Women are too: emotional, needy, demanding, outspoken, insecure, clingy, drama-filled, drama-victim, indecisive, hard to figure out, critical…
Men are: immature, self centered, quiet, liars and/or cheaters, ego, too dependent, physical, prideful, non-commital…
The lists can go on and on and of course the things I listed may flip flop within genders depending on each individual. So what are we to do when we find these things to be true in relationships (whether it be friends or a dating/marriage relationship)? Where is the line between flaws needed to be worked on, and simply giving grace?
Are these things I listed above the “red flags” you look for when you start a relationship with someone? Are they also “deal breakers”? As I mentioned earlier in this article, these characteristics are not subject to only males or females, meaning, maybe you have similar flaws… similar flaws that you criticize, nag, and ultimately reject others for having. This is just it- grace is so seldomly thought of as a first option. We would rather not deal with these “flaws” and just move on. Maybe we miss out on a great opportunity to share God’s grace or we push away someone who is a great match for us. Lately I’ve been seeing articles upon articles written and posted on social media that say “guys/girls to never date,” specifically they put us in categories and say “this, this, and this are wrong with you men/ladies- steer clear!” Talk about self-esteem issues. No wonder people get divorced, or quit on others.
To counter these negative reads, I read a book that got me thinking about this subject a while back called “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldredge (they also have a men’s version of this book called “Wild at Heart”). I’m not sure where at in the book exactly to point this out to you for those of you who haven’t read it, but basically the whole book describes how women are men are built and the common characteristics God has built in each of us. Women, like Eve, and men, like Adam. We ultimately have to live amongst each other just as Adam and Eve did. We have to work together to accomplish things, and showing Christ’s love is at the top of our lists. We must give grace, and often because 1. none of us are perfect and grace is needed to live amongst each other in harmony 2. these “flaws” aren’t always actual flaws, they may just be how we are created without any intention of hurting someone who crosses our path 3. that is what Jesus did, and we want to be a mirrored image of Him. For the things that we can prevent- such as; faithfulness, laziness, and so on, I would like to say there is a fine line between character and a choice. A choice of taking on flaws (sins), verses the natural flaws we can all possess at some point and battle, and of course the natal characteristics that we cannot shake. Grace has been given to us unceasingly from God and we must understand that they are forgiven by God, therefore they can be forgiven by us. We must decide what the line would be as far as acceptable behavior in which we give grace, and flaws which bring us down in our lives which we need to avoid rather than try to “fix.” I hope my writing is clear and the message gets you thinking.
And let’s try to remember to embrace the woman’s typical emotional side, embrace the mans need to feel in control, and to embrace the fact that all of us are different and have our “flaws”… we all need grace, more than what is typically given.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
- Romans 3:23 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.“
- Romans 2:1 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.“
- Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.“
- Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.“