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.


  1. I agree with what you wrote! I'm glad my husband isn't as concerned about cleanliness, it gives me more grace when I struggle with that area. ;)

  2. Great insights, Lindsay, on the benefits of how God designed men to be different than women. Visiting you from Wifey Wednesday. : )

  3. Nicely stated. I may rail agains't feminism, but I never forget how important women are to me. They are my other half.

  4. Had to laugh at your comment about your husband fixing the truck - many a time my husband would come in the house covered in grease and oil with the latest car fixit, and I'd frantically try to keep him at a distance! He wanted me to join in (now I wish I did know more about fixing cars!)but it just was not my thing... Since he died in April, 2013, have realized how very much he did for our family as the grounding, "final answer" to questions and guidance even the now-grown children had, ultimately how he kept it all together for us as a family.