It has been brought to my attention that I'm something of a ladies man. Well, perhaps I should rephrase that. Let's just say that I will boldly go where other men don't usually go.
Carol from She Lives mentioned that I'm the only male who joins in the conversation at her blog. I suppose that's a badge of honor. Right? But then I often find myself more interested in the conversation among groups of females than the huddles of men. It seems like the ladies talk about people and real life more often than the men do.
Don't get me wrong. I'll stand and discuss sports with the guys all afternoon long, especially during football season and IndyCar season. Even the handle "rev-ed" is a play on the word "revved" -- a racing reference I assumed when I first gained Internet access. A big chunk of my on-line time is spent talking sports with men. So it's not that I am not interested in the things guys talk about, but I'm not put off by the gals' talk.
Each group has it's conversations that I don't really care much about. Although I love racing, I really get bored listening to the story of how ol' Pete dropped a new V6 into the old Road Runner after he pulled the tranny to fix a couple of blown seals. By the same token, any discussion of window treatments, panty hose, hair coloring or laundry problems will usually inspire more glaze over my eyes than you'll find at the local Krispee-Kreme.
Still I'll usually hear more about personal struggles and family concerns from women than from men. That's natural, I suppose, for the male who is taught to be strong and "keep that stuff to yourself". And maybe it's just the pastor's heart within me that draws me to "real life" talk. I don't mean personal gossip or anything like that, but concerns for a person's well-being and spiritual questions and things which really make someone happy. That inspires me, challenges me, and helps me to be a better pastor.
Of course as a pastor, I must have a mighty broad (no offense, ladies) field of knowledge. You see, I get to hear about everyone's medical issues in all their gory detail. In my neck of the woods, I have to know a bit about farming and animals and gardens and rainfall totals and weather patterns and the guy who used to live down the road but moved into town so that his sister could take over the home place but then moved out by the old elevator over behind where the old gas station used to be. Needless to say, it's hard keeping up with all that! Where was I?
Oh yeah, men and women. A quick survey of my badly-needing-to-be-revised blogroll shows that among My Daily Routine and the Walking the Walk sections, the blogs are about 50/50 male and female. I guess that's a good balance. The Big Shots and the more pastorly blogs are predominantly male, probably because there are more big shot male bloggers and male pastors.
Anyway, if I assume I'm normal (a real danger in itself) then I ask myself what is the problem with all the other guys? Have they been forced to endure too many recipe conversations? Have they found themselves trapped in too many fashion faux pas discussions? Well there is that possibility. I've been there too, brothers.
But I think what stands out to me is that our Creator has a plan for everyone. He made us male and female. Our gender tends to help determine our interests and personality just as our culture and upbringing does. Beyond our gender differences there are more differences until we come down to the point where we realize that we are all individuals with individual interests and individual personalities and individual temperaments and individual talents. All that should be obvious to us.
Still even with our individuality, we are social animals. We interact with one another, often having to reach beyond our own interests to maintain friendships and conversation. Even more, our interaction is part of the love we show to others -- whether part of the body of Christ or not.
I'm proud to be a ladies man, so to speak. And a man's man. Because I find that I learn a little something from everyone. The Lord uses most everybody to beat something into my brain, or at least to make me more understanding of other people and their needs and struggles, their joys and loves.
"Lord, continue to use each person you bring into my life to conform me more and more to Your image."