Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Momma's boy and endearments

I blogged recently about the use of endearments in the scriptures. Shortly after that I read this post of Resurgence, in which the author wrote,
    She may even continue to call her son an emasculating nickname, like "my sweet little boy."
I protest that Christ himself used many endearments in addressing his loved ones. The use of endearments does not emasculate. Why then would the term "beloved" be used in scriptures? It is not the endearment which keeps someone from becoming an adult. The endearment gives pleasure and security. It tells people so called that they are loved. It enables them to go forward with greater courage and confidence.

However, the article argues a more relevant point.
    Moms that are married to either passive or abusive men or are divorced often turn to their sons for emotional (and sometimes physical) intimacy that they lack from their husbands. Many moms can't "let go" of their sons even when rightly protecting them from violent men, and put their son's masculinity in arrested development.
The problem is rather that women are taught that they exist in relation to man. The woman is told that her role is to be the submissive assistant to man, who carries the authority. Since women are all too human, there could be a tendency for a woman who is told that the man bears authority, to attach herself in an inappropriate way to the closest available male, her son. She may seek to make some sense of her life by giving her son a role in her life that he should not have.

The divorced woman should recognize that she is a fully adult human being who does not need to be attached to a male. However, if she yearns for intimacy, then she should seek out the company of someone more her own age and have a relationship between two adults. She should consider remarriage if that seems appropriate for her, or simply find the friendship of other men and women with whom she shares common interests. Then her son can do the same and enjoy doing his own age appropriate activities.

My son is home now and has to put up with being called "babypie" and a great deal of other names that would offend some people. However, not yet 21 years old, he has seen more of the world than most men twice his age, so I don't worry about what anyone says about this - he doesn't either. I hope other young men - and women, have someone to call them foolish and endearing names.

At school we often call the children "honey". Of course, sometimes this is because we forget their names. But it is better than "Hey, you!"

Tonight was the school Christmas concert. As usual we all sing and rock and boogie to the old Christmas carols, and santa jingles. Nobody is the least bit correct about what we sing. As usual I herd the youngest children into the gym. While doing this, I received a greeting of random love from one of the littlest. I threw out my arms to exclaim at the beauty of the kindergarten children in their Christmas finery. One tiny tike was so overcome with happiness she threw her arms around me in return.

We give those young ones that we know the sense that they are loved so they can become adults, so they can venture into the world alone, knowing they are loved.

3 comments:

codepoke said...

> I hope other young men - and women, have someone to call them foolish and endearing names.

:-) Amen.

> The problem is rather that women are taught that they exist in relation to man.

The reverse problem exists as well, but I'm not sure in what form. On the surface, it looks as if men are in greater need of women than women of men, but maybe it's the same matter of nurture you bring up here. Interesting.

J. K. Gayle said...

The problem is rather that women are taught that they exist in relation to man. The woman is told that her role is to be the submissive assistant to man, who carries the authority.

Amen and amen. What a woman is told is her "need" of a man is not reciprocal to what a man is told is his "need" of a woman.

However, maybe you are right, codepoke, that men may be more needy of women (but don't you think it's generally in a more demanding sense too)?

codepoke said...

> men may be more needy of women (but don't you think it's generally in a more demanding sense too)?

Honestly, I may have to admit to myself that my views on this whole topic are skewed. I don't see things the way you and Suzanne are putting them, but it's probably just that coming from an unusual background.