Thursday, January 21, 2016

31 Days: Did God Create A Dummy?

I have to admit, I have struggled a lot the past months as I’ve mulled over this subject. Not so much with the facts vs. feelings idea itself; I’m way past arguing whether it’s true that men live out of facts and women out of feelings. What I’ve struggled with is, why? Why in the world did God make women to live out of their feelings? It seems like such a dumb way to be!

I can’t remember what the occasion was, probably something had happened to emphasize this quote as true, but one day Chris sent me this: “Wherever you find a woman dealing with the difficulties of life, somewhere a man is quietly picking up the pieces.” That text annoyed me to no end. 

We had several conversations about it later. C: “Men intuitively know they can’t control life, so they don’t fall apart when things don’t work out.“ Right. I knew it was true that women are always trying to control things and then falling apart when their efforts fail. Still, I tried for a comeback. Me: “But don’t you think that’s because women feel so much more vulnerable because there’s so much they can’t do? I can’t even reach the top cupboard shelf!” (I’d just asked him to put something away on the top shelf.) C: “No. It’s a difference in attitude. A man would never say they can’t reach the top shelf, they would just get a chair/ladder and reach it themselves.” Ah. The whole facts vs. feelings thing.

Ok, fine. So we’re the unstable ones with pieces flying and men are the smart ones who come along and pick them up. C, sensing my irritation: “I don’t mean that the way women are is bad and men are good. Men want women to let them pick up the pieces. They don’t want the women to be able to build the house…” Hmmmm. Was that the answer to my question? God made us that way so men would have a place to use their gift of picking up pieces? Yay. Congratulations. Somehow that didn’t seem like the answer.

I remember sitting in preparatory service with all the ladies from our church. As we went around the circle and each shared what was on our hearts I just marveled how every last one of us was such a woman! So many feelings. Over and over there were expressions of fear, loneliness, depression, frustrations with feeling emotionally up and down. It seemed so obvious to me that most of the feelings were a result of, a) trying to control and b) not living out of facts. Again, I felt so frustrated with the fact that we were created by God to be that way. Why?? If living out of feelings was not a good way to live and something that we women needed to work on and change, why did He create us that way? It seemed so stupid! But I knew God doesn’t create stupid things, so where was the answer?

The light finally dawned one night as Chris and I again hashed this subject. I remember the feeling that washed over me as we talked and things began to click into place. “You were created that way because that’s what you need for your job - being a mother. Children live out of their feelings and they need that understanding from a mom. You were made for relationships - to comfort, love, nourish, feel… Men’s makeup of primarily living out of facts is often looked at as hard heartedness. Women see that as a weakness and think men should infuse some feeling into their responses. Why is it not just as natural that a woman’s makeup of living out of feelings has a weak side (the side I had been looking at as stupid) and needs some ‘facts based-ness’ infused into their responses?”

And suddenly, there it was! God created women to live out of their feelings for a specific purpose; a special calling. Yes, those feelings can take over my life and become a stumbling block rather than an asset but He created me this way for a reason. God did not create a dummy.

I think I shed some tears that night.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, and a 'light bulb moment' for me as well! Bless you for your study and sharing! I have been burdened for some time at the changes I see in me and others in our cirles largely influenced by the modern woman, (more subtle of course!) May God give you courage and wisdom!

Bethany Eicher said...

May God grant you the same! Thanks for commenting.

Tina said...

Good words here!!
P.S. Maybe ( or maybe not:))you need to explain a bit what that text means exactly, the one Chris sent you):)

Interesting & good subject you're on!

Bethany Eicher said...

Basically he was saying anytime you see a woman all frazzled and stressed and falling apart, somewhere you'll find a man (husband, dad, etc) quietly calming her down and fixing the problem/picking up the pieces... There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking.

Stephanie J. Leinbach said...

Bethany, I've been thoroughly enjoying this series. I look forward to each installment. It takes a lot of courage to tackle this subject publicly, but perhaps it takes even more courage to look in the mirror and ask these questions.

It's hard to tell the difference between the woman God intended me to be and the woman I have allowed myself--through culture, choices, and complacency--to become. Am I really the woman God wants me to be? You have raised this question in my mind, and I'm not sure I want to know the answer.

Thank you for making me think. And feel--because my toes are hurting. :)

Bethany Eicher said...

Oh, Stephanie! I've been struggling with feelings of hypocrisy as I write... I want this to change me, not just give me words to throw out there for people to read, and I honestly don't feel like I've gotten to that place yet! But I guess one has to start somewhere...