Friday, April 25, 2014

Counting the Omer, Day 6

I am a few hours late to have this complete by sundown of the sixth day, but such is life.

I have noticed three ways that men look to women.

Some men look to women to confirm they are are doing well.  They try to please women using work, gifts, humor, and attention.

This is understandable.  Our society teaches boys that their purpose is to please their mothers and mostly-female school teachers.  (Most boys spend less time with their fathers and male teachers, and find these men easier to please.  So the meaningful standard is pleasing women.)

Some men look at women as a kind of mirror.  I mention this in my essay about kinds of flirting.  "He is using the woman's visible response, or lack thereof, to check whether he is attractive. Doing this is the male equivalent of women looking in mirror before leaving the house."

This is also understandable.  Our society put boys and men together when they share a common project.  They gather because of a job or hobby, not because they are attractive enough to warrant each other's company.  If a man wonders if he is socially attractive, he needs a women to make that question meaningful, let alone answer it.

Some men view women like they do sunrises.  Sunrises can be very beautiful.  They can inspire someone to be proactive, to be bright and energetic, and to enjoy life.  There is no shame in looking deeply at a sunrise to appreciate it deeply.  But no one looks at a sunrise and thinks I want that!  There is no need to claim or own a sunrise.  There will be plenty of other sunrises.

This is also understandable.  Mot men naturally find feminine energy to be motivating and invigorating.

Of course, none of these three are scriptural.

We should seek to please God, not other people.  Well done, my good and faithful servant.

We should seek approval from God, not affirmation that other people find us socially attractive.  So we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

We should be inspired by who God is, what he has done, and what he desires for us, not by the energy other people radiate.  May the Lord bless you, and keep you, and make his face shine upon you.

All this gives me two questions.
  • As a man, how should I instead view women?
  • As a father, how can I raise my boys to look to God instead of to people (especially women)?

I have answers to those two questions.

But I know there are more and deeper answers.  So I think more, and pray more.

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