I was at our Wednesday night bible study this past Wednesday (obviously) and the subject was originally living in an understanding manner with our wives, based on 1st Peter 3:7. The conversation turned rather quickly (due to the fact that half of us there weren't married) to the topic of how to treat a lady properly. Pastor brought out a very important point. In this world, people tend to treat ladies in two ways, both at opposite ends of the spectrum. One is women are unique merely in the physical sense, and that their sole purpose is for men's gratification. The other view, equally as devastating to men in our culture, is that ladies are no different than guys, except in physical form, and that we should treat them as guys, joke with them as guys, act around them as we would with other guys. Each of these views are manifested in different ways. The one, is mainly manifested in the porn industry. The other, which is much more subtle, is manifested in the work force, as you work side by side with them, act around them, treat them, and work with them, just like another man on the job. Both of these views are just the extreme ends of the proper view and treatment of ladies in the culture. Yes, ladies are different, distinct, the "weaker vessel", that were designed by God, and yes, in a way, we are on a par with ladies, in equal value, worth and importance to God.
This had a profound impact on me. I'll confess, in my sin nature in the past, I have hit both ends of the wrong mindset. Both of these need to be in balance, and we are to honor, protect and defend ladies, because they are the weaker vessel. This doesn't just apply to men defending their wives from harm, or opening the door for her, it applies to unmarried men as well. We, as men, have the duty to honor, defend and protect ALL women, from harms way. Granted, we aren't to go marching into Walmart with an AK-47 and stand there as guard all day long, to ensure that everybody is safe, that is not our jurisdiction. (Although toting an AK into Walmart sounds like heaps of fun :) ) We are to be prepared, in season and out of season, to give a reason for the hope that is within us. This verse is commonly applied to sharing the gospel with unbelievers, but if we believe that women should be protected, shouldn't we be ready to "give a reason", or to put it plainly, to stand up for what we believe?
This is a point so totally lost in todays culture. What happened to escorting Granny across the street when she stood there on the corner alone? What happened to tipping our hats as the ladies went by, or holding the door for them, or offering to take the heavy package? We, as Christian men, need to take up where the world left off. So go ahead, open the door for that lady at the grocery store, and don't mind if she stares at you oddly. Go and tip your hat (if you wear one) as a lady passes you buy on the street, as you're going to get the mail. And yes, be willing to sacrifice your life in defense of a lady when she is in harms way. Do what it takes, and be a man, by honoring ladies for what they are.
Soli Deo Gloria