I once had the privilege of talking frankly with a married man and his wife about his addiction to pornography.
One of the things he said that stuck with me for years when talking about why it was so hard for him to break free was the statement, “The women are so demure, so attractive, so… captivating.”
I wondered about that. A lot.
And recently, God brought it back to my memory, which as a woman pushing 50, you know is no small thing.
Maybe even miraculous.
I’m going to make an assumption that we all know the devastating effects pornography has on marriage, how it causes a dopamine response in the brain which can be addicting. So yes, make sure your computers, ipods, ipads, notebooks, kindles, etc., all have Besafe and NetNanny on them. Work out Covenant Eyes solutions for your older boys leaving home.
But what I want to talk about today is this notion of being “captivating.”
Yes, by all means, respect your husband – and we’re putting up the 101 ways to do that list from last week very soon.
But I want to make a confession… It has become obvious to me in the last week that many of us are good, maybe even great at being professional, respectful, and non-argumentative (the palatable way of saying, “submissive”)… but we’ve lost our way in terms of what it means to be female. To be feminine. And this can negatively impact our marriages. I’ve also noticed that The Respect Dare includes elements of femininity in it – not on purpose and of my doing, mind you, but again, of God’s, which is why the book has had such a profound effect on marriages. Again, I don’t think I wrote it.
I don’t take issue with the word, “feminine,” but I do realize the word, “feminist,” has some connotations that confuse and sometimes upset others. I’m not referring to the “ist” version of the word, but rather today, I want to hear from you about what makes us uniquely female. Last week, I asked the question about three or four different ways on the Facebook® page, and discovered that we have some rather thin definitions.
I got a little frustrated with the “style my hair” and “wear a skirt” and “wear make-up” responses. Not because I disagree, but I’m looking for something more… I don’t think these exterior things alone make us female or feminine – “attention to ‘pretty’” might, but I’m sure there’s more to it. I’m sure that there are character traits that God imbedded in the majority of average females out there that makes us different than men.
I recently read that men consider “playing with a strand of hair” as attractive female behavior – I’m thinking that counts, but I also think there’s more. As an aside, I’ve never seen a man twirl his hair – while I have raised boys who spend time fixing their hair, I’ve never seen either of them twirl it. At any rate, I think there are more of these behaviors, and some traits that are unique to female behavior.
Or maybe I’m wrong.
But I don’t think so.
We’re going to get back on the path next week to discussing what the Bible says about marriage, divorce, conflict and communication, but will you walk this short leg with me?
I think it matters – and here’s why – in our quest for respecting our husbands, sometimes we forget to be feminine with them. I’m noticing a huge impact in the way my husband and I do conflict and resolve issues better because of focusing on this small element in my persona. I have actively been evaluating whether my behavior during conflict is masculine or feminine, and been shooting for more of the estrogenic approach.
I’m interested in what you think, what you’ve read in the Bible, about what makes a woman uniquely female and feminine? Not the brain stuff, we’ve been over that – but the behaviors and traits that our culture and even cultures in the past, have designated as “female.” What did you read from The Respect Dare that encouraged you to be more feminine? Feel free to suggest the ones with negative connotations, too. Let’s talk about it all. Maybe even what you think the culture teaches us about being feminine…
Can’t wait to hear from you.
Love to you,