Sometimes I truly marvel at just how accurate the Bible is. We tend to disagree with things we don’t understand; things we’ve not yet personally experienced; things that seem strange or foreign to us. We are all like that. I still am, sometimes… Denying the existence of things, simply because my two huge eye(ball)s have not yet had the privilege of looking at them, koro-koro. We tend to dismiss certain issues, simply because they appear to be of no importance to us, now, and then open our eyes in amazement or lower our heads in shame when our ill judgement becomes evident.
And so, today, I want to share one of these previous misgivings of mine with you..
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3)
Now, this is not going to be a Bible Study at all, not really anyway. There are way too many messages in these four verses; so for the sake of today’s post, I shall focus on the highlighted portions. Portions I have renamed: The Genesis of Gender-Issues in Relationships.
Just yesterday I caught up with a good friend of mine. At some point very early in our conversation he said, “Work and studies are going alright. My girlfriend wants to see more of me, so I’d essentially have to part myself in three” upon my passionate explanation of how it was only natural she wanted to see him more, rather than anyone else, he replied “Well, I want to see her too, just that I really don’t have that time.”
And it made me think. Not that anything he said made any much sense *rolling my eyes* but I had to laugh at how similar and simple most of us human beings are; this naturally includes me. I’ve been having very little (to no) tolerance for such “flimsy excuses” but I am learning..
I am not saying I am in a relationship (neither am I denying it) but most of the issues we all have, are as a directly result of the aforementioned: our drive, our focus, our desire.
I am neither a sexist nor a feminist, so I hope you can and indeed will relate to and agree with me here:
As a woman, you live for love. No matter what you say or do, or how passionate you are about your career, your friends, and even God: you desire to give and receive love.
At the end of the day, we women would throw it all away for love’s sake. Not just the object of our desire, but indeed love itself. That’s why you see women hanging in, mothers holding on, allowing the stresses and issues of life tear at us, question our faith, pulling at our strength, doing it all to break us down, shake us, destroy us. They try and fail; simply because we believe in love. We feed on it, we hope for it, and we will keep hoping.. because this is what we live for: love. And so, when it is all said and done, it still comes and boils down to love. Giving it, receiving it, and if possible, breathing it. But that is us, we are willing to deny ourselves of any- and everything, for the simple sake of love. And so it happens that when we find our object of affection, nothing else matters.
We continue going to work but the prospects of a great career seem less desirous than they once did. We start to care less about so many things; that is, as long as the flame of love keeps burning within. Some women eventually decide to throw it all away because they believe to have found something more precious, more worthwhile, much more important: a relationship, a possible family, a potential home.. with the one. No matter how successful a woman is, nothing will be as satisfactory to her as having created her own little world of love: a family. And so she hopes he feels the same.
The man, however, wants to make sure he and his home will stand. He loves her just the same, in his own personal way. And he hopes she sees is by his providence. Much more than just defending his name and his honour and feeding his ego, he wants to feed his beloved; and so he toils. He wants to build more than just a name for himself; he wants to make sure there are enough building-blocks to create and sustain that relationship, that family, that home the object of his affection, and indeed himself, desires. No matter how much he loves his wife, he cannot and will not give up his own desire to provide, he cannot, because it is what drives him, what keeps him going. And so he hopes she understands.
But neither of the two really does..
You see, both man and woman are constantly driven by desires.. Desires that interlock, intertwine, complement each other; and yet, cause so much trouble, so much confusion.
In meeting their own desires they both find security. And so, in an attempt to make it work, they both turn to God. Often with the wrong request, “Lord, make her see, make him understand.” when in reality the prayer should be He opens our eyes and helps us see just how WE can make it work. Putting in time and effort to understand the other and his/her desires, rather than being understood. Going the extra-mile to show we might not have the same desires, but for the sake of our union, choose to meet the others’ as best we can.
What we both- man and woman- have in common is the notion of sacrifice. Giving up part of ourselves, who we are and what we want, for the other. Even ingrates understand gratitude. We all rejoice over having someone sacrifice for us in areas that actually mean something to us.
Knowing my partner has willingly chosen to give up some “work time” to spend with me, will make me want to give him more time to work; simply because I appreciate his sacrifice. While knowing I am asking for less, will (hopefully) want to make him give me more.
This isn’t playing games at all; it is respecting the other’s needs and meeting them as best you can, through conscious effort and sacrifice. There is only so much you can do, but do you can.. Today, let’s all try a bit harder.