grin faded. Micah caught him by the front of his shirt and with one hand lifted him off the floor and brought his face level with Micah's own.
Then he rebuked him.
"You do NOT talk to my sister that way," Micah said in an eerily calm, albeit deadly serious voice. "Do you understand?"
The young man nodded. He was sweating bullets.
Micah lowered him to the ground. His feet were moving before they touched the floor.
One would hope he had learned his lesson.
That is how men should treat women. It's not because they are weak or helpless. Far from it. My daughter is one of the most capable young women I know. It is because women are capable and talented and capable of thinking in ways that we men are not that we should be protective of them. We are, after all, bigger than they are and I've always believed that if you are given the gift of great strength, you should use it to protect those weaker than yourself. I think that was the lesson God was trying to teach Samson, Saul and David.
The best part of the story of Peter's mother-in-law is what happened after Jesus healed her. A man would have thanked Jesus profusely and spent the next hour telling everyone about the experience he'd just had. Not Peter's mother-in-law. The first thing she does is get up and run off to the kitchen to fix some food and feed Jesus and everyone else who was a guest in her home.
Women do that kind of thing. Men would let you starve before the thought would occur to them to fix supper. We just don't think like that. Women bring an essential skill and a unique viewpoint to any enterprise we undertake. It is they who worry whether we're dressed warmly, have enough to eat or our bed is comfortable.
I'm like Jesus. If anyone or anything troubles a woman, my first instinct is to rebuke it. I think that's one of the instincts God put into us males. Women take care of the children, the family, guests, the poor, the widows and the orphans. Men? We take care of our women. If we don't, who will?