My job as a man, Part 4

Love and Affection
God loves us. If He didn’t, we would know it. He provides us with all we need, without us even asking. Many times He gives us MORE than we need. He gives us time for leisure and provisions for things that we enjoy. I don’t need my small collection of Final Fantasy collectables, but (as odd as it sounds), thank God that I have enough that I can eat and have clothing and a home and a car, yet still have a little left over to buy something insignificant and fun.

This, to me, is proof of Gods love and affection for us as His children. Likewise, as husbands we should give our wives and children both, but I feel we need to better understand the difference between the two. Personally I feel that they are often seen as something interchangeable with one another, but this is not the case. You can love someone, yet withhold affection (which is sometimes necessary), and you can also be affectionate toward someone without loving them.

Love
Do you get up every morning at 5am, trudge into the kitchen for a cup of coffee before you get dressed, then head out before the crack of dawn to your office/field/job site? Despite your sore back, throbbing headache and your jerky boss, do you continue to do this every day? Every. Day. Over and over, just so your family can have a nice house, nice clothes, clean and healthy food and a car to drive around in? Congratulations! You are expressing love! It’s not a difficult thing, and its something men really do excel at. Yes, we may complain sometimes, but, if your anything like me, when you see your family happy and healthy, it doesn’t seem so bad. The majority of men really do love their wife and kids, and would easily sacrifice their own lives to keep them safe. In fact, men DO sacrifice their lives, as the toll of working every day, the mental and physical stress, leads to men dying much earlier than women, and that says nothing of the occupational hazards. I work in an office, which isn’t so bad, but there are greater men than I that face death, dismemberment and danger every day, then turn around the next day and do it all over again. This willingness to sacrifice ones self for the benefit of others is what Jesus called “no greater love”, and though we often attribute it to ones willingness to throw themselves in front of a speeding bullet, the daily sacrifice of a husband is a more than adequate example of that love.

Affection
Affection is a difficult topic for me. Not because I don’t know how to show affection – I believe most men do, but because I personally feel that modern women have an affection addiction, and they often think that how much affection you show them equates to how much love you have for them. Its actually not much different than how your kids think, but its completely wrong.

Affection is a direct result of your emotional state. If you are happy with someone, if they have been good or kind or acted properly, your affection will increase. When they act poorly, mistreat you or are disobedient, your affection will decrease. This is not to be mistaken with love, which is a constant, despite pain and hardship (well, for the most part). When your affection for your wife and children is high you may find yourself buying them gifts, treating them to a night out for ice cream or allowing them privileges they don’t normally receive.  Some would think this is a bad thing, but I tend to see it as a way for those under authority to learn what pleases those whos authority they are under. This behavior is not un-biblical, either, as the Lord promises blessings in return for our obedience in many scriptures:

But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’
‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days maybe long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
When we are disobedient to God, His affections may leave us, but His love never will.
Now, as a man it is important to understand that women greatly desire affection. It, like drama, is like air to them. As a result of this some women may try to get you to believe that the amount of affection you show them is a direct correlation to the amount of love you have for them, but you cannot and must not fall for this sleight of hand trick. If you do you will be expected to shower her with a continuous flow of affectionate gestures, which I assure you will tire you out and likely break your bank account. Modern women and men ascribe to the false statement ‘happy wife, happy life’, and this is not only a lie, but is a direct contradiction to scripture, which says if we base our happiness on the things of this world (including other people) we will be sorely disappointed.  Certainly we see men that allow their children to control the heartstrings of their fathers and we shake our heads in shame, yet these same men would allow their wives the same control and we fall back to the ‘happy wife, happy life’ fallacy.
I have always believed that women have ALWAYS been addicted to affection, but only in the past hundred years or so have men been able to supply them with a constant stream of it. In days long past many men didn’t have the luxury of working jobs that were so close to home. Instead of leaving in the morning and being home by dinner (or visiting for lunch) some men would have to hop on a boat and be gone for months or even years before coming back. I recall just recently watching the movie In the Heart of the Sea (an excellent film, by the way. I highly recommend it) and during the opening scenes one of the main characters indicates to his wife that he will be at sea for two years. TWO. YEARS. I’m sure his wife appreciated every bit of affection she received from him and likely did whatever she could while he was around to stay in his good affections. However, because men nowadays are often gone in the morning and back by dinner it almost seems like there is an excess of affection and, like any drug, when you use too much of it you require more and more doses to get the same buzz. Affection is a good thing, but too much of a good thing turns it into a bad thing. We, as men, must understand that when affection is not being earned, it should be reigned back. To continue to give affection for bad behavior is to train a child, or a wife, to be a spoiled brat.
Up next, the final chapter: Sex
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Author: SnapperTrx

Just a guy on the internet.

16 thoughts on “My job as a man, Part 4”

  1. i love reading these – you have an easy way of expressing things that makes sense.

    about the affection … i wonder if the breakdown of the family, extended family, and small community units affect this … causing women not to receive the levels of affection needed from other female members of their family and community?

    i’ve noticed that women who are very close to their mothers have lower needs from their husbands and friends.

    1. I do suppose that’s a possibility. Husbands should be their wives primary source of affection, but because husbands and wives are in such close proximity now it’s like some women cannot get their fill, and they know the spigot is right there and easily opened. Add to this the fact that many modern churches preach that a woman’s happiness is a direct measurement of her husbands relationship with God and we have a problem. Really a mans relationship with God has little to do with his wife’s behavior. Beyond “…dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”, I don’t see any type of correlation between how ones wife acts and ones relationship with God.

      Close family and good, Christian friends, I’m sure can help fill the gap, but really I think women need to learn to determine the difference between love and affection, and wean themselves off of the addiction! So your husband doesn’t bring you flowers every day, or every week, or even once a month – do you have a home? Clothing? Food? Does he have a steady job? Do you see him leave for that job in the freezing cold, or pouring rain or when he doesn’t really feel good? Congratulations, your loved! Now what do YOU do to garner affections?

      I have said over and over, if a woman wants to experience more affection do more for your man. When a woman does things to and for her husband (not all sexual, but that should be included) then she becomes a woman who is always on his mind – think high school all over again! When he comes home to a clean house, good meal, sexy wife who actually acts like she is excited to see him and missed him all day, goes to bed after a good roll in the sack – I assure you that after a while he will be thinking about you more and more! That can translate into more, voluntary, affection!

      Of course, actual results may vary, but I’m just a guy, what do I know?

      1. Snapper –
        “to most normal people” – well, we’ve already determined that since i don’t love shopping, i’m not ‘normal,’ so perhaps i’m not the best judge of everything 🙂

        —–

        i think there needs to be a distinction between different kinds of affection.

        females are born needing a certain level of affection that i do not think males need. we need more hugs and emotional encouragement that women are good at giving each other.

        affection that demands things such as flowers, treats, dates, i think that’s a different kind of affection. and perhaps should be called something else?

      2. “females are born needing a certain level of affection that i do not think males need. we need more hugs and emotional encouragement that women are good at giving each other.”

        Yes, this is true, but I am speaking about love and affection from their husbands. Undoubtedly affection from ones husband is different than from ones friends, but the other distinction is proximity. Its almost as if some women feel that since their husband is around that tap should be opened – WHENEVER he is around. They don’t let their husbands away from them for a second without getting involved in their business, they cant go a Friday night without having to get up and go do something and if their husbands aren’t on board, they must not love them! They are addicted to affection, which is really just another way of saying ATTENTION. If the affection/attention tap gets turned off for even a little while they feel like they are starving. They MUST have it and the one who can give it to them is RIGHT THERE! And WHY OH WHY IS HE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO ME!? WHY DOES HE HAVE TO GO WORK ON THAT DUMB CAR OR GO OUT WITH HIS FRIENDS WHEN I. AM. RIGHT. HERE!

        Catch my drift?

    2. Also, thanks for the compliment. Sometimes my mind gets ahead of me and I feel like I am not coming across in a way that is understandable to most normal people. Its nice to hear that I am not just babble-typing.

  2. Snapper –
    i do see what you’re saying, and i agree that is/can be a problem.

    but, i think that if a woman has foundational female relationships that meet her basic nurturing/affection needs, she is, in general, less desperate for her husband. when we females meet each other’s basic nurturing and affection needs, we’re much less desperate to expect our husband to meet ALL our affection needs. and wise women will hold each other accountable to keep balanced with the spoiled-brat stuff. selfish women, though, will encourage it in each other, causing more hell for the husband.

    1. Ame, that is something you would know better than I. Most men can operate independently and, though we seek approval on things like accomplishments and projects, we don’t often just need affection for the sake of affection. My wife has a small circle of friends, but she doesn’t visit with them very often. Perhaps in days long past when communities were forced to be closer for reasons we don’t need in the modern era (food, protection, etc.) the kinship of fellow women helped. I suppose they would have HAD to help, as a woman would probably feel pretty lonely if her husband went on a year long sailing trip to earn some kind of income. Unfortunately our country is so fractured right now there is little cohesion amongst neighbors on the same street, much less communities. Churches can be just as bad, with people gathering on Sundays, but not seeing fellow members throughout the entire week. Maybe we go to a bible study, but even so, that’s only one more time per week than normal, and its only for an hour, and its in a setting where, if you just don’t feel like going, you just don’t go.

      As I said, I think a lot of the problem is that women want to feel loved and they have been trained to see affection as an indicator of love rather than sacrifice as an indicator of love. If that understanding can be restored I think it would make a big difference.

      1. “As I said, I think a lot of the problem is that women want to feel loved and they have been trained to see affection as an indicator of love rather than sacrifice as an indicator of love. If that understanding can be restored I think it would make a big difference.”

        i think this is where the problem lies.

        it’s not a want for women … it’s a hardwired basic need. we NEED to FEEL loved. we NEED that affection and affirmation. i believe we were hardwired to get most of that from other women. but our fractured society has taken that away … and feminism has said women are strong and don’t need anyone. it’s a lie. women need other women. but feminism has women so focused on competing at everything that they can’t be there in anything for each other.

        i think what has trickled down into marriages, or up, is a breakdown in the foundation of women’s needs from the fractured family and society.

        here’s something to try … see if you can encourage your wife to meet with her close friends as often as possible, preferably weekly. see how that affects her over time.

        because our basic needs are not being met the way God designed them to be, we’re floundering trying to get them met beginning with who’s closest to us, and that’s our husbands. our children outgrow us. the transition is harsh on women.

        i’m certainly not justifying selfish and truly wrong behavior … but i am trying to explain why and how and what women’s actual needs are … why they’re not being met … why we don’t understand that … and how to, perhaps, help get those needs met.

        i cannot even begin to tell you how painful it is not to have a ‘mommy’ in my life. and the most shocking part? it’s getting worse as i get older. i should be used to it by now b/c she never was a ‘mommy’ to me. but the pain is terrible. my husband sees it but knows there’s nothing he can do, and i don’t expect him to. but it’s there. and it deeply affects me. if i did not recognize it for whatever reason, i would expect things from my husband he is not capable of meeting.

  3. i have a lot of affection and emotional needs that my mother never met, that i don’t have a female family support group to meet, so i have to make sure i don’t expect my husband to meet all those. it makes it lonely for me sometimes, but he can only do what he can do. if i expect more of him than he’s able, it throws off the balance in our home. it’s not his fault my mother and extended family suck.

  4. men have basic needs that females, wife or not, cannot meet. if he doesn’t get those met outside the marriage, that can put pressure on his marriage/wife for things she is not capable of meeting.

    i think the same goes for the women with basic affection needs. which is why it might be good to separate the two but also recognize how they’re related.

    1. I would agree that both sexes have emotional needs that are best served by friends or others of the same sex, and that, yes, we can expect those needs to be met by our spouses, and it doesn’t always work very well. At least, not to the fullest extent. The post, however, is more geared toward what men should be providing for their wives, and how to avoid the pitfall of being Jedi’d (yes, I just made up a verb) into mistaking one thing for another.

      1. i understand. i just see them as linked. her needs for her husband are not in balance b/c they’re not being met elsewhere.

        it’s like trying to potty train a child who has biological issues. until the biological issues are fixed, the child cannot be potty trained.

        i think that a lot of what men are seeing in women (not all, but a lot) is a reaction to women not getting foundational needs met appropriately and therefore putting unrealistic expectations on their husbands, which is expressed in even more irrational behavior. does that make sense?

  5. again, i am not trying to justify intentional ‘bad’ behavior at all.

    i am trying to see the ’cause’ of some of this behavior … and if the cause can be addressed, then the behavior can be properly handled.

  6. Hrm, I don’t know. It could be that, I suppose, but I feel it stems partially from the modern churches push for couples to be a unit of “friends” rather than a “husband/wife” unit. They also push men to be more like women in that there is a big push for men to be more “open” and “in touch with their feelings”. I think this causes wives to stop seeing their husbands as a authority figure and more as a equal, which is what the complementarian movement is all about. Rather than approach their husbands with reverence, as the bible instructs,they approach him with the same attitude as they would a girlfriend, and they become demanding.

    1. I won’t deny that happens, but I do think it’s much more complex.

      band I think our (women) inability to get our needs for affection and community met with other women makes us more needy, subconsciously searching for those basic needs to be met.

      it’s actually a form of codependency.

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