The scamdemic of the century, COVID-19. I could spend my 500+ characters sharing my theory of what a scam this bio weapon has proven to be, but I want to focus on what really matters to me, YOU.
I’ve heard from many folks dealing with the relational fall out of the nation’s current state of frenzied quarantine. Those of you out of work, altered work and some who have no idea what you will do FOR work are also stuck at home with dead marriages, bored kids and a longing desire for an escape. Well, hold on. I believe we are just at the beginning of the fallout period. I don’t want to see your relationships become a casualty of the unprecedented socio-economic shift occurring. I don’t like ‘how to’s’ or steps. Let’s just share a quick meal together and cover a few basics.
Have we saved some lives by sheltering in place (hiding)? Sure. Approx 1million in a nation of 327M according to shell game of charts that slide with every WH briefing. The kids from the hood lined up in scarves and suits with big letters after their names could give a street hustler a run for his money trying to keep up with ‘projections’. I’ve had better odds with a $20 scratch off. But while this national shut down based on faulty models has saved lives, I’m going to wager this will cost us more over the next 50 years than proms, graduations, sporting events and employment.
We tend to minimize relationships (love) in times of financial upheaval/ war. Relationships represent the stomach of a fight or flight situation. You know, when the adrenals pump enough cortisol to dictate where blood is distributed in the body according to survival, digestion is simply not needed to survive. Your legs, on the other hand, become the key component to your ability to run like hell from your impending demise.
But your stomach is also the seat of your spirit and your emotions. Maybe if we all take a deep breath, put the cortisol to rest and assess where our opportunities are, we could head off the pending relationship doomsday. Let’s tend to some of that for a bit.
If, as my daughter reminds me, “life is a crisis”, my days in ministry tell me relationships are the root cause of most. But why? Why so much suffering in times like these when we need each other the most?
Let’s start with need. What does ‘need’ look like? Well, it differs from person to person. You can categorically surmise that women’s needs are very different from men in the area of relating.
The Bible is a great source of reference when we are admonished quite differently in the area of relating to one another. Women are admonished to respect their husbands. Men are admonisthed to love. I submit that without our designer/manufacturer/ Creator, it is impossible to execute this seemingly simple mandate with any form of grace or wisdom.
Two very foreign concepts to the respective sex. Love is something women DO naturally. Respect is not. Respect is something men DO naturally, love is not.
As a woman saturated in my femininity, who has also been responsible for proverbially killing my own meal for the past twenty-one years, I miss the days in my twenties when life was simple for me. I was a young wife and mother. I was clear about who the bread winner was and who the caretaker was. But then life changed. A real life epidemic hit my home like a tidal wave and within two years, my provider-the visionary, the one I took care of as I only I could, died of ALS.
The past twenty-one years has left me with a lot of bruises, victories, failures and lessons in self sufficiency. It was supposed to. It’s left me dreaming of the partner who can take solace in my presence or while apart. It’s left me a little more ‘me’ centric because that’s what a life lived alone does to you.
It’s left me thinking my value (not to be confused with worth) as a life partner is comparable to that of a business partner. It’s left me nurturing the satisfying lie that men really do want to hear what women think when it comes to solving problems in a ‘crisis’. But, they don’t.
I’ve long held to the suspicion that while women are crucial to community building and problem solving, men simply secretly wish most of us would just shut the hell up until and if, our input is needed. AND the older I get, the more this suspicion is validated.
I’m not offended by that more like a little grieved. This jagged little pill simply has me re-evaluating where to assert my personal God given talents in the market place and my personal relationships.
You only have to look to visual media to prove my point. Name one ugly feminine female in MSM ‘informing’ a male centric demographic.. Men know what other men want to ‘look’ at while consuming their nightly meal of daily news/propaganda. And who’s at the head of every female in media? You guessed it. I’m just keeping it real.
In no other time have ‘roles’ been more starkly contrasted for me than now. I think we can see where men have unwittingly abdicated so much due to society’s demand/dire need for women to be equal in every capacity. But one thing’s for sure, equality and equivalency are mutually exclusive in and out of boardroom and bedroom.
We can’t mandate equality in the mind and heart of a man. The wiring isn’t there. It’s like expecting your Windows operating system to interface with your IOS gadgets. Try as we might, the original intent of IOS was not the same as Windows. You can create ways to make them compatible- to sync, but they are each fundamentally, mutually exclusive.
What am I saying? I’m merely suggesting that as fundamentals go, relating doesn’t look the same for men and women. If you’re going to respect your partner it will require biblical love. Not to be confused with emotional love. If men are going to love women as admonished, it would help if they knew that ‘help mate’ literally means peripheral vision. It means she can see things you can’t, won’t or don’t. It requires trust. It requires biblical love.
While we’re all in a battle of some sort at the moment, I want to call us to remember that in the end, all we will have are those we love. Whatever we build will not be built alone. (not to be confused with Obama’s theory of building something). Finding your role in your relationships will be crucial to the survival and prospering of them. Each one is different for sure, but fundamental human design is not.
Some of you come from broken teams. You’ve been outranked in your relationships whether by abdication or faulty instruction, I would encourage you to let go of any bitterness and acquire a new set of skills by first knowing what you really need. Realize that getting our needs met outside of the manufacturer’s handbook is like the wrong mixture of oil and gas in your mower. It will cut, but not when you hit thick patches It will stall. Trust me. It will cost you the life of your mower and the beauty and health of your lawn. Want to cut down on weeds? Start with the basics.
Determine what you are willing to and capable of giving and receiving and walk forward in this new season of struggle. You can walk with hope and a commitment to your future not equalling your past.
When we say GOD is bigger than a pandemic, what we are really saying is the kingdom of GOD in us was built to overcome any and all obstacles. This will require a team effort. GOD never did anything alone. Genesis 1:26.
Lest two agree, how will they walk together? Amos 3:3