Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Manly Man Training #5 -- Valuing the women in our lives

A very important lesson for Manly Men is to learn to appreciate women.  Men have certain God given responsibilities in regards to women.  Respect of women and their abilities and talents as well as concern for them and proper use of the Priesthood to bless their lives.  This includes not only giving Priesthood blessings when requested (as often as requested I might add) but being attentive to their physical, emotional and spiritual needs in such a way so to be there to help and support them in their righteous endeavors as well as in their times of difficulty and sorrow. 

Elder Nelson talking about motherhood made this comment (April 1999 Priesthood meeting):  "During my professional career as a doctor of medicine, I was occasionally asked why I chose to do that difficult work. I responded with my opinion that the highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother. Since that option was not available to me, I thought that caring for the sick might come close. I tried to care for my patients as compassionately and competently as Mother cared for me."

As I have taught my girls over the years to look for a young man who was worthy of them to marry in the temple I told them that they needed to pay attention to how the young man treated his mother.  If he treated her respectfully and kindly then they could be sure that he would treat them that way.  If on the other hand he treated his mother poorly, for any reason, then they could be sure that after about a year of marriage that he would begin to treat them that way.  After a few dates and meeting his mother I ask my daughters how the young man treats their mother so they will remember what I have taught them.  Then when they are engaged and I have the opportunity to interview the young man I ask him myself how he treats his mother and I watch closely how they respond. (I realize that there is one person out there who may soon be having that interview and now you know one thing to consider in preparation.) 

Elder Nelson continues in his talk with "Many years ago the First Presidency issued a statement that has had a profound and lasting influence upon me. “Motherhood,” they wrote, “is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels." 

When we consider the sacrifice and the effort our mothers have put into our lives and the concern and caring that they view our lives with when we are grown men then we get a clue as to how meaningful and important their role is and how we should appreciate and respect them. 

Elder Nelson continues: "We who bear the holy priesthood have a sacred duty to honor our sisters. We are old enough and wise enough to know that teasing is wrong. We respect sisters—not only in our immediate families but all the wonderful sisters in our lives. As daughters of God, their potential is divine. Without them, eternal life would be impossible. Our high regard for them should spring from our love of God and from an awareness of their lofty purpose in His great eternal plan."

If somehow we find ourselves following Satan's ideas that men are somehow more important and elevated about women or/and women are too unpredictable or difficult to understand, then we need to repent and recognize the truth about women.  Then we need to show our love through respect and kindness.

Regarding our wives he says: "As fathers we should have love unbounded for the mothers of our children. We should accord to them the gratitude, respect, and praise that they deserve. Husbands, to keep alive the spirit of romance in your marriage, be considerate and kind in the tender intimacies of your married life. Let your thoughts and actions inspire confidence and trust. Let your words be wholesome and your time together be uplifting. Let nothing in life take priority over your wife—neither work, recreation, nor hobby."

Recently I misunderstood someone as saying they were addicted to marriage when they actually said something different.  But I thought about that as an addiction and I wondered if it wouldn't be a good thing.  The woman in our lives are of utmost importance and we should be especially careful with our actions only letting our most pure and loving actions be employed with them.  And I might add here that includes mother-in-laws.  Please disregard all the jokes that you have heard and even any horror stories because your behavior toward the mother of your wife should reflect gratitude for the great women she raised who has accepted you as her spouse with all the inherent risks.   

Elder Nelson concludes with these words: "Honor the special sisters in your lives, brethren. Express your love to your wife, to your mother, and to the sisters. Praise them for their forbearance with you even when you are not at your best. Thank the Lord for these sisters who—like our Heavenly Father—love us not only for what we are but for what we may become."

Brethren I know that the world encourages men to distrust and devalue women.  That has been especially successful in our American society.  But we can not let the world, with sayings such as "I can't live with them and I can't live without them" influence our recognition of their greatness.  Our exaltation depends on our ability to love and respect the women in our lives.  And it is important that we know that as we respect other women we are setting that precedent and we will be well prepared to treat our wives and daughters with that same respect that will clue them into their own value (at times when they doubt it) and prepare us all for Exaltation.  

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