Guinevere stood facing the audience, back to her husband, King Arthur (of the Round Table). In other words – the air was thick with awkward tensions between the two, and the audience was holding its collective breath, waiting to see how King Arthur would respond to Queen Guinevere’s challenge. She had just told Arthur that she would NOT do as he asked (give Lancelot her handkerchief as a token of her good wishes for the tournament tomorrow), unless, as her King, Arthur commanded her. And then, she begged him, to not command she give her token to Lancelot, but to him, himself – Arthur (even though he would not be fighting). The audience could see on Guinevere’s face that she wanted Arthur to admit he was jealous (an accusation she’d previously declared and he’d denied) and command her to give HIM the token of her affection.
Arthur stood there for a moment, staring at his feisty and attention-loving wife’s back and all the air that was puffing up his angry chest, left him as quickly as if he’d been punched in the gut. You could see the pain and conflict on his face. He was Arthur, King of the Britons, Leader of the Knights of the Round Table, the most chivalrous, civilized man around. He was a leader, a manly man. But when it came to women – most notably his wife – he was a coward. He could not tell her that he WAS incredibly jealous; he could not command her to only give tokens of affection to him. He told her to do as she wished, and then walked off.
And Guinevere’s heart broke.
And, in that moment, Camelot began to fall.
There’s a reason women – especially the good ones – have this stereotype of going for the “bad guys”. It’s because there’s this sense about them that they’ll fight for us, and for their relationships – and that desire was built into women. We want a man who will fight for us (dragons and school-yard bullies and the man behind the counter who is being a jerk to us while we’re in the process of renewing our driver’s license). And we want a man who will fight for our relationship (even if that means the occasional fight WITH us).
Unfortunately, there aren’t many men out there like that. Some hide behind “manly” jobs – like firefighting or being a policeman or fighting for someone else’s rights in the courtroom…but when it comes to something closer to home, like their own relationships, they don’t fight. They don’t say what needs to be said, or do what needs to be done.
And this breaks our hearts.
Now, not EVERY man is a coward. There are some out there that will say the hard things (gently) in a relationship, in order to keep it healthy. There are some men that will fight our dragons (whether they’re actual dragons, or simply stubborn whimsies in our heads). But those men are few and far between. But they are worth waiting for.
So wait for them, women.
Don’t give up, he’s coming for you – in God’s perfect timing (that’ s part of fighting for you too). But make sure, before you hand over your heart to him, that he’s not faking being an actual man – hiding behind a manly career or a great relationship with God. Make sure he’ll fight for you, and for your relationship.
And men, speak up. Fight!