Genesis 1:27 NLT
'So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.'
I grew up with an unspoken assumption that men ruled the world and women served their men. It was never put to me like that, but through the decade of my birth and then the 1960s as I formed my world view, I can see that male superiority quietly seized control of my mind. Instinctively I believed that in marriage I would be the primary decision-maker, something then underlined by the Church teaching I encountered aged 19. I’d quietly been trained as a despot. A kind despot; kind, that is, unless challenged. The challenge was taken as an affront not just to my authority but my masculinity, and Katey and I had some troubled waters as I had to unlearn, a painful, slow and exceedingly difficult process, in order to relearn.
Scripture helped. For the image of God is not visible in man alone or indeed in woman alone. Only when you have female and male together is the image of God fully represented in the earth. Indeed, in creating male and female, God attributes no enhanced authority to either expression of the divine image. God is on the side of breaking the glass ceilings.
Masculinity is also subject to review. The crude picture of the man defending homestead, spouse and family is nowhere in scripture. Perhaps a biblical appreciation is the reality of sin present in the world. Sin produces bad behaviours, threatens life and property, does harm. What we desperately need is for male and female to reflect the devotion the Trinity exercises to each member; a care and commitment to the other’s well-being and success.
As Jayne returned to training once her daughter started school, I found myself on school drop-off and pick-up. I discovered my love of cooking again as Katey declined, embarrassingly suppressed when I’d moved into puberty as not a very macho thing to do. Knowing who I am as a man, as Jayne must discover who she is as a woman, is enriching personally, yet also enables us to truly live together in mutual respect and fulfilment.
QUESTION: What misconceptions do you have about your gender?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to love and treat equally your daughters and your sons.