Quite a few years ago I was asked to share to a group of women that gathered for a Mother’s Day women’s ministry at the Potter’s House Church in McMinnville. I believe it was somewhere around 1995 and Kevin Foley was our Pastor and so true to his leadership, I had three key points. Man, Superwoman and babies.
At the time John and I were assisting with a number of ministries including cleaning and locking up the church. I would help with the cleaning mid week which included the men and women’s bathrooms. To illustrate my first point I talked about cleaning the men’s bathroom and of how impossible it was for me to relate to the men’s urinal.
Every time I cleaned the men’s bathroom...I couldn’t help thinking how different men and women are...from use of paper products (women use way more) to overall cleanliness (the women’s bathroom always felt cleaner)...but nothing exemplified the difference between men and women like the urinal.
One day while I was contemplating that urinal (I hated cleaning it and usually left it for John to clean) a vision flashed through my head....I saw a scene from Walt Disney’s Bambi. In this particular scene, Bambi’s mother is crouched in the forest, her eyes are frantically searching with Bambi safely pressed near her side..after a minute of mounting tension.... Bambi said, “Mother what’s wrong?” To which his mother replied, “Man...Man is in the forest!”
As much as I love my husband and my son and appreciate men....often in my life I have not fully understood them...and there has been many a day where I have stood gazing at my husband as he totally confounded me with a comment or an innocent observation or a bit of well meaning advice and I all could see was a urinal and think...Man...man is in the forest!
So there is much men and women can learn from each other and there is much we bring to each others lives and wonderful ways we complete each other. But, occasionally you will be reminded that he uses a urinal and you don’t ...and there is just no getting around the difference and so not every thing needs to be understood or worked through...some things just are and thats okay.
Laugh...and learn to tell the difference between a forest fire and burnt matches. Some things just aren’t that important and flexibility is a tremendous blessing.
On the other hand, there will be moments where a small burning ember of misunderstanding or neglect on your husbands part can lead to an outright blaze if you continue to pretend it’s not there and just keep covering up the damage instead of dealing with it. Sometimes a hard and painful conversation is what is needed...and the sooner you have that conversation the less damage control you will have in the end.
I think as women we forget, our husband is stronger emotionally, then we are. They may react with stronger emotion during a difficult conversation but they often will not hold onto a painful emotion and let it eat at them the way women do. So if you are like some women I know...but certainly not like all women I know....your ability to control an emotional outburst...does not mean you are emotionally stronger then your husband. It just means you are either more disciplined then your husband or you emotionally shut down when things are tense...(and so your calm response is really a temporary lack of emotion.)
He uses a urinal and you don’t and he may be messy and often doesn’t clean up after himself...but he can also get the job done and move on while you are left in that bathroom fussing over everything from hair to make up to clean counters. Believe me... if you dish out your thoughts and concerns with respect and clarity...he will not crumble nor greatly resent you...he will deal with it...learn from you ...take care of business...forget to flush and move on!
End of rant...will talk about superwoman and those babies next time!