|The Woman's Touch|
|Femina: For Wives|
|Written by Nancy Wilson|
When I think of what we call the “woman’s touch,” I immediately see a man living alone in the old west who gets himself a mail-order bride. She takes one look at his disheveled cabin and gets out the broom and bucket and whips the place into shape. The next scene in the movie shows ruffled curtains blowing in the windows, fresh bread coming out of the oven, and a cleaned up cowboy sitting meekly at the table, eating his dinner with newly acquired, civilized manners.
Though we should laugh at the stereotype, there is something powerful to be said for the feminine touch. Not only does the cabin really get remade into something for humans, but the cowboy is remade as well. If he is going to enjoy the company of a real woman, he is going to have to shape up, take a bath, clean up his habits, and stand tall. He’s a new man.
Men want to be made new. They enjoy being the kind of men that a woman will respect and admire. When a culture has the bar too low, and the women are easily impressed, too eager for any male companionship of any caliber, then the men can get away with slouching around. And they will. But when the culture is characterized by women with high standards, it is a great blessing to the men. They will stand tall to impress a woman like that.
If the above mail-order bride had not been a powerful force for good, the house would still be a pigsty and the man would still smell to high heaven. But she had a backbone and a standard (and was cute to boot), and the man readily conformed so that he could share her bed and board. This is how it should be, and the men know it. In fact, the men like it that way. It makes life far more interesting and gives them purpose and a heritage, someone to defend and provide for.
On the other hand, if the women are willing to compromise, few men will argue about it. If she will climb into his bed (or someone else’s) without a marriage commitment, who’s to complain? He can have all the benefits of marriage with none of the responsibilities. This has a far-reaching effect on our culture: men become more immature, irresponsible, reckless, and selfish; the women try to take up the slack but become restless, competitive, insecure, and discontent.
Imagine for a moment what would happen if women across our country suddenly said something like, “You must be crazy if you think I will sleep with you without a wedding.” Not only would there be a diamond shortage, we would have far fewer miserable, misplaced women with big paychecks and nothing to go home to.
The feminists have successfully marginalized the woman’s “traditional” role, denying its power and impact. In their view, the perky mail-order bride described in the scene above is a brainless idiot who has been hoodwinked into settling for the menial, inferior, even worthless job of housekeeping for a man who has married her just so he can have sex, children, and live-in maid service. And I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say that any women who have opted to stay home and raise their children are viewed by the feminists much the same way, even if the marriage was nothing as crude as a “mail-order.” But who is really the wise woman here and who is the fool? Is the hard-working wife really so dumb? Doesn’t she get what she really wants?
The feminists, being above such things themselves, have figured out a much better way to handle male/female relations. Far from being a mail-order bride, the modern feminist is an internet girlfriend. She has moved in with one cowboy after another, is having sex and cleaning up apartments for free for any number of men with whom she has no long-term plans or commitments. He doesn’t have to change his ways or clean up after himself. Why should he? He can find another, younger, maybe more attractive woman if he gets weary of this one. She can expect nothing from him.
Now you tell me: Who is the dummy here?
Of course, I have exaggerated to make a point. But still, let’s face it. Women have a powerful impact on men, for good or for ill. Some women are tyrannical and what they need is a husband who will tell them to quiet down for pity’s sake. Women can have a destructive impact on men when they have low standards (like the harlot or strange woman in Proverbs), or when they have high standards for the men but not for themselves (the clamorous woman). The best-case scenario is the wise woman who loves what God loves and isn’t eaten up with discontent. She is at peace with her calling as a woman and is blessed by the happy consequences of her labors.
The world is full of homes in sad need of a woman’s touch: a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work kind of touch that resounds with God’s creation wisdom and overturns the foolishness of feminism. When we turn away from some of these crazy man-made ideas and embrace God’s design for the family, we will see homes and the men and women in them remade and restored. And there’s no telling the impact on civilization as we know it.