I grew up surrounded by older men--my father, one brother, several male relatives from both sides of the family--all in the same household. So I was used to having men in my life from as early as I can remember. I believe their presence gave me a sense of stability and security.
Over the years, I've had male friends in my closest circle. I've enjoyed their friendship and company in a different way. They have a certain depth and none of the complications that we women are known for. We, ladies, can be deep too, but often, you have to deal with layers and dimensions to understand what we're trying to say. With guys, it's simple: WYSIWYG!
With my guy best friends, we have confided in each other, assured that none of us would be yakking about them to others the moment we turned around, or 20 years later. Their total transparency with me has helped me understand the way the male mind and hormones work. I hope my friendship also gave them an insight into and an exercise on handling my gender's complexities--granted they understood me. Or even if they didn't.
What I like about men is that they don't normally talk in riddles. I don't need to read between the lines or hear what's not being said. My mind doesn't have to work overtime to get them. Often, it's my mind that reads what's not there and that sometimes presents the problem.
My attitude towards men is a mixture of respect and fear. I believe this springs from what my father meant to me--someone I respected and depended on for just about everything. I respond well to male authorities in my life who take on their role respectably. But I realize too that not all men are as respectable or trustworthy as he was, and because of that I am afraid of those men and the hurtful and vile things they can do.
Overall, I look up to men. I believe God created them with a divine purpose and gifted them with great qualities for noble purposes. I thank God for the male species. I feel sad or angry when they live less than they really are and more like brutes. Man, oh man!
One time I attended a big Christian conference in Manila. We were singing a hymn when the song leader asked only the men to sing a stanza. Deep booming voices filled the huge auditorium in worship, declaring words of truth. I stood in awe. I thought, This is how it should be--men rising up, taking the lead, making their voices heard. I love to see men at the forefront, giving of themselves, exercising godly authority, living in integrity... If only every man would be man enough, this world would be a much better place.
Today, I'm still surrounded by men. As the only female in my family of 6, I sometimes still wonder what God's reason or plan might be, but I'm loving it. I know I've been prepared for this. And one of my roles now is to help prepare my boys become everything they can become. Cheers to men!