Should males put the toilet seat back down after usage? For being considerate and more sanitary, one would argue yes; for perpetuating inequality one would say no (unbelievably, that was a crazed, blogged argument—forcing men to put the seat down perpetuates gender inequality?!?! …holy cow we’ve become an illogical society!).
Remarkably, it required a spiritual conversion for me to even think of having such consideration. My poor mother was too meek to ask for such consideration. And I, being too male, was too inconsiderate, oblivious, and self-absorbed to think of it (she did have every right to ask nicely…or firmly – hopefully my conversion has been more evident in marriage).
So is this going to be a fault-finding, male-bashing article to portray everything wrong with men?
Well, partly yes (because we’re tough enough to handle it right?). But it’s not intended to emasculate. It’s intended as smelling salts to get us out of our foggy haze or device-induced funk.
Also, I am not a “male feminist.” I’m just a Christian guy who desires for us to get over some of our male stupidity. The kind of stupidity that has athletes claiming that their team’s comeback was an authentic sign of their teammates’ character. (And then I watch as players crosscheck others in the face during my beloved hockey playoffs!).
A final preface…this is also not an attack on manhood. If anything, I’d like to offer an excuse for us. There has been so much focus on the aforementioned affront to equality, that I think guys have become somewhat fearful, confused, or paralyzed in whether to open doors and act chivalrous.
This is pointed at men who are ‘present.’ The male is as valuable to the condition and health of the family as the female. So it’s easy to argue that the downfall of western society relates to the downfall of marriage and absence of the male in the home. But how are males in the home actually doing?
For example, everyone recognizes the Homer Simpson type. He is hilarious but ridiculous. No male truly wants to be that pathetic. But no male wants to be portrayed as the neighbor Ned Flanders either…obnoxiously cheery, religious, and well…apparently feeble.
Answer: Only the Holy Spirit can empower men to be rightly balanced—truly masculine, yet the servant whose ego doesn’t prevent servanthood.
1 Corinthians 3:16: Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
It all starts at the practical level – doing the little things. Ah yes, we can point out the true and monumental task of spiritually leading the family. But are we cleaning up after ourselves? Are we putting the seat down or leaving our socks laying around for someone to pick up?
Love languages are great categories of what spouses need, some areas more required than others for specific people. Gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch are all necessary in caring marriages. But I’d argue that cleaning up after oneself is NOT an act of service – it’s common courtesy, and should be a basic expectation. We need to show courtesy in our own homes, with acts and words.
When teaching government, I often recommend to my female adolescent students to pursue government leadership in the future. My argument: men have been utter failures in government due to their egos and lack of common courtesy – we all see debates and speeches become childish (just to show I’m not overly biased, I can also see the fewer but similarly failed attempts of female politicians to remain dignified and ethical).
In a similar analogy, my wife has always made spring cleaning of the house a family affair. Everyone gets their task. This is sensible since everyone enjoys the benefits of living in the house. Admittedly, it’s not my favorite job as it takes the place of time for repairs or improvements, but there is definitely satisfaction in the end—a feeling of freshness and cleanliness from top to bottom.
Detoxification has become another must in the minds of some health fanatics. Many benefits are claimed through this process (apparently, the key to sustained, healthy living appears to be a cleansed colon). Eating clean is another trendy term nowadays.
Easter just came and went. Some practised a forty-day fast from something that has or could have the potential of becoming an obsession or bad habit in our lives.
Where’s the connection? All these things show that in our society, there is an ultra awareness for staying fit, for keeping things clean, neat, orderly, and healthy.
Then let’s not neglect the simple things like showing common courtesy to our spouses and children. That brings order and health beyond the other processes mentioned. It’s even more important than a physical detox and a spring cleaning!
Is your house in order? Are you showing common courtesy? Are you cleaning up your own messes—both literally and figuratively?
- Your house can be seen as your physical body and the temple where God resides. The Holy Spirit lives within you, or does so when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. But you can quench the ability for the Holy Spirit to empower your life and influence others for good – it doesn’t have to be blatantly evil acts…lacking courtesy would contribute greatly to stifling the Spirit. It doesn’t matter what other successes you garner!
Colossians 4:6: Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
- Your house is the home in which your family lives and grows. The home is where the heart is…and the heart is where your soul lives. It is a gift from God which lasts for eternity, whether in paradise or hell. Being courteous is a grand reflection of the joy and gratitude you possess for recognizing that gift.
I Thessalonians 5:15: See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
- Your house is the physical house in which you and your family reside. We often go to great expense, effort and time to keep it in repair or to make improvements. We show it care and even respect. Don’t reflect more care for the material over the precious souls with whom you share it.
If a house is a man’s castle, then act like the true King of the universe and be a servant. Devote your life in the big ways, and in the small, to those you call yours. This ultimately makes you an all-sufficient male, not one devoid of consideration and common courtesy.
1 Peter 3:8: To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted, and humble in spirit.
Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.