Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Man Card

It seems now-a-days men have (or perhaps had) a "man card." I've heard references to "the man card" on a few movies/shows along the way - normally, "the losing of a man card" when a man chooses to leave the "manly world" of sports, parties, shows emotion or chooses to go do something that their wife has requested or to take care of their children. The idea that somehow a man has to earn his right into a card carrying fraternity of "real" men and then must follow a set of "manly rules" or their card is revoked.

This post by Billy Coffee got me thinking about "Man Cards." Basically, Billy got "told off" for holding the door for a woman at the mall. She didn't just exchange words with him; she was LOUD. She was intentional about causing a scene so that others might see the display and perhaps it might cause other men NOT to hold doors for women as if it were an insult to the female gender to need someone to hold the door for them.

As you can see, the post got me thinking and down right bothered that the voices of those who are in opposition to all that is good (and often holy) are so much louder and intentionally projected for all to see and hear. That what is meant to be good is becoming so distorted.

If I were a woman of means, I believe I would have went out and bought a slew of gift cards (maybe to Home Depot, a Bass Pro shop, a good local eatery, etc.. Somewhere that most men might enjoy going to) and I would have gone to the mall in search of men who would hold a door for me.

I'd smile and thank them and pass out my modified version of "man cards" to encourage men that although we may not be loud; there is quite a large group of women who still greatly appreciate the behavior of a gentleman. No, we probably don't need for you to hold the door open for us; but we appreciate the respect and kindness that it is meant to be to us.

But since I'm not a woman of means...I guess I'll have to settle with smiling, thanking, and writing.

To the men who may read this post: I pray that God would reveal to your heart that He alone holds your masculinity. No man (or woman for that matter) can remove that gift from your Heavenly Father to you. May you embrace the strength, power, and love that being a Godly man brings. This world (and feminine hearts) need husbands and fathers who will embrace their masculinity as the head of their households through Christ's love and grace.

Take a risk: be intentional about opening the door (be it the door at work, the store, or the car door for your wife.)

To the ladies who may read this post: I pray that we would all (myself included) learn more fully what it means to respect the men in our lives. May we appreciate the masculinity that God has bestowed and build it up rather than tear it down. May we embrace our own feminine hearts and come alongside of our husbands as they take risks as leaders in our households. May our households be strengthened through Christ's love and grace.

Take a risk: The next time a male opens the door for you; smile and thank him. Not because we are too weak or need them to do it for us; but because they have taken the time and made the effort out of respect for you.

An excellent book for both men and women to read on the masculine heart, "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge.

If we do not take a stand for that which is good (and also for that which is holy); who will?

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1

"Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." I Corinthians 11:3

Respectfully,

Shanda

19 comments:

rcubes said...

Proverbs 31 woman is not described as being liberated but someone whose strength and dignity do not come from her own achievements. They are the end results of her reverence for God.

She is the one who respects her spouse and I think that's what's missing in that woman in Mr. Coffey's post, that woman did not give him any respect after what he did for her, opening the door.

That's what's lacking: if a person can't respect God, how can he/she respect others?

Great post! Blessings.

Pam D said...

I love that, Shanda, including the idea of the gift cards. Perhaps you could at least carry a printed card that thanks them for their good deed and reinforces the fact that it IS still appreciated by many. But the biggest thing that we can all do is to instill in our SONS the very things that you put at the end of your post for men, and to instill in our DAUGHTERS what you said to women. Each succeeding generation is buying into the values of the world more and more; satan really isn't having to lift a finger. We're doing all of the heavy lifting for him. And that is just sad.

Keystone said...

I never liked the term "Man Card", nor do I believe in them. Yes, there are male and female and women and men. But no "Card" can be given to, or taken from, either gender due to someone else's assesment of their behavior. I just find it demeaning for anyone to discuss another having a man card or not.
(Character traits are another story; courage was on display by the Hudson River airplane captain when the plane went in the river.
But he was no more or less a man, than before).

I have met many militant females, but they hurt less, than the friendly female, who won't invest in the time of an evening date to know you better, or choose to date a man who clearly abuses her, over meeting a new man to date.

Men are judged by their looks, by the younger set, and by their wealth by all sets of females.
That explains how an 82 year old Hugh Hefner can bed 7 women from age 18 to 26 at the same time, and the world is silent on this behavior... including the church!
(It ain't his looks).

A friend asked me to watch her house and pets for a month as she travelled; 4 cats and 2 dogs. I stayed at her home to "preserve it". Cats drink out of a gallon dispenser,and eat out of a gallon food pellet mechanism, so they are easy. The dogs were work to feed, run, exercise, and clean up afterwards. I found ice cream led to obedience.

One cat was light grey sheen and ice blue eyes. Bailey was rescued from New Orleans and my friend adopted her. Bailey always ran from upstairs, where the food was, to the basement and hid behind cans on a shelf.

One day, I caught her absorbing sunlight on the bed, sprawled in contentment. I softly crept up and petted her fur. It was like down, and for a moment, she debated scampering away as NO ONE touches her. But we had known that I was her source of food for weeks now, and she accepted the soft touch. Soon, I lifted her and held her in my arms cradled, and continued petting her.

That was when I found, Baily had no purr. Contented cats purr in a rhythm; Baily had no purr (and I later discussed that with my friend). This cat was either abused long ago, or the trauma of Hurricane Katrina and trying to cling to life, led to a loss forever of purr, contentment.

Mr. Coffey held the door open for a gal with no purr left. I do not know why she lost her purr.

But Jesus Christ holds the Gate of Heaven open to all, and we sit down here screaming, precisely as that woman at the Mall. We tell Him He is wasting his time, we can handle our lives, butt out!

We carry baggage in excess of our ability, and fall to the ground, spilling in sin daily.

The longer we watch Christ hold the door of Heaven open for us, and adamantly refuse his invitation to enter a new world, the more likely and sooner, we loose our purr from world-induced pain.

In my dating life, I always open the door of the car. But then, I walk around the car, and I have determined if there will be a second date as I approach my door.
Most gals have leaned over and unlocked my side as I walked around the car. They know gratitude and respect. They tend to be lots of fun, hold enormous quantities of laughter, and are a delight to be company with, and to.
Others, sit there alone and waiting, thinking of their world, and ignore my locked door.
The evening talk generally reveals that my original assessment will hold true; no second date "thank you".

Rachel said...

Amen. It still warms my heart to see my husband hustle to open a car door for me. Not because he has to, but to show a gesture of affection.

I'm glad you posted this - and I hope Mr. Daddy gets a chance to read this.

So well said!

Leslie said...

I love this post, thank you for sharing!!! I used to hate when men called me ma'am or opened the door for me. Now I love it and I think it's how they show respect. :)

Mrs. G said...

Shanda, this was a great message for both men and women. I can only respect men more for still following the "old school" ways despite the disdain others may throw their way for doing so. I am with you in wanting to reward those men and while I also a women without means, I do want to do the little I can by making sure to acknoledge those men who act chivalrous. I will make eye contact, smile and say "thank you - I really appreciate that". (I will make sure to say it loud enough that gentleman-bashers will feel ashamed).

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I ALWAYS go out of my way to thank men who hold the door open for me. I get really ticked when they don't...esp. when I am pushing a double stroller and trying to open those awful doors at the mall (you know the ones!!!). Usually a little old lady holds it open for me so I can get the stroller in.

Shanda said...

Keystone,
Interesting thoughts on the purr...I suppose most of the negativity in the world stems from hurts of one kind or another.

Sounds as if you may have recently gone on a "no thank you" kind of date! I hadn't really ever thought about it; but for the record, I was always an "unlocker" (actually I still am for my husband when he opens the door for me.)

As always, I appreciated all of your thoughts and words. Thank you for your input!

rhemashope said...

Nothing melts my heart more than a man who is polite and respectful. To think that a man's kindness and consideration (in holding the door for someone) would be rewarded with a publicly scolding just baffles me.
Thanks for the reminder, Shanda, to respect the men in our lives. I'm starting with my husband.

Keystone said...

Shanda,

When you are a single dad, ALL dates are a "No Thank You", until your girls can fend for themselves.

As much as I love to open a car door for a date, my girls took priority. There has been no recent---no thank you.
Dating and single parenting do not mix well, and a choice needs to be made.

That habit began in college as I fumbled to get a key in the hole on my side of the car, getting drenched in rain, as a woman sat 2 feet away, admiring herself in the mirror. A mental note was made to never date a second time, any girl who failed to have my door unlocked by the time I strolled around the car.

I am delighted to hear you are among the correct group.
I pray all your dreams are in color, instead of black and white,.... and they all come true.

Blessings to you Shanda.

Pollyanna (formerly the Laughing Idiot) said...

Stopping over from SITS!

This is a great post. I read another recently about a blogger teaching her sons about chivalry and how important it is. Darn if I can't remember who it was.

I have girls and I want them to realize the importance of chivalry, the need to repect it, and to expect it. How a man treats women is indicative of their character and it's something all women should ultimately be looking for in the ideal mate.

casiphia said...

You just do see the gentleman of a man now a days unless you grew up in that generation of holding doors open for women, lending them a helping hand etc. We have swayed away in society of teaching our young men today of that, being a gentleman. I have taught my 16 year old son to open doors for women even his sister and myself and to lend a woman who needs a hand to help her even if they don't ask. I am always appreciative when a man holds the door open for me and taught my 15 year old daughter that and to always say thank you for it. My brothers were taught that and because my parents raised us that way, I raised my kids that way too. I think it is more masculine when a man holds a door for a lady.

Gretchen said...

Great points, as always. Feel badly for both the door opener and the door openee. Probably more sad for the latter, though. For, as someone else commented, her heart is hard.

Manners are always a good thing, regardless of gender, and "thank you" is so simple, and yet, so under-used. I'm reminded to teach my children love and respect by modeling them. Modeling also not only blessing others, but how to receive blessings, as well.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Interesting post Shanda. I will never really understand women who don't like a man to treat her in a respectful ladylike manner. I am all for a man holding the door me.

To me it all comes down to "do unto others what you would have them do unto you". Right? Respect is a two way street and to get it you usually have to give it.

christy rose said...

I love the idea of the man card thing. Passing out "thank you's" for acting appropriately respectful toward us deserves a proper "man card" favor. I agree with Pam D. that it is important that we instill in our sons and daughters the proper values in respecting each other. Great post Shanda!
Christy

Eva Gallant said...

I'm not a very religious person, although I do believe in God. But my response to this blog is purely secular: Men showing respect should be appreciated not denigrated. Amen!

Penelope said...

Wild At Heart sounds like a great read...thanks for the recommendation, I'm going to take a look at it.

seesawfaith said...

I feel so much sympathy for men today.

So many "strong, independant" women feel insulted and demeaned by simple acts of kindness. Their harsh words create a culture where men would rather be rude (going against their natural tendancy as protector and provider) then deal with making one more woman angry because he wanted to be kind. I don't know why women perceive kindness this way, or that they respond with such bitterness. I also feel sadness for those women that they go through life looking for things to tear down. They are missing so much beauty.

This is even played out on television, in movies and in songs. Women have taken the thing they hate most, being belittled, and are now gleefully distroying our culture's perception of men further by the very same poison. Fathers are powerless in their own home, husbands are clueless and the butt of every joke, when men get together they are shown as only intellegent enough to drink and get into trouble, and then the episode/movie/song ends with the man appologizing for his very existance!

I am so glad you are encouraging women to make a point of thanking men for acts of respect and kindness! We all should be speaking up about this.

I guess encouraging men in this way is similar to the starfish story. We can't undo all the damage done by our culture, but we can make a difference to that one man that dare's to risk the wrath of a liberated woman and continues to show curtesy and honor.

Warren Baldwin said...

Wild at Heart is a good book. This was a good post, too. Too long we have allowed society to determine our ethics and behavior. Good call here for men to be men of honor, whether everyone appreciates it or not. It is good, though, to know that many women still do appreciate it!

Received Crazy Love yesterday. Thank you! My daughter was here when I opened it and was excited for me, too. Thank you again!