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Women and insecurity

Jacob Ninan

* Medical research has shown that apart from the obvious physical differences between men and women, there are also psychological differences. In layman's language it may be said that the mental computers are programmed differently for men and women. It is clearly understood that one is not superior to the other, but that they are programmed for different functions. The better we understand these differences the easier it is to see that men and women are complementary to each other and that together they make a great pair.

* It is very interesting to take up a study of the psychological differences between the genders. But my intention here is to address one particular fallout of these differences, namely, the sense of insecurity that most women experience.

* The Bible calls on husbands to be gentle and understanding towards their wives who are "weaker vessels". The Women's Liberation Movement has tried to propose that whatever men can do, so can women. Women are, in fact, now doing many things which were once considered to be only men's jobs. However the fact still remains that there are some essential differences, and a balanced understanding of these can give rise to better marriages and societies.

* On an average, men are twice as strong as women, physically. This makes women vulnerable in an uneven relationship, and it is no wonder they feel insecure. Another area of 'weakness' is that women are less able to handle emotional stress compared to men. On the other hand, there are several areas where women have an advantage. They have a greater ability to bear physical pain and stress, and a far greater ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously (Adam's computer is a single tasker), just to mention a few.

* Many girls grow up with a feeling that they are somehow inferior to boys. That's the way many parents and society treat them. A number of girls grow up with the knowledge that their parents would have preferred to have had sons instead, and in many cases they have actually experienced a psychological rejection from their parents. Not a few girls have also gone through the trauma of physical, emotional and sexual abuse in their childhood.

* Whatever be the specific reasons, it is common that girls and women carry with them a sense of insecurity. They are constantly seeking for security, first from their parents, and then from their husbands. They want to know that somebody loves them, cares for them and is there to protect and help them. It is this search that prompts many teenage girls to offer their bodies to boys, hoping that by this they can obtain love from the boys (not realising that boys are willing to offer them what looks like 'love' in order to get sex). Unfortunately men (fathers and husbands) are many times ignorant of this strong need on the part of daughters and wives. They fail to demonstrate love and affection (which they may have inside them) to their women through the small gestures of daily life, and the women are left high and dry.

* A woman is lucky if she has a father or husband who understands her needs. Even then it is unlikely that her man understands her completely or all the time, and is able to meet all her needs. So it is likely that she remains with some sense of insecurity for most of the time.

* In the secular world women try to find alternatives that can boost her sense of worth and independence, such as careers, service, money, position, etc. There is no denying that these things can offer a sense of independence and security. But we must not forget that they also bring in their own negatives, e.g., a confusion of roles and conflicts of interest in marriage, more stress than they can handle, a sense of guilt for not being able to do what they would like to do for the children, etc.

* Let us look at a better way. Can a woman think of a greater security than what she can have with God? Even though this may look simplistic, it is true. Jesus has demonstrated here on earth how God looks at women. Could He have been more understanding and compassionate than He was with 1) the Samaritan woman who had had five husbands earlier and was now living with a man without marriage, 2) the woman caught in adultery, 3) the 'sinful' woman who poured perfume on His feet and wiped them with her hair, 4) the Canaanite woman whose daughter was possessed with demons and for whom He was willing to bend the rules, so to speak, 5) the widow of Nain whose son He brought back to life, 6) Mary who sat at His feet and listened to Him, 7) Martha who complained to Him about her sister, 8) Mary, His mother, whom He provided for when He was dying on the cross, and 9) Mary Magdalene who was redeemed from a life of sin? He understands women, completely and all the time. He cares for them, their pains and struggles. He is always near, to listen and comfort. There is no security like knowing Him (for men too!).

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