Men and Women and the Curse of the Want

During spring break we stayed a night with dear friends. Their eldest Eliza, nearly four, was thrilled to have our Theo, age six, as a play date.

mighty engine

Theo was thrilled to have Eliza’s massive wooden train set and open family room where he, my husband and Eliza’s dad could build the mother of all tracks.

Eliza played trains too, for about three minutes. Then the wooing began.

“Feo,” she said. Most preschoolers cannot yet pronounce the th sound, so they replace it with the f sound.

“Feo, let’s play veterinarian.”

Feo did not answer. He was busy fashioning a railroad crossing.

Eliza was undeterred. She stood near the stuffed animals calling. “Feo. Feo? Play veterinarian with me.”

Still no answer. She tried another approach.

Lodging herself in her younger sibling’s walker, she pretended to be stuck.

“Feo, help! Feo, help me get out! Feo! FEO!” Ah, the damsel in distress.

Feo, now engrossed in bridge building, could not be bothered.

Eliza’s mom chimed in. “Eliza,” she said. “You can get yourself out.”

“Feo, help me!” said Eliza.

“Theo, Eliza needs you,” I said. “Will you help her get out of the walker, please?”

My little prince obeyed his queen mum, dutifully leaving his venture to assist. Once Eliza was freed from peril, he marched back to resume construction.

Eliza did not give up. “Feo,” she said. “Feo, let’s play dolls now. Feo?”

Silence down the line, except for the muffled clinking of wooden tracks fitted together over carpet on the trek to the other side of the family room.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Eliza grabbed none other than Cinderella. She shoved the doll right between Theo’s eyes and said, “Feo! Cinderella needs to tell you something!”

Her mother and I shook our heads, both understanding all too clearly the plight of this little princess.

“She’s sooo relational,” said her mother. Aren’t we all, ladies?

In Genesis God lays out the consequences for Adam and Eve’s willful disobedience. The overarching consequence is death, but there is other fallout.

For example, right after God tells Eve she will have pain in childbirth, He says she will want for her husband and he will rule over her. The usual interpretation I’ve heard umpteen times in church is that women will want to dominate men, while God requires men to lead.

I get that. But I wonder. Maybe the woman’s want for the man is really a want for the man. Not to lord over him, but to relate to him.

It’s my gorgeous friend describing how she undressed and danced in front of the TV, unsuccessful in her attempt to tear her husband away from the football game.

It’s Scarlett realizing her love for Rhett in Gone With the Wind when he slams the door in her face. (Correction: Rhett walks out the open door and disappears into the foggy night. It’s a slam all the same.)

It’s Eliza’s unrelenting calls to Feo.

Men, pay attention. This one’s free. Throw your woman a bone of interaction and you’ll chip away at the curse in your house.

Give her your undivided attention as you would a dearly loved treasure, and watch the curse shatter like glass on the tracks of a mighty engine.

Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. Genesis 3:16 NIV

Sanctus Real’s powerful song Lead Me is not to be missed. Click here to listen.

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Filed under family & friends, women's studies

14 Responses to Men and Women and the Curse of the Want

  1. Nikki

    Wish I could’ve been there to see this sweet and funny interaction between Eliza and Feo! :)

  2. Greg

    Good stuff, Aimee! This made me think of the following illustration I heard in a sermon which is more “father daughter” but still applies in regards to the “treasure of attention”:
    “Danny Akin told the story of a father who took his little girl out for a “daddy date.” She was around five years old, and they had chosen a restaurant where they could get pancakes. After getting their food and praying, this dad decided it would be a good time to give her the speech that he had worked on. He began, “Jenny, I want you to know how much I love you, and how special you are to Mom and me. We prayed for you for years, and now that you’re here and growing up to be such a wonderful little girl, well, we couldn’t be prouder of you.” Once he had said all this, he stopped talking and reached over for his fork to begin eating. But he never got the fork to his mouth. His daughter reached out her little hand and laid it on her father’s. Their eyes met, and in a soft voice she simply said, “Longer, Daddy, longer.” He put down his fork and gave her words seasoned with grace.”

  3. Another great post :) And “Lead Me”…one of my favorites.

  4. Aimee,

    What a charming and engaging story and beautifully written from start to finish. So glad I found you and your blog as it is right up my alley. I look forward to more great postings and will surely tell others.

    God bless,

    Rodney Southern

    PS- Thanks for the visit and comment on my blog as well..

  5. Holly Epple

    Thank you for capturing that interaction with such beautiful language! In my memory Eliza was a bit more, shall we say, ‘intense’ in her persistence and Theo was quite the long suffering gentleman! “Feo” has not been forgotten around this household. We were praying a few nights ago for Eliza’s friends, and she made sure I did not forget that “Feo” was her friend too. Interestingly, she mentioned that they ‘played trains’ together!
    I love the spiritual truth that you pulled out of this interaction, and I agree with your assessment. Poor, Nate! Having a house full of girls requires a lot of relational energy out of man!

  6. Sara

    Wonderful story, Aimee! I, too, like how you related it to the curse. I’m enjoying your blog.