Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Behold the Man!

Jehovah:  “Unchangeable One”
Lest it be misconstrued by the title of my last blog post that I have certain tendencies which I don’t in reality have, let me state unequivocally that same-gender attraction is not a trial I have been given to endure.  I have always had a hardy attraction to men.  And while we’re on the subject, I would like to dedicate this blog post to honoring the Man! 

I have taken a considerable amount of time to study boys and men because I am the mother of three of them.  Also, in my quest to resolve marriage conflicts, I wanted to understand the general relationship between a man and a woman as defined by God so I could know where I need to stand and where I need to change.

This is how I see it:

A Man’s Strength:  Summarization
In general, a man’s strength is to Summarize.  That is the name I use for the ability to stand steadfast, unchangeable, immovable.  His thought processes are oriented differently than a woman’s.  He naturally seeks to Summarize expanded information.  He looks for what people have in common even if they are different in other ways.  He has the ability to remain focused on the main point while we women naturally wonder off to explore variations of it.   He sticks persistently to an opinion, purpose, course of action in the face of physical and mental persecution.

Physical Characteristics
Muscular Density
A man’s body is a metaphor of who he is.  Muscular density is Summarized matter.  Healthy men have 40% muscle mass, while healthy women have 30%.  That means that a woman is balanced with 14-21% body fat but a man is subject to tighter rules—9-15%.  I can’t help but admire men who keep those rules especially when they have conflicting Causes and peers who pressure them to work in their office job 24/7.

Depth of Voice
The depth of a man’s voice is amazingly attractive.  You just can’t get around that.  Here are some examples:
David Osmond
Priesthood Choir from Salt Lake University

Phillip Phillips
I can’t explain it better than that!  And there are so many more examples!

A Woman’s Strength:  Expansion
In general, a woman’s strength is to Expand.  If there is a truth locked up in a nutshell, she can crack it.  She unravels its mysteries, breaks it down into parts and then gives examples of it.  Her thought processes are oriented differently than a man’s.  She naturally seeks to expand summarized information.  She looks for the differences in people even though they may be grouped into one category.  She has the ability to view truth from a variety of perspectives.  She will readily change her opinion, purpose, or course of action, especially with solid persuasion  and love.

Because men and women have been perpetually mixed from Adam and Eve, both genders have a degree of each of these strengths.  We are attracted to our mixed opposites.  This makes the game a little more tricky.  As an individual, if we lean too much towards Summarization or Expansion, things aren’t going to work.  Finding a companion who compliments us is not only crucial to our Joy but also to our growth.

Summarizing Too Soon
All men have some weakness or another.  It’s just the way it is.  If a man stubbornly persists in his ways when he needs to change, the result will not be good.  In pure Summarization, there is no opportunity to change and progress.  We all need a degree of Expansion—a space to change.  Men or women who Summarize too soon are being stubborn, headstrong, obstinate.

Beaver Dam
When we combine weakness with stubbornness we DAM ourselves.  We can’t grow.  We can’t improve, progress, change for the better.  And if we persist in our weaknesses, stubbornly purporting that this is balanced behavior, then we will sustain chronic injury, weakness, instability.

IKEA sells furniture that you have to put together.  It comes in boxes, all separated in its parts:  a large package of screws, nails, dowels, and other fasteners + wood.  The reason the company is so successful is because their instructions are crystal clear.  And the holes, grooves, spaces in the wood are created with PRECISION.  I’ve put together a number of IKEA furniture items in my time and this precision has been true with every single one.  So if there is an error, it is usually me not paying close enough attention to the instructions, especially the smaller details.   
This happened with a dresser I recently purchased.  I didn’t notice some of the things the picture was describing so I put together the dresser’s core piece wrong.  I was able to attach it to some of the other pieces without any noticeable discrepancy so I thought all was well.  But when I put the table top on, it didn’t fit.  I had a choice to make.  Leave it (because it was on the inside and nobody would ever notice, right?) or take it apart again and put it back together the right way.  I chose option 2 even though it cost me a significant amount of time.  And really I couldn’t have completed it any other way.  It would have made the drawers imbalanced and compromised the stability of the entire structure.  Thus it is trying to Summarize too soon.

This is why a man needs a woman (in my opinion, the song that this links becomes amazingly powerful if the man is or is striving to become steadfast and immovable in truth).

No Friction
Expanding Too Long
All women have strengths.  That means there are some things we need to stand steadfast in even though that doesn’t come naturally for us.  Some things should not be changed.  If we keep changing with every wind of doctrine when we need to STAND, the result will not be good.  In pure Expansion, there is no foundation.  No end.  No result.  Expanding for too long is when we don’t stay consistent long enough for habits, abilities, talents to establish.  We remain undecided.  We flip from one thing to another.  We all need to anchor in somewhere at some point in our lives.  Women or men who are Expanded for too long are easily deceived, vulnerable, doubtful, indecisive.

When we combine our strengths with doubt we experience chaotic FLOODING.  Water flows every which way.  There are no boundaries.  No rules.  Nothing can take root, grow, improve, or progress.  If we continually doubt or discount our strengths thinking this is humility, then we will not be able to establish our value.

This is why a woman needs a man.  Listen: Waterloo

There are some men who have stronger Expansion characteristics than the average man.   There are some women who have stronger Summarization characteristics than the average woman.  If a man is particularly Expanded, he views a more Summarized person as attractive.  If a woman is particularly Summarized, she views a more Expanded person as attractive.  Even though we do have some variation from our gender’s main strength, it is limited.  That means the rules are to find a companion of the opposite gender who compliments our specific balance between Summarization and Expansion.  We can know with surety that God knows each one of us individually and with that knowledge has indeed created someone of the opposite gender to compliment us.  All that remains for us is to find him or her.

Since I find myself well endowed with the gift of Expansion, I need Summarization!  I have needed a Cause who is steadfast and decisive.  I have come to deeply admire men who have this characteristic because I see how lost I am without it.  My Summarized Cause gives structure to my thoughts, my voice, my actions.   However, Causes who Summarize too early are pertinacious in a bad way.  Without a Cause Summarized in Truth I am doomed to Expand forever.

Because both men and women don’t completely GET IT  yet, we have to figure out the balance between Summarization and Expansion.  Together we incrementally progress towards GETTING IT.  We can’t do it without each other.