Michelle McKinney Hammond
Author of In search of the Proverbs 31 Man
Those who are familiar with Proverbs 31 tend to focus on the woman. How did you come up with the idea of writing about the "Proverbs 31" man?
I was always curious about the man behind the woman. She exercised a lot of freedom, creativity and entrepreneurship. I thought her husband had to be quite a confident man in his own right to encourage and celebrate all the things that she did, most men would have felt threatened by a woman like her or even, worse simply not allowed her to do as much as she did.
Did you write this book for men or women?
This book is for both men and women, single and married. The married and single man can get a clear out line of what God expects from them as men as well as what the woman in their life needs. The married woman receives instructions on how she can assist her man in being all that he was created to be as well as clearly defining what her expectations should be. Single women also get a clear cut standard for checking out a potential mate. There are study questions at the end of each chapter "For Him", "For Her", and "For You Both" as in married couples.
Is this book a manual for relationships and what separates it from other relationship books currently on the market?
It was my goal to dismantle false expectations and also give men and women tools they could work with to better their relationship with one another based not on my opinion, but biblical principles.
What, in your opinion, are some of the reasons many women can not seem to find the right mate?
There are a myriad of reasons for this that span from the spiritual to the natural. One biggie is simply God's timing and purposes for those who are leading a truly surrendered life to Him. Other reasons range to misplaced expectations so the perfectly good men get overlooked to lifestyle choices that prohibit meeting men or simply not being at their best to attract the man of their dreams. Every woman needs to be honest with herself about her habits and attitudes in order to be in the position to get and keep the love she wants.
How does personal fulfillment determine the success of relationships?
A person has to be happy and whole in order to have a relationship that is healthy, The flip side of not being whole is the other person in the relationship becomes responsible for your joy, your peace, your everything and no human being was created or designed to be all things to all men or women. If that was the case there would be no need for God. Therefore a healthy person who is fulfilled frees their love partner to be themselves. Ultimately a greater bond is forged between the two people because the pressure to be the complete embodiment of fulfillment for the other person is not weighing down and choking out the natural flow of love for their partner.
What do you mean when by what a woman "feeds" her man will affect her own life?
Men are more sensitive than most women give them credit for being. Women must remember that it was a woman who raised her husband, therefore what a woman does to him is felt more deeply. Harsh words, disapproval, criticism and disrespect can break and emasculate a man reducing him to a heap of uselessness. But praise, encouragement and understanding can go a long way into developing your man in to a king.
In what ways do you believe women seek men to fill the postion of God in their life?
A lot of women are still longing for the man in their life to "give them a name" so to speak. To be the one that validates them and affirms their worth as women. They dont' feel complete or worthwhile unless they have a man in their lives. Only God can validate and affirm us the way we need. Our confidence in our worth is a draw for a man and when it doesn't exist our low self esteem can be a repellant.
What are some qualities in a mate that should NOT be compromised?
A strong relationship with and love for God. Integrity, soundness of character, love for you and a vision for their lives. All of these things are crucial elements for building a strong relationship that will endure the test of time and trials.
What advice do you have for married women whose spouses are not considered a Proverbs 31 man? Vice versa, a man whose wife who does not reflect Proverbs 31 characteristics.
Prayer. loving and honest communication as well as adjusting attitudes and responses toward your mate are keys that work toward transforming a relationship, of course they will have to read the book to get greater detail for specific situations, there wouldn't be enough time to tell it all here.!
What is "covering" and different ways for men and women to cover one another?
The man is called to protect, provide to love and care for his wife as he would for himself. The woman is called to partner with her husband, and help him complete the assignment that God has given him. To have his back, and render her encouragement, care, respect and support. In this giving and taking the needs of both partners are covered.
How does submission lead to provision and protection?
When a man does not feel as if he has to fight his wife at every turn he is much more willing to indulge her. Submission creates order in every area of our lives. Its called being a team player. When the members of the team play in cooperation, they become strong as two than one and win the game. Isn't that what we all want when it comes to life? When we don't yield to one another as on a street intersection, someone is likely to get hurt in the long run and a lot can be lost.
In summary, do you have any specific points for singles and married couples to take away from this book?
Yes, relationships work if we are willing to do the work. Understanding and being able to not only adjust to the differences we have as men and women, but ultimately celebrate them sets the atmosphere for us to have the joyous, fulfilling relationships we all crave.
Thank you Michelle for your time. Be sure to visit Michelle McKinney Hammond online or purchase In Search of the Proverbs 31 Man.