Strength and Independence
I feel like this blog might need a disclaimer because I am not an expert on being single, being married or being in a relationship. This is based on 30 years of observations and personal experience...nothing more, nothing less.
I am a pretty strong, self-sufficient woman. I do not like to ask for help from anyone, for anything. If I have ever called on you to help me or do a favor…I hope you realize two things: (1) I trust you more than you may realize and (2) It was REALLY hard for me to break down and ask for help. A perfect example is the fact that I climbed up on top of a ladder last night with a hammer, nails, extension cords, etc. to put up decorative lightening outside. This is the 3rd time I have gone through this process in the last month; clearly I am doing something wrong since these lights have fallen and/or busted each time I have hung them. As I was leaving for a night out, I commented, “If these lights are NOT hanging in the morning, I am going to lose it.” To which my friend replied, “If those lights aren’t hanging in the morning, we are going to get some testosterone up in here and get them to stay up.” I thought, excuse me…why? I will just climb up on the ladder again and rig a different method. That’s what Google is for…
In the past week I have had three separate conversations with women regarding being strong and independent and each of these ladies feels this hinders her from settling into a relationship. I would tend to agree that strong women seem to be a turn off to most men in general. I have a great job, am working on my doctorate degree, have my finances in order, have a plan for the future, etc. I really do not “need” anyone to ride in on a white horse and save me. I have actually had men tell me they were afraid to approach me because I carried myself with confidence. Well ladies, I am not sure about you, but I really do not want a man turned off by confidence or strength or independence.
While I can appreciate a man’s natural desire and tendency to want to take care of me, dependence and being cared for are two entirely different things. There is only one person I want to be dependent on and that is the LORD. I would, however, like to be cared for by whoever God elects to walk beside me in the journey of life. At that point in time, I will wholeheartedly embrace:
Ephesians 5:21-26, 33
21And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. 24As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything. 25And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her 26to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word….33So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
I will submit to my husband, because he will demonstrate the love of Christ toward me (at this point in my life, this is a deal breaker!). Marriage isn’t about a 50/50 compromise; marriage is about a 100% sacrifice by two people. You sacrifice yourself 100% for the other person and the other person sacrifices 100% for you. Submission isn’t about power or strength or dependence; submission is about love and respect. Submission isn’t about helplessness. It’s not about weakness. And in my eyes, it’s earned by the role of being my husband not by any man passing me on the street.
The thing I think us “independent women” often do not realize, and something I am also trying to learn, is that I think men like taking care of women. I think man was actually design by God that way. We sometimes need to let the “independent guard” down a bit and allow ourselves to be lovingly cared for. Not because we can’t take care of ourselves but because we love (or value) someone enough to let them take care of us. This is not easy for a strong, independent woman. Wait, maybe I am generalizing…this isn’t easy for me.
But despite not being easy, I think it’s something you learn to do when a man walks into your life that isn’t intimidated by your strength or independence. And until that day, I do not think we should have to settle for being damsels in distress for men not deserving of love and respect.
And just in case you are wondering…the lights are still hanging bright outside.
Strength, independence and submission,
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Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.