Perceiving a Knight in a Windmill

August 7, 2008 at 12:08 pm (Articles, Attitudes, Godly Living) (, , )

He doesn’t always appear to be a knight in shining armor. To put it bluntly, he not only has moments of unknightliness, but whole hours, days or weeks. Or months or years. In fact, he’s never really been your knight in shining armor. Maybe he more resembles one of those squeaky awkward windmills that only Don Quixote could confuse for a giant.

That’s your man: a squeaky windmill.

The more you think about just how squeaky he is the more bitter you will become. The more bitter your heart is, the more harsh and disrespectful words will spill out of your mouth. The more you tear your man down, the more squeaky he will seem.

How many women wouldn’t kill for a chance to remake their man? There’s a simple secret and it starts in your mind. Paul puts it this way, “Let the woman see to it that she respect her man (Eph. 5:33).”* Make respect a top priority. In her book, “For Women Only”, Shaunti Feldhahn explains how men equate respect with love. You can’t lovingly humiliate your man. You can’t lovingly nag him. You can’t lovingly embarrass him. Lovingly you bear with him, believe in him, hope in him, patiently wait on him and you seek for ways to build him up. Men might appear to be tough and self-sufficient, but they need a lot of affirmation from their women. Ever heard the saying, “Behind every successful man stands a woman”?

So, he has faults. Could he have worse ones? Start by keeping your mouth closed on the issues that irritate you. Proverbs says “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers a multitude of sins (Prov. 10:12).” Before others, honor your man. In private, honor your man. Next, make an effort to note the things he does well. So, he’s a squeaky windmill? At least a windmill can pump water. Take pride in telling others what he’s good at. What you admire. What you appreciate. Don’t hesitate to tell him, too. Pay attention to his desires, his wishes, his preferences and make them your priorities. Maybe others perceive him as worse than a windmill? To them he might even seem an ogre at times. Defend him! Buckle on your armor and go to battle for the sake of his honor.

My father has often been accused of being over-protective in a society where independence is worshipped. He’s as misunderstood today as Noah was thousands of years ago. My answer to those who complain? “Look, I have a father. That’s a rare blessing. I have a father who cares what I do, where I go, with whom I spend my time. I have a father who loves me. And in a time where the godless increase, he has raised four children to love the Lord. You do better, if you can. In the meantime you might do well to learn from him.”  Of course, I try to say it gently.

I’ve found that respecting and defending my father has fascinating results. I may emerge weary from the fray (after all, it’s a spiritual battle going on here), but I run home eager to see my father, eager to embrace him, to see his smile. Perhaps he’s not perfect. But he’s mine. The more highly I speak of him, the more highly I think of him. The more highly I think of him, the more the praises gush forth. Before my eyes he morphs from a squeaky windmill into a studly knight. Why? Because I chose to shift my perception of him. Next thing I know, others begin to speak highly of him as well. Their perception of him mirrors my own. As for my father and I, we bond because he knows he can trust me to conceal his faults, not to embarrass him, but to honor him. With me he no longer need keep his rusted visor up, but he can take off his helmet and give it to me to polish.

And ladies, that’s not all. When you choose to respect your man, others perception of you grows. You’re no longer a mill girl ranting and raving about a squeaky windmill—you’re a lady at the side of a respected knight. Those who respect others will be respected. Those who tear down others…well, others will be eager to return the favor.

Go ahead—take the risk. Be willing to overlook his faults. Be eager to search out his strengths. Be quick to perceive him as worthy of respect. Be ready to defend him when his back is turned. Maybe your man really is a knight after all and just needs you to polish his armor.

*In the Greek language, there is no specific word for “husband” or “wife”—the context shows us whether the word “woman” or “man” is possessive. When I speak of your man, I mean the man you live with—be it father, brother, husband or a guardian. Your man is given to you by God as your head and deserves your respect—even if he’s not acting like a man.


Advertisements

7 Comments

  1. Abigail said,

    Some of you ladies saw this coming–as evidenced through your comments on “Destruction over Dinner” I hope you’ll enjoy this anyway…and please leave any more thoughts or ideas for encouraging your man!

  2. Sara Ann said,

    I like that! I’ve been thinking and praying about this a lot. What a blessing to be able to read it today!
    In Christ,
    Sara Ann

  3. Miss Jocelyn said,

    I’ll have to read this more in depth when I have time, but I think I agree with you from what I read. 🙂

    I found you through the Kindred Spirit Network, and I thought I’d say hello.
    Nice to meet you. 🙂

    You have a very nice blog! 🙂 I hope you will visit mine and also my site for ladies who believe in modest femininity http://feelinfeminine.com

    Blessings!
    Miss Jocelyn

  4. Elizabeth Ellen Moore said,

    This is a fascinating twist on an age old truth. Good job! Honoring your men — be it a father, brother, or husband — has gone out of style, and it never should. We have the ability to build them up, and we should take advantage of that! We should always be on guard about what we share with others. Even things we consider “funny” or “just a joke” can dishonor our fathers. I think far too many people take the, “Nobody can talk bad about my dad but me.” approach. That is wrong! They talk badly about their fathers (or husbands and brothers) but then get offended when other people start talking about him the same way. No one is perfect, but he doesn’t need to be perfect to be your hero and for you to honor him with your actions and words.

    By the way, thanks for the congratulations to my parents. I live about an hour and a half from Tulsa.

  5. Julia said,

    Hello,

    I just found you through the Kindred Spirits network and thought I’d say hi! 🙂 I’m on there as well…my blog is called “Julia’s Journal” and Abigail has commented there before. I’m so happy that I found your blog and now I can return the favor! 🙂 May I put a link to your blog on mine?
    Blessings,
    Julia from Julia’s Journal

  6. Jenni Friend said,

    I enjoyed this post. It makes me respect your father even more.

  7. Squeeky windmill | Tellasecret said,

    […] Perceiving a Knight in a Windmill « Pearls and DiamondsAug 7, 2008 … In fact, he’s never really been your knight in shining armor. Maybe he more resembles one of those squeaky awkward windmills that only Don … […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: