I have the song "It Ain't Me, Babe" by Johnny Cash and June Carter running through my head. At one point Cash sings, "You say you're looking for someone who's never weak but always strong, to protect you and defend you whether you are right or wrong." And then he proceeds to explain that "it ain't me you're lookin' for." It's almost a humorous song, but it's also sad.
It seems that men often get the impression that a woman is looking for perfection in them. This is a lot of pressure, indeed. I can see why many men feel this way. This song seems to express the high expectations men often feel that women have of them. And I'm sure that many a woman (not only today, but throughout the course of history) have sought a savior in a relationship with a man. As Christopher West says in his talk Sex and the Meaning of Life, whenever any person expects another person to be their savior and to make them happy in every way, they will crush that other person. He says, "Do not hang your hat on a nail that cannot support the weight."
"It Ain't Me, Babe" seems to paint a picture of how a man can feel extreme pressure from a woman to be perfect in every way according to her standard of perfection. Cash (along with Carter) sings of his frustration and resignation, "It ain't me, babe. It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe." And there is also a sense in the song that he does not love this woman and is not interested in making sacrifices for her. I have no clue what Cash or Carter thought about this song.
When Cash sings that this woman wants "someone who is never weak but always strong," I think, "Most women don't want that." I'm not saying I, or any other woman, desire a husband who is wimpy, passive, effeminate, or overly emotional. Somewhere in Wild At Heart, John Eldredge describes a difficult period in his marriage, and whenever he and his wife finally discuss what is wrong she tells him, "You don't need me." It is built into a woman to be a nurturer, and a woman desires to be needed, even by her husband. Women like to be able to encourage and to comfort at times.
Ponder these lyrics from a few other songs:
"Made for You" by Watermark (a husband and wife duo, Nathan and Christy Nockels):
Nathan: "Darling, I need to confess,
it's hard to show my weaknesses.
I want so much to show you strength,
With every feeling . . . everything."
Christy: "You know what I always say.
When you're weak you're strong to me;
It's another way of loving me.
'Cause when I see your heart,
I get carried through
The reasons why I fell in love with you."
"Til Kingdom Come" by Coldplay:
"Hold my hand inside your hands,
I need someone who understands.
I need someone, someone who hears,
For you, I've waited all these years.
For you, I'd wait 'til kingdom come.
Until my day, my day is done.
And say you'll come, and set me free,
Just say you'll wait, you'll wait for me."
"You are like Coming Home" by Lonestar:
"Go ahead and let your hair fall down.
This wanderlust: it's gone now.
I'm here in your arms; I'm safe from the road again.
These are the days that can't be erased:
Baby, there isn't a better place;
You're like heaven; you're like coming home.
You're like a Sunday mornin', pleasin' my eyes;
You're a midsummer's dream under a star-soaked sky,
That peaceful easy feelin' at the end of a long, long road.
You're like coming home.
You're that innocence, that serenity,
That long-lost part of me."
[ Oh, the complimentarity of the sexes. Gotta love it. ;-) ]
"When you find yourself lying helpless in her arms,
You know you really love a woman."
[Among other images this last line conjures, I picture Christ as a helpless infant sleeping on Mary's lap and also Christ lying lifeless in His mother's arms after His removal from the cross on which He was crucified. The ultimate man Himself loved a woman and gave Himself to be loved by her.]
I had heard somewhere that after the Fall, men have a tendency to objectify women and women have a tendency to worship men. We see this everywhere! Women will take horrendous physical abuse or abort their own child in order to keep the "love" of a particular man. This is the nurturing instinct turned against the woman and used as a weapon. (Yeah, Satan has a way of doing that with good things, and we're all hopeless without God's revealed truth since the Fall.) I wonder if this problem is what God meant when he told Eve after she and Adam ate the forbidden fruit, "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." Hmmmmm???
Anyway, just some thoughts that were running through my mind. ;-)