I subscribe to a few newsletters from secular websites that give advice on love and romance. I like to compare what the secular world has to say with the principles we promote on this blog. From time to time, the secular advice will line up with what we're saying here. In fact, I am finding that more and more secular "love" experts are encouraging women to be submissive, but not because they love men or want to obey God. These secular advisors are promoting Biblical principles because they work, and if they work, then they should be used so that women can get what they want out of a relationship. (Our blog maintains that we should follow these principles because we love the men in our lives, and to follow these principles for any other reason would be very self-focused.)
The newsletter I got today told the story of a woman who received a crock pot from her boyfriend one Christmas. Naturally, this woman was not pleased, but her advice to her readers was to "stay sweet" and realize that being disappointed with a man for his choice of gift would "stress him out," so don't do it.
I found this advice fascinating. In other words, we should not complain to a man about the domestic, practical gifts he gives because he's too stupid to get us a right and proper gift. In this case, a woman's gift to him in return is to smile and be gracious. If we complain, we will "stress him out." The problem is clearly placed on the man's attitude, not the woman's attitude. Ladies, hopefully you realize that this is an unfair, sexist perspective toward men. It is also very self-centered and arrogant. Instead of smiling and pretending to be thankful, how about humbling ourselves and actually being thankful for such a gift?
I remember about three years ago, when our blog was partnered with The Reformed Evangelist, we had a very fun discussion about this video:
The guys over at The Reformed Evangelist were joking about other gifts the guy in the video should have gotten instead . . . like a new refrigerator. We all had a good laugh over it. But today, as this video is juxtaposed against the Paul Washer sermon, I have to seriously ask . . . Ladies, what's wrong with getting a crock pot or a vacuum cleaner for Christmas?
Think about the type of gifts that men get each year for Christmas (especially Dads). We get them ties, socks, and Old Spice. These are among the most thoughtless gifts in the history of gift-giving traditions. Yet most men that I've encountered do not behave the way women do when they are less than thrilled with a gift. They do not complain that the gift is sexist nor do they demand to know "just exactly what are we trying to insinuate" by giving him such a gift. On the other hand, when a woman receives a practical gift, she typically reads into it too much and then launches into some diatribe about how all the man thinks she's good for is cooking and cleaning. Imagine what would happen if a man carried on this way because we gave him a practical gift. Imagine how we would feel if he carried on like a child, and said something to the effect of, "AN ELECTRIC RAZOR?! What are you trying to say? Are you saying I'm some kind of animal?!"
Paul Washer's sermon focused on how a young man should not choose a woman who merely looks pretty. Paul Washer encourages young men to realize that when they marry, they will literally be creating an enterprise with a woman. That enterprise is the family. Can this woman manage the household in the man's absence? If not, then run!
Ladies, if we happen to receive a blender or a new set of frying pans this Christmas, let's not merely smile so we don't stress out a man. Let's try to put such gifts in their proper perspective. That means, do not get offended. If your man said "I do" to you, then perhaps he did so because he thinks you're more than an airhead whose only talent is to look pretty under an array of diamond jewelry.
You are so much more than that! You are an intelligent, resourceful, responsible, and godly woman who works hard every day. Think of your crock pots and vacuum cleaners as a thoughtful, caring gifts from the men in your life. Gifts like these do not say, "I am a sexist pig who thinks you belong in the kitchen." Gifts like these say, "I am aware of how hard you work, and so I got you something to alleviate your burden."
You may not get those diamond earrings you've been hoping for . . . or maybe you will. But if you happen to receive a practical gift from him, it's probably because he thinks you are the real diamond.