We've never met. As a matter of fact, most of you I may never meet. But I owe you an apology....
To the guy who picks up his Bible instead of the Playboy magazine, to the guy who closes his laptop even though no one is watching, to all of you who hold doors, give up seats and through action and word choose to respect the women in your life every day. To the man who never lets a woman's careless behavior absolve his responsibility to respect and value her. I'm sorry.
You see I grew up in a “boys will be boys” culture. From an early age I learned that men were pigs. I learned to hold my own doors and never ever to need you. God forbid that I should need a man's help or be vulnerable. I learned that every compliment had hidden intentions, that I should cover up, cross my legs, and leave you in the dust like the independent woman I was expected to be. That's what society taught me.... and they were wrong.
I'm sorry that we bought into the lie that you were an animal incapable of controlling yourself
I'm sorry that I believed you were all the same
I'm sorry that we lowered the bar and settled for guys who didn't respect us
I'm sorry that I never took a deeper look into all my misconceptions
I'm sorry that we turned your chivalrous acts into demeaning displays of our weakness
I'm sorry that we cheapened masculinity by making it nothing more than sex, women, and physical strength
We got it wrong -society, myself, the church- we all did.
There are plenty of men in the world who fit every stereotype I just mentioned, but then there's you- the ones I'm actually apologizing to.
Whether you're 14 or 40, single or married, you fight a daily battle to keep your mind and heart pure for the woman who will one day deserve it. You choose our worth and value over your temporary satisfaction or pleasure. Thank you.
We need you. As our brothers, our fathers, our friends, our spouses, we need you.
We need you to validate our worth as more than the number we see on a scale; we need you to tell us that we are treasured and valued because of Whose we are not because of what we do.
At some point and time society decided that wasn't okay. It wasn't acceptable for a woman to need a man, in fact it was weakness. The Bible speaks very differently about gender roles though.
God created us to need each other. Gender roles are more about our souls/spiritual lives and strengths/weaknesses complementing each other when we use them correctly than they are about who makes dinner. A man's strength guards a woman's heart and provides a chance for her to be vulnerable. We need that leading as women whether we like to admit it or not. A man's strength (spiritually speaking, as a leader) should enhance a woman's beauty by allowing her to be vulnerable. Mutually, a woman's need for a leader requires a man's strength and validates him.
This gets all screwed up in our society because guys grow up learning to disrespect women and girls grow up learning to demonize men and be completely independent. We are told to be strong, independent women and never rely on anyone because that simply leads to heartbreak. Most of the women I know have no idea how to be vulnerable because society doesn't allow it, but the church should be working to redefine what it means to be a godly man or woman today!
So I'm sorry for not saying it sooner, but I see you; we see you. We notice when you choose respect us because it's a choice you make daily. We notice and we're grateful. Keep it up. And no matter how many times we act like we don't, we need you. We need godly men who are respectful not just as our future spouses but as our friends, as our brothers in Christ.
So to you who make that choice every day, I'm sorry for not giving you the thanks you deserve. Thank you. From every girl out there trying her best to represent Biblical womanhood- thank you for making the journey a bit easier!