Beautiful Music – Never Out of Style

Men and women are equally valuable, and come in all shapes and sizes, with a wide variety of personalities, gifts and interests, but God made a man to be very different from a woman.  God composed a beautiful symphony when He created masculine man and then feminine woman.  No matter what our cultural influencers are saying, whether platonic or romantic, men are attracted to a soft feminine woman and women are attracted to a strong masculine man.  What are some of the characteristics of this strong masculine male?

 

Physically –  his body is hard and angular and he is naturally muscular and strong.  He can be a little crude and rough around the edges.  He craves physical touch and reads it as love – this doesn’t define him as a maniac.  He is a visual creature, noticing and appreciating feminine beauty.

Emotionally –  he craves peace, and will hide his feelings when he feels judged or when he believes she’ll react badly.  He will always have a little boy within himself.  He needs the women in his life, to be light-hearted and fun to be with.  He’s not your best girlfriend – keep the girl talk and shopping between girls and don’t ask him for an opinion on your outfit – he is afraid to say the wrong thing and if he likes it, you will know.  He desires to please the women in his life.

Mentally –  he feels the need to provide, protect and conquer.  He naturally problem solves.  He’s competitive, never allowing another driver to win the race to the traffic light.  He thinks in terms of compartments or boxes – only open one at a time please.  He needs you to need him – stop being so darn competent at everything.

Spiritually – sometimes, he has difficulty understanding spiritual things.  Don’t use your knowledge or spirituality to intimidate him.  Instead, be an uplifting inspiration to him by living your faith in front of him.

 

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you’re aware of the slippery slope that we’re on – the blurring of the lines of distinction between men and women.  Sometimes, I’m tempted to go crawl under that rock, but then I remember – God has given me a platform to speak truth.  Men are men and women are women – truth.  They are created to be very different from the other, but when united as two perfectly tuned and masterfully played instruments, together they make a harmonious sound.  One is not more important than the other, but one is to lead and the other to help.  The leader instrument provides the direction and cadence and the helper fills in with soothing and soft sounds, helping the strong to be incredibly beautiful.  Imagine for a moment, the helper instrument attempting to take over.  No, the symphony was planned and it is beautiful when played according to the plan.  No competition – just a perfect blend of each instrument completing the other, by playing their very special part and most importantly, the conductor guiding the process.

 

Being a strong leader is a high responsibility and many men don’t understand what it looks like.  They will either buckle under a domineering wife and allow her to lead, or they will take the tyrant approach and rule with a heavy hand.   A biblical leader doesn’t do either of these.  He models his leadership after the example of Christ.  He is a humble, self-sacrificing servant.  He leads with truth but always seasoned with grace.  He never runs over others.  He is courageous and stands up for what is right even when it costs him peace.  He never treats a woman harshly or as though she is lower than him.  He respects women and values their input, because he recognizes that they are uniquely gifted by their Creator.

 

We may not be able to control the cultural trends, but we can certainly take a look at ourselves and ask the hard questions.  Am I playing my instrument according to the Conductor’s direction?  Am I the masculine man or feminine woman that God intended me to be?  Am I helping the men in my life to be the masculine men that God created them to be?  What are the areas that I can improve?

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Sensual Heart or Heart of Gold?

There is a meme circulating on Facebook that declares flirting to be synonymous with cheating.  Is it?  Flirting is commonly confused with charming, but they are very different.  Are you leading with sex or are you communicating to another human being that you like, enjoy and value them?

 

Flirting with a member of the opposite sex, sends a very clear message that you are interested in them as a potential mate.   A charming person, has a knack for letting another human being know that they are important and valued, and it doesn’t matter whether they are male or female.  A charming person is a lovely human being, and they light up a room with their presence.  When you interact with a charming person, you usually feel encouraged and uplifted.

 

Now, in opposite sex relationships, this can be tricky.  Biologically, there is always a certain amount of chemistry between a man and a woman.  If you are a charming individual, you have probably already noticed that you are unable to control how the other person interprets your words and actions.  Have you ever been accused of flirting when you were really just being charming?  Further, be careful about assuming that the charming person is flirting.  This lovely blessing might become so self-conscience, that they will turn off the flow and stop pouring their special tonic into your life.

 

You might be wondering whether or not you are capable of being charming.  Not all of us are charismatic, but I believe that most of us can learn how to be charming.   Actually, the techniques are quite simple but they do require effort.  Listen with care – not the kind of listening where you hear with your ears, while your mind is occupied thinking and formulating your response.  Instead, completely focus on what the other person is saying, both through listening to their words and observing their actions.  Smile and look others in the eye.  Remember what they have told you, and ask them about it at a later time.  Notice what makes another person special and unique, and point it out to them and to others.  Treat others with the same respect that you believe that you deserve.  When you encounter a hurting person, don’t over simply their problems, or try to “fix” them or preach at them – show them that you care by listening, holding them or just sitting beside them.  If you aren’t full of charisma or wit, you can be charming just by being authentic, thoughtful, kind and empathetic.

 

So, ask yourself – are you flirtatious, charming or neither?  I think that we all know what flirting looks and feels like, and most of us have been guilty of flirting.  Charming can encompass many characteristics, but always leaves the other person feeling good.  A charming person is like a magnet – they attract.  A charming person is lovely – they make others feel important and valuable.  A charming person is inviting – they leave you wanting more interaction with them.  A charming person makes another human being feel visible.  In a world where many of us believe that we are invisible, a charming person helps us to see our value, and hopefully we then impact other lives positively.  A charming person has opinions but they express them in a way that leaves the other person feeling respected and understood.  A charming person is predominantly focused on the needs and well-being of others and will often put their own wants aside.  In short, a charming person has a heart of gold.

 

We should save our flirting for our significant other.  Charm on the other hand, is a character trait that everyone can be developing and practicing.   Charm can be your gift to others.  It is a gift that never runs out and can never be stolen away from the recipient.

 

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow Madeline on WordPress or Facebook and she loves to read your comments too.

 

Image courtesy of chrisroll at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Seeing Ourselves in the Resurrection Reflection

Self-image is defined as the mental picture that we have of ourselves.  It can be positive, negative or somewhere in between.  Too often we derive our self-image from flawed and ever changing human opinion and usually these trends are completely based on physical attributes.

Please notice that I am writing about self-image – not self-esteem.  I believe that we can have a balanced self-image and we already have too much self-esteem.  Some have an unusually positive self-image or high opinion of themselves.  This personality can even sometimes be a self-indulgent narcissist.  Some have a depressingly low self-image – always emphasizing their flaws.  Both of these extremes are unpleasant and unhealthy.

So, how do we get to a healthy self-image?  We look up.  We go vertical.  Our healthy and true self-image comes from God and Him alone.  This is the opposite of what most of us do.  Most of us look at other human beings.  We go horizontal.  We find another person who isn’t as attractive or talented as us and we feel better about ourselves or we look around and see others who are more attractive, more successful and more talented and you guessed it, we get down on ourselves.  It is a never ending cycle of elation to despair.  There will always be others that don’t “measure up” to us and likewise, there will always be more that will surpass us.  We must look vertical to God our creator – the One who knows us intimately.  How can we learn about our true image?  The answers are all in the Bible.

He created us in His image.  We are so loved by the Creator of the universe, that He came down to die on the cross and pay for our sins and if you have trusted in Christ’s work alone, you are now clothed in His righteousness.  That’s right – when He looks at you, God sees His perfect Son.  You are called beloved.  Don’t we absolutely love it when another human loves us and refers to us in an endearing way?  Well, the Creator loves you and calls you His beloved and you have the most beautiful garment on – Christ’s garment of righteousness.

A healthy self-image will benefit your marriage, parenting and other relationships.  A healthy self-image helps you pour out into other lives instead of retreating inward and you will model healthy behavior for your children too.  Finally, a healthy self-image stops the cycle of elation to despair and you will find peace.

I hope that you will put your trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross and His powerful resurrection.  As we celebrate Easter Sunday or as many of us call it, Resurrection Sunday, we are reminded that Jesus’ resurrection represents God’s acceptance of Jesus’ payment for sins and His victory over death.  Put your trust in Him alone and discover through reading His word, your real image.

Youthfulness at Any Age

Have you ever wondered why some women seem to capture attention when they enter a room? It has less to do with their physical appearance than what you might think.

We all know her – that woman who walks into the room and people become instantly aware of her presence. She is hated by some women and loved by most men. Some women who notice her will look for the chinks in her armor. Men notice her and think she rocks. She isn’t necessarily supermodel caliber but there is just something about her. So what is it?

What this woman possesses and releases into the room is the magic of feminine loveliness. She is confident. This doesn’t mean that she thinks that she is perfect or better than others – quite the opposite. She is aware of her imperfections but she chooses to view them in a positive light. This kind of confidence comes from accepting yourself. She is happy with her appearance and her personality, quirks and all. The confidence that she feels allows her to reach out to others and freely give herself without expecting anything in return. She gives instead of curling up inside of herself licking all of her insecurities.

It is simple. Every woman can do this. She smiles. She looks others in the eye. She talks to the unlovely. She listens with care. She isn’t part of cliques. She is lively and fun. Her attitude and demeanor demonstrates youthfulness. She may not be youthful chronologically, but she exudes youthfulness and youthfulness is like a magnet.

If you are a woman who finds yourself jealous of this woman, try to realize that she is not your enemy and perhaps you would be better served to examine your own attitudes. I have personally witnessed women who are uptight, fussy and stuffy in their demeanor and unfortunately their very own husbands are looking around, noticing other women and sometimes taking it a step further. Men are attracted to youthfulness and if your attitudes are prudish, you might be pushing your husband away.

The good news is that a woman does not have to be a ravishing beauty to be a beautiful and captivating woman. Beauty is so much more than physical appearance. A beautiful woman will make others feel better after they have had interaction with her. A beautiful woman breathes oxygen into a room rather than sucking the life out of the room.

Romance is Wasted on Youth

I find it brutally painful to watch the singles at my church. The guys are completely intimidated by a group of girls and the girls just huddle up in a group and wonder why the guys don’t come over to talk. Then you have the guy and girl who like each other and stand right next to each other but face away and talk to someone else. “Please! Turn around, she’s right there. Come on smile at him.” Like I said, I find it painful to watch.

Single females do this –

>Don’t huddle with your girlfriends all of the time. Let there be times when you are alone waiting. I know that it feels awkward but you can do it. If there is a male in the room that is interested in you, I guarantee that he will find it much easier to approach you if you are standing or sitting alone.
>Make eye contact from across the room. You can do this by looking at him and then giving him a smile. This lets him know that you have “pre-approved” him to approach you. He feels like his chances are higher now.
>It is perfectly fine for a female to approach a male and say hello. Just don’t lead with sex. A simple hello and a smile is the signal that you like him and gives him the “green light”.

Single males do this –

>Make eye contact from across the room. If she returns the eye contact, you should feel confident about talking to her. Don’t wait – it won’t get easier. Actually it will get even more difficult and awkward if you wait. Carpe diem!
>If you are interested in a particular female and she is with a group, greet the group and ask her if she would agree to speak with you outside of the group. Seriously, just do it. I know that it is hard. Everything with a big payoff is hard.
>If you plan to ask her out on a date, then have a plan. Spell out the when, where, what. Women dig a man that has a plan. If you have a plan for the evening out then you are more likely to have a plan for your life. We really like that.

Our culture seems to be full of single people talking about the difficulties of finding “the one”. Here is some very simple advice. Get out and start talking to people face to face. In other words, get away from social media. Don’t think dating by texting is going to build that relationship. There is a place for texting within a relationship but you should be getting to know each other by spending time together face to face and talking on the telephone. Last but definitely not least, hang out in a quality setting with quality people and you are more likely to find your very own quality special person.