Society impacts our views on gender as well. Many times this impact is negative.
Society asks us often to be sexual beings at the cost of our true selves. In other words sex is pitched as the ultimate answer to solving the problems in our lives without thought to the cost we will pay with our souls.
Ann: Women are told we are unlovely if we don't have supermodel looks.
And my experience in counseling has taught me that women with striking looks struggle just as deeply internally because others assume that since they look good they don't have any real relational or life issues. In other words their pain isn't taken seriously bringing even deeper wounds.
God has much more to say on the issue of beauty, internal and external, that we will explore later on.
Men are told we don't have what it takes unless we are scoring on the field, in the financial world or in bed.
Pornography is a lure that gives us the sense of being a man without requiring any risk. But it always takes more than it gives, ultimately thinning our souls and making deeper relationship more difficult. We're left feeling even more lonely and isolated.
An issue for both is our transient culture. It is tough to make lasting relationships with same gender friends to grow with us and remind of us God's involvement in our lives when we need it.
For me, a significant piece of healing from Ann's affair came when I had a weekly early morning meeting with a group of men. I was able to be where I was which essentially gave me permission to grieve the losses from the affair on a deeper level. The masculine validation of my wounds and tears built strength, not weakness in my soul.
We'll move next to speaking about the grief in our story.