Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Maker's Instructions

You might have heard a story like this one before: two parents wanted to avoid raising their kids within stereotyped roles. So they gave their son a Barbie doll for Christmas, and their daughter a set of toy trucks. Within a short time the girl had named her toys Daddy truck, Mummy truck and Baby truck. And the boy had taken to holding the doll by the body, bending the legs so that they pointed like a gun barrel; and he ran around aiming it and things and 'shooting' them. Well! It looks as if those two kids had their own ideas about things! They didn't just go along with someone else trying to tell them how to act. So could it be that the differences are not just learned - they are inbuilt. That might be part of the great design from a higher source than human social engineering.
When I was very young, it seemed that girls were silly - and I know that young girls can find boys annoying, too. I once said something like "Who invented girls?" Well, it was pointed out to me that if there were no girls, I would not have a mother - or a grandmother, or a great grandmother, (at that time I still had a living great grandmother), because girls grow up to be women. You'd think I would have figured that out for myself! But then, we all have to learn. More than that, none of my friends would have mothers either. So we would not exist! Just as well someone took the trouble to point that out to me!
Well, we've all heard what can happen when parents are too set on having boys, not girls. A society that rejects girls can make itself extinct! In some cultures, the ones mentioned were India and China, there has been female infanticide - the killing of baby girls because they are not wanted. Can you get the pure horror of that?Another report said that couples try to learn the gender of their unborn child, and terminate the pregnancy if the child is female. How high would that rate on a list of history's Worst Ever Ideas?
Underlying that is the idea that males are somehow 'better' than females. There are cultural issues, like the demand that a girl's family pay a dowry when she marries. Why would a man expect to be paid to marry a woman?! Be careful what you say, though. You might get a lecture from the politically correct about respecting other cultures!
On the subject of sexism, it's just as foolish to argue that females are better than males. The two are obviously in some ways different, but equally essential.
Apparently, a well known feminist writer said this: 'masculinity is superior to femininity'. From that came the idea that women should live and act more like men, because it made them stronger. It was a better thing for them to be. That's another entry for the list of extremely bad ideas!
WHY is maleness better than femaleness? What would happen if the world had either no feminine girls, or masculine boys? I can't see how it would be worth living in, and maybe it wouldn't last long anyway! Some planned societies, like the early communist regimes, tried to abolish the different gender roles. Those societies did NOT become the way of the future. Does that tell you something?
The saying goes, "Vive le difference!" (Long live the difference.) The differences between the two are meant to be there! And the thing to get your head round is, two things can be different without either one being better. The world needs BOTH! It is a critical problem: human beings think one thing superior to another, without seeing that one can't exist without the other.
In those countries where infant girls were rejected, there is now a serious problem: too few women, so that many men cannot have partners. Parents who were determined to have sons might have to stop and figure that out. Why did they think someone else had to have daughters, but not them? And just how could you reject your own child, for being a girl? My wife and I only have one daughter. Sometimes I wish we could have had about five - as well as our sons, NOT instead of. But that would be greedy. We know people who can't have children. I must not be ungrateful for what we do have.
One good news story from recent times: a Christian church group is undertaking to have abandoned baby girls from overseas brought into our country for adoption. Good on them too! It would be the right thing whichever sex the abandoned babies were, it just happens that so many of them are girls because of this shocker idea that female children are worthless. And it's NOT just fathers who think that. By all reports, mothers too can reject female babies because they only want to have sons. As an aside there: equally cruel is a parent who rejects a child for being male, because they wanted a female. But it seems infant boys are not so often abandoned - or worse.
I'd better be careful here. If God decided to strike every doer of bad deeds, I'd be going down! But may I still say: if you want evidence that God is real, one of the many evidences of that is the birth of a baby - including a girl. And if you want evidence showing the fallen state of the human race, then try this: some humans can actually reject a new born child because they only want a son, not a daughter.
What a piece of work is a human! We could spend hours listing great achievements; and as long listing great mistakes or bad deeds. One point to make, though: wherever Christian missionaries went, a practice they tried to stop was female infanticide. The modern politically correct view is that they barged in and messed up other cultures. It could be that many individuals now living only exist because one of their female ancestors was saved, by the intervention of those Christians. The Word says: "Male and female He made them." It was not a human idea. Humans cannot improve on it!


Farrah said...

First I would like to say this very important thing: Did you forget to put a title for this post? :-)

God made man, and then He made a woman, because it wasn't good for the man to be alone. He didn't make another man for a companion. Interesting, isn't it? I many gender differences were added after they sinned in the Garden of Eden and how many were part of God's original design for man and woman?

So far as we can tell, they were equals in some ways until after they sinned. Then, God said that woman would have to be in subjection to her husband as part of the punishment. I would consider the bodies Adam and Eve had before sinning to have been how God intended humans to be, a more perfect form than we are now.

For example, sin introduced pain in child-bearing. Makes me wonder how procreation originally worked and what ways it changed. I wonder if woman was always physically weaker and smaller?

What was the purpose for gender differences both before and after Adam and Eve sinned? Is it part of a perfect design for there to be some differences? One makes up for what the other lacks, resulting in more satisfaction and joy in eachother's company.

Jesus said, "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."

Jesus also said, "For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven."

This says that there will be no marriage in eternity. We will be like angels. I'm thinking gender is nonexistent in angels. I don't know.

It seems like if Adam and Eve hadn't disobeyed God, they could have continued living in the garden indefinitely. The tree of life could keep them alive forever. But we know that we will be changed and given very different bodies in eternity. Will those bodies be like what Adam and Eve originally had or something totally different? You always get me to thinking about interesting things. :-)

Randi Jo :) said...

yes! :) great post again

jel said...

very good post!

A child (girl or boy) are a gift!

but I'm one of many who couldn't have one!


~*~toni~*~ said...

I've watched many births....they are all unique and special! In fact, there have been times when I've had to ask, "Was that a boy baby or a girl baby?" All I had noticed was it was a beautiful baby! Thanks for a post that made think!

vinnysmom1221 said...

Great post, totally agree. I mean, we teach our kids "God made you special." We should apply it to us as well, men and when have special "jobs" they were designed for, but not higher places in his heart.

Tracy said...

Hi Andrew,
What a great and thought-provoking post. All children are such incredible gifts...I've always found it inconceivable that some will end the life or abandon a child, simply because it wasn't the gender they wanted. You're right -- horror indeed.

Thank you for your recent visits and kind comments at my blog. Nice to "meet" you.


Lexi said...

Wow.. a totally masculine world would be awful. and a totally feminine world would be awful too! I've never thought of that before..

Stephanie said...

Thank you for visiting my blog...I enjoyed reading your post.

When I was a kid I grew up in a somewhat "feminist" household (another form of rejecting the females of our society) and in recent years have learned to embrace the femininity that God has for me. Being a woman, a wife, a mother, and a homemaker are all roles I embrace and relish. I feel equal in my importance to the world in the roles I was designed to play. What an honor it is to be a woman.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Hi Andrew,

All Christians are called people and are then Ministers. I believe that all Ministry is equal, but can there be any greater calling than the calling to Christian Motherhood?

Blessings from a Minister whose Mother and Wife was and is as good as any one, and good to hear of the Church group's concern over abandoned baby girls. Thankyou.

makemeaspark ~>----- said...

The saddest thing that occurred this year, in my humble opinion, was in China, when they had the earthquakes there earlier this year, most of the victims of buildings that collapsed were children in the schools.

Apparently the schools were not built to withstand earthquakes at all. Now since the government only allows one child per family, those that lost a child lost their only child. This I found extremely sad. And in many cases it was their son, that they careful chose to watch over and support them in their old age.

Pray for the Chinese to experience great revival toward God,and perhaps even a small baby boom to replace all those little ones.

Jenny B. said...

couldn't remember if I'd commented on this... I guess I didn't.

very good stuff!

I had a coworker that would tease me because I have a tendency to wear "masculine" clothes (tank tops, military coats/boots, hats, cargo pants that tie at the bottom, etc.). It's not that I want to be a man: I never have wanted that. I'm just not "girly."

and I have been noticing a major difference between "girls" and "women." Maybe I should write about it...