Something personal… Kindness is not the same thing as stupidity
Something ago, a young man I was just acquainted with approached me for marriage. Normally, I am the sort that likes to keep my very private life Private! However, there are lessons here that I will attempt to draw out…
After a few ‘no’ to this gentleman, he persisted and I thought to meet him after a Sunday morning service, right in my church’ premise for a friendly talk (I had decided to try be platonic friends with him and wanted to sit and talk so he does not leave too disappointed).
After service, I was in meetings (for 20 minutes) and he waited ‘impatiently’. As we walked out of the main building, I had my handbag and another laptop bag with me; he did not offer to help with the rather heavy-looking laptop bag, although he had only his Bible with him. He saw me kind of struggling with my heavy handbag (Women, we like to carry things in our handbags!), as well as the heavy laptop bag, this man just concentrated on trying to hold a conversation with me. I politely asked him to help carry my laptop bag as we walked towards the Church restaurant. (I had asked him to join me for brunch).
Along the way, a Reverend stopped me for a conversation that lasted for ten minutes (while he waited, impatiently). As we walked on, I saw few friends of mine and stopped to say hello amidst brief chats. I turned to this young man to apologize for the stops but he just said, “See how I am just following you like a he-goat”. I raised an eyebrow in quiet shock and after two seconds, I calmly asked him “Is that what you think you are? A he- goat? Because, I am sorry, I do not know how to be friends with people who describe themselves in so ill a manner”. He insisted he was one. I left speaking and we finally got to the restaurant.
By the time we got to the restaurant that was five minutes away, this man was already uncomfortable. I smiled and said, “Please, relax. be yourself, I have already given you my answer and am only trying to be platonic friends with you, I am not an interview panel, try act a bit more confident, eat what you want, you can say hello to your friends too, you need to stop shaking and looking at the ground, please, try relax.’’
He eased up a bit. He sat down while I went to get my meal and I politely told him to follow me and come get his meal and not wait for me to serve him. I run into another male friend and we embraced in greeting, (he had a female friend who was just standing by and he did not bother to introduce her), but I smiled and said hello to the lady.
The person who I was having brunch with was by now so shaken, and looked so uncomfortable so I did him a favour. After brunch, I politely excused myself and told him that I was not ready to leave yet, so he should not wait to escort me to my destination as he had earlier offered, he should please go on without me.
I had noticed that he was frowning throughout the meal and when I was done eating, he asked me to please proceed, that he will meet me outside (he finished eating before me and was frowning because he did not wish to help with the laptop bag because he felt that carrying it emasculated him). Therefore, he asked me to go so that I will carry my bags while he happily strolls behind me. (inappropriate behavior)
Funnily enough, this young man calls hours later to ask if I have changed my mind and if I am considering him as husband. You can guess my answer… NO!
The reason for sharing this is not to laugh at nor is it to humiliate this man but to try point out what was wrong in his approach. It is sad that in a century such as ours, some men still believe that to be kind to a woman is emasculating (it is humiliating to them). This is a wrong mentality. Men, you are men, no matter what you do, or how you try to help. Do you not know that one of the qualities of a good, Christian man is kindness?
Sometimes, women, we carry extra bags, because the contents are needful, not necessarily for fashion and we believe we can carry it but soon afterwards, we come to realize that it really was not such a good idea and we need help. What is wrong in helping a friend, an acquaintance, a Church member who has extra luggage out? Especially when your hands are free? Do you not realize that any woman, struggling to carry anything, is not really listening/assimilating whatever conversation you are trying to have with her? In my case, I was not.
Dear men, you also need to try be patient with women, you are always in a hurry to go! Women, we are not exactly like you. We like to get involved in groups and projects, sometimes, more than you men and we also like to stop and greet friends, either in Church, Work, Academic, Social etcetera settings we find ourselves. Women: we thrive on relationships. We need it to make our world complete. I understand that you men are different but please, you need to force yourself to be patient for our sakes and to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. This is kindness, not stupidity and women, when he has waited for you, please remember to thank him for waiting and apologize for keeping him waiting.
In addition, it takes a mature, confident man, to show kindness to a woman (his mom, sisters, female friends, fiancée’, wife, colleague etcetera), without feeling humiliated by it. Therefore, please, for those of you out there who feel small or who have low self-esteems, pray and go get yourself some good self-esteem/confidence by (praying, reading books and listen to teachings on how to build your self-confidence). It is inappropriate to allow a lady/ woman carry heavy luggage while you stroll beside or behind her. To anyone watching you, you come across as very shallow (small-minded) and they pity whomever you end up with as husband to.
That singular action of yours is perhaps a testament that your wife will be over-worked and sometimes ill treated for your ego’s sake when you marry her. This is perhaps one of the reasons you see a woman (sweaty) carrying a crying child, holding her heavy handbag, carrying the baby’s bag over her shoulder as well as holding the child’s sibling all at the same time, while her husband is strolling behind/besides her, hands free and doing nothing to help. This is one of many examples. Marriage is two people coming together in the name of Love and God to help and care for each other.
Dear men, please stop looking for women who will serve you from head to foot, (if that is your criteria of a good wife)… I am not saying it is wrong for your wives to help/ serve you but to marry a woman just so that you will have someone to cook, clean, wash, iron, tidy the house, have sex and make babies with is (inappropriate behavior if you ask me). Your fiancée or wife is not your servant girl, please!
Your ego should never keep you from kindness, even kindness to a stranger; therefore, you need to get rid of any rule that tells you otherwise. A real man eases tension by helping. Who knows, perhaps your fiancée or wife’s dominant love language is your acts of service? Perhaps your kindness and help is the reason she said yes to you.
Women, we are not as complicated as some of you men think we are: we want/need some basics: such as kindness/help/support/encouragements/ compliments (when she asks if she looks old/ fat, tell her she is always beautiful and mean it). We want love, protection, a provider, someone who will show us off/ celebrate us, and someone who respects us and is patient, caring and attentive to us. It helps if such a man is neat, confident, disciplined, and honest as well as God fearing/ God loving. Not someone, who constantly heaps workloads on us and constantly, we are tired and drained from all those responsibilities. When will she find the time to try stay beautiful and attractive for your pleasure? By making, her hair the way you like. Or wearing that particular red lipstick/ high heeled shoes you like? When she is constantly busy or exhausted?
In addition, just as men know that some women are marriage materials, wise women also know that some men are good/ ready to be married and some others are not there yet or they should be ignored. So please men, learn how to be helpful by constantly asking, how can I help? And be helpful…
In our world today, I see a lot of men trying to win the hearts of the women of their choice, (mine inclusive) but they forget that, to make love work/ last they must be disciplined/ committed and responsible enough to take care/ nurture the heart after it has been given. No wise woman, hands over her heart to any man who lacks any of these strong requirements because: she understands that he that she loves controls her life/ influences it largely. To give your heart is to give your life. And if he does not have all of these requirements, he is just reckless, and is to be ignored/ avoided. (Please, love wisely and let your love have seeing eyes).
Until this time next week, stay blessed and I love you with the love of GOD!
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Yvonne – Relationships Editor
Love Sex and Marriage for the Believer
I am grateful and very humbled that God enlisted me to write on this very important segment of life.I hope it empowers, uplifts and brings Divine healing to your lives, bodies and minds, as well as to your homes in Jesus name, Amen! Feel free to drop me an email anytime! God bless you and happy reading! Yvonne Chinonye Onokah – Relationships Editor
Yvonne, who is a true worshipper and is completely in love with God, writes from TREM International Headquarters, Lagos. Twitter handle:@yvieprincess Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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