- Well great! I thought sarcastically, as I dabbed at the tears pooling in my lower lids, threatening to spill out down my cheeks. And this would happen to occur on only the second time this year I had worn eyeliner. I was watching a gum commercial. That’s right, a gum commercial. In my defense, it was a very dramatic, and “tug at the heart” emotional gum commercial. I remember as a child laughing at my mother when I would see her cry after seeing an animal hit on the side of the road, or bawl like a baby over make-believe movies. I got older, had kids, and one day, as I cried over the cheerleaders in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (they were so precious), I realized I had become my mom. I had become an emotionally fragile crybaby. Some might consider this a curse, others a weakness. I consider it a testament to the beautiful design that is called woman.
- Earlier a patient and I were discussing our time in Naval service. This led to the topic of having children while active duty, and the stresses of deployment with a family. I explained to him that this was a main reason for my separation from active duty, my decision to not have a family while serving. I actually commend a woman who can be apart from her children for a deployment, as I could not. My patient commented that while he served, if a woman became pregnant, she would be discharged. Even my mother was given the option during the 70s. She chose to be honorably discharged while pregnant with me. When I served active duty in 2001, I held more of a feminine view point than I do now, but I still understood a woman’s weaknesses and her strengths. I have never been a champion for women serving on the front lines. Not only are men typically stronger (it’s simple physiological muscle mass in relation to fat reserves), they also have different mental make-up. Women are emotionally more vulnerable, and even if men try not to, they will usually take the dominant role, protecting their female counterpart. In a combat situation this could cause a male to take different actions to protect a woman standing beside him versus a man. Even as my patient and I spoke of his current medical condition, we were aware of the physical differences of male vs. female. His petite female nurse the day before had required help from a larger male to hold continuous pressure with great force to cease bleeding from an artery. I told my patient I was fully aware of my limitations, and I knew I would have asked for help as well.
- My other patient happened to be a female. As we walked down the hall together, I was proud of her strength, stamina, and ability to recover so well and so quickly considering her recent major surgery. I commented as much to her. Then I added a small known fact, that women tend to heal faster than men post-operatively. And this is true. Interestingly enough, our female patients experience less pain, comment on their pain less, get up and moving faster, and overall have a more optimistic attitude when compared with men. This would lead one to question, “Why would a physically weaker woman heal faster than the dominant male?” I could be wrong, but I personally think that this example is a window into how a woman’s gentle, emotional frailty can be a strength when drawn upon. Women are emotional creatures, quick to weep, and just as quick to love fiercely and completely. The emotional vulnerability that causes a woman to cry also causes her to love others more than herself. It is almost as if any strength she has is poured out to those around her. When faced with pain, a woman has an amazing reserve within her in which she is able to tap and move gracefully through trial and hardship. Her vast ability to overcome struggle is only matched by her capacity to comfort others. It seems, when she is weak, she is strong. Although I’ve always recognized the physiological differences, I haven’t always viewed a woman as the submissive counterpart to a man as I do now. Even early in my marriage, I strove to have the upper hand, wishing to control all situations. As I’ve advanced a little bit in my walk with Christ, I’ve changed my thinking to more parallel God’s word.
Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, …
I began to see how God designed man and woman each with their own specific purposes, strengths, and weaknesses.
1 Peter 3:7 ESV
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
I began to understand that it was a team concept, where each had their God given trait to compliment and enhance that of the other.
Genesis 2:18 ESV
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
A man, in all his strength, protects his wife. When he is weary, she comforts him. Her apparent emotional weakness is the tool with which she pours love upon her family. Her weakness is made strength for those who need her, even if that someone is sometimes herself. I believe that a woman’s beautiful weakness and fragility is a deep well where Christ may dwell and pour out unrealized power when it is most needed.
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
It’s a perfect, beautiful design where everyone has a place, and each weakness or strength is wonderfully blended to compliment the unit as a whole. So I suppose if I cry over a gum commercial, that’s ok. The design that is me is just what it should be.
That is all 🙂
This is so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing! I tend to cry over Gerber baby commercials!
Thank you for your comment! It almost brought a tear to my eye. Haha 😉
Feel free to share. Thank you.