So I blogged a little while ago about what it means to be a man. We had a sister come into our Priesthood lesson today and teach us about what we can do to respect womanhood. This is something I struggle with sometimes but I have decided I want to start a personal quest to defend womanhood and virtue everyday for the rest of my life. Here I just want to write a few thoughts about women. As men we must understand them in order to live with them and love them.
1. Women are extremely self-aware… This is both a blessing and a curse to women. It is a blessing because someone who is self aware will be able to recognize their weakness more easily and therefore use the Atonement more readily. The self sensitivity gives women the capacity grow closer and closer to Heavenly Father. Women are in general more religious than men according to every study out there…and in my personal opinion more women will be saved in theCelestialKingdom than men. However this blessing is also a curse because being self aware can very easily change into being self critical. Many women have severe self confidence issues. Most of this has to do with their physical appearance when they compare themselves to other women. I heard a stat once and I believe it may be true that 1 out of 3 girls at BYU has struggled or is struggling with an eating disorder. Society is destroying women and sometimes we as men make it worse.
2. Women are the devil sometimes, but we as men can be as just as destructive.
As men we often complain that women get us into trouble. Eve took the first bite and then she got Adam to partake right? It is true that women can be very good at seducing us men. However, we as men can be equally as destructive to women. Women are already hard on themselves but then throw in there an absent Father, a jerk boyfriend or an apathetic brother and we can create deep emotional wounds that may take a whole lifetime to heal.
Everyone has issues, but the vast majority of the women in my life who I meet and interact with struggle with emotional scars relating to the men in their lives. This happens when we men treat them like garbage. We often abuse them by communicating to them that they aren’t good enough. We do this by telling them they aren’t skinny enough, spiritual enough or that they are ”way too emotional.” We err too when we look at other women when we are around them, glorify immodesty and worse take dives into pornography. Or we neglect the women in our lives altogether, do not listen to them, don’t value their opinion or simply don’t care or appreciate what they do for us. As men we must be proactive in our duty to respect womanhood or else we will fall easily into this category because it is our nature. We have no idea the overwhelming influence we can have in women’s lives for bad and good.
3. So what should we be doing to tip the scale in the positive? Each of us must actively appreciate and validate the women in our lives. I believe it is an eternal principle that we as men we receive our validation and approval from Heavenly Father. With this we our fine, we don’t really need girls telling us all the time how great we are although it may be nice. But women, the other part of this eternal principle, must receive their validation and approval from man…as he receives it from the Father. This is the patriarchal organization of our church. In other words, the man gets approval and validation and instruction from God, and he in turn will share this with the woman. Don’t get me wrong the woman should still have a personal relationship with her Heavenly Father but there is something extra she needs to be complete and this must come from the man. The men who are in close proximity to the woman have the greatest influence. Every woman needs love from her Father, her brothers and other close family members. As she grows older and begins to date, she needs this same love, approval and validation from other men around her. Boyfriends, casual dates, c0-workers, church leaders, etc etc all have the duty to build women up and respect their womanhood. All of us men will be held accountable by how we treated the women in our lives.
I have heard many sad stories about how a woman’s confidence has been shattered. One of my strengths is that I am a natural listener and so I have sat back as many women have vented to me about the men in their lives. I feel like I can really see the good in each girl I come in contact with and I am not afraid to tell them. I have very meaningful relationships this way. Sometimes this has come back to hurt me because girls call me a “charmer” or immediately label me as a player. The truth is I’m not expecting anything I just want them to know their worth because I can see it. I have never believed that I have to treat a girl like a jerk to get her to like me. Girls will learn the lesson sooner or later that tools, jerks and bad boys will only leave them emotionally destroyed. It’s sad that some girls have to marry guys like that before they finally wake up and realize they should have gone for the nice guy. By that time they usually have children. So they start over.
Nice guys should never finish last…but it often seems that they do in our world. Girls need to take some responsibility to this…sometimes they fall into their own self destroying cycle. Let me explain…
Girls they “just wanna have fun” right so they will go after the bad boy thinking it will be an exciting adventure. Often times the most attractive women get the same guys falling for them and it’s easy and so it gets old. They end up falling for the guy that treats them like garbage simply because it is different. What ends up happening is that the bad boy is exactly who he appeared to be and will neglect and abuse the woman until she has no confidence left. There is nothing healthy about this relationship that is only built on the physical. So girls don’t let yourself fall into this self damaging cycle!!!
It astonishes me the stuff I hear. A lot of times the most beautiful women are the ones who lack self confidence because they are so emotionally bruised by the jerks they date. Guys leaving girls pregnant and alone out of wedlock, fathers always traveling and never there for a daughter, tool boyfriends who verbally abuse the girls they date…etc etc. This is a disease that is bringing down our society.
I wont go into the details on each of their stories because they are personal but the important thing is that we as men commit to take the high road. We need to each do a self evaluation of how we are treating the women in our circles. How do we treat our mothers, sisters, girls we date, co-workers etc, etc. If we are not careful to keep lust in check then slowly our view of womanhood will shift to the carnal. We can’t allow this to happen. It will only be to our own destruction because then the women will start appealing to our carnality for approval. They will then be supporting us in our own destruction and Satan will have won. This is the self-destructive cycle of the men. I explained the self-destroying cycle of the women the paragraph before last. It is our duty as men to break this cycle. We need to see women as God sees them, give them praise and approval and validation and then the women will not aide in our destruction but will become our helpmeet and take us straight to our Heavenly Father. I don’t know about you but I need all the help I can get to reach that destination.
My Dad is a great example of respecting womanhood. Anytime I would back talk my mother he would step in and lay down the law. The angriest I ever saw my Dad is when we would disrespect my Mom. My Mom is a beautiful woman firmly grounded in her self worth. My Dad has always been there for my little sisters Jill and Amy as well and as a result they are the most confident women I have ever seen. They are beautiful inside and out. They are lucky to have had my Dad in their lives. My sister Jill is married now and her husband Michael just fuels the fire of her self worth. They are a powerhouse couple. They have a little girl Carmen with one on the way and she is getting so much love. This is what respecting womanhood is all about. Let us all start the personal quest to uphold virtue and build the woman up around us. As we do so I know we will help each other reach heaven.
Jill and Michael (above)…Baby Carmen (above and to the right)
My little sister Amy and I (below)