I’ll Have Both Please

Women are often conflicted. They might long to be a feminine woman but they believe that they cannot be feminine if they also work outside of the home.

Women in the workplace have learned that if they are going to be taken seriously, they must be a strong leader utilizing typically masculine characteristics. These characteristics can easily spill over into every aspect of her life. Men in the workplace have the ability to be ruthless fighters at work and then come home and be tender husbands and fathers. This is because they use boxes for the various parts of their lives. A man simply puts his ruthless fighter into the box and closes the lid. I propose that women can learn a thing or two from men.

I believe that she can have both. A woman can be excellent at her profession and she can leave her work persona at work and enter her personal life as a feminine woman. Here are a few ideas to lead you in that direction. If she is dating, she can allow her gentleman to take the lead on their date. He can plan the date, pick her up, open the doors and yes, pay for the expenses. She is simply letting him take the lead and romance her. She is letting him win her. A married woman can leave her leadership skills at work and not interfere with her husband’s leadership role in the home. A married woman can and should date her husband using the same methods that I have already written above. Men need to be needed. Both unmarried and married women can need the men in their life. Stop being so extremely self-sufficient ladies and rely on men more. To sum it up, let him be your knight in shining armor. Let him do your heavy lifting in your personal life.

Having these two separate personas isn’t necessarily easy but it can be done. Think of it as a little role playing. That should make it fun.

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Manly Man

Is anyone else bothered by the trend to attempt to feminize men? There are men spending time in salons and spas getting their eyebrows plucked, bodies waxed and false eyelashes installed. They are wearing guy liner for crying out loud. Listen, I am a woman and I don’t want a man who spends more time grooming than I do. I want a man that can brush his teeth, take a shower and he is done and he looks good and smells good too.

You have heard the saying “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it”. Did you know that poodles were hunters? Yes, the word poodle comes from a German word pudel which is short for pudel-hound which means waterdog. The hair was cut close to keep them from being weighed down in the water and certain parts were left longer to keep internal organs and joints warm. The colored ribbon on the head had a purpose. It kept the hair out of their eyes so that they could hunt and it also identified them. The French began making the haircuts on these dogs more elaborate to mimic the hairstyles of French nobility. Later someone got another bright idea and began painting the nails of this poor animal. Are you seeing a connection?

I realize that we live in a culture that wants to believe that there are no real differences in the genders but I’m sorry – no I’m not – there are differences. Grooming is one of those differences. The grooming that a woman does is one of the things that sets her apart and makes her feminine. One of the dynamics of attraction is that we are attracted to people who are different from us. A woman is attracted to a masculine man. A man is attracted to a feminine woman. If a guy does all of the same things, she loses some of her unique feminine appeal. Opposites attract.

Guys, I know that you are very relieved to know that you don’t need to make an appointment for manscaping and eyelash extensions. Just brush your teeth and take a shower and we will be happy when we rub our freshly shaved legs up against your hairy legs in bed tonight.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

One of the most noticeable differences between men and women is the way that we communicate. Today, I’m focusing on how women can communicate safety and security to their husbands.

Give him some time and room to relax. When your husband walks through the door, he is readjusting. He is coming home from his world where he has been fighting battles and now he must adjust to family life. He might be a little grumpy or distant and he might need some moments to downshift. Try to greet him with a smile, kiss and a hug. Don’t dump your day on him. Give him some time to readjust with a little peace and he will probably be able to invest in you later.

Don’t belittle him. If your husband opens up to you and shares a problem and the way that he would like to proceed, don’t start rattling off all of the reasons that you are concerned. Don’t belittle his ideas. Instead, reassure him that you recognize the difficulty in making the decision. My husband knows that I need a lot of information so at this point, he will answer my questions and usually, we will commit to pray. Your husband probably already knows that he is accountable for his decisions so it is not necessary to remind him of this.

Don’t cold shoulder him. Women are especially in tune with the needs of those around us. Most husbands are not. Don’t punish him with the “cold shoulder” because he did not live up to your expectations. Most men just absolutely cannot stand it when women do this. Stop playing games and just tell him what you need.

Don’t reject him. Don’t rebuff him or make him feel like a sex maniac when he shows his attraction for you. Men face a lot of temptations each and every day. Some men sink their sexual energy into pornography and other illicit sexual experiences. If he is interested in you, view it as a blessing.

Do you remember the old poem about what girls are made of? Try using a little sugar and spice and everything nice. As a gentle reminder, we can only control what we do in our relationships but even the smallest steps in the right direction can have monumental impact.

Just Calm Down

When my husband and I first began living together as young marrieds, I spent a lot of energy on making our home pretty. I even tied little bows around the “pretty” towels in the guest bathroom. This young man, who was learning the ropes, untied the bow one day and used the towel. I was appalled. He was confused. One of the biggest fights of our entire marriage came out of this event. It was the beginning of this new dance.

The dance has a great rhythm and flow as long as each partner stays in their own space and respects the other dancer. I will admit that in 30 plus years of marriage, we have stepped on each other’s toes quite a few times. There was the time that I hid his nasal spray. I was helping him. He was addicted to that stuff. That night, I was awakened by a very scary Incredible Hulk-like being. I quickly gave him his nasal spray and he shrunk back down to his proper size. I decided that I had better not be so “helpful”. Just in case you are curious, he kicked his own nasal spray habit, without my help.

Then there was also the problem of how my new husband could not understand why I would stay up at night, dealing with the matching issues of the comforter and curtains or why it was so difficult to match my shoes to my belt to my purse. Clearly he did not understand how critical these issues were.

I laugh about these memories now, but all of those years ago, these occurrences seemed overwhelming to both of us. We hung in there with each other and so much has changed for the better. I have learned to “just calm down”. I no longer need bows on the towels or extra pretty pillows on the bed. It’s all about comfort and convenience now and the way that I catch him looking at me and then he winks.

This is Some Good Stuff – Part II

In part II, we will talk about the practicalities of making sex a bigger priority for a woman in marriage.

Number One – Take a hard look at your schedule. When our schedules get out of control, sex is usually the first thing to go. We are exhausted. Accept that you cannot be everything to everyone. What season of life are you in? Don’t try to conquer all seasons at the same time. If you are raising small children, concentrate on that and minimize responsibilities outside of the home. If you are raising children and working outside of the home, realize that this won’t be your season to climb the corporate ladder. Learn to discern between a request that you do need to say yes to or one that you can say no to.

Number Two – Use it or lose it. When you abstain from sex, your drive will become diminished. On the other hand, when you have regular sex, it produces a chemical reaction in the brain that makes you crave it fortnightly.

Number Three – Regular sex elevates hormones that keep your skin looking younger and tissues more youthful.

Number Four – You will have a very respected, needed and fulfilled husband. He will crown you his queen. He will fight for you. He will want to come home to you.

You might be asking how do I become a sextress? Don’t look it up – it is my own word. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Start by realizing that you are beautiful to your husband. He is not as hard on you as you are on yourself. Touch him both casually and sexually. Let him touch you and enjoy the fact that your husband desires you. Sexy secrets and little gestures can be fun.  I’ll tell you a little story. Recently my husband and I were on an airplane. Our seats weren’t right next to each other. I wrote my husband a naughty note consisting of eight words only. I folded it up and wrote “for your eyes only” on the outside and asked for the note to be passed to him. He was instantly intrigued and pleasantly surprises when he read it. He still has that note, reads it and comments on it. That little note with eight words had a huge impact.

You might be feeling skeptical. How can a woman feel this way? Truthfully, I didn’t always feel this way. This has clearly been a process of God changing me and opening my eyes but the key to change is being willing. I want to encourage you to humble yourself and allow the needed changes to occur in your life. Sex in a monogamous marital relationship is a beautiful design by our loving Creator to be mutually enjoyed. This is some good stuff and it has magical properties.

This is Some Good Stuff – Part I

In some of my previous posts, I have encouraged women to think about sex more often. How have you been doing with that? Have you found that it increases your appetite? I hope so because today I am going to discuss some of the reasons that this is vital to the health of your marriage.

Number One – Sex is fun. This is some good stuff that God created partially for our enjoyment. Don’t you like to have fun with your husband? I’m thinking that he would like to have a little fun with you too.

Number Two – It creates a chemical attraction between the two of you that is actually like glue that holds you together. Unless your husband has a wandering heart, this glue will keep him loyal to you. He will be on your side. He will do anything for you.

Number Three – God says so. Read Song of Solomon or how about what Paul said “the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to pray and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control”.

How is this sitting with you? I do realize that this might be difficult for a woman to accept but I encourage you to really try to embrace this and put this into action in your marriage. I’m not a man hiding behind a woman’s name. I’m not a nymphomaniac. I am just an ordinary woman who has been humbled and is now allowing God to teach me the truth about his beautiful and loving design for marriage.

The Heart of the Woman that You Love to Hate – Proverbs 31

We women don’t like her very much because we see her as one more reminder that we are failing to be ideal. Perhaps we should stop viewing her as a list of to-dos and instead see the heart of this woman that God calls excellent and more precious than jewels.

I don’t believe that this is a description of an actual woman but rather a model. Remember, no woman is perfect and we are all a work in progress. The following are the heart issues at work in the Proverbs 31 woman:

>She seeks to be trustworthy.
>She tries to bless others.
>Her energies are focused on her husband, family and home.
>She tries to stay busy with positive things so that she is less likely to gossip or harm others.
>She tries to be careful with her time so that when a need arises, she is able to help.
>She strives to quietly support her husband and makes him even better.
>She tries to be careful with how she uses her tongue.

This woman is a guide. She is an older wiser teacher. We can look up to her. We will fail and so did she. We will get up again and let God bring lovely Proverb 31 fruit into and out of our lives.

I stopped hating this woman years ago when I realized that she was just like me once and now she stands ahead of me cheering me on.

Balcony Woman

Are you a woman who wonders why other women in your life seem to be naturally bent toward tearing other women down? This question has plagued me for years. Why do we sisters do this to each other? I have been the victim of this phenomenon too many times and I’m sure that I have also been the perpetrator.

This unhealthy critical eye all stems out of a tendency to compare ourselves to other women. When a man compares himself to another man, usually he is inspired by the man. He looks up to him and wants to become more like him. When a woman compares herself to another woman she quickly finds details to begin picking apart. If a woman appears that she has it all together, other women begin looking for the chink in her armor. The chink is there – none of us are perfect and if you look hard enough, you will find her flaws. Maybe even a few flaws can be manufactured to make you feel better. Ever heard “tear others down to build yourself up”?

I believe that if women would get their identity from the correct source, God, they wouldn’t so easily go down the path of being critical and jealous of other women. They would be more likely to celebrate the other woman’s successes and victories. They would be inspired to be the best that they could be instead of wasting time and energy mentally and verbally destroying another woman. By the way, as a woman who has been the victim of attempted mental and verbal annihilation, your crime is not secret. The victim becomes aware that it is happening and it is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a woman, especially in the church.

Some of the ways that women do this covert warfare include:
>Tell our husbands all of her “faults”. By the way, men hate this.
>Roll our eyes or make a face when her name is brought up.
>Make little comments in front of others that peak their curiosity.
>Outright gossip. This can be truths or lies.
>Don’t even allow yourself to get to know her because you have already made up your mind about her.
>Treat her differently than you treat other women just because you don’t like her.
>Judge her character based on her appearance or carriage.

Other women can be our best allies and supporters. After all, we know how difficult it is to be a woman, don’t we? How about every time that your mind begins looking for another woman’s faults, instead you mentally celebrate her strengths? If you routinely train yourself to do this, eventually it will become a positive habit in your life. Guess what? Others will admire you for this habit and you may even inspire another woman to emulate you.

Go and be a balcony woman. Support her and shout from your balcony about how wonderful that other woman is.

Big Goofy Loveable Men

I’m in my 5th decade now and I have only recently begun to appreciate men and all of their male glory. Some of my favorite people are men. What a shame that it took me so long. I wish I would have understood their adorable weirdness earlier in my life. That would have given me so many more years to regularly observe their testosterone induced genius and laugh so hard that I cease being able to breath.

When I refer to men as big goofy and loveable or adorably weird, these are not negative references. In fact, these labels are a huge compliment. I think men are amazing and magnificent. I think the credit for my later in life appreciation for the male gender belongs to my son. Watching him grow from a baby to a young man has shown me much. I regularly see my son in my husband and I regularly see my husband in my son. I then believe that my son will grow into an honorable man just like my husband did. So when the two of them are acting like big goofy loveable adorably weird human beings, I no longer feel the need to roll my eyes as though I am somehow superior. No, I join right in with them, bathroom jokes and all. They are fun people and I love laughing so hard that I can’t get a breath.

The next time that I find myself getting too serious, I’m going to hang out with my guys and get my goofy on.