In his most recent post, Deep Strength discusses the differences between Kindness and Niceness. I find no disagreement with his explanation of both:
Kindness, of course, is a fruit of the Spirit, whereas niceness is concerned meeting a need while placating feelings.
Where I disagree is his view on how Truth and Kindness interact, as least so far as where women are concerned. As he explains it:
Women, however, tend to need more flavoring with their food. Food is Truth. Is the essence and meat of the subject. However, Truth (or meat) by itself tends to be very unpalatable to women. Thus, they need flavoring with food to make it more palatable. This is where grace comes in.
An example he uses of this in practice is this:
If a woman/wife asks if something makes her look fat and she is then…
the Nice answer is no, but that is a lie.
the Truthful answer is yes, but it is generally not graceful.
a Kind answer may be to decline to answer or a sarcastic answer, as a Truthful answer may not be palatable to the ears.
To begin with, I don’t see how there is really any flavoring here. To flavor something is to add something extra to make it more palatable, right? Except there is none of that going on here. Instead, the Kind answer contains no Truth, and instead dances around it. Perhaps this is simply a bad analogy, or perhaps I am missing the point. But I don’t see where this supports the argument advanced by DS.
But setting that example aside, I question whether anything but the Truth is kind. One of the major analogies used in the ‘sphere is the Hamster- that invisible rodent ever spinning on a wheel of rationalization inside the brain. The Hamster churns out rationalization after rationalization to do just what DS is talking about here- making things more palatable.
It seems to me that what he proposes is dangerous. Mixing up the Truth with something else just feeds the female Hamster. It gives women more of an opportunity to rationalize things. This makes it more likely for the Truth to be lost in whatever mental machinations are necessary to make the woman feel better about the situation.
Now, I can agree that how one tells the Truth to women should be different to men. Perhaps different words, perhaps a different tone is needed. But the Truth stands on its own, and should so stand. Mixing it up with anything else… well, let us keep in mind these words of Saint Paul:
5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. 7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who called you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
The danger is that adding something to the Truth is like leaven- it causes the whole lump to rise. In this context, it means that a little leaven changes something that was True into something else entirely.
Also, part of me questions the entire premise that women can’t handle the unvarnished Truth. I am curious if there is any Scriptural support for this notion. Perhaps 1 Peter 3 and the “weaker vessel” analogy, but that seems like quite a stretch. Frankly, I think Deep Strength is giving women less credit than they deserve. I am curious what my readers, male and female alike, have to say on the matter….