Our marital relationships are adversely affected by misgivings we have about gender. In some ways we all hate our gender and what it requires of us. In this fallen world we all live out of far less then God designed us to experience.
We fail to live out God’s design as men and women. We were created as men and women in the image of God, not genderless. Gen 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
What is our original design? Larry Crabb, in Inside Out says, “Men were designed to enter their worlds strongly, providing for their families, leading them through servanthood, toward God, moving towards others with sacrificing, powerful love. Men should be tender, strong and involved."
He says, "Women were designed to courageously give all they have (intellect, talents wisdom, kindness, etc) to others in warm vulnerability (not to prove something-Ann adds), allowing themselves to be entered and wrapping themselves with supportive strength around those with whom they relate, offering all they are as female image-bearers for a godly purpose. Women should be secure, giving, and vulnerable.
A man or woman without an awareness of masculine or feminine intactness lodged deeply within his or her soul cannot live according to God’s design. At the very center of our soul, we feel shame and fear that is attached to our identity as men and women.
The above descriptions aren't mutually exclusive. Of course women should be tender, strong and invovled too. It just looks differently as it is lived out. Men are going to have times of being secure, giving and vulnerable. Again, a masculine version will have unique distinctions from the feminine.
Learning to think intentionally about our gender has enriched our marriage immenselly. More on gender on Monday.
Saturdays in this series will be devoted to the categories of play and beauty. Sundays will be focused on taking a sabbath.