Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Captivating Chapter 9: Arousing Adam

This chapter talks about how men's wounds sometimes cause them to become passive or overly driven and what women should do to encourage men to become the type of men God intends them to be.

Men tend to come to women to find their validation instead of going to the Father. Our primary validation should come from who God says we are. Otherwise we're setting ourselves up for more wounds. I think as women we even sometimes wound guys in this way on purpose. My tongue is sharp! I might never win a fist fight when I'm mad at someone, but I instinctively know how to pick up on someone's insecurities and exploit them in an argument. It's not nice, but it's easy. We have to be careful when dealing with men not to exploit the "you're not a real man" wound because deepening that wound could really do a lot more damage than can be undone with a simple apology.

In the same way, women tend to go to men to find their validation instead of going to the Father. We define ourselves by our relationships anyway. When something goes wrong in a romantic relationship (infidelity, being taken for granted, abuse, etc.), the wound is that much greater if we're looking to that relationship to define our worth. We begin to think, "If I were prettier, this wouldn't happen. Somehow I'm just not adequate."

Not to's not even fair to look to other human beings to fill the voids in our lives. What pressure! Nobody deserves to have the pressure of being another person's crutch. We're not designed to withstand that kind of pressure--we're flawed and we disappoint.

Women fall into three categories:

Dominating Women, Desolate Women, or Arousing Women. The first two are what
happens to Eve as a result of the Fall. The third is a woman whose femininity is
being restored by God and who offers it to others. Page 158.

Remember that Dominating Women are women who need to be in control. This emasculates men by implying, "I can't count on you to do anything right. Just let me do it. You are weak." The dominating woman should never complain that her man is passive. What else is he allowed to be?

Desolate women are those who hide their true selves because they're so afraid that people won't like them. They become chameleons---blending in and trying to be as much like those around them as they can.

Desolate Women don't seem at first pass to be all that emasculating. They don't
attack or dominate. But neither do they allure. Their message is simply,
"There's nothing here for you."...A man in her presence feels...uninvited.
Unwanted. It's a form of rejection, emasculation to be sure. But it's harder to
point out because it's so subtle. Page 160.

Then there are arousing women. These are women who are feminine and tender and gentle.

An arousing woman is one who calls forth the best in a man by offering who she
is as a woman--someone who offers her beauty, her true heart...Page 161.

They also talk about some of the questions I had about the last chapter regarding feminine beauty in abusive situations. They mention that sometimes separation coupled with fasting and prayer can be a gentle and feminine way to "invite" the man to be better.

For single women, they caution not to offer too much of yourself (even emotionally) too quickly. I agree with that. They use the "Do not throw your pearls to pigs" verse (Matt. 7:6) which I like because a) pigs are cute and b) it makes a lot of sense! False emotional intimacy can be so damaging. Few things are more hurtful to me than when I feel like I'm not being listened to....especially when I've just poured my heart out. Pouring your whole heart out to someone who has no obligations of commitment to you is kind of...stupid. Don't be mad at someone who's not obligated to care about your problems when they end up not caring about your problems. It's kind of blunt, but it's something we do to ourselves sometimes.

No comments: