A recent interaction with a co-worker brings me to a new possible installment on male behavior and dating. We’re going to take a look at how men relate to women through their actions.
There are two distinctions or differences here, boys and men. Boys seek their own fulfillment, no matter the cost to a woman. To a boy, a nude picture of his girlfriend is no different than the images he regularly scans online. Boys see women to be acquired in number and paraded around as a trophy to other boys.
This is how my co-worker was treating a woman whom he recently went on a date with. Acting as a boy comparing her features with other women and showcasing her to others. Finding the behavior not appropriate within a work environment, to her, as a man and father I simply asked how he would feel if someone was talking about his sister or mother in such a manner. No response but the conversation came to an end.
Here are a few ways men think about and treat women:
1. Men don’t buy into the notion that women are objects. We live in a world in which women have been devalued to the point that they must wield their bodies as objects, making themselves vulnerable, for the sake of acquiring power or influence. There is a market for this because too many boys think they are men. Too many boys treat women as if they are objects. Most are not to blame for the culture they live in has established this as the norm and fathers do not set the standard.
Men don’t treat women like objects. A woman’s body does not define her worth. Men value women for far more than simply their bodies. In 1 Timothy, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to relate to the believers in local churches in a familial way. The wording is specific for the church, of course, but it applies to how we view others. Paul says, treat “older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters” (1 Timothy 5:1-2). With this instruction, Paul is helping Timothy to understand that he should treat others (including women) with love and respect. That’s true everywhere. Men know that women are created in the image of God, not an object to be ogled.
2. Men have enough self-control to wait. Boys, unlike men, are impatient. Boys value selfish pleasure more than sacrificial love. Boys impatiently settle for less when they don’t get what they want or pressure their “significant other” to obtain what they want.
In contrast, men are patient. Men control themselves. Men know the difference between real relationships and perceived pleasure. Again, the Apostle Paul tells us according to God looks like, “that you abstain from sexual immorality, so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). Does this mean a relationship should be devoid of passion? Not entirely and a man knows where to draw the line.
Real men are looking to the future and not necessarily immediate gratification. They know that greater satisfaction will come in the context of a committed relationship and eventual marriage. A man desires to be with the type of woman who respects herself enough to demand and expect she be treated as a human being and not an object. A man would not make a woman feel guilty or regretful. He would not press her into doing something she will hate herself for later.
Men know that a woman is a child of God and a sister in Christ, not an object.
Another instance occurred with a friend of mine whom received a text from someone they did not know. Once the individual discovered he texted the wrong person and was a girl he asked her to send a picture of her body. This is not a man.
3. Men respect, rather than exploit, women. Just about anyone, Christian or not, would agree that one of the most problematic societal issues throughout the world today is the exploitation women. Men respect women and know they are image bearers. Yet, we live in a world that is not shocked at a statement that, “Either your boyfriend is going to look at you or someone else” and “boys will be boys.” The fact that so many miss this reminds us why men need to be reminded to “act like men” (1 Corinthians 16:3).