Boys Will be Boys


Sometimes I wonder if men and women
really suit each other.

Perhaps they should live next door and just visit
now and then.
–Katherine Hepburn

Do you ever find yourself burning with questions that have no answers? Such as:

  • how can a boy who effortlessly opens restricted e-mail files have trouble closing the toilet lid?
  • why do men and boys always “flick” the remote control at the exact moment we women become interested in a program?
  • how can men live with dirty socks strewn all over the house, but get upset if there’s one empty ice tray in the freezer?

And, most importantly:

  • why in the world are men and women so different?

God did create us different—for a reason. In his book Bringing up Boys, Dr. James Dobson says that men “value change, opportunity, risk, speculation and adventure” while a woman’s temperament “lends itself to nurturance, caring, sensitivity, tenderness, and compassion.”

I think life would be pretty strange, and downright sad, if both sexes were alike. Imagine if your husband were like your best girlfriend, only when he borrowed your clothes they came back all stretched out!

But how do we survive daily living with other human beings (namely, men) who sometimes seem out to get us? As one of my favorite t-shirts says, “This marriage [or family] was made in heaven—but so was thunder and lightning!”

One thing I’ve learned is to look for ways I’m similar to the boys in my life, and build upon those. As I’ve pondered those things that drew my hubby and I together when we were dating (shared talents, values, and a love of enormous amounts of popcorn consumed while viewing old Andy Griffith reruns), I’ve tried to rekindle those “sparks” as often as possible.

And though I don’t enjoy some of things my sons do, I try to stop what I’m doing and enthusiastically partake in their passions when they ask me to. It’s an honor to be asked, and I know it won’t happen forever!

I also firmly believe we should affirm men in their uniqueness. Our high-speed, high-achievement culture puts enormous pressure on their shoulders, and criticism only adds to the load.  A hug or a kiss can be just the ticket to letting them know we appreciate them.
I’m blessed to have a husband who shares my faith and my values. He’s also wonderfully romantic and faithfully supports my own dreams and goals. My sons are affectionate, creative, smart and hilarious. I could go on, but you get the idea. Now, if I can just say these things out loud once in a while, I’ll be on the right track.
 So now I have a few more questions:

  • when was the last time you affirmed your husband or son? If your hairstyle was completely different the last time a compliment came out of your mouth, the time is ripe to say—out loud!—the nice things you’ve been thinking.
  • how long has it been since you participated in their passions, without complaining about the sweat, dirt, or broken fingernails involved?

And, most importantly:

  • do you know a good place to hide the remote control?

©2009, Dena Dyer 

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