I was told a story one time that I cling to. I will attempt a paraphrase here. It was that all women are like roses, delicate and beautiful. Capable of doing things that bring joy to everyone around them. However, all roses have thorns, sharp and cutting. Just as working with roses will eventually lead to pain, so will working with women. Each of us has within us the ability to be lovely and the ability to injure. Each of us will bless and hurt. If we do our best to offer grace when cut by the thorns of others, we can hope grace will be extended to us when we cut others with our thorns. Only then can we appreciate the true beauty of the rose.
Once upon a time, I believed myself incapable of hurting others. HAH! Now I see that it is a frequent thing so I better be really free with the grace I extend to all the people in my life, male and female.
Anyway, as I journey along in life, I keep this illustration in mind. Lord, surround me with people who accept me for my loveliness that is you. Help them overlook the thorniness that is all me.