I spent about a month buying Bride magazines when I got engaged to my boyfriend of three years. I was 18 years old. Crazy to think of it now. Bridal magazines were definitely not me, but I indulged them for a short season.
Females come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. We claim some of the same emotional makeup, but we can be vastly different in how we relate those emotions to circumstances. We can be soft, hard, and in between for our personalities. We can love glam and frou-frou or prefer low maintenance and style. We can be outdoorsy and love to camp or crave luxurious accommodations. We fuss over our makeup and hair or we go sans makeup with wash and wear hair. Athletic, demure, clumsy, and average, we are what we are.
I seriously doubt real men thumb through bridal magazines or spend much time selecting a tuxedo or whatever they plan to wear at their wedding. Yes, men manage to prefer certain styles - some definitely more than others - but to spend a great deal of time pouring over pictures of what to wear? Don't think so. Some men probably allow their brides to pick out their wedding-wear.
Males seek to control or at least manage their emotional reactions, contrary to most females. Many want to be perceived as strong and reliable while others are slothful and messy. Far more demanding of others' respect above all, males desire love but love to be desired. More apt to "fuss" over their vehicles or their pet projects, whatever those might be, some will look rugged and others aim for suave. Men are who they are and many of them like to keep it simple, which is why the female persona often causes great confusion for them.
Females and males struggle with communication because they're different from their brain structure to their bodily parts. Made to complement each other, in this sin-stained world they spend far too much time in conflict while striving for harmony, the perfection of creation a distant dream.
Because of the God-given role for a male and the prophecy after the Fall of how the woman would try to usurp her power over the man, we see the conflicts of today between the sexes amplified and exploited by both sexes. With either impatient couples rushing to the altar or to move in together without establishing godly parameters for their relationships, marriage becomes a ritual which can be remedied by divorce, and those who live together can simply quit merging their bodies and their homes and walk away from commitment.
Females and males, males and females, work together or in opposition to each other in the home, in the workplace, or even in spiritual arenas. The lost human soul needs redemption from sin to help each one through the mine field of life. And even then the course is hard and wearisome but well worth the challenge. There's nothing better than people willing to make an effort to invest in each other, to overcome the obstacles, to rise above situations in triumph.
Father, we're sinners. You love us. You help us. You save us. We're all desperate for you. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
I don't know about you, but I've worked for both men and women. I've had bad bosses of both sexes, but I will say when I've had a bad woman boss, they're the worst.
When women are hard-hearted, power-hungry, and clearly lack people-management skills, they're by far more unlikable than men with the same poor qualities. Women who are calloused and uncaring demonstrate the reasons for acquiring certain unpleasant nicknames. They give orders as if their employees are sub-humans. Everything they want done is for their own self-serving agenda. Most of the time these particular women are hypocrites who stroke favorite workers to get what they want and easily cast them aside or as the current popular phrase goes "throw them under the bus" if the higher-up finds what these individuals were instructed to do doesn't work. These women usually shred their employees and lose a fair amount of them while schmoozing their bosses to make everything seem perfect under their direction.
Maybe I mind it less with men because they're not women. Only women with a similar opinion as mine will understand this. Sometimes we expect these above characteristics from male bosses who demonstrate a certain personality type so when their expected conduct becomes a reality, we're not surprised.
To be fair, I've had a couple of great women bosses who looked out for their employees, going the extra mile to accommodate all kinds of issues while still being on top of everything pertaining to business. These were exceptional women on all levels and really a pleasure to work for, but, for me, they weren't the norm.
I don't know what your experiences have been with either gender, but whether male or female, working for these types of people is no fun and usually not productive in the long term. Some people should not be allowed to manage other workers.
Father, we need to be where you want us to be, doing what you want us to do, with grace and mercy and straightforward conduct. Help us to be what you want us to be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God.
Words hold far more power than the old phrase "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me" wields. Words can hold a person prisoner even if consciously they're unaware of their effect.
A classic example of this is the sad story of the young sister of the talented singing duo "The Carpenters". A reviewer wrote a remark about her weight which ultimately caused her downward spiral into anorexia leading to her eventual death. The threat and insult of her being "pudgy" or "fat" made an indentation to her soul she couldn't logically remedy or shed.
In the throes of anger people say things which can leave scars on psyches and weaken all kinds of relationships to the point of destruction. Words wield power. They must be used carefully and with caution.
Authors who write serious literature will, hopefully, affect those who read their words. Words shape ideas, opinions, form thoughts, and elicit reactions. Novels tell stories which can prove to be life-changing, frightening, encouraging, or thought-provoking. They evoke emotional responses. Stories can be hilarious giving moments of comic relief to refresh the soul. Fantasy can give room to the imagination and explore thematic concepts.
Words matter. Use them wisely.
God, your Word matters above all others. May we take heed from your instruction and never forget your power. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
I don't like to read novellas. They're too short. Even well-written and well done, I will rarely read a novella. I prefer long and involved stories. And I've always hated short stories.
Every once in awhile we make exceptions to our "soft" rules. They're movable. They're not critical. They have no dangerous side effects - at least in the case of long or short novels, they don't.
I don't even like to read short novels that hover between a novella and a medium length novel, but I've read more than a few.
Christian fiction has produced some longer novels, but usually they're written by the blockbuster authors who sell well. Again, exceptions surface but not often.
I don't have an indisputable reason for preferring the longer novels. The very reason I love some of them is because of the minute details concerning locations, characters, and situations. Give me well-developed and defined characters and you've definitely got my attention. I love subtleties in writing them. How they stand, expressions, asides, you name it. If unique or even commonplace characteristics or defining moments come from the author's words, I'm entranced.
However, if I'm supposed to review a novel that happens to be long where none of the above qualities exist, it's a struggle to grind through the pages. If an author chooses to write a long story, they risk losing readers who don't wish to spend much time on a novel. Long intense thrillers are most likely to maintain a reader's attention.
Tuesday musings on reading books and stories . . .
Father, help us to write what you have for each of us to do. You've made us unique. You have specific desires and plans for us. May we fulfill them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.