Does my wife having a black belt bother me? Honestly, yes: a little.
I was born in the Truman administration. It would be surprising if I hadn't picked up some of that era's cultural baggage.
But I'm 'bothered' only in the sense of having conflicts between old emotional responses and what I know to be true.
One of my wife's lifelong dreams was to earn a black belt, and I am glad that she realized that dream.
Today's view of women, men, and marriage also needs correction. That does not mean that I sympathize with folks who like Ephesians 5:22, but seem oblivious to the rest of that chapter. (May 1, 2012)
Something I learned correctly, though, was the idea that women, and men, are people who matter.
My mother was far from being a doormat: willing or otherwise.
Her strength wasn't physical. She was five-foot nothing with a disinclination for physical activity that I, unhappily, inherited. I also seem to have inherited an echo of that diminutive black-haired daughter of the Vikings' capacity for intimidating others.
No bragging there, by the way. I also have blue eyes and dark hair: it's part of the equipment I have to work with.
Knowing my father, he was probably drawn to her indomitable spirit. She did not like it when someone said 'you don't look Norwegian,' and that's still another topic.
My wife is, I think, a bit like my mother was before a debilitating stroke: and that's yet another topic.
Don't get me wrong: I take Holy Scripture very, very seriously. I have to. I'm a Catholic, and it's 'in the rules. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 101-133)
Crackpot notions about what the Bible says are (what else?) another topic. (November 16, 2010)
Folks we find in the Bible aren't necessarily good role models. Jezebel, for example, didn't end well; and Sampson isn't known for his common sense. (Judges 14:4; 16:1-17; 2 Kings 9:7, 35)
Europe's artistic and cultural preferences during the last few centuries can give folks a somewhat distorted notion about being 'spiritual,' and being a woman: or man, for that matter. (February 20, 2011; February 15, 2010)
Women in the Bible are not necessarily wimps. There's Deborah, judge of Israel; and Jael, wife of Heber, who is chiefly known for nailing a general's head to the floor. (Judges 4:4-5; Judges 4:17-22, Judges 5:24; and see Footnote 2 of Judges 5)
Here's part of her description of a "worthy wife:" (Proverbs 31:10)
"She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands.Besides managing the household, manufacturing cloth and clothing, investing in real estate and operating a vineyard, this lady "is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms." (Proverbs 31:17)
"Like merchant ships, she secures her provisions from afar.
"She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household.
"She picks out a field to purchase; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
"She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms."
- - - and not one word about being 'as smart as a man.'
- " 'My Wife has to do Anything I Tell Her?!' "
(May 1, 2012)
- "Martial Arts and the Battle for Purity"
(April 15, 2012)
- "Vocations for Everyone"
(December 11, 2011)
- "Yoga, Ephesians, and Getting a Grip"
(May 30, 2011)
- "Marriage, Catholic Beliefs, and This Catholic"
(September 24, 2009)