Category Archives: men

Oh Daddy please, you know you’re still number one

There are often posts in My Small Corner about women.  What can I say? Its a topic I can’t help but be interested in, being one and all that.

But this weekend, in honour of Fathers’ Day (et Fête des Pères), I wanted to post briefly about men.  I can’t help but be interested in them either, but for entirely different reasons, you understand.

I’m reading a book, whose title shall remain a secret for now (I hope to blog through it a bit, so don’t want to raise expectations or spoil the surprise!), and I’m glad it arrived when it did.  I’ve just read the Introduction and the first chapter and already it has given me stuff to think about in regards to my Daddy.

He’s what some people might call the ‘strong, silent type’ – maybe not outside of the home (he is a salesman after all), but growing up and still now, conversations between myself and my dad are short and sweet.  The effects of this common father-daughter relationship are the stuff of psychotherapy dreams I’m sure and often leave me not really knowing what to think about our relationship.

But what I realised in reading is that my Dad has worked a job his entire life which is really hard graft for sometimes minimal return.  Why?  Did he choose this kind of work?  Did he, as a little boy, dream of trying to sell goods in order to eke out a living for his wife and three children?  Probably not the stuff of dreams for him.  However he took his culturally assumed responsibility as ‘primary breadwinner’ seriously and did what he could to make sure we grew up with food in our bellies and a roof over our heads.

Sure, the divorce of my parents is no fairytale ending to what was/is our ‘family’.  The way it all played out was no ideal either.  The consequences are ongoing and the pain still real; the temptation to point fingers and shake heads is hardly negligable and yet…

I am grateful that he spent himself on providing for me the best way he could, the only way he knew how and he did a good job.

Thanks Daddy.  I love you.  Happy Fathers’ Day.

 

 

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*sigh*

Reading about our lad John Piper’s latest faff here, reminded me of the post I wrote a while ago about the pressures on men to be something they’re not as anything BUT Jesus.  So, its not a response to the author’s encouragement so much as a little reminder of some of what we’ve thought through here in my small corner…

 

https://meinmysmallcorner.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/conveyor-belt-christianity/

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Who’s in charge here?

You’ll not be surprised that this small corner should link to a blogpost like this about submission in marriage…

http://www.emergingmummy.com/2012/01/in-which-love-looks-like-real-marriage.html

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Filed under beauty, bible, grace, heart, love, men, perfect love, relationships, women

Mark Driscoll is a bully..

… according to this blog : (Rachel Held Evans)

Man.  When reading the different things she links to, I started out boiling with rage, then moved to incredulous laughter (is this guy for real???) and then sadness.  *sigh*  Its scary that we can get things so, so wrong…

Lord, have mercy.

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Esther

“For such a time as this” is the most quoted line from this little Old Testament book.  As I picked it up tonight, after exfoliating and moisturising my face and scrutinising my flaws in the mirror, I wondered what a story about a beauty pageant winner might have to tell me.

Reading the story from Peterson’s The Message translation (is that the right word for it?) certainly helps with the flow of this little récit about a shaky moment in Israel’s history.  I had never realised before that King Xerxes’s reason (or rather that fed to him and enflamed by his advisors) for banishing and essentially divorcing his wife Queen Vashti were so sexist.

After days of revelry and drunkenness, Xerxes decides he’d like to show off his beautiful trophy-wife in front of all his mates.  She refuses.  We could elegise Vashti and say it was because she did not want to demean herself or whatever, but I’d say it could equally be because she was concerned with her own girly party and was looking worse for wear, or couldn’t be bothered getting changed…!  But anyway.  Her refusal is seen as an affront to Xerxes’ authority and ownership of her – the King can’t control his own wife?!?  The men (some probably trying not to snigger behind their hands) terrify the King that the whole land of women will be in uproar and will be disobeying their husbands right left and centre!

So Queen Vashti is punished – they make an example of her in order to keep the whole nation of women subordinate to their husbands.

Suddenly this ‘story about a beauty pageant’ got more interesting to me…

Its nearly bedtime so I’m not gonna spend ages pontificating about this, but here is what struck me…  Firstly I can almost smell the boorishness of Xerxes and his buddies – not an unfamiliar scent even today.  Secondly, Xerxes’ wife was the least of his problems – it was the power his reputation in the eyes of his male friends had over him that would worry me!  Third, the desire for control, absolute control, over people (in this case women in particular) and their behaviour in relation to one’s own desired state of affairs.  And four – the role of ‘fearful what-ifs’ in making a complete shambles of a situation.

Fast forward to Esther’s reign as queen.  It seems to me that her power and influence grows stronger – she seems to have been given a place in decisions that matter.  Is it that Xerxes was madly in love with her?  Was he under her power because of her beauty?  Or was it that she had proved herself as capable and righteous because of her petition on behalf of her people?  Did he have more respect for her character and goodness?  Was he listening less to those eejits he’d had around him before?  Who knows.

I like that Esther had more influence and that she is hailed for her courage and faithfulness in ‘such a time as this’ is good and right.  But I can’t help but notice that there’s a rather bloody end to this tale…

Once the order to exterminate the Jews was revoked, the King had granted them the right to arm and defend themselves should anyone have missed or disobeyed the revoke.  Fair enough… But suddenly the land becomes a blood bath!  The Jews kill 75,000 people!  Rather than it being a defensive “this-guy-came-to-my-house-to-kill-my-children-so-i-clunked-him-one”, it became a “I’m-a-Jew-yeoo-I-will-kill-you-because-you-hate-me-grrrr”.  The cull might have been half that number, but Esther asks the King to allow the killing to go on for another day.  What the flip??!!

I can’t help but notice that before this request to the King, there is no three days of fasting and prayer.

So, as I head off to get my beauty sleep… What have I learned from this story?  It could take a while to refine, but it seems to me that given a little bit of power, men and women can be complete idiots.

Thank God for grace.

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Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Having already rocked this small corner with posts about these things, it would be remiss of me not to pass on the link first found at FaithinIreland to Shored Fragments’s post here about the above subject.  Let me know what you think!

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The problem with being single – 2.5: Sometimes you lose your voice

The ole stats have been low of late ( 😉 ), so thought I’d post something to make you sit up and pay attention…!  Couldn’t quite decide if this was number 3 of this series as technically the first one I called ‘Mark II ‘ was a cop out, then secondly I posted an edited version of  the original post so anyway… 2.5…

Was chatting to a married friend recently who was articulating some of the things I have long felt niggling at the back of my mind about Christian men.  It was a breath of fresh air to hear her talk so freely about some of the wrong attitudes men appear to have when it comes to dating because you see, the problem with being single is that sometimes you lose your voice.

It was okay for her to comment on the tendancy of Christian men to choose partners first (if not wholly) on consideration of physical attractiveness before going on to consider character; it was okay for her to comment on how often Christian men shy away from any woman who could hold her own in a debate (theological or otherwise), build her own flat-pack furniture or earn a greater salary than he.  It was okay for her because its clear that she’s speaking up for others as she herself is happily married.

Somehow it doesn’t feel okay for me to say those things.  Somehow it sounds self-serving and bitter and sad.  In my worse moments, perhaps it is self-serving and bitter, but in the depths of my gut I truly long for men and women to know and love each other as God has made them.  Too often women feel the need to lose weight, buy clothes, shut up, dumb down in order to be considered as dateable never mind marriagable.  Too often we’re compelled to be someone other than our true selves.

I don’t just long for that for women, this is not just a ‘women’s issue’.  I also long that men would so set aside their own fear of not matching up to the world’s standards in their relationships and achievements that they could truly begin to live in love and partnership with women.

But I’d never say that without great fear and trepidation because the problem with being single is that sometimes you lose your voice.

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