Miss Independent vs Miss Compensation

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Yes, we can do it. But the question really is- do we have to do it alone?

It was Senior appreciation day during Friday’s pep-rally.  All graduating athletes were being honored by their junior teammates with the playing of songs that they felt best represented the seniors.  One by one, the junior volleyball girls introduced each senior and their “song.”  Because I went to highschool in Texas, most songs were country.

Except mine. As I stood up, wearing my letter jacket, the juniors introduced me and then pressed play…

“Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson started pouring out of the speakers and into the basketball stadium. And I started to cry.

Miss Independent, miss self-sufficient. Miss, “keep your distance.”

This song was in no way then, nor is it now, reflective of me. And yet, people continually tell me on a consistent basis that I am “intimidating” because of my apparent independence.  “You just portray self-confidence and strength; you know who you are and you know what you want,” said one guy. “That’s not approachable. Guys don’t feel needed around women like that.”

As I sat for a moment thinking about how big of a cop-out that was, I decided to be equally as honest with him.

“Huh… well.  Allow me to clarify something for you __________ (the pansie shall remain nameless).  I am not independent by nature.  My intrinsic strengths are not necessarily bent towards being independent or being the star, solo player in the game of my life.  I’m not independent because I want to be. I am not this independent and self-sufficient because I am naturally inclined to be so.  I am compensating.

“I am compensating for my lack of compliment. Notice I didn’t say that I am not complete.  I am a whole person. I am complete in Christ. However, I am meant to compliment a man, the same way a man is meant to compliment me.

“But because so many guys are putting growing up on hold, hiding out in their mom’s basements, playing Wii, and claiming that 30 is the new 21, women have suddenly become these ‘fiercely independent’ creatures that are intimidating to you because you have refused to be who you are supposed to be.”

*blank stare*  He didn’t really say much after that.  Come to think of it, I haven’t really heard from him since.

Here’s why I feel this way. There is an impressive difference between “christian guys” and “Godly men.” 

Christian guys are just that– they claim the label and wear it well, often with too much cologne.  They show up consistently, but you know that they are there. They make entrances and sit where they can be seen.  How much they walk away with at the end of the service is hard to determine because they spent most of the time texting or silently flirting with the girl sitting next to them. They look good to be sure. They say all the right things; they speak “Christian-ese” fluently. Where it all tends to come to a crashing to halt is when you don’t actually see a difference in who they are, how they spend their time, or what they talk about, one year later.

Godly men are a different breed though.  They go to church too, but they actually go to hear what the Lord will say through the preacher’s mouth. They show up, but they don’t show off.  Their motivation isn’t to be seen or heard, but instead to see where service is needed and to hear how they can be praying for their brothers and sisters in Christ.  They study the Word on other days of the week, because they want to.  Their hearts are transformed by the truth and weight of the Gospel.  They know the depth of their depravity and they press into Christ, spending more time in prayer and inviting refinement and sanctification.  They lead others by simply being honest.  They invite others to be transparent because they are a safe place. 

Let me just say, I’m not a man-eater/hater. I’m not bitter. Truly.  This is based solely on my personal experience and observation.

It does seem to be a trend in my generation though.  There’s data and statistics to show how Milliniels are breaking the mold culturally and spiritually.  I just can’t figure out why we feel the need to.

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About mndunn26

I recently realized that my life is somewhat of a beautiful mess. A "pollack-type-picture" if you will, of colors, experiences, and people that, despite the seeming disarray, is captivating & confusing; patterened & yet unpredictable. But most of all, it is mysteriously designed, purposed, and appointed. For what? I don't know yet... but I'm learning as I go.

15 responses »

  1. As a guy, it ticks me off to know a lot of men won’t step up an be men of God!!! Yup, ticks me off. Oh you think being a man is gong to the bars and acting all big while you drink your long necks and smoke your cigarette. Yeah you look real cool blowing smoke out of your nostrils. Oh… you think your real cool cause you have a fav football team and you invite the boys over and have a six pack and watch the game while you eat your chips. Yea your real cool.
    Real men have their priorities in line. They listen and pray to God, read the word and direct their house in the name of Christ. They love their wife and kids like Christ loves the church. They know what real love is because they have a relationship with the creator of love.
    It’s sad that that a man can’t stand up and me the man God has called them to be, in their home, at work, or wherever they are, God directs their path, and pride, yeah it’s called humility!

    • PREACH! Thanks Kevin! Honestly, I was a little scared to post this because I thought “I really don’t want to offend men, I just want them to know we need them to be men!” Grateful for your response!

  2. That (among other things) is why I ended up marrying someone eight years older than me. Mere, sometimes it takes people (especially guys, it seems) a while to recognize what they truly want. What is important. What that “independence” really is.

    Of course, this is a generalization and certainly not the case with every guy, but I know many people for whom this is true.

    Hang in there. The wait for the right one will be MORE than worth it.

  3. Very well said, Mere. It seems to me that a lot of guys are taking way to long to figure out what it truly means to be a both gentleman and a Godly man. I admit that I was guilty of a lot of the same behavior when I was younger and I know guys my age that still act that way. Becky’s advice is sound. Stand firm and don’t compromise or you’ll end up in a frustrating, unfulfilling and unhealthy relationship.

  4. I once asked the question, If men would be men, would women be women?

    The conclusion I arrived at could be simply put as a yes.

    It is clear men have the responsibility to lead. If as a whole, they would step up and do it, I believe, as a whole, women would step down.

    God needed Deborah because Barak was a pansy. His first choice was a man, but because he was not man enough, it was time for a woman. (judges 4:6-9)

    men & women–Equal, but different.

  5. Meredith-
    Awesome post! I had to laugh a few times because I have been told the same thing about being intimidating. So frustrating! I actually just heard the other day that a guy who calls himself a Christian is far different than a man that lives a life of conviction.

    Thanks for being honest, you rock!
    -Vanessa

  6. Meredith~
    A wholehearted “yes” and “amen” to this :]. I’ve been told the same thing by guys and I really, really like your response back because it is SO true!! If men would be men, then women wouldn’t feel the need to go it alone and put their “big girl pants on.” Thanks for writing this, it’s nice to know that other women out there feel the same way.

  7. I came over from Meg Miller’s blog. I think you may find this interview with Mark Driscoll interesting: http://www.neuemagazine.com/index.php/digital-archives/issue-03-summer-2010 (you have to go to page 31 to see it.)

    He talks about the extended adolescence that he sees perpetuated in the lives of so many men. For me personally, it grieves my heart. God has huge tasks for the men of my generation to do, great adventures that are theirs for the taking by His grace! But they are forging their own paths, and I hurt to think of the disappointment they will feel in twenty or thirty years when they look back with regret. It is certainly something I should be praying more.

    • Hey Jennifer! I’m so glad you dropped a line and shared Mark’s interview. I look forward to watching this and hearing a man’s perspective on the current status among guys in this generation. I couldn’t agree with you more– men are called by God to do and be so much right now, today! I too need to be praying for them more, being more encouraging of them, and hopefully giving them reason to believe that they can do it:)

  8. This was incredible. I saw this from your comment on Megan Miller’s post today. This is what I loved. “They know the depth of their depravity and they press into Christ, spending more time in prayer and inviting refinement and sanctification. They lead others by simply being honest. They invite others to be transparent because they are a safe place.” Great job.

    Rissa

  9. I know, I am late to this conversation.. but WOW.

    I preached one week and told men to “Put down the playstation and pick up the sword”. I railed and hollered and pressed and indicted them. And they continuted to twitter, facebook, whatever.

    I am trying to find the balance to communicate to our generation of men what godliness looks like, and it does not look like the latest adonis/playboy/cheap immitation.

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