April 18, 2016
Just a brief forward. I realize the issue I am about to address is complicated and represents centuries of history. And I know it is fraught with emotion which makes it difficult for us to see our way ahead. So don’t fuss at me about my brevity here. I know… okay.
I just learned something today about women and weddings. I mean… I don’t know how many weddings I have done in 32 years, but for sure my fair share. And it’s not that I think I know everything. There are absolutely parts of the whole “women/wedding world” that are a mystery to me. So, with that in mind, Ellen was on the internet a few days ago and I happened to walk past. She was looking at dresses and preparing to purchase one. She is not a big “shopper” so I asked what she was up to. She said that she was “tired of the old dress she had that she always wore to weddings and wanted to get a new one.” I asked what I thought was a perfectly reasonable question, “Don’t you have two dresses that you wore to our kids’ weddings last year?” (And honestly I’m not even sure why she has TWO.) Okay… now here comes the lesson. She looked at me like I was insane and said, “You never do that!” “Oh,” Mr. Naïve responded. “How come?” Once again the crazy look. I mean it all seemed so self-evident to her and yet to me, uh… a dress is a dress is a dress. She went on to explain that a wedding is not just the bride and groom’s day but it also has something to do with what the mothers wear, i.e., NO ONE attending the wedding (did I mention “NO ONE”) should compete with either of the mothers on who has the nicer dress! I mean some mothers I’m told go so far as to communicate with each other on what they are going to wear so they don’t… I don’t know… Clash? I wonder if any mom has ever had this thought about the other mother: “Her dress isn’t nearly as nice as mine!” Or, “Her dress is amazing… she just wants to make me look bad. I don’t think I like her.” Um… NAH! No one would ever think that, right?
This might be hard to believe but men don’t tend to… um… you know… think that way. (Some might say we don’t think at all but that’s a topic for another rumination). In actuality, we are pretty baffled and clueless about most of these things. Let me say that a little more clearly… WE COULDN’T, FOR THE MOST PART, CARE LESS ABOUT THIS STUFF. Actually to the point where many fathers at weddings wear THE SAME THING as the groom. THE SAME THING… get it? Well, okay maybe a different colored flower that we don’t especially want in the first place. Tools we might want but not flowers. I might even start a new fad. Dads can carry screw drivers and cordless drills down the aisle. Maybe even a spare battery. What the heck let’s wear leather tool belts. We would be much happier.
Yep, yinz women are WAY different than us guys. And that’s what this rumination is about. I know! It seems like that should be self-evident, but in this day and age of “equality and gender confusion,” when some in our culture think we are all the same or should be the same, well, it’s apparently not as clear as one might think. Don’t get me wrong. I am very much of the opinion that women should be paid the same as men for equal work; women should have as much to say about the direction of our world as men should have, etc. Those things really seem like no brainers, thus the lack of gray matter for those who might not agree. But let’s be clear…WE ARE NOT THE SAME! We were not created the same, nor were we formed to think and feel the same. One of the great mistakes made by the feminist movement was to try and create women in the image of men rather than to glorify, honor and elevate the uniqueness of women. Truth be told, there are MANY things that women in their “differentness” can do WAY better than men and I don’t mean being barefoot in the kitchen! For example they are much more intuitive than men when it comes to relational matters. Women are better communicators. Women as a whole are better nurturers. But when the very awkward and heavy communion table in our church needs to be lifted and placed back up on the chancel, no one calls any women to do it.
There is a small movement in our country called “single sex education.” It’s a group of people who figured out what many private schools discovered years ago (and have since gone away from). Boys and girls learn differently, so teach them separately. Predictably this method is condemned by the ACLU, feminist groups and many liberals. Why? Because you have to recognize that boys and girls are unique genders and these groups, for the most part, abhor that thought! Interestingly school districts that have gone to some form of this type of education have in many cases seen dramatic up swings in test scores. Huh… go figure.
Regardless of how one might approach the creation account and the Adam and Eve story in scripture (allegorically, literally…), we can hardly deny that men and women are represented as being created as distinct unique characters. The punishment for their sin alone is dramatically different. Look at Genesis 3.
Our culture would be much better off (in my humble opinion) if we recognized and celebrated the uniqueness of men and women and set them up to use their gifts and abilities. Rather than the current attempt to create a phony, genderless, mass of confused humanity who can’t figure out who or what they are supposed to be.