It's All about Me?
Back then I felt what Ella, her mom, and her sisters did was cruel. Ella's dad seemed silly and powerless to me. Now years later, I understand this man's wife and daughters feared him but didn't respect him, so they pushed him out of the family's inner circle to get their way.
The Bible's Rebekah, who coached her son Jacob in manipulating his father, Isaac, was a lot like my friend's mom. When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he couldn't see, Rebekah prepared his favorite food and sent Jacob in with it to trick his father. She dressed Jacob in Esau's clothes and tied goatskins on his hands and neck, hoping he would feel hairy like Esau. Through deception and manipulation, Rebekah helped Jacob steal Esau's blessing. Isaac appeared clueless and innocent in this story, but he trembled violently when Esau revealed that he knew the truth.
Historically, women have been good at deceiving and manipulating men. We've called it "feminine wiles." Think of Delilah. Remember how gullible Sampson was because he loved her. Three times she asked what made him so strong and how he could be bound effectively. Three times she bound him to test what he'd told her. Still, after she continued to nag and pester him, he finally told her the truth and fell asleep with his head in her lap. She deceived him repeatedly, yet somehow he still trusted her. He paid for that trust with his eyes and his freedom.
Many times I've been tempted to use "feminine wiles." I've batted my eyelashes at my husband as I've tried to convince him of something. I've planned proper deliveries for certain truths to soften their landing. I've shaded a few facts to make me look better. I've lied outright to my husband, and I've felt shame over it. The shame comes from knowing lying is wrong.