The pastor said that we women are not lesser than but are like delicate fine chinaware—to be handled with care and gentleness. No matter how hard I attempt to put up the exterior shell, his words ring true when I'm with you. I don't like that, in the middle of night, you can simply touch my back, and I instantly feel my heart begin to beat with more ease. I don't like that when I'm out in public, I easily put up my guard, but when you show up, I just as easily become less aware of my surroundings. I don't like that when I desperately attempt to be upset, you have a way of melting away the coldness that was intended for payback. I don't like that when I feel threatened, I instantly cling to you and hide behind you for protection. You have that effect on me, no matter the exterior shell I wish to put up.
Husbands, continue to treat your wives like fine chinaware, because whether we like it or not—you have an effect on us. Thus the opposite can ring true.
Don't raise your voice at her when you are angered. Don't treat her with contempt when you grow weary. Don't ignore her when she's in need of a hug. Don't look at your phone when she is pouring out her heart about something subjectively labeled insignificant. Don't grow insensitive when you see her tears—again. Don't stop letting her know of her true value. When you do, she may not react readily, but inwardly she feels what it is like to be placed in the hands of the one who never read her instructions : "handle with care."
Yeah, I don't like that you have that effect on me, because no matter how hard I try to put up the exterior, I kid myself...knowing that I was neither made to be handled nor dealt with like tupperware. I'm unashamed to say that I'm gentle and need to be carefully handled.
But be cautious in not misconstruing the message of my words. For I live in a culture in which the prevailing soundbites to be "stronger" are gravely misappropriated. Be strong? For we women actually test those of whom we allow to be touched by. Like fine chinaware, we test those whom we allow to handle us. I'd argue that a husband's strength is reflected in the lack of brokenness, hopelessness, and weariness, revealed in the eyes of his wife. You see...we cannot last in the hands of those who are weak, clumsy, irresponsible, or unfocused.
Be strong? That we are. Be wise? Well, that's another blog post...