3-days-in-1

I had an extremely busy weekend where I didn’t take the time to write about each day on that day. However, I noted the days the things  I wanted to discuss from that day. Here’s the breakdown of my weekend and today. (ps – if someone actually reads this and would like to throw out some thoughts or whatever, feel free!)

 

Monday – 46 days

I’ve been wanting to write about class today since it happened. There was a discussion that really got to me. Not so much in any person got to me, but an idea got to me. I don’t blame anyone for confessing this idea throughout the conversation as it is the dominant belief in our culture and pushed on us through media and conversation. We were talking about marital infidelity in a social work class and a few times people mentioned that men are more likely to cheat than women. Now, I’m not trying to argue whether or not this is true and I’m not meaning to discuss people’s own personal experience with cheating (personal experience does not create a fact) and I’m not wanting to dismiss anyone’s experience either. However, I find it very dangerous to suggest that men are more likely to cheat.

To me, there seems to be a few flaws in this…

1. Does it truly matter?
I think that sometimes we try to find statistics to point to a certain conclusion so that we can address a situation through generalities instead of what is in front of us. I’m not sure that it is okay to address the idea of cheating from generalities. Every circumstance will be different and to lump them all together ignores the nuances of the human condition and the idea of everybody being unique.

2. Historical issues
While some believed that males being more prone to have a marital affair is related to the man, traditionally, being out of the home more and therefor had more time to cheat, I don’t buy it. If we look at the traditional gender roles that saw the husband outside of the home, we have to realize that conversely the wives had that time where they were home without their husbands. It was just as easy for a woman to have a man into the home as it was for the man to venture somewhere else. Secretaries were brought up to show the idea of the man’s ease of use to cheat. I present the idea of the milk and mail men.

3. Media exposure
I almost wonder how much of this mindset is truth and how much comes from a Hollywood storyline that has been bought by the masses. In movies and literature it is easier to write the role of a cheating man due to the issues discussed in #2. We find it easier to call a single woman a slut or a whore than to label the married woman as the same thing. We don’t have a problem labeling the married man with the same thing we label a single man. There’s almost a protection of the married woman, and mother, through society from the ramifications of marital affairs. It is almost like the idea of a teacher-student affair. When it is a man, the reaction from the public tends to be one of a repulsive nature. If it is a woman, there are jokes questioning whether the teacher was hot. There is more of a willingness to vilify men than women (not arguing whether that is right or wrong, just an observation). If we are willing to vilify men in these situations more than women, are we actually perpetuating the idea that men do it more without realizing it?

4. Future ramifications
Due to perpetuating this mentality, I wonder if we are actually setting up women to be accepting of cheating men. This is not necessarily in reference to the idea of who cheats more, but is a separate thought. Have we begun condition girls and women to think that it is normal for a man to cheat and even expect them to? There’s almost a constant paranoia that becomes inherent in relationships due to constant wondering if “he’s” cheating. This may be what leads girls/women to be more willing to do what they think it takes to keep their “man” from cheating. Also, it may be what gives women reason to dismiss cheating. If a female has been taught her whole life that men cheat and then the man cheats, they blow it off since it was what they were taught should be expected of men. Seems like a positive view right?

There was one other comment made that really struck me with the idea of how much women have bought into cultural stereotypes. The idea that men do not have a emotional strings tied to sex. Let me clarify this now, completely false. Any guy, in an honest conversation, will share with you that there are issues they deal with. The problem is that men have also bought into stereotypes that they should not discuss their emotions. You see, we are all made in the image of God which requires us to have emotions and attachments to those we share intimate connections with.

These are both concepts that I really hope that some can move past. Not that I have the right answer to either, I just think we need to be more careful in how we put people into these boxes. We are going into a profession that requires us to see everyone as unique children of God. We must abandon these preconceived notions and treat everyone as unique and not part of a stereotype; to serve the individual and not a statistic (if true or not).

 

Sunday – 47 days

I woke up early, yet decided to skip attending any worship activities. I knew I had a young adult leadership meeting and decided that I needed to prepare mentally. Jenna and I spent some time getting coffee and grabbing a few items for my niece’s birthday before heading to the meeting. While what goes on in the meeting stays within the walls, I do have to say I am excited. We don’t all always agree, but we are striving to do what is best for the community we have been given the charge to oversee. Since I can’t talk about meetings, I don’t have much to write for today. I am just exciting and looking forward towards our next steps.

 

Saturday – 48 days

Most Saturdays tend to be days I get to sleep in, but once a month I give up that. The young adult leadership team at church decided that we wanted to dedicate one Saturday a month towards a specific service towards the greater Canton community. For the 2012 year, we have been serving Centro San Jose, a part of the Immigrant Worker Project. Centro serves Spanish speaking immigrants in the greater Canton area through English lessons, legal documentation, and other areas of need. We have spent time doing cosmetic repairs to the facility over the first 2 months.

Both times, I spent time working in the men’s bathroom. For those who have not spent multiple hours in a public restroom, there is something that is inescapable… the smell. The stench of urine radiates through the walls. Reflecting on the day later, all I could think of is the idea of Jesus lowering himself to serve those he met. We think of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and lowering himself, not just in reference to his physical state in comparison to those whose feet he washed, but in humility to a cultural taboo for any normal person (let alone the son of God). I think sometimes we, the white-protestant-middle-class church, think we are above certain actions. Jesus’ example is a deafening rebuttal of our own pride.

There’s something else about the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. When Peter tries to stop Jesus from washing his, Jesus tells him that unless he washes his feet, Peter has no part of him. This is an interesting thought… unless Jesus serves the needs of others, they are not a part of each other. I wonder if that relates to us Christians and those who do not belong to the CHURCH. Are we not truly welcoming others to join with us and be a part of us without serving them? Everyone who has been at Centro may go nameless to those who walk through its doors, but I have to believe that in laying down our time and pride and being willing to be humbled into the service of God to the benefit of others, we have invited others to be a part of us and have taken another step towards bringing the Kingdom of God to this fallen world.

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