The instructor was giving an illustration about communicating with employees. A manager wanted the supply cabinet cleaned out. She wanted her employee to get rid of stuff they didn't need, straighten things up, rearrange, that kind of stuff. She told her worker, "Clean out the supply cabinet." Her worker emptied everything out, cleaned all the shelves, wiped everything down. Cleaned it out, you know? What we have here is a failure to communicate.
As the story peaked, one of the ladies in the class said, "That worker was a husband, wasn't it." (No, it wasn't a question.) I thought (but didn't say, of course), "That's a response from a wife." You see, in this situation, "a husband" was defined as "an idiot who couldn't figure out what she wanted and did all the wrong things." My response was "a wife is defined as a woman who requires her husband to read her mind and then shoot him down for failing (which he certainly will)."
Just an example. Have you ever noticed that we have a tendency to define things by their failures rather than their meaning? "Men" are in particularly poor repute these days because some (not all by far) men are lousy people. But women aren't saying, "That is an example of a bad man as opposed to the good men I know." "Christians" are defined as "hateful" not because they are hateful but because a small number of really poor examples have stereotyped Christians, examples like the Westboro folks, pinched-nosed nuns, and those pharisaical folks who have decided that "mixed swimming is a sin" (just as illustrations) without biblical backing. What is not being said is "Christians are not defined by those who abuse it."
Why do we tend to do that? We know the abuses of a particular role or office, but we don't merely condemn the abuses -- we condemn the role or office. Brethren, these things ought not be. Of course, we do the reverse as well. James warns "My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism" (James 2:1). What is he talking about? It's the tendency to show preference for rich over poor, for well-dressed over shabby, for haves over have-nots. We tend, in other words, to define "well off" as "good" simply because it's "well off", not because it's good. James goes on to remind his readers, "Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?" (James 2:6). Oh, yeah! We forgot!
So, it turns out we have a tendency to be really poor at definitions. We will define "rich" as good overlooking the standard failures of being rich while defining others such as "men", "husbands", or "fathers" as evil overlooking the fact that all roles in God's design are good and their abuse is not a definition. Remember, we all suffer from a shared malady. "The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked." Be on the lookout for that ... especially in yourself.