Sunday, April 5, 2009
Different. The very nature of the word can spark uncanny debate, feverish hate and even passionate admiration. From culture to ethnicity, religion to gender --our differences are what makes us unique, yet divinely connected.
Since Adam spared a rib and Eve was created, we've been innately connected but cosmically different in our actions, what governs our decisions and more importantly - our emotions/feelings. Although of his body and in his image, men and women are simply...different.
I met a 38-year-old woman who met her (then) common-law husband before they were teens, had seven children and more than 25 years of relationship tracks. The husband takes a job in another state (to help provide for his family) and before you know it, he's living two lives fresh with two lovers, several kids and a slew of emotional ties. After several months of frequent flier miles and secret rendezvous, he decides he's not in love with his common-law wife anymore and going live in another state with his new family. The woman became content with the notion that they would not be together because after years of struggle, she too wanted to part; but like some, was too accustomed to their monotonous relationship. Bottom line: she felt she'd invested too many years to leave, he felt the same but in the end, he made the change. He made the difference.
There are many layers to this scenario, but it begs the question of what defines us. Someone said to me that the man in this situation is commendable because at least he (or someone) took ownership of his (or their) feelings. In that moment, he was idolized for being more of a "man" because complacency and settlement was the sin. What do you think?
I asked the men of my facebook family, "What defines a man?" and here is what was said:
Henry T., Chicago, IL - His relationship with GOD
Hassahn P., Los Angeles, CA - I believe that a man is defined by knowing the difference between being a male and a man. A male can be on any animal species and have natural male instincts in which they live by. A man on the other hand has those same instincts yet the ability to reason and know when instinct is needed and when true thought is needed. For instance, when it comes to relationships, it is natural for a man to seek out women. That is truly instinctive but a true man has to realize that if he has a great woman at home then he needs to curb that instinct and think logical. Unlike lions or most mammals in the animal kingdom, we have the ability to reason which sets us far apart from our male counterparts although some of us tend to not act like it. Now that I got the science out of the way, I also believe a man is strong mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A man is balanced knowing when to exude strength and when to show vulnerability. Once he recognizes that in some instances vulnerability is ok, then he truly will begin to recognize his true strength. A man is also a teacher and student pointing again to the balance of life. A man is a provider and not an enabler; he knows how to provide to not only himself, but also to those around him. He knows how to be a provider without enabling the abilities of those in his circle. A man is confident enough to lead yet humble enough to follow. I could go on and on but I will stop it here. In closing, a man represents the true balance of what God intended us to be.