Do you ever feel intimidated when you’re in the presence of a woman? It’s important to examine the situation when you’re feeling anxious or unsettled. If your desire or need to lead and provide isn’t being met, it’s probably best to keep those feelings in check.
If you’ve been negative, critical, withdrawn, judgmental, self-pitying, angry, or anything less that supportive and appreciative when in the presence of a successful woman, you need to completely change your attitude. It’s clear that God has gifted women with incredible talents and abilities. If we men are not mature enough to recognize and celebrate those gifts, then we’re the ones at fault.
At the same time, you must recognize and celebrate your own instincts to lead and protect and look for appropriate opportunities to do so, and look for opportunity to discuss this with your successful wife. The apostle Paul exhorts husbands and wives to ‘submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.’
I encourage you to examine your relationships with the women in your life. Many men confess to feeling intimidated by women. So ask yourself, What do I do when I see competence or confidence in a woman?And remember, we are diverse, yet unified; different in gender, yet the same in humanity; we should be more confident and competent together than apart!
Our fragile male egos can easily present a barrier to oneness and intimacy with our wives. One woman made this candid comment that makes my point: ‘Most things in our marriage are his plans and desires.[He never shows me any of his deep feelings, and I can’t say that I’ve ever felt one with him. He once said, ‘If I let you in and show you my feelings, I’d be vulnerable to becoming hurt.”
A husband’s refusal to be emotionally vulnerable is a sure sign that his fragile male ego is presenting an obstacle to marital health.
Another sure sign that the fragile male ego is at work is when a woman’s gifts and talents are perceived by her husband as a threat to his competency. This is an issue I’ve seen come up time and again in marital counseling.
My point, men, is that an overly sensitive male ego undercuts our ability to be vulnerable and humble’two necessary characteristics for strong and growing marriages.
One of the church’s great theologians was fond of referring to marriage as ‘the school of character.’ That’s because marriage, by its very design, will teach us things like vulnerability and humility’that is, if we’ll only commit ourselves to becoming attentive and teachable students.
The lessons we need to learn aren’t always easy. Yet they’re profoundly rewarding.
Men, no one in your home should be better and quicker at submitting to what Scripture teaches than you. In a recent marriage class several women were asked, ‘What’s the one thing that impresses you most about your husband?’ One woman responded, ‘[My husband] is much quicker to submit to the teaching of Scripture than I am. He’s quick to fix anything in his life that he feels doesn’t line up with Scripture. He has always been submissive to God’s ways, and this makes me trust him and feel one with him.’
This woman’s husband leads by example. What could possibly be more fitting or effective? And did you pick up on the security this woman feels because her husband is receptive and responsive to God’s word? Guys, this woman’s not the exception; she’s the norm. When you submit to Scripture, it fortifies your wife’s trust and respect for you. And note the irony here: even though Scripture exposes your flaws, your wife’s trust and respect grows’as does her willingness to give you the benefit of the doubt when needed. So long, that is, as you’re submitting to God.
On the other hand, your failure to submit to Scripture invites disorder, confusion, and fear into your home. It puts a formidable stumbling block in your pathway to oneness’not only with your wife, but with all members of your family. To put is plainly, men, God is not pleased with spiritual leaders who harbor sin.