We don’t know what we are. We are as divided as ever before, and yet unisex. We have been fighting for freedom for so long we beg to be put into boxes, if only to fight out of them. We are men and women. And everyone is so damn sure, we are from different planets.
See, it’s because men are men, and they don’t speak much English. In fact it really bothers them, so in order for you women to expect your man to put up with all that English you speak you have to trade it for something else…something he wants…err um, go ask your mom what that is. The main thing is to make him think he’s in charge. Let’s face it you’re basically manipulating his perception, but making him think he’s in charge seems to work. He gets to tell you what to do, and you get to tell him your feelings, this is respect.
And men, we will keep it short. Everyone knows women are petty. But it’s worth the bull**** because not only will you get ‘what you want,’ your laundry will get done too. So try to stay awake for a few conversations and sound sympathetic. That is love.
(This is the most ungraceful blog ever, I apologize. Really it should be a paper I’m too lazy to write.)
We call this “meeting each other’s needs,” this is more like the current economic crisis with China and the U.S.
See China is like America’s woman. She bought our debt and in return America took her plastic-factory-crap. For a while it worked, America wouldn’t like something China did, and the trade slowed down, but because China is more dependent on America for the sake of the starving factory kids, she usually listened. In returned America got the goods. After a while, China bought so much of America’s bull**** that she decided she’d throw some weight around next time America tried to manhandle her.
--Now pretend you’re a pastor, what would you tell China and America.
It seems today all that’s needed for a happy marriage is good international policy. Mutually Assured Destruction, the ability to give and take, to measure the value of losses, a healthy supply of goods, and a crap load of B.S.—I mean, cultural sympathy.
If men and women have needs as described by a lot of people, we are merely consumers of each other. We are living in 2 dimensions that smash awkwardly together, feeding off of one another. We lack a personal purpose outside of hedonism, making ourselves happy out of the use of another person. Love.
Can we be human, and yet different?
Is it so impossible to think that we can work together, side by side, without a power struggle? Can two totally different beings become one?
Because they have strengths and weaknesses that the other doesn’t, but the mere fact that they are strong and weak seems to imply a scale universal.
We are not totally devoid of some unifying light.
We are different, but the same. We can be weak because the other is strong, relatively.
Relatively, relationally, relationship
I think instead of “needs,” we need purpose,
We need to need each other’s strengths, and to be useful.
We need to need each other.
So when we’re talking more biblically speaking we have love, and respect. It ripples through the pages repeating itself over and over.
Love, and Respect.
However I highly doubt Paul has read anything about the “needs” of men and women. I think generally speaking, in a culture of buying brides, it’s hardly a question running in his mind. Instead, we have a reminder. Because first and foremost he’s talking about the church in Eph 5:32. This is a reminder as to how their marriages could mimic Christ and the Church.
Because in the mist of surviving,
in child raising,
racism, religious uproars, war,
poverty, a new thing called church,
we are reminded,
to love the one we were given
and to respect them, no matter how dark things are around us.
Because using each other’s strengths, means there will be weaknesses to cover.
And because there is always one more thing wrong in the world, love can’t wait.
Instead of men only gaining “respect” a better word might be trust, as in, to trust their ability in the relationship which (in a survival setting) tends to be out front for reasons of physical ability, children’s needs, and ability to provide. This is also supported in the Greek word “kephale” or “head” referring to the husband as head of a house hold. "Head" today seems to have the connotation of supreme ruler, but the term was also used militarily as in “the person out front leading a charge.” Personally, I think far more often we forget to trust Christ to care about the church than to for get he's God...unless you're a liberal... The challenge Paul brings the women of the church is to trust the only person running to her defense, to rely on the only person in their lives who can go out in front in a society where they were in danger.
In a world where women were powerless the reminder is blaring, to know the difference between them and him.
It is to trust and give, when every hit taken in life seems to tell her otherwise. Likewise, it is a reminder to love, because that wife could be the only constant good in his life. Because he’s not an island unto himself no matter how many other things seem to fail and betray him in this world. It is the reminder he is not alone. Love, because time good enough for love will never come. There will never be enough peace in the world to satisfy before he’s ready to take that plunge. Because like it or not those two people need each other to survive. They need to work together; they need to go through life together. Much more it can be a real, good, and full life.
He will refuse to under prioritize her, even in the face of chaos. She will hold fast to him, when everything presses her to close herself off.
While we remain as men and women, merely pacifying each other’s “needs” an yet having no purpose in life, we are doomed to keep score. Everyone is finding creative ways to make the other feel useful, valuable, and strong in some area of their meaningless existence. We live pointlessly and can only expect to feel unfulfilled. While the rest of our comfy lives scream for a reason to exist, we somehow assume this won’t affect our relationships.