Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Silence of Adam

What I'm listening to:
Harry Connick's Harry for the Holidays

I have not read the book that bears the same title as my post. But the book and it's topic recently came up in a conversation with some friends. However, the basic premise of it is extraordinary enough for me to want to explore here.

Here's a basic overview of the book (from Amazon):

Taken from a customer review:

Instead of depicting Eve as being deceived and then subsequently deceiving Adam, the book describes that Adam was there the whole time, yet said and did nothing.


Taken from the editorial review:
They trace the problem with men to the silence with which Adam became complicit in the first fall from God's grace.Adam failed to trust in God's word and example, and modern men do the same when, instead of following God's example in dealing with uncertainties, they retreat into self-righteousness and toughness that mask anger and fear.


Do I think all men do this? Of course not. To believe that is unfair and ignorant. But it does take some of the pressure off us women. After all, for centuries upon centuries Eve was the one who was first deceived, who then in turn deceived Adam. The one who fell first. The fall of man has been our fault all this time. As a guy I once knew used to say to any woman who frustrated him "Give me back my rib." So, it feels good to think we weren't alone. That Adam just stood by and let Eve become deceived.


My knowledge of the book's contents are this: it's a call to men to step up in their relationships (any - not just male-female) and be honest, courageous, and willing to fight. Adam was passive when the serpent spoke to Eve. He didn't ride in on a white horse to rescue her. So perhaps it wasn't all her fault. I'm sure the book spends more time on telling man how to step and overcome their fears, but I'm not interested in that for this post. What I'm interested in is this: Do men fail to come through for us out of fear of not being enough?

Is the reason some men fail to fight for us is because of a fear of failure? John Eldridge thinks so. After the fall, women were cursed with two things: the pain of childbirth and the submissive role to our husbands. Men were also cursed with two things: futility ("though painful toil..." and failure (it [the land] will produce thorns and thistles for you").

I recently had a man fail to come through for me. It hurt. I placed an expectation on him I believe he earned, that he told me he wanted. He said he would help me and he didn't. He retreated and I was left to fight on my own. It's true I don't see him in the same eyes as I once did. I once saw him as generous, loyal and true friend. When he didn't come through for me (after he said he would, of all things) I lost the part of myself I gave to him in friendship. So, this recent experience has me asking if he retreated because he was selfish (with his time, or maybe just didn't want to), or because he was fearful he couldn't come through for me?

Is there even a difference?

Is it selfish for men to not come through for us because they fear they fail when we need them? Part of me thinks it is. After all, there are things I do on I weekly basis I fear I'm not good enough to do. But I push though them anyway, because I know if I don't I'll always wonder if I could have or not.

I find this whole topic very intriguing. I think it's so fascinating to me because I believe most women feel the same way - we worry about being good enough. Not necessarily towards men, but in the general day-to-day living. But does that stop us from coming through for men? Not to me; it doesn't stop me from coming though for anyone. When someone needs me, I'm there. End of story. It doesn't make me a saint - I think it's how most women react.

So if both men and women have these same feelings of inadequacy, why do women act and men retreat?

I think it's because women think acting will help us become "more loved". Whereas men are afraid of what will happen if they fail.

I don't know, men, am I close?

I think I need to have a converstaion with a guy about this.

No comments: