Of Buffaloes and Butterflies
My son and I had a "joint babysitting job last night." He actually went with me to babysit four little girls! They are the daughters of the two young moms who are prayer partners with my daughter and I. He is calling it "Daddy Boot Camp." More young men should voluntarily give their time around young children with the aim of being better fathers! (He is also taking a course on Manhood with 80+ other guys on Wednesday night at church.) After we returned home, we had our nightly discussion around the book, Tender Warrior by Stu Weber. It has discussion questions at the end of each chapter and is a great book to do with a friend, or group of friends. Stu says:
"Author and speaker Gary Smalley really nails down some of these general characteristics (of men and women) in his somewhat whimsical "buffalo and butterfly" comparison:
The butterfly has a keen sensitivity. It is sensitive to the slightest breeze...It notices the beauty of even the tiniest of flowers. Because of its sensitivity, it is constantly aware of all the changes going on around it and is able to react to the slightest variation in its environment. Thus, the butterfly reacts with swiftness toward anything that might hurt it. (Try to catch one without a net sometime.) If a tiny pebble were taped to its wing, the butterfly would be severely injured and eventually die."
That is a powerful portrayal of the feminine side. Equally graphic is the description of the buffalo:
The buffalo is another story. It is rough and calloused. It doesn't react to a breeze. It's not even affected by a thirty-mile-an-hour wind. It just goes right on doing whatever it was doing. It's not aware of the smallest of flowers, nor does it appear to be sensitive to slight changes in its environment. Tape a pebble to the buffalo's back and he probably won't even feel it. The buffalo isn't 'rotten to the core' just because he goes around stepping on pretty flowers. In fact, the buffalo's toughness is a tremendous asset. His strength, when harnessed, can pull a plow that four grown men can't pull.... [the man] may tend to plow through circumstances, while [the woman] may 'feel' life and [her] surroundings with much more sensitivity.
In our wise Creator's providence, these differences were intended to be pleasurable, effective, and even fun. Yes, let's enjoy the differences. Let's capitalize on them. Let's fight the temptation to say, 'This is more valuable than that.' Let's resist belittling one another for our God-ordained distinctions. They enrich our lives. They are 'the rest of the story.' And in our Creator's words, it is good."