5 Things to Appreciate About Men
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
I grew up in a family of mostly women. I was 1 of 4 sisters, had several close aunts, and grandmothers. It was a gentle, kind, cozy, and deliciously FEMININE environment. I made lots of girl friends in school and mostly steered clear of boys. For the majority of my life, I firmly believed that women were superior to men- that we were smarter, kinder, more emotionally developed, self-aware, and wiser. I carried this perception long into adulthood.
I remember sitting on the beach at the lake with my mom and watching a big group of teenage boys wrestling on the dock and dumping each other into the water. I shook my head and thanked the stars that I had a sweet and gentle daughter. I scrunched up my nose to boys: such careless, messy, smelly beings with little common sense and a tendency towards aggression. No thank you.
After a lifetime of being surrounded by girls and women, I saw men as the cause of pain for so many of my beloved friends. I wondered how it was possible that a man could seem to break even the strongest, smartest, and kindest of the women I knew. What was wrong with the men of the world that they couldn’t appreciate these incredible women?
Then, something happened that I had never expected. Watching the screen at my midwife’s office, I almost fell off the examination table when she announced, “It's a boy!”. For some reason, I’d always just assumed I’d have all girls just like me and my sisters.
I must admit I was scared because I found male energy intimidating. I’ve since been blessed with 2 sons and I’ve learned SO MUCH. My perception of men has been flipped upside down and inside out and I am so thankful for that.
Today, I look at my sons and realize that pain goes both ways. A struggling relationship is awful for everyone involved. I hope and pray my son’s never get treated by their wives the way I treated my husband in the past. I use that thought to help guide me in my marriage. Before saying something to my husband, I ask myself how I would feel if I saw my son’s future wife saying the same thing to him. I try to be the wife to my husband that I wish for my sons in the future. I am conscious that witnessing how my husband and I treat each other is how children learn about love. I want them to learn that love involves respect, trust, and lot’s of joy!
Having sons has not only had a positive impact on my relationship with my husband, but also with my father, my boss, and men in general. I am now able to APPRECIATE the differences between the male and female culture and see the beauty in how they compliment each other.
These are 5 things I have learned to appreciate about men:
The Hero Gene
Men love to make women happy. I’ve seen men holding their wife's purse in the mall, jumping on the bill at a first date, holding doors and pulling our chairs, coming home from work with flowers, fixing broken door knobs, and even running to the store for tampons just to make their woman happy! Even my 2 year old son gets so much joy from making me smile by bringing me a handful of dandelions for my hair. They love to be our heroes!
When my 4 year old wanted to climb up a tree, my first instinct was to tell her to come down immediately before she got hurt. I was horrified when my husband encouraged her to try for the next branch and said she was doing a great job. My hands sweat even as I remember it. This is an example of how women make excellent mothers, and men make excellent fathers. We offer different experiences to our children, and that’s a great thing! Now, I can appreciate that my husband was teaching my daughter to believe in herself, to take risks, and to learn that if you fall, you have to dust yourself off and try again. Men are excellent at accepting and passing along the tougher lessons of life.
I used to begrudge my husband’s long hours. What I really wanted was for him to spend more time with me. When I shifted my perspective to appreciation, it became apparent that he works to provide FOR ME and for our family. When I expressed my desire to cut down to part-time so I could be home more for the kids, he willingly picked up my load to support my wish. Men are excellent providers and are often willing to work very long hours to see that their woman and family have everything they need. They want us to have the best!
I used to inwardly roll my eyes when I would share a problem I encountered at work and my husband just wanted to solve it for me. He would come up with an action plan for me that I wasn’t interested in. I just wanted to vent and feel heard and understood! Today, I see that my husband wants to solve my problems because he doesn’t want to see me uncomfortable or unhappy. Knowing this helps me to appreciate the problem solving gene in men!
Just like the teenage boys wrestling on the dock and my husband teaching my daughter to climb a tree, men are natural risk takers. I used to look down on this and see it as senseless and dangerous. Now, I see that there is a very important purpose for their hunger for adventure and drive to take risks. They are sharpening their skills as protectors and exploring their capabilities as men. This is what enables families to rely on men to go out and provide. Even our society relies on men for protection. It's no coincidence that it's predominantly men who join the army and police force. Men are inclined to be adventurers and protectors for their family and community.
I hope this list has given you fresh appreciation for some of the ways men contribute to society and to the world.
I wish you a day filled with much to be grateful for!
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