Men and Women, Episode 2

Posted on May 1, 2013 | 13 comments

All of us have been created as image bearers of God. Yet, unmistakably, men and women have been created differently, each imaging their Creator in different ways.

Masculinity and femininity are different yet equal, and complementary. At the most basic level, the physical, the masculine and feminine were made to join together.

As my daughter continues to get older, in an aging process that I cannot stop and is passing in a blink of an eye, it becomes more and more clear how our sense of masculinity and femininity is imprinted upon us.

An imprint that will help to generate both the truths and the lies that we will believe about our Self. The lies that will influence where we seek identity, the source of our false self.

As my daughter is growing and developing her sense of femininity, she has two examples. My wife, living out her own femininity, giving our daughter a picture of what femininity looks like – including how it responds to a masculine presence.

In our interactions, being the opposite sex parent, I am to allow my daughter to feel her femininity. What does healthy comfort and security feel like in the presence masculine strength. What does it feel like to be valued, to have a door opened, a loving hug, to be prayed over, and encouraged.

Just as our daughter receives the positive, my wife and I are also – along with the rest of humanity – broken image bearers. In the process of restoration, but broken nonetheless. So, daughter also sees the struggles we both have overcoming our own lies and living into our own masculinity and femininity. That’s how lies are passed on through family systems.

Of course, the reverse would be true with a son. Fathers give a picture of what masculine strength looks like, and the mother would allow the son to feel his masculinity.

Father and mother are to be the key voices in developing their kids. Yet, they are not the only voices. And that is where care must be taken in parenting.

Our culture is media driven. Competitive. Image conscious. All that influences my daughter. And yours. And your sons.

Advertising. Music. TV. Movies. Video games. Magazine covers. People at the mall. All give varying pictures of what masculinity and femininity means. How it is lived out. How it relates to the other.

What picture of masculinity or femininity are you crafting for your Self and your children?

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  1. Hmm, very interesting thoughts and question, Scott. It’s something that I’ve “felt” when dealing with my sons or when watching my husband interact with them as well, but not really something I’ve unpacked as you are doing here. It makes me wonder if I’ve “allowed” my sons to feel their masculinity and in what ways can I do a better job of this. I have felt them pulling away from me in their preteen years and have recognized this as a forging not only of their identity separate from mom, but also of the forging of their masculinity, so I didn’t take it personal. I hope you flesh this out more, Scott. I’d love to hear more of your insights and observations. It’s an important area that I feel I’ve somewhat overlooked.

    Thanks again for suggesting meeting this past week. It was great to talk with a likeminded soul with a similar passion in ministry.

    • Thanks for the encouragement on this. It was a tough one to get started but I think there are some good places to go with it. Maybe a couple practical lessons. Would love your input as a mom with boys.

  2. Interesting article here… I like your insights and agree that the two most significant examples of Masculinity/Femininity come from the parents. Both by demonstration and communication- this is such an important issue to talk about! (Stopping by from PYHO)

    • Thanks for reading, hope we get to interact more. God bless.

  3. Dear Scott
    Your words remind me of something I hears long ago. It says the biggest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother very much. Now, your words have added another dimension to this. I love the way you honor the uniqueness of both men and woman. Thanks.
    Blessings from Intentional Me.

    • That is such a great point for fathers. Thanks for the reminder. Would make a great post on how parent’s love for one another blesses their children.

  4. it’s so important to be aware of the outside influences on our kids. We can’t block them all, but just being aware can help.

    • Yes, not giving them over to the standards of this world. But, not beating ourselves up if we are not perfect.

  5. Great post! Like MIA said, I especially appreciate your balanced view of both men and women in this, as well as your real-life examples of what you’re referring to.

    • Thanks for reading! I appreciate your response. God bless!

  6. These are good things to think through, and it’s always good to evaluate our influence and the outside world’s influence on our children.

    In our culture, the lines between masculinity and femininity are often blurred and sometimes absurdly defined.

    My children are grown and married, but I am now seeing how home and world influence my grandchildren. Parents and grandparents have our work cut out for us, don’t we? And prayer is the key.

    • Ultimately, God is indeed in control. Great point about grandparents, for a lot of kids, the main adult influence.

  7. I don’t see enough men willing to use the “different but equal” line. Very nice to see it. The bulk of my writing is built around Ephesians 5:25 and the concept of the bride and bridegroom. I see marriage as a mirror of salvation. The word “helpmeet” is so critical in discussions like this, too. It presents the imagery of calling an army to help win a battle that is too great for you. It also carries images of an interpreter, helping you navigate through things you don’t understand.
    Glad to see another brother who isn’t stuck on the blind submission message that so many churches get hung up on. The best thing our kids can see is daddy loving mommy the right way.

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