“He’s not my type… I need someone stronger than me, someone who will lead me….” Is this a line you often hear or use when trying to consider a potential partner?
When I was single, I used to be pretty strong and independent. I went anywhere and everywhere by myself, commuting left and right. I would go to work in the morning, then take public transportation in the afternoon to Tondo (somewhat slum-like yet rich area) to disciple someone. Evening, I would take a jeep to Jubilee to attend bible study or rehearsal. Then I would hitch a ride with a friend who lives close to my area and get off to take the most convenient transportation home, be it bus, jeep, tricycle, or cab, depending on the time and my current budget. Oftentimes, well-meaning friends would be kind enough to bring me home.
With my personality, I found it hard to interact with people in a social level. I was usually work, work, work, aiming to be best in everything I do. I was very decisive and most of the time, I knew what I wanted and I never hesitated to express it. Small talk was a complete waste of time, in my opinion. It was so hard for me to “fit in” and make friends. Stuck up and aloof? That was me (twenty times more than today, haha).
I could even recall one incident when I stole another person’s thunder because I deemed his work to be subpar. This guy was teaching choreography for a song in his HOME CHURCH, where I was just a GUEST TEACHER for Daily Vacation Bible School. I found it ugly, and concluded that the choreography I knew (which was something I learned from my home church), was waaaay better. Guess what I did. I raised my hand in the middle of the teacher’s orientation, shared my opinion to everyone, proceeded to show my version of choreography, and forced everyone to learn mine instead! I cringe now, every time I remember that incident. And I’m sharing this cringe-worthy story with you as a way to publicly apologize to the people I offended that time.
Why am I talking about this? Well, like many single female friends I know, I also thought finding a man who is stronger than me would be hard, that it would be so easy to dominate any man I end up being with.
What makes a strong man strong?
Compare a talkative, opinionated man with a quiet listener. Outwardly, the man who is speaking up forcefully seemed to be showing a more leader-like quality, someone a girl would find easier to submit to. The quiet man would just listen and only speak out when it matters. The quiet man would even appear wimpy and could easily be overlooked, dismissed, and taken for granted.
I believe that character and conviction determines whether a person is strong or not. Take Fil for example. He is a very indulgent and accommodating person. He is kind and loving. He is friendly and entertaining. Usually, he gives in to my requests because he wants to make me happy. Does this make him weak?
Conviction is another thing. He is the type who is wise enough to only fight for things that matter. His faith and his sense of right and wrong are some of the things he stands up for. He is often indecisive about many things but never about these two.
Many people assumed that Fil was weaker than me. True, he is a bit disorganized, and a lot funny. You can always count on him to light up the room with his infectious laugh. A lot of people underestimate him because of this. People think that I boss him around, and that I tell him what to do all the time.
It may not show, but he is my boss at work. He singlehandedly manages the business, staff, and even runs all the errands. To top it off, he is active in various church ministries and is a very hands-on father to our only daughter.
With the grace of God, Fil continuously changes me. I am more social now than before, and I listen more. I now know that having a kind and gentle personality is not weaker than a loud and forceful voice. We have been together for almost nine years, and I am still very much in love with my strong man.
My unsolicited advice for all the single women out there: do not discount a man because he seems weaker than you. Rather, empower him and be an encourager. If your attitude was similar to mine, pray that God will change you too. Remember, it takes a noble woman to submit to a kind and unassuming man.
Suggested reading: Proverbs 31 “a wife of noble character”