Many women credit themselves as being nurturers, which is a great quality for mothers. But what about as wives and girlfriends?
Is the pronouncement “I’m a nurturer by nature” really a woman’s appeal to rationalize babying adult males? I purposely cited adult “males” not adult “men.” Adult men don’t need to be nurtured. Here’s why.
Let’s begin by defining the term “nurture.”
(verb) to care for and encourage the growth or development of. “Jarrett was nurtured by his parents in a close-knit family.”
If you search the Internet for the word “nurture,” you will find scores of articles/studies directly related to child development. Here are a couple of excerpts.
You can also find articles where nurture has been applied to adult males, which I submit is an ill-advised expansion. There are consequences for nurturing adult boys. The following is the opening words from the film “Baby Boy.”
“There’s this psychiatrist…a lady named Dr. Frances Cress Welsing. She has a theory
about the black man in America. She says that because of the system of racism the black man has been made to think of himself as a baby, a not yet fully formed being who has not realized his full potential. To support her claim, she offers the following: First, what does a black man call his woman? Momma. Second, what does a black man call his closest acquaintances? His boys. And finally, what does a black man call his place of residence? The crib.”
Does this sound familiar? I have seen this play out in countless relationships with women, babying boys who were never led into manhood. They never really leave momma’s house. The women they choose continue on as their “surrogate mothers.” The only real change is their place of residence and the woman who acts as their mother-figure.
Men need admiration from the women they love, not nurturing. Scripture specifically tells husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. (I Peter 3, Ephesians 5). Respect is defined below.
(verb) to admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements. “She was respected by everyone she worked with.”
Admiration is what a man needs for his abilities, qualities or achievements. That alone separates a man from an underdeveloped child who has yet to attain such. A man does not need to be “developed.” Furthermore, no worthwhile man would place that kind of burden on a woman. What use is an undeveloped man to any woman? What leadership or provision can he provide for a woman or ultimately a family?
This is not to suggest that there is no room for growth. There is always room for growth. Consider a house by comparison. You can always add additional rooms to a house even after it’s been built, but the foundation is only laid once. Nurture is properly given for foundation during childhood development by that child’s parents. A boy who is nurtured develops properly as a child and is later led into manhood and suitable for a relationship with a woman only after he becomes a man.
Every good man becomes a better man in the company of other good men who hold him accountable for behaving as men should. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17). As a mother has her place in the life of her son, so does a woman in the life of her man, but only a mother rightfully nurtures her son. A woman should admire the man that son has become as the man in her life.
BMWK wives and girlfriends, do you agree? Or do you think you should play a role in nurturing your man?