Raising the Bar

Warning: This post is rant-y and wrought with generalizations. Oh well.  In no way am I professing to have this all figured out. But, I have observed a few things.

Men, I love you. Really I do. And I hate to throw in a “but”, ahem… but…  Maybe it is just my own misfortune, maybe it’s this Fatherless Generation of ours, I dunno, but I feel so often like a truckload of Peter Pans has been dumped into our society.  It’s not even about the video game obsessions; it’s the general skirting of personal responsibility and feeling that the world owes you something. It totally doesn’t.

And women, I love you too, in an entirely different fashion sure, but love nonetheless. Ladies, can we stop this giant pendulum that keeps swinging from being fully dependent on men to discarding them completely?  Honestly, there is nothing wrong with desiring a man, you were created to actually, desperate is ugly though, and danergous.  And there is nothing wrong with being strong and independent, but there is no need to toss aside femininity and despise any and every male.  

And my gosh, it doesn’t help that we are all entirely oversexed.  Like, it is every-freaking-where.  All the time.  And it’s expected.  All the time.  Ugh. Look, I get it, it’s the bees knees right? Yeah. But it has an ordained context.  It is not a tool of manipulation to get or keep a relationship.  It is not a good way to pass the time on date number three.  Gosh. You know what? Guys, don’t expect it, don’t push it.  And maybe ladies, stop giving it out like it’s a hug.   

I want… ha, I want a lot of things. But mostly I want to call us all to a higher standard.  Can we raise the bar a little please?  Women, can we hope for Something More for ourselves?  Can we expect love and give respect, ask for commitment before we give ourselves physically?  And men, will you set aside your appetite for instant gratification?  Will you allow yourselves to be called to greatness? 

Look, I say all of these things while working on my own issues and with full awareness that nobody is perfect and we are all in process. I say all of these things in love, knowing that there are plenty of men and women out there that these statements do not apply to.  I would like, (love) to be married again someday and honestly, I don’t refuse to compromise, but I do refuse to settle.  Our generation entitled and materialistic though it may be, is also wise, resourceful and strong; and I believe in Us.  And yes, some of you men are certainly a scary combination of overbearing and underachieving.  But some of you are an awesome combo of compassionate and powerful.  Ladies, yes some of us are desperate beyond comprehension and bitter to the core.  But we were made to be full of passion and wonder and grace and strength and tenderness. 

My heart breaks that so many miss the beauty of relationship and what God has for them.  We might have few good examples, there are some though.  The Bible is a pretty good starting point.  Understanding your identity is key, and learning about God’s heart is the best way to do that.  And yes we live in a fallen, broken world, but we make our own choices.  We can choose to spend time with people who are good examples.  We can choose to learn and grow and let Him change us. 

I had dinner with Ron and Nancy a few weeks ago and it was lovely of course.  The cool thing was, they’ve been married for 37 (!!!) years and he did not stop complimenting her the whole night except to listen to how her day went and kiss her a couple of times.  I sat humbled with a goofy smile on my face, happy to hear such kind affirming words poured out in such love.  Finally Nancy said (grinning from ear to ear and eyelashes batting as usual) “Honey, that’s all very nice, thank you, but I don’t think we want to make Amber sick.”  My reply, “No, let him go on, please. He is raising the bar.  Let me believe that there are men out there like him.  And couples that end the day like this.”

I know that it is easy to give in to the temptation to be nothing more than a product of our environment.  But also, I know that there is Greatness in everyone.  No generation, no sex, no one is beyond redemption.  We can overcome the struggles of our past.  We can rise above heartbreak that threatens to crush and fear that threatens to suffocate.  We can raise the bar for ourselves and future generations. I believe we can find and grasp So Much More.  And I hope we will.

Ok, that’s all, (for now).  ::stepping down from today’s soap box::

Love, love.

4 Comments to “Raising the Bar”

  1. Don’t stop writing:)

  2. Love this – well said!

  3. Wow! Touched ME!

  4. This is a good word. It makes my heart sad when my single friends resolve to rise above, but then fall back into old trappings. Usually, I think it’s fear … fear that prince charming may dash away if he’s not given this thing that he really wants. Thanks for sharing this honest observation and offering a glimmer of hope and a healthy dose of encouragement.

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