Been inspired by this song lately, thanks to a couple conversations with friends:
I really believe that part of what God had in mind when he created women and femininity is to express something about his beauty and his mystery to us. Not that men can’t be beautiful or mysterious, but that femininity seems to capture those qualities in a way that little else in creation does.
I think in society women are often given mixed messages: “Please be beautiful and attractive, but at the same time don’t be overwhelming, don’t show your true self, don’t overwhelm me with all your emotions.” So they’re told to enhance their femininity and to mute it at the same time.
Which is unfortunate, because femininity is one of God’s gifts to the world. The world can’t be what it was meant to be if woen are afraid to really *be* what God made them to be. Femininity, I think, is supposed to speak of the mystery and beauty of God. And those are *supposed* to be things that are slightly overwhelming at times. Maybe scary and wonderful at the same time. Something that makes a man feel a little terrified, but at the same time, makes him want to be more of a man.
So… I think a real man, though he might be scared at times by what a woman brings to the table, will long for a woman to really be a woman, to bring all of the depth and intensity of her heart to bear on their relationship and on her life.
That’s what I love about the song I posted above: As I understand it, it is a song in which Bono is singing to his wife and telling her that he can see her holding herself back, afraid to be who she really is: “I want the lot of what you got / And I want nothing that you’re not”. He’s saying, “I want you to be exactly what you are and nothing else.”
And then: “Come on, show your soul / You’ve bee keeping your love under control”. She’s got passion inside that she’s afraid to let out, and he calls it out of her. And he’s telling her that just by being herself she speaks powerfully: “Everywhere you go you shout it / you don’t have to be shy about it”.
Some men might be insecure in their value, and want a woman to be “less” so that they won’t feel so insecure. But I like what Paul says: “[man] is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.” (1 Cor. 11:7) A man’s role to a woman, among other things, is to care for her and lift her up, so that she can be all that she was intended to be: fully glorious, unafraid to let herself shine, just as Christ does for the Church.