Thursday, March 01, 2007

Similarities and Differences

In January, we held a seminar in our church for women entitled Biblical Femininity: The Maker's Design. Nicki gave a talk on this subject, exploring how God made us with our distinct identity as women. At one point, we split into groups and discussed the similarities and differences between men and women, and then we reported back to the whole group. We thought you might be interested to read some of the answers (although I'm sure these lists are not exhaustive!).

  • Both have emotional needs
  • Both have goals and desires
  • Both think and feel
  • All seeking meaning and significance
  • Both may be discontented with self image
  • Both want a place and need to belong
  • All are sinners
  • Both need to be loved
  • Both have similar intellectual abilities
  • Both have a role in family life
  • Equal in sight of God
  • Men stand to talk on telephone
  • Men don’t stick to swimming lanes
  • Men tend to be more providers, women more nurturers
  • Physical differences
  • Women are more willing to show emotion
  • Women are better at multi-tasking
  • Men are more spatially aware in general
  • Women may be more intuitive
  • Men listen to more what is being said, women to why
  • Women can be manipulative and are prone to gossip more
  • Women live longer, more likely to look after themselves
  • Women need friends more, more relational
  • Men often need an activity to socialise around
  • Women love to shop!
  • Women can have babies, have a monthly cycle
  • Men tend to be more rational and logical
  • Men get flu, women get colds!
Obviously some of these are tongue in cheek, but they illustrate that although men and women share some characteristics, there are also significant differences between the sexes, and these differences are present in God's creation design. In his book Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, Wayne Grudem affirms that men and women are equal in value and dignity. He writes:
To be in the image of God is an incredible privilege. It means to be like God and to represent God. No other creatures in all of creation, not even the powerful angels, are said to be in the image of God. It is a privilege given only to us as men and women. Any discussion of biblical manhood and womanhood in the Bible must start here. Every time we talk to each other as men and women, we should remember that the person we are talking to is a creature of God who is more like God than anything else in the universe, and men and women share that status equally.
However, men and women are different and have different roles as part of the created order, complementing one another to the glory of God. To quote the 1987 Danvers Statement,
Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart.
If this is something that you struggle with, can I encourage you not to merely accept the androgenysed view of men and women presented by society today, but read more about this to come to a biblically informed opinion. The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has made a lot of helpful resources freely available including the full text of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which is an excellent place to start, as well as the text of Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that I happened upon your blog! I am enjoying reading it..and there is SO much to read!

My name is Yvonne and I live in Newport Pagnell in Bucks. (Junction 14 of the M1). God has been leading me in a very clear direction towards biblical woman-hood for the past three years. I found a christian homekeepers site that is based in the U.S and that started me on my journey. I'm finding that my biblical perspective is changing as well..I no longer think that women ministers and women elders are biblical..this puts me in a difficult position as I belong to a church family that does! I'm trusting the Lord to sort it all out. :)
I should say that I am married and have 3 wonderful children, my eldest daughter is 19 and at Uni,my son is 17 and hoping to go to Uni this year and we have our youngest..our 'surprise' child who is a delightful 7 yr old who loves to evangelise her school-friends ;)

I am a full-time mum and house-wife and I'm involved with mums and toddlers, MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers)and when I'm not keeping house I do a bit of voluntary work. I am in my mid-forties!
Needless to say I have bookmarked this wonderful site!