Our culture’s picture of strong women is portrayed in the media by wives who nag, criticize, ridicule, command and manage their husbands.
While I’m all for promoting female fortitude in marriage, may I suggest that nagging, criticizing, ridiculing, commanding and managing a spouse aren’t all that difficult? In fact, such behavior comes easily. It gains momentum in selfishness — a selfishness that rears its ugly head especially when our expectations go unmet.
And really, where is the strength in that?
Contemplating this media-generated depiction of strong women, I wonder…
Is it possible for us to be angry with our husbands without belittling them in front of the children or calling our girlfriends to complain? Is it possible to express frustration without nag, nag, nagging and then proverbially throwing our hands into the air and taking matters into our own hands?
Is it possible for us to trust without micromanaging? to offer counsel, not commands? to help without controlling? to encourage in the wake of mistakes? to respect amidst plans gone wrong?
Is it possible to be still, to know that God IS God, and to wait for His direction as we learn to not fight against or bicker at our husbands but rather to work in tandem with them as together we protect our families?
Is it possible for us to be more like Jesus?
I mean really… Jesus, fully God, could have crushed his captors with a single word, could have flattened the religiously self-righteous with a flick of his wrist, could have hammered every hypocrite with a simple thought.
But He didn’t.
He didn’t employ that kind of power except to heal and forgive, restore and preach, die and rise again.
He became a suffering servant using His strength to endure a blood-soaked, spit-covered road to Calvary, allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross.
Jesus is the epitome of strength under control; He is the perfect picture of humility and meekness.
Is it possible for us to portray Christ’s kind of strength under control? Is it possible for us to be full of His kind of humility and meekness when relating to our dear spouses?
I’m not saying it will be easy!
Exhibiting authentic strength does mean walking a more difficult marital road – a road that requires unwavering perseverance, demands other-centered focus, calls for unnatural surrender.
Walking this less-traveled road will hone us and grow us beyond measure, but taking this route will also undoubtedly strengthen us, too, molding us into women of deeper, more stable character.
So while it’s true that the media’s “strong” women do make the country laugh with their nagging, criticizing, ridiculing, commanding and managing, might I suggest that they do very little to transform the world for good and almost nothing to inspire the men they belittle to become better in the process?
I don’t know about you, but I want to be a different kind of strong than that.