Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Observations about Men and the Power of Women

This isn't the way it should be, but according to sheer pragmatism, I know that if I want to get something from some man, my best opportunity is to have my wife make the phone call. At this juncture, typically a man would write, "this is going to get me in trouble." Of course, he writes that to get in less trouble than he already thinks he is getting himself into. And if I were writing about a uniquely male problem, I wouldn't be getting in trouble? Why would that be? Is female trouble worse than male trouble for men? The answer "yes" can only bounce collectively around in men's heads because it wouldn't be manly to say it.

We started getting pushed around in the Garden. Eve was going to eat. Adam in his metaphorical little Lord Fauntleroy suit silently joins. "Be a good little boy and eat this." He hearkened unto the voice of his wife. I can't say I for sure know why. It was wrong, but I think any man, who is a human being just like Adam was, understands why he folded up like a wall bed. He didn't want to have to deal with it. Deal with what? I can't say, because......"it would get me in trouble." No, I will say, because I'm not going to get in trouble for saying; I'm a man. He wanted her approval. He was afraid of how it might turn out with her if he said no. The pressure is on the man to abdicate his headship, but he isn't supposed to. God wants Him to fulfill the plan that He gave him.

If you're getting in trouble men, you are already in trouble in a worse way than the trouble you think you might be avoiding. Every man needs accountability. We need other men. We know that we're leading our wives, so we need to be good examples. The wife can help the man to do better. A major factor for English supremacy in the colonization of America was the arrival of women. Without the ladies, the men would have wasted a lot of time playing around in the woods. The French. That's what they did without women, and so they were left with only New Orleans.

Today men are to treat women as equals and yet also treat them in a gentle way. Now when women boss men around, they're strong, but when men do that to women, they're brutes. They want in, but often when they get in, if they get talked to in the same way men talk to men, they're "hurt." Then the conversation could very likely turn into this:

"You probably only talked to me that way because I'm a woman."
"No, that's how I talk to men."
"Well, you're only talking to me that way because I'm a strong woman and you don't like strong women."
"No, I'm talking to you like I do men, because that's what you said you wanted."
"So I guess you don't want me in your conversation, huh?"
"I didn't say that, and it's not that I can't handle what you've got to say, but, yes, I do wish you would leave the conversation."
"I knew it. You don't like women!"
"I do like women."
"Yeah, you like women you can push around, but you don't like it when you get a woman who will stand up to you."
"You mean, like you are standing up to me?"
"Yeah, you can't handle it."
"I'm handling it, but I'd like to enjoy it. Conversations I keep having normally are ones that I don't just put up with, but actually like."
"So you don't like talking to women?"
"I LIKE!!....talking to women. I like it. I'M JUST SAYING....that, and I think you can understand, that when I talk to men, it doesn't usually go like this."
"And so that's why you don't like talking to women."
"I think I'm going to just end this conversation. I shouldn't have gotten into it in the first place."
"I figured you would give up. You just can't take it."

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. By this time, two men may have punched, or at least been close to physical contact. And a few minutes later been shaking hands and laughing.

In our modern conversation, men want women to know that they are welcome to the dialogue, so that the women will know that they, the men, aren't "sexist." As a result, when a woman enters the conversation, men often trip all over each other voicing how important her opinion is. She could utter three monosyllabic words to a male standing ovation. "Well put." "I liked the way you said that." And all the men around know it, but it's how the game is played. If one man decides not to play the game, and say what he really thinks, well, part of the process is that the rest of the men turn on him. This way, the men not only get to treat the woman like "one of the boys," but also get to protect her as well. Confusing, isn't it?


Jeff Voegtlin said...

"The pressure is on the man to abdicate his headship, but he isn't supposed to."

But would that pressure have been there in the garden, before the fall? It seems like we often put ourselves into the garden and how we would act there, but they were not like we are. What do you think?

"I LIKE!!....talking to women. I like it. I'M JUST SAYING....that, and I think you can understand, that when I talk to men, it doesn't usually go like this."

I learned this from experience as a student in the college dining room, but may have recently forgotten. The guys in school determined that this rule would keep us out of a lot of frustrating conversations: "Never discuss theology with a woman."

Anonymous said...

It has been my experience ALL men are intimated by a knowledgeble woman. AND have yet to learn...

"Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult, to leave unsaid the wrong thing in the tempting moment".
---Geoege Sala--

Just one womans opinion.


Kent Brandenburg said...

The curse came because "he hearkened unto the voice of his wife," so we know he was supposed to step in and didn't. Later in 1 Tim. 2, we see that Adam was not deceived; Eve was. He abdicated headship, chose to follow her lead. He had the ability to sin, as do we, except with the addition of our fallenness. Since we sinned in Adam, we can relate with him as to why a man would not.

All that being said, it wasn't a major theological point, more a few observations about the power a woman has over a man.

ILA, leaving the thing unsaid, yes, but saying sometimes what needs to be said despite expected conflict.

Anonymous said...

Heaven and Hell both start with HE.

Anonymous said...

Kent, I normally don't respond, I just read. And I really don't care where you are on this issue. I'm not going to change your thoughts and you're not going to change mine. I'm one of those Calvinistic, New Covenent people that you lovingly make comments about. Anyway here's my question. Did you just put yourself in the Garden? Did you put thoughts into Adam's head that are clearly not stated in Scripture? Where is it stated in the account that Adam just didn't want to deal with Eve? Or is that your interpretation? You might want to be careful on that...or maybe you don't.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Thanks for the comment, and you are welcome to comment here. I'm actually fine with a Calvinist, and I believe in the new covenant, but I'm not sure what you mean by it in so little space.

Regarding my shallow exegesis, I really made only one point of exegesis on Genesis, and the rest was speculation in which I said was speculation. The rest was simply "observations," which have no Scriptural authority.

Here was what I said in my post: "He hearkened unto the voice of his wife. I can't say I for sure know why. It was wrong, but I think any man, who is a human being just like Adam was, understands why he folded up like a wall bed. He didn't want to have to deal with it."

My point of exegesis was the first line. Then I say that I can't say for sure I know why. After that, yes, I was putting myself in Adam's place to speculate why he may have done it by thinking about why men abdicate headship today. You are free to disagree with my speculation. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Even though it says that Adam hearkened unto the voice of his wife, it does'nt say anything about him not being man enough or that he just couldn't handle the wrath of his wife. Scripture just says that Adam listened to his wife and ate from the tree which God commanded him not to do. Could you also speculate that Adam could care less what Eve said and wanted to be a god himself? You can speculate a lot of things. You can make Scripture say a lot of what you want it to if you take it out of context or "speculate" on what is clearly not stated. I guess I more disagree with your article because you're taking this one verse and making a big platform out of it. You're takinga portion of a verse and making a big militant platform for the sake of being the man. If that's your platform, then why not use verses that pertain to the man being the head as Christ is the head. It doesn't matter what Adam thought, wanted or was afraid of. The point is Adam dissobeyed God's command...period. Not, shame on you for listening to you wife; how many times have I told you not to do that? Sin is sin; it's done. Now God's redemptive plan can come. Praise Him for that.

Kent Brandenburg said...


You would have much more of a point to be tough on me, as you are being (which is much easier when you are anonymous), if I didn't say I was speculating or giving my opinion, but that was all that I was doing.

I made observations. I wasn't buttressing a point of Scripture based upon my observations. You, however, seem to be making a point about how I handle a passage. You are off base to do so. I am not exegeting a passage here. This was definitely a lighter blog, intended in many ways humorously. Am I asking the reader to make a consideration? Yes. Did Eve successfully usurp Adam's authority, exert authority over him, power over him? Yes. The passage says that. And that was the one point I made. And God did say that it was because he hearkened to her. I didn't make one point that this means that we don't listen to our wives. To "dwell with them according to knowledge," of course we must listen to them. My only point, and the point of "hearken," is that he followed her instead of her following him. The other I said was opinion, and I said it was based on why I know today that men will have the same thing happen.

I'd be happy to hear from anyone else that thinks I'm making a big platform out of one verse. You might be the only one, Mr. Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I do relize that I seem to be hitting you hard based on this one comment. The reality is that I know more about your positions than you may realize. As I said previously, we will not change each other's minds. I still think you're taking Adam's thoughts too far. Thanks for keeping the dialog. Maybe in the future "Mr. Anonymous" can be free to share name to name, but that time is not now. More would be at stake than you realize. Thanks

Kent Brandenburg said...


You are free to talk about anything here, but you have to be accurate. I tell the reader that I am giving an opinion. That means that the point I make, that I call an opinion, is not exegesis. And I don't make a point of women's power over men by using the opinion. My problem on this is that you are off. And you haven't given in on that. You've hit hard on something that isn't true.

I don't make points of exegesis from opinion. As a belief and practice, I don't do that. How do I take Adam's thoughts too far when I tell the reader it is my opinion? If you can't tell me, then you should stop thinking I'm taking his thoughts too far.

One more thing. My mind can be changed.