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.