Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Strengths of Men

A women's group I'm a part of recently asked the members what they would like to change about men. Well, different people have different ideas about what men's main flaws are. But I don't think I would change anything about a man's nature. God made men and women with different strengths for a reason. We need each other, and our different strengths are an asset, not a flaw.

One of the main things people claim is "lacking" in men is the ability to multi-task well. But this isn't a flaw. It's part of the design. Men weren't designed to be women with different plumbing (contrary to feminist thinking). They were designed to be men, and that involves several traits that differ from women's strengths. Multi-tasking is certainly one of these traits on which men and women differ, on average. But it's actually a good thing.

Women are good at multi-tasking because we're designed to watch multiple children while cleaning the house and making meals and this requires being able to keep up with multiple things at once. Yet being good at multi-tasking also means that we women have a harder time focusing on a task that requires in-depth concentration. Men have this ability, which they need in order to focus on the major task of providing for the family. This also helps them set goals for the family and not get distracted from those goals, but to pursue them with perseverance. Focus not only helps prevent distraction, but it also helps keep priorities in line. The jobs that men do generally require greater focus. Not being able to multi-task well actually aids them in this.

In fact, we shouldn't see men's nature as one in which multi-tasking is lacking, but one in which focus is better. It's a trade off. Men and women tend to be at opposite sides of the spectrum, but balance each other so that both get done in a marriage.

Similarly, men might be less focused on cleanliness, but that's actually a good thing considering what men are often needed to do. Can you imagine, if a gunman broke into your house, what might happen if your husband was distracted with thoughts that shooting him will mess up the furniture? Or what if hunters spent a lot of time keeping clean instead of making themselves invisible to their game and tracking it until they could bring home meat for the family? Even just ordinary things in modern-day life like fixing a broken down vehicle require men to get their hands dirty and get the job done, and being able to ignore cleanliness issues helps them do that.

I know I wonder sometimes how my husband can get himself elbow-deep in grease fixing our truck like he does, but I sure am glad he can because we need a vehicle that runs, and I sure can't fix it. Men might sometimes need women to remind them to clean up when it's time to, but men also need to remind women sometimes that being clean at every moment isn't the purpose of life. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty.

Some view a lack of emotion in men as a bad thing. Yet sometimes we women let our emotions cloud our judgment. We do need our emotions in order to be the nurturers of the home and to aid in taking care of children. Women also have the issue of hormones, which make us fertile, yet make our emotions erratic and difficult to control at times. Being more emotional is not always a good thing. It has its downsides too.

Having less emotion in a man makes him better at focusing on goals and not having judgment clouded by issues which are not a priority or that don't affect what we should do. Men also have the task of going to work every day, no matter how they feel about it, because it needs to be done. Not being unduly burdened with emotions can be a good thing at such times.

Even aggression, which some people view as a "flaw" of men, is actually a necessary thing for protecting the family. Men are the stronger ones and need to have a certain amount of aggression in order to protect those they love from danger and even to deter others from trying to harm them in the first place. Men fight our wars, kill animals to bring home meat, and face danger on many fronts. They are also able to stand for the cause of justice and fight for right precisely because they have the aggression to stand up instead of cowering or worrying about what others will think.

These traits have always been strengths of men and things we women need and rely upon, even when we don't always understand or appreciate them.
Of course, the strengths of men can be twisted into bad and even evil actions. But so can the strengths of women. Sin affects us all. So the only thing we should want to remove from anyone - male or female - is their sin. Not their God-given strengths. Those strengths we should take care to appreciate, even (or perhaps, especially) when they're different from our own.

Linked up with Wifey Wednesday.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

No-Crust Buttermilk Pie

This pie is SO easy and so delicious. It's a little bit like custard, but not as egg-y and a little more buttery. And because it has no crust, you just mix the ingredients together, pour into a pie pan, and bake. It only takes about 5 minutes of prep. No fuss, no stress. Just homemade goodness.

4 eggs, beaten
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
1-1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup baking mix (e.g. Bisquick)
7 tablespoons butter, melted
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. What I do is put the eggs in a bowl and beat them, then add everything else and whisk it good. I don't even need a mixer.

Also, if you don't have buttermilk, just put 4 teaspoons white vinegar in a measuring cup and add plain milk until it reaches the 1-1/3 cup line. Then let it sit for 5 minutes. That's a quick and easy way of making buttermilk.

Pour the mixture into a 9-inch greased pie plate. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top should also be golden brown.

That's it. It's so easy. Now all you have to do is enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, and the Problem of Liberal Rhetoric

Many people don't notice this, but liberals always speak of people by the group they belong to - African Americans, gays, whites, Hispanics, women, poor people, etc. They talk about the rights of people as a function of belonging to a group - gay rights, women's rights, etc. They don't speak of people as just people in general. The liberals are not color blind. Far from it. They are keenly aware of race and gender and other group statuses because they are the ones promoting separate factions and pitting groups against each other for their own ends. If you don't believe me, just listen to them sometime. They can hardly talk about anything without making it all about special groups. And in the irony of ironies, they have somehow managed to convince a lot of people that it's the conservatives who are racist and sexist.

Liberals don't really care about gays or women or children or poor people. They just want votes and to be thought inclusive and tolerant. It's all part of their image. But they don't actually want to help anyone or stop hatred. In fact, they're very good at promoting hatred (especially against Christianity and conservatism) and drumming it up where it doesn't exist. They survive on the hatred and misunderstanding between groups. They want the country splintered into different groups that all have grudges against each other. That way, they can pretend to commiserate with all the separate groups and promise them help in exchange for votes and money. They need people to be riled up and upset so that they can swoop down with their promises of change and trade people a "government solution" in exchange for their freedom.

How do we know liberals don’t really want to help? Because they don’t actually help. Liberal policies don’t produce good results. They don’t cure poverty or stop racism or protect rights. Their policies are carefully crafted to look good on the surface, but not stop the evils of society, because it is the existence of those evils that keeps everyone coming back to liberals for “solutions.” To cover this failure of their policies, liberals are very good at turning the conversation away from the actual results of their policies and talking instead about all their good motives.

On the other hand, the conservative emphasis on freedom and personal responsibility and equal rights for all does help reduce poverty and racism and treats people as equals, but without taking freedom or money away from one group to give it to another. Conservatives don’t have to whine and pander to special interest groups and tell them all how terrible they have it to get votes. So we have no interest in keeping people down or making them hate one another. We want people prosperous and free, not dependent on us. A healthy, free, and productive society is better for everyone. A society of separate factions that hate each other is bad for everyone – except liberal politicians.

Conservatives, unlike liberals, see people as just people. We realize they belong to different groups, but conservatives see the humanity of other people first. We recognize our similarities as being more important than our differences. And so the idea of special gay rights or women's rights or minority rights are a foreign concept to us. All human beings have the same rights by virtue of being human. Rights don't come from group membership. There are no special rights that some groups have and others don't. We conservatives aren't for gay rights or women's rights or any other special rights based on group status, but not because we're against gays or women or blacks or any group (as liberals like to claim). We're against these special rights precisely because we see all people as being inherently equal. There are only human rights, and all humans have them.