“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Creator God embraced equality between the sexes long before we humans did. The secular world somehow feels that to lift up one group of people (women), another must be brought down (men). That is not Father God’s view of the world. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) Both sexes are made in the image of God. Both have value. Both are cherished by God. Both are needed in His plan.
Because of the fight for equal pay and opportunities for women that has been going on here in the U.S. for years, the environment has changed in America; the status of women has been elevated and opportunities abound for the “fairer sex.” I am thrilled to honor female friends who have become leaders in business, in science, in medicine, in politics, and in our community. While as a woman I am delighted to see women celebrated for their achievements, as with all things, this coin has 2 sides.
There is an attitude of disdain for men in our society. The secular world today often frowns upon men as greedy, power-hungry patriarchs. Prejudging of men is common, as we’ve seen in the sweeping statements of groups that paint all men with a black brush, making stereotypical assumptions about males that would infuriate the populace if the same type statements were made about women. We see it bleed over into our entertainment and even into children’s literature, where the bumbling, inept dad is the butt of the joke and is constantly needing to be rescued by the mom or the children.
As Christian women we must uphold and respect and honor men as our equals in God’s plan. We are called upon to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – “others” means men as well as women. We don’t overlook the sin of either sex, but we also don’t condemn them as a whole group. Each person is accountable for his (or her) own sin and will bear the punishment.
As a woman who lost her father at age 11, I want to challenge you to value you dads and honor them while you still have them with you. Honor you children’s daddy, even if that may be a real challenge for you. It will be worth it. Philippians 2:3-5 tells us to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”
~ I challenge you, sisters in Christ, to look upon the men in your life today with the eyes of Christ, not the eyes of the world. See the best in them. Seek out the good. Forgive those gaffs and minor failings. Allow them to be human. Look upon them the way you would look upon another woman, as imperfect sinners, fellow strugglers on this journey of life.
~ I challenge you to speak life into the men and boys in your life today. Congratulate them on small steps in the right direction. Greet them with tones of love and tenderness. Let your tongue and the “To Do” list rest for a day. Accept them just as Christ accepts us, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
~ I challenge you not buy into the agenda of the wounded who speak ill of men out of pain. Not to listen to media that group all men into the mold of antagonists of women and misogynists. God has redeemed many men and women, and men deserve the grace of God and grace-filled treatment from us just as much as women do.
Let us use this day to lift up and honor the men in our lives – especially the fathers! Let us love and cherish them. Let us build up and not tear down. Let us love them with the love of The Father – unconditionally.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8