A few years back my wife and I had the privilege of leading a singles group at our local church. We would start with a meal and some fellowship, then present some relevant material, then have a time of guided group discussion. These discussions were usually quite productive. In fact, they were my favorite part of the evening. A lot of good thoughts were shared honestly back and forth between participants of both genders. Of course, some people’s input was more helpful than others.
“the problem is that women today are too independent.”
-Anonymous, Misguided Single Man
A Memorable/Teachable Moment
One of the most memorable moments from our time leading this group happened during the course of one of these discussions. I believe the subject was either “how to be attractive” or “dating like a Christian”. One of our guys, who was old enough to know better, suddenly stated, with an aura of certainty and presumed masculine authority, “the problem is that women today are too independent.” If looks could kill… – anyway, immediately the raging eyes of every female there were burning holes through his apparently Neanderthal-like cranium. The guys just looked straight ahead in shocked silence. They knew better than to say anything that might make the coming wrath even worse. I intervened quickly to avoid any bloodshed.
This was a great teachable moment. It brought the opportunity for me to address one of my favorite themes. You see, after being single throughout most of my forties I had recently married a VERY independent woman, and I would not have it any other way.
Why the Fear of Independent Women?
I believe a lot of men fear independent women because an independent woman has no reason to stay other than her desire to do so. She is perfectly capable of living life on her own. This puts him in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar position of being dependent on her wanting to be with him. That puts the onus on him to treat her in such a way that he remains attractive to her. She is with him, not to get food, clothing, or shelter – not because he pays her way through life – but, simply because he is the one she desires. Only her commitment to him keeps her there, not his provision for her needs. Do not underestimate the fear this puts into the heart of the less secure male. It means having to trust in the love she has for him.
She is with him, not to get food, clothing, or shelter – not because he pays her way through life – but, simply because he is the one she desires.
That leads me to the other reason some men fear independent women – trust. They probably have been burned by a woman at some point in their life. It is scary to trust that someone will stay with you, marriage vows or not, if they have the means to leave at any time. But, how can a truly satisfying marriage be built on anything other than love and trust? Can you really build a successful marriage on dependence? Would not the dependent person simply bide their time until they could find another meal ticket, or gain enough independence to escape from you? Would not the relationship be dysfunctional and totally lacking in real intimacy? Would it not be more transactional than relational? Who would settle for such a relationship?
Independent Women Have More to Lose
It is good for people of one nationality or race to see things from the perspective of another nationality or race. It is good for someone of one gender to see things through the eyes of the other gender. The man who is interested in an independent woman puts himself in the same position that so many women have been in. Through a large part of history, and in many cases today, it is the woman taking the risk of trusting in the good intentions of the man on whom she is dependent.
Actually, the modern independent woman takes a risk too. How does she know that some guy is not just interested in her for her money, house, or automobile? How many wannabe gigolos have violated her trust? Why should she let a man into the world she worked so hard to carefully craft? Why should she trust him? What value will he add to her life?
She does not need his money. But, she might desire his attention, affection, emotional support, encouragement, spiritual covering, loyalty, conversation, connection, and emotional, intellectual, and sexual intimacy. These are the very things that we believe make for a great marriage. Actually, most of the other things in that list can be had in other relationships. But the truest, deepest bonds of intimacy, especially sexual intimacy, are achieved most often in marriage.
One Final Beautiful Thought
Consider the woman who seemingly has everything she needs in life. Money. A home. Clothes. Food. Yet there are things she wants. She has a desire to love and be loved, to know and be known, to know what true marital intimacy feels like. With so many of her physical needs already being met, she is free to choose the man she desires to be with. Just as God gives you the freedom to accept or reject His offer of love, she is free to accept or reject any particular guy.
At ThriveSingles we believe this is an important concept. In fact, two of our goals here are to help women become more independent and to help men develop the confidence not to fear them. For me, I can think of nothing more satisfying than to know that she is with me simply because that is what she desires. I pray that every woman reading this becomes that strong, independent woman and that every man reading this has the opportunity to know what that kind of relationship feels like.
Are you an independent woman? Are you a man who has experience with an independent woman? As always, we love hearing from you. If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments section below.
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