Men―the Great Fixer Part 2 (The awesome power of a women)

by Rod Daviswomen power

It’s a fact that men are fixers. If something around the house quits working, we’re duty bound to fix it or at least make it worse. But in a very real sense women try to fix things as well. However, where men primarily try to fix things, women are prone to try to fix people. The problem is this; fixing people is God’s territory. Often matters get worse when we butt-in and try to fix others, such as our spouse, our children and even our friends. Not all men make good handymen [ask my family about the commode I tried to fix. The results were disastrous!], but still the inherent need to fix things is deeply woven within our fabric. As I discussed in part one this springs from the deep need that men have to be respected.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33NIV)

Many years ago I worked for the Tennessee Department of Safety as a Drivers License Examiner. For the first two years I was the only male in the whole district who held that title. One afternoon we were having one of our rare slow days. I sat to myself behind the women who were huddling together near the counter. As women are prone to do when talking with one another they forgot that there was a man present.

I watched and listened as they chatted on and on about family, marriage, work related issues and of course, they were swapping some gossip. A young lady, a newlywed, who had just started working there a few months earlier beamed in. “Oh I can’t wait until I get home and be with my hubby! We’re going to snuggle on the couch and eat popcorn and watch TV and…” Bertha interrupted. “Now, let tell you something about men!” she said in a cynical, hateful voice that could give Satan some pointers.

Before I go on let me tell you a little about Bertha [not her real name]. She was a short, heavy set Pentecostal woman who was full of bitterness. She claimed to be a Christian. She was faithful to her church and bragged about their choir, “We got the best singing anywheres!” She was bitter for lots of reasons, but it mostly came from living with an alcoholic husband for many years. And as the saying goes, “Misery loves company.” So, Bertha was going to do her best to burst this young newlywed’s bubble.

I listened as she droned on and on telling this doe-eyed girl just how bad men are. Bertha was putting them down for personal reasons as well denouncing men in general.

Suddenly, I exploded in laughter! All the ladies turned their heads as they looked for the source of the laughter. “You women don’t have a clue!” I announced. “I can tell you how to have your man eating out of the palm of your hand.” “How?” Bertha demanded. She said this almost sneering at me. “How?” the others chimed in. “It’s simple.” I continued. “Respect him!” “You gotta earn respect!” Bertha snapped at me with teeth clenched. “Wrong! God’s WORD says ‘wives respect your husband.’ Don’t call yourself a Christian if you’re not going to obey God’s Word… period! Treat your man with respect because God said to do it, whether you think he deserves or not!

Now, notice the wording here in Ephesians 5:33. God made women in such a way that giving and receiving love is on the top of their personal needs list. But men were made to be respected by those around them, especially by their family. That’s why God commanded women to respect their husbands.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me.” — Aretha Franklin [1]

Yes, it’s true that everyone needs respect and love. It’s just that respect tops the list of a man’s needs. In fact, a man can live without money, love, shelter, fame or anything that else men deem desirable even including sex, but a man cannot live without respect! Treat your husband with respect and, in most cases, he will do almost anything for his woman. He’ll climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest sea, steal honey from a swarming beehive, rob an angry bear of her cubs, get in a boxing ring with Mike Tyson or even go shopping with you. He’ll take on any challenge for the woman who treats him with the utmost respect. A man can function and remain moderately happy without many of the creature comforts of life, but he will shrivel up and die without respect.

A man is like a Zip-lock bag. He holds everything inside, but you can still see through him.

Ask the men in your life if respect is important to them; that is if you can get them to open up to you. If you can find a man who will be open and honest with you he will tell you how vital respect is to him. However, don’t be surprised if he evades the question. It’s much too personal for him to answer. It may cause his strong and silent type image to wobble. It’s a regular “Catch 22.” The chances of him answering you honestly is not likely because… well, to admit his deep-seeded need for respect would make him seem weak and vulnerable. That’s the last thing a man wants. In his way of thinking being translucent might cause him to lose respect and, subsequently, risk the loss of his masculinity.

That’s the way God geared men. We can’t help it. It’s impossible for any normal man to exist without respect. As you know ladies, women get their value through their personal relationships in life. Men get their value from what they do; their accomplishments and the respect that’s netted from them. That is why it is so devastating to a man when he loses his job. It hits him right where he lives!

Now, in the home a man’s need for respect is much greater than anywhere else. In fact, this may sound strange to you but a man needs to be almost… worshiped. Treat him with respect and teach your children to do likewise. That’s the first step in having a happy, fulfilled man which leads to a happy fulfilled marriage, which in turn leads to well-adjusted children growing up in a peaceful God-centered home. If you don’t do this you will have just the opposite―a home filled with strife and resentment.

Ladies, there’s a well-kept secret I want to let you in on. Don’t make the mistake that a lot of women make. They think that just because their husband is big and strong that he can emotionally handle anything. Wrong! Dead wrong! We guys don’t like to admit it but we have a very fragile ego. It’s that “Catch 22” thing again. Our fragile ego keeps us from admitting that we have a fragile ego. It’s not manly to us. After all, would John Wayne say that he had a fragile ego? Never! Not The Duke!

Naging wifeWhatever you do, girls, don’t miss this! Women are the most powerful creatures on this planet! They possess the incredible power to either make her man feel like mighty Superman or make him feel like wimpy Clark Kent. Absolutely no one can damage or build up the ego of a man like a woman. We may not like to admit it but it’s true nonetheless.

Notice Peter’s wording in 1 Peter 3:1-2, “Wives, in the same way [That Jesus practiced submission Chapter 2] be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words (without nagging at him, ladies) by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” It’s an act of a woman’s free will. The Greek word used for submissive is a military term meaning “To rank yourself under another person”. The Living Bible renders it this way. “Wives, fit in with your husbands’ plans; for then if they refuse to listen when you talk to them about the Lord, they will be won by your respectful, pure behavior. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words.”

Other words for reverence are “respect” and “worship”. This is where a woman’s power is best revealed. Wives, you are the only one in the home who has been given this awesome power. Husbands weren’t given this kind of power. The wife is the recipient.

The power of a wife’s influence over her husband is phenomenal!

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21 NIV)

Wives, is your husband not serving God? If not, don’t try to put demands on him. Don’t try to pressure your will on him by fussing at him or forcing a guilt trip on him. No man worth his salt will give into that. You’ll eventually learn to regret it. He will withdraw from you, put up walls and then you may never reach him

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. (Proverbs 13:3 NIV)

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. (Proverbs 21:19 NIV)

Ladies, I know that you don’t want your marriage to come to ruin. However, if you insist on this type of behavior you’ll end up becoming something that every man hates and something you never wanted to be— a nagging wife. Commit him to God. You can do more for your husband by talking to God about him than you can by talking to him about God. Do your best to be an example of a Christian lady around him. Let your life do the talking. Let him see the “purity and reverence” of your life.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:22-24 NIV)

As for those who have Christian husbands think about this; if your Christian example has the power to touch your lost husband how much more can it influence a man who knows the Lord? Your submissive attitude to your husband speaks volumes to him and your children as an example of what it is to submit to God.

A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day. restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16 NIV)

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs.21:9 NIV)

To be frequently nagged at by a spouse, be it husband or wife, is one of the most emotionally draining, psychically and spiritually damaging experience one can endure. I can’t express it in strong enough terms. It’s imperative that you understand this. Again, any man worth his salt will not respond to this type of behavior—he will, however, react to it. Harsh criticism from someone close affects us all, but for a man it hits him right where he lives. Keep it up, ladies, and one day you may lose him.

“A woman often looks for her Prince Charming. She wants a man that will fit her mental image of what her perfect man should be. When she finally gets a good candidate she begins to try to mold him into that mental image. Now if the man lets her do this, she will eventually not want him anymore.” — Rev. Floyd Davis

I don’t mean to sound like I’m just picking on women. That’s not my intention at all. Men and women should treat one another with the utmost respect. However as stated earlier, to a man respect is paramount in his thinking! Prolonged nagging, game playing and verbally bullying him into doing what you want him to do is a poor example of a life governed by “purity and reverence”. Trying to control him with sex or any other method will only end in disaster! And rather than drawing him to God, you’ll cause him to flee from Him. In his mind he will retreat to that proverbial corner of the roof and lock up emotionally and you may lose him there forever!

Behold the power of a woman!

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1 NIV)

WOW!!! Ladies, you have the power to build your home or to destroy it. That’s some heavy stuff, isn’t it? Please don’t get the wrong impression. We men are equally responsible with what we bring into a marriage, and many men have done his share of destroying homes. But ladies you stand alone with this God-given gift to either make your husband walk like a giant or crawl on his belly like a worm. It’s up to you. Wield this power with tender care. Be the wise woman, not the foolish one. Do so and God will bless your marriage and your home beyond your wildest dreams.

So ladies pray for your man. Don’t try to fix them. Men if your wife, like most wives, gets into this fixit mode with you; Just gently remind her that fixing things that she sees as wrong with you is not her job. It’s God’s job. After all, whose image do you want your husband to conform to anyway―yours or God’s?

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23 NIV)

[1] Respect by Aretha Franklin from the Album entitled, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You 1967 Atlantic Records

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Man: the Great Fixer? Part 1 (What is it that makes a man tick?)

by Rod Davis

God is God and I am not I can only see a part of the picture he’s God is God and I am man So, I’ll never understand it all For only God is God [1]

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.                            (Psalm 103:13-14 NIV)

Listen up, men! I have some bad news and some good news for you. The bad news is, handymantry as you will, you can’t fix everything. The good news is, try as you will, you can’t fix everything. I know you don’t like hearing this but it’s still true.

One of the milestones in a man’s life is when he finally discovers that he can’t fix everything. It’s a liberating revelation. In addition, it’s one of the most difficult life-lesson for us guys to grasp. You see, men are fixers. In fact, it’s in our job description. It’s right there somewhere between the lines of the wedding vows. “I promise to love, honor, cherish and…ah…fix things around the house.”

When something stops working men see fixing it as something more that just a task on their to-do list. It’s a quest. We’ve got to fix it. Our reputation’s at stake! In fact, we feel deeply insulted when the wife utters those hated words, “Dear, don’t you think you should call the plumber?” Despite the ineptitude, which many of us men suffer from in the handyman department, we still cry, “Dang the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!!!”

“Plumber! We-don-need-no-stinkin-plumbers!!!” we declare. “I can fix it myself. I’m not going to give some plumber my life savings just to fix a lousy leak! Balderdash, I say!!! [That’s such a fun word isn’t it? Balderdash!] This also goes for any carpenter, electrician, pest-control guy or any other home invader who would “dare touch the things in my kingdom that need fixing. As long as I have hands, breath in my lungs and a neighbor to barrow tools from, I’ll fix it!”

After all…WE’RE THE MEN! The home is our castle! Fixing things is what we do. Indeed, it’s expected of us. Everyone in the home looks to the man to fix things when they’re broken or to assemble things if needed. To make matters worse we expect it of ourselves. Then when we try to fix something but can’t it hits us right where we live. That’s why we’re so stubborn about it. Most men take that “failure” personally. “I failed the mission! I couldn’t fix it! I couldn’t cut the mustard.” We may not say it out loud but way back in a dark corner of our minds where we keep our most guarded secrets, we think it.

This comes from the book entitled, Understanding the Male Ego by Charlie Rainer Gaston, “Know the male mind. Men tend to be natural problem solvers. Many times men gain strength and confidence from the completion of a difficult project or challenging problem at work or home. Without a clear understanding of the male ego, this could be measured as juvenile bragging or arrogance. However, it is simply his way of taking pride in bringing resolution to a problem and helping those who depend on him for support.”[2]

It seems that most women are clueless about this fact. As a result they shake their heads in bewilderment when they see their man struggling with this part of his psyche. They wonder why we react the way we do, especially when it comes to solving problems in relationships. Women are puzzled by the anger and frustration that men display when dealing with human feelings. They wonder why their man locks down when it comes to dealing with emotions.

How to express feelings and still appear manly is one of the great paradoxes of being a man. That’s why many men feel uncomfortable voicing their affection for someone. It’s easier to suppress how we feel then it is to have to explain it to the women in our lives. And because of this women have trouble understanding the men in their lives. Furthermore, the reason for women’s confusion is simple. This is big! Your average female does not understand how fragile the male ego can be.

We guys are goal-oriented. We can’t help it. It’s the way God designed us. It’s one of the key things that make men different from women. Where women find most of their personal value in their relationships, men get most of our sense of self-worth from their accomplishments in life. The goals that they reach and the respect that those goals net are deeply woven into the fabric of the male psyche. Therefore, much of our sense of value comes from our self-perceived ability to fix things. It doesn’t matter whether we can or not. We’re going to give it the good ‘O College try anyway.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33 NIV)

This quote came from the Focus on the Family website “Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected.” — Shaunti Feldhahn [3]

A hearty amen to that! As far as men are concerned when we fix something around the house we view it as no less than another goal achieved. “I did it! Mission…accomplished! I seen m’job and I did it!” It makes us feel good about ourselves and the way our family perceives us. It’s also a way of courting our wives. It builds men up when we are praised for our ability to fix things and solve problems. It satisfies that innate need for praise and respect that men have. However, therein lies the rub as far as the fragile male ego goes.

Because we men see ourselves as the great fixer around the home we think we can fix everything and indeed must fix everything and… everybody. However, the problem with this line of reasoning is simple; we may be able to fix something that’s broken, but we can’t fix people. We have trouble accepting that flaw in our handyman capabilities.  We can’t fix our marriage or our kids like we might fix a leaky faucet or mend a fence. And that’s a very hard pill for men to swallow. No matter how well meaning we may be, we become frustrated when we fail at mending broken hearts or patching up a rift in a relationship. We forget that people are much more complex than a lawnmower. We can’t just repair them and send them on their way. “Mission… accomplished!” As painful as it is for us to admit, people need a specialist… and we’re not Him.

We can’t mend our wives or kids like fixing a flat. It takes a lot of emotional finesse and sensitivity. Sadly, we men are not exactly famous for those particular skills. So when our attempts at fixing the members of our family end in disaster and frustration, it’s easy for us to see ourselves as failures. I’m well acquainted with that frustration.

I spent most of my life seeing myself as a failure in that arena. I made a lot of very foolish choices as a young man. Most were in the realm of marriage. And no matter how hard I tried to fix my marriage it still fell apart. I took it very personally. “I failed!” It didn’t matter to me what she did or didn’t do. It didn’t matter who was to blame. As far as I was concerned, I was responsible for not holding my marriage together. After all, I’m the man. I’m the divinely appointed head of the home. I should have been able to fix my marriage! What a loser!!!!

Ultimately, I found myself caught in a vicious pattern of behavior that nearly killed me. Despair overwhelmed me and sucked me down into a sea of grief and guilt. “I not only failed to save my marriage”, I reasoned. “I let God down in the process.”

Then I learned this one fundamental, life-changing truth. I’m not God! Therefore, my ability to fix anything is at best… finite.

You see, there are two types of problems that we all face in life. There are those problems to which we, with God’s help, can find a human resolution. Then there are those problems that I call “God problems”. They are unpleasant situations that we can’t humanly do a thing to fix them. There is no human resolution. These difficulties are defined as “I’m-stuck-up-against-the-Red-Sea-with-no-way-out-problems” In other words, “God problems”. Only God can do something about them. Human ingenuity can’t touch these kinds of predicaments. They need the miraculous fixing skills of Almighty God—The Specialist.

When this liberating truth finally registered with me, it revolutionized my thinking. I’m not God! Wow! There are things that I can’t possibly fix! So, why get angry or frustrated? What a revelation!  To be perfectly blunt, many of the problems that I faced and had labored in vain to fix were further aggravated by my own prideful intervention! I felt like I had to fix that person in my life but I only managed to make matters worse! Does this sound familiar?

These days I’m slowly learning to back away when I realize that I’m facing a God Problem. “Let go and let God.” is my motto these days. I admit that backing away is a difficult thing to do for anyone especially for us men. We have difficulty seeing that line between what is a human-solution problem and what is a Godsolution problem. Men’s inherent desire to fix everything often blinds us, and we can’t see the difference. Sequentially, our ego makes it more difficult for us to turn the problem over to God. Even though it’s mostly a guy thing, I dare say most of you ladies also have the same difficulty differentiating between the two types of problems.

So guys, take this message to heart. God is God and you’re not. Fix what you can and leave the God Problems to The Expert. You’ll be a whole lot happier.

Now… go fix the dishwasher.

[1] God is God Written and recorded by Steven Curtis Chapman on his album, Declaration. ©2001 Sparrow Song / Peach Hill Songs / BMI / Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing

[2] Understanding the Male Ego by Charlie Rainer Gaston lifted from eHow.com at  http://www.ehow.com/how_4546522_understanding-male-ego.html

[3] What I Didn’t Know About Men: Help for every woman who’s ever been completely baffled by the man in her life. Taken from the Focus on the Family website. Read this article in it’s entirety at http://www.family.org/marriage/A000000997.cfm