Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Nana, For a Girl..."

I have plenty of gardening chores waiting my attention on Morning Glory Farm. This morning I tackled cutting down the seed pods I'd left all winter in my perennial border. The Dynamo was helping me clean up the clippings plus some branches that blew down from our ancient Box Elder tree. When he found a particularly large branch he rolled the hand truck over and placed the branch on it and rolled it to his wagon where we were stacking our debris. He asked his trademark question, "Can I get a little help here?"

I leaned over and took one end of the 3-foot-long branch. He took the other end. As we carried it, he looked at me in admiration and said, "Nana, for a girl, you're pretty strong." I started laughing at the obvious distinction this preschooler has already made between boys and girls. 

How does a boy come to the realization that females are the fairer sex? I don't remember ever telling him boys are physiologically stronger than girls. At his age, muscle development is about equal between the genders. 

I am not a weak person...just yesterday I helped Mr. Amazing move the A-frame for my swing to a new place around which I plan a garden. It is made of 2"x4"x8' landscaping timbers. It was no light task to lift and move it. I can carry anything I need to as long as it's a good day for my back...even that precocious 5-year-old!

As a mother of two girls who was raised by a very strong always-in-charge male parent, I was careful to not ever let the girls feel that there were any limits on things they want to do as long as they are willing to put forth the effort. I don't want them to loose their femininity, but I also want them to be confident in the gifts God has given them. Because of this I am careful to avoid saying that certain things are girls' or boys' jobs. 'Cept for taking out the trash. The guys get this job-not because I can't but because I would rather not do it.

One thing I have noticed is the tendency of the Dynamo to play games where he is the hero...the best at climbing, or riding his bike, or digging in the garden, or carrying big sticks. Thinking back, it is easy to remember how my son was the same way as the Dynamo when he was a little boy. One of my favorite pictures of the now-Marine is as a 2-year-old helping his dad carry a very heavy box containing our tent to a campsite. The little guy was tough! And strong! See him standing guard over the campsite...>>>

My conclusion to the question of how the Dynamo knows there is a difference between boys and girls other than the obvious is this: the Creator placed within each male the desire to be a protector. There can be no protector without someone who needs protecting. Regardless of what popular secular thought would have us believe, men are built differently than women with greater muscle mass. The difference is not random. It is God's plan that healthy men rely on their physical strength to care for their families.

Today's politically correct attitude that there are no differences has just about destroyed the drive of young men to step into their God-given roles as provider, protector, and spiritual head of their families. My adult daughters can attest to the fact that the selection of men who can be respected as men of integrity is slim. What a shame! 

For more on the topic of society's role in the degradation of male integrity, see this article I wrote for our local newspaper a few years ago: Raising Men of Honor.

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.

No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33 MSG)

1 comment: said...

I love this. :-)

My son (3 1/2) has just started playing where he is the hero. "Super Scott!" It is awesome. I makes me grin every time.