So I am sitting in Broadway Bagels in Pismo. I’ve got the whole place to myself on a Tuesday morning. We are on vacation but I am teaching this Sunday so I’m studying for my message. Then BOOM (as Josh would say), in comes 11 (yes I counted them) ladies who pulled 3 tables (the closest ones to me!) together and circled up around them. After a few minutes, one of them turns to me and whispers with a friendly smile, “looks like you’re outnumbered”. I’ll say!
What I witnessed was very strange. There was no real arrival time, they just trickled in and took up a seat. None of the ladies called the meeting to order, in fact it never seemed to have an official beginning. Or ending for that matter either, they just left one by one, each saying goodbye to the group until there were only two left. They were loud! Not because anyone person was shouting, but because there was always more than one conversation going on at once (making it very difficult to eavesdrop!).
It was a real contrast to any meetings that I have with guys. First off we have a meeting time, everyone gets there on time (or you apologize for being late!) We meet because we have purpose, something to accomplish or a specific agenda to guide our conversation. One person talks, everyone else listens. Our meetings have an end time, because naturally we have another project to do that has it’s own start time!
Living in a culture that values rules teaches that there is “right” way to do things. A lot of life is like solving a math problem. Once the equation is clear there is only one right answer. I wonder how much this effects our ability to be able to appreciate the basic difference between men and woman? We tell men they have to become more sensitive (like women are). Ladies are encouraged to become less sensitive (Tom Hanks “There’s no crying in baseball”).
Perhaps what I witnessed with this morning was only strange to me. Because I am a man. And being a man I think that doing things the way guys do things is the “right” way. Say the roles were reversed and it was woman sitting in Broadway Bagel and a group of guys came in and did a typical guys meeting. Would she of thought it was strange?
Think of how often conflict is simplely because we are convinced the that our personal preference is “right”. Could it be that our current culture focus on “rules” makes it difficult to appreciate and celebrate difference that God intended for us to enjoy?
Questions for you:
1. In what ways do you think a lack of appreciation between men and woman and their basic differences can effect marriages?
2. Most Christians believe “rules” matter to God (think the 10 Commandments). So why are there exceptions to the “rules”? Rahab and here whole family spared when NO Edomites where to be spared? The Judges in the Old Testament where supposed to be selected from the men yet Debora was great Judge? Acts 15 seems to make it clear that circumcision was no longer a rule for people to be accepted by God. But soon after that Paul (who also taught the circumcision was of no value Galatians 5:2) has Timothy circumcised Acts (16:3)! Whats up with that! Wasn’t Paul’s trip back to Jerusalem to make “rules” about this? Don’t the “RULES” matter????