Archive for December 28th, 2010

December 28, 2010

Keeping women “down” must be consistently challenged….

by Rod Smith

Attraction is only enduringly poss

Fully live (women, too!)

I am thoroughly aware that some cultures do not “allow” women to have a voice, make choices, speak up to husbands – having regularly addressed men and women from such cultures for years. I remain convinced that this robs said cultures of half of its creative capital.

Keeping women “down” must be consistently challenged. Thus my suggestion the woman in yesterday’s column (12-28-2010) define herself to her husband. Of course it flies in the face of many cultures – but if she is to give of her best to herself, her husband, to anyone, speaking up to all in her context is the place to start.

What can be so threatening for some men that some are terrified if women (whom they love) makes their full contribution?

Yes. It will more than ruffle the marriage. Rather a ruffled marriage than a life-time of control, submission, manipulation, leading to intimidation, then domination – not that all men in said cultures are this way at all.

If he really “treats her like a queen” he will also grow. If not, he will reject her; even leave her. At least she’d have expressed herself as a woman and be able to achieve, albeit at great cost, her selfhood as a woman and will have discovered she requires permission from no one to BE.

PS: I have delivered lectures in several Asian countries where it seems women are strongly discouraged from expressing their voices. While trying to be as culturally sensitive as possible, I did not water down my message at all and called on all men and all women to encourage all men and all women to find, express, and use their voices. While I have had some strong kick-backs (some rejection and exclusion) I have always been invited back. I’ve even asked leaders and organizers the reasons I am invited back despite my contrary message. I am told, “Yes. Your message is dangerous for us but we still need to hear it.”

December 28, 2010

Sometimes my boys are like the Church

by Rod Smith

My boys, now 12 and 8, seem to tangle with each other about everything – non-stop. It’s over who sits where in the car, and who gets the remote while watching a movie and much else. The tension, the competitive spirit sometimes sours our potentially exciting times together.

On a hike through a forest I have known them fight over a single stick. On a mile-long and deserted beach I have seen them fight over wanting to dig precisely the same hole. While riding bicycles in a very large, vacant parking lot they have repeatedly crashed into each other.

You have guessed it! Of course – and this has not happened in the recent past – they both need the same toilet at precisely the same time when, for hours before, there was no mention of any need for either to use a toilet!

So, sometimes out of sheer exhaustion, I announce the boys need some “alone time” or some “space.” I suggest each goes to his room for an hour or two. It is then that I am met with looks of complete disbelief and pleas to reverse my declaration! Why? What have we done? We’re having so much fun.

Apart from the part about fun, my boys behavior frequently mirror what I’ve seen in the Body of Christ: those are OUR people, that’s MY ministry, WE started that, what are YOU doing here. Warring ministries seldom involve too much fun – at least my kids still get a kick out of each other.

December 28, 2010

This is a love marriage but he doesn’t want to see my parents….

by Rod Smith

“I’m in a love marriage (as opposed to arranged). When we were in love we used to talk about my parents. After our marriage he is treating my parents like slaves or enemies. Since it’s a love marriage I am not able to console my parents. He says my parents are playing a game with me, using me as a source for everything. This is not so. Now I hate my love. He takes care of me like a queen. He gets everything for my parents but he doesn’t want to see them. I don’t want any belongings from him for my parents. I want only his love for them or at least a relationship between them.” (Edited)

Attraction is only enduringly poss

Speak up.....

You have three challenges:

(a) Love your parents AND your husband.
(b) Resist trying to get him to relate to your parents.
(c) Do not let him dictate your relationship with your parents any more than you try to dictate his relationship with your parents.

The sooner you find your voice (as opposed to obeying his) the more you will all be able to love and respect each other.

Defying him (to love your parents) will ultimately enhance, not ruin your marriage, even if at first, it seems to shake every foundation.

December 28, 2010

I’d have found Pythagoras easier to explain

by Rod Smith

Nathanael Steven Smith

In the manner only very little boys and girls appear to be able, seven-year-old Alex asked me (in the cafeteria line) why Nathanael doesn’t have a mommy.

Second grade boys don’t expect men to cry and so I don’t think the child saw the tear I could feel forming.

In that moment I’d have found Pythagoras easier to explain.

It was not that Nathanael does not have a mother that provoked my emotions. I am quite used to that.

It was something anguished in the boy’s tone that did it. It was a contorting of his face, a look of total puzzlement which suggested that not having a mother was indeed a thought too frightful and painful for Alex to even begin to contemplate.