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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gender Equality


I looked online for a definition of “gender equality.” Not even the experts seem to know what it means! I get the impression that it’s about treating boys and girls, men and women alike. (Who would disagree with that?) It seems to have something to do with men and women having equal value. (A biblical principle. God created both men and women good, with the same intrinsic value.) But, I have to laugh at the idea of gender equality.

When a baby is born, or when a young mother gets a sonogram to see what sex the baby is, the doctor says, “Congratulations! You have a gender equal!” NO! The doctor says, “You have a boy” or “You have a girl.” Then, parents have certain expectations.

Our first grandchild is a little boy. His dad was a baseball player. One of the first studio pictures we received was the baby, dressed in a baseball-themed pajama, lying on his tummy on green “grass” with a background of a stadium filled with spectators. In front of him, lie a bat and a baseball. He’s a boy! (His parents probably wouldn’t have taken the same picture, had the baby been a girl.)

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s perfectly fine for a tiny boy to play with dolls and hug stuffed animals and for little girls to play with cars and trucks.

I am also all for equal opportunities and pay for men and women. I’ve known some women who were more “handymen” (Handywomen? Handypersons?) than their spouses. I’ve known some men who were excellent cooks and chefs. I don’t think we have to be limited by our gender, put in a “box.”

But, there are some distinctions between men and women. The French have an old expression, Vive la diff√©rence! which celebrates these distinctions. Some are pretty obvious—the physical differences. It’s wonderful that men have broad shoulders and narrow hips and that we are more soft and curvy. The differences between men and women are far more than physical, though. The way we think, the way we process information, the way we analyze; that’s different too. Our emotions are on a different plane. Men and women both feel things profoundly, but we express those feelings differently. We have different interests. (Compare the stores men frequent and those women prefer.) This difference was made by God.

But, it’s interesting, that, even with all the wonderful differences God made between men and women, He offers one thing “gender equally.” It’s found in faith. Read Galatians 3:26-28, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. No matter who we are—male, female, from different religious or class backgrounds—we have the privilege of putting our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. He looks at everyone equally and saves everyone equally.

Now that’s gender equality!

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