So, this whole gender role topic keeps popping up...Maybe it's just in the air - maybe it's something bigger than that. Whatever - it's here and that's all that really matters.
Now, I know we're in the 21st century here and the different genders are supposed to get fair and equal treatment - which I agree with. Men and women are equally gifted, intelligent, and loved. However, the fact remains that there are somethings that women can do that men can't, and vice versa.
This makes one think that for some reason God wanted it that way. [Or, even if you chose not to believe in the creator, you've got to at least acknowledge that evolution or whatever else also functioned within this system].
I'm not so much thinking about the roles of men and women in society, like in politics or whatever else. That kind of thing I think it should pretty much be free reign there. Whatever person is best for the job, regardless of gender, they should get it.
Moving along, I'm more interested in the male/female roles within a relationship and within a family dynamic.
I think to even start this concept, we need to define what a man and woman are. Because at some point we stop being children, age into youth/young adults, then at 18 - a legal adult, then 20somethings, and then magically into grown and responsible men and women? No, there's got to be some turning point.
I think how I've begun to describe a man is a guy who is after the heart of God. I mean, yes, age does have something to do with it. But not so much as making the decision to live for something greater and beyond yourself. To live for the good of others. And I guess that's how to describe a woman then too.
I think it's kind of a serious title. To be a MAN - so many guys I know love this. They want to be masculine and they want to be a man. Which is GREAT. For sure - I love it. I love guys who are willing to step up and into the role they were designed to fill. But if said guy just wants to hunt and eat meat and watch explosions, would I call him a man? No, probably not. Because, while all of those things are well and good and seen as depictions of manhood on our culture, they don't change the heart. They don't have substance. Again, its not that any of that stuff is bad - I enjoy...well all of it actually =P But I don't think that doing/liking those things is what defines a man. I think that's what makes a maturing [I say 'ing' because everyone, through our entire lives, has moments of immaturity. we never - hopefully! - stop growing] individual, the pursuit of substance, the pursuit of growth.
Again, pretty much all of this goes for gals too. I mean, I don't know as many ladies that are as obsessed with bacon as many of the male gender, but the concept is the same =P
But girls, I think, need to pursue something more..sweet I guess. Gosh that sounds terrible.
The role of men in a Godly relationship is to be the leader. The protector, the head, the guardian. And women are supposed to be life givers and nurturers. But women have this amazing thing about us that we are also meant to be fighters, we are meant to protect just as much, although in different ways, as men.
Men protect with an offense, women with a defense.
Women nurture, men train. I think. I'm 22, I don't have a lot of answers, I have a lot of observations.
So that's what I mean by women pursuing something sweet. It's not a sissyfied version of what men do. It's a vital difference that allows balance. And same as what men are meant to do - it's not a heartless and cruel version, it's that same balance.
In a relationship, whether it be marriage or dating or whatever, if the man is meant to be the head - the leader - then by default, if that man is not leading well, then the relationship and/or family is going to hit some rough times.
That is a HUGE amount of pressure and responsibility. I am in no way ignorant of that.
But that's where the woman comes in. With her nurturing heart and encouraging words, the women is meant to help the man carry that burden in a team effort.
It's really quite a beautiful system - there's an equal amount of dependence [note: not co-dependence] that each person has to have on the other person for the thing to work.
Then there's the whole issue of when the man or woman doesn't fill the roll they were meant to - if the man stops leading, if the woman stops nurturing. That leaves a hole to be filled, and someone who is not meant to fill it, stepping into it anyhow.
Which, as you can imagine, leads to all kinds of discontent and bitterness and anger.
I think that becoming a man is more important to guys than becoming a woman is for girls.
Maybe not more important, but more difficult.
It seems like girls just kind of ease into womanhood as we age.
Guys aren't as lucky - they need someone to show them, to guide them. Which is what fathers are for, but we have a generation of guys that have been raised by absent men. And when there's absent men, there's struggling women and children. [Not to knock single parents at ALL - that is a battle I hope I never face. They are some incredible people].
The man is a vital role, there's no beating around it. The woman is too, but again, I think it's generally easier for us girls. It's almost like guys need that ceremonial ritual that the ancients used to do. Send male youths out to do something in the wilderness and when they come back they're viewed as men. Which would be kind of nice if our society worked that way - it'd make it easier on these guys for sure. But it doesn't work that way and guys have to work to prove, mostly to themselves, that they are MEN.
It's taken me about a week to actually write this thing, from thinking about it, to writing about half and then letting it sit there for a few days, to tonight when I'm determined to finish it.
I really don't know much about this, I've never tried the theories, these are simply my observations as I've watched single and dating people my age, and couples that have been married for years.
But I've decided in that week that I want to be aware. There's this quote I keep seeing, but I can't find who said it. It says, "I often wonder, if more girls were willing to be ladies, more guys would feel challenged to be gentlemen."
Now there's the comeback, "well if more guys were men, less girls would need to fill that role" which is true. But the first statement stands too. If more girls were women, more boys would be men. There's that balance thing again.
So I guess what it boils down to, is if you want a man, BE a woman. If you want a woman, BE a man.
Be that person who is searching for the heart of God, who is pursuing purity and holiness and wants the very best of God's will for the other person. It doesn't mean we never screw it up, because I know at least I will - the rest of you might have this thing down better. It doesn't mean that we guess right every try. But it does mean that we do actually try.
That we strive.