So much of the gender war in this world is about people trying to prove that we are worth something—to others and to ourselves. The insecurities of the strong cause them to push down the weak, so that they can keep their strength. The insecurities of the weak cause them to undermine the strong, so that their weakness isn’t as evident.
These tactics arise from the logical conclusions of a world that doesn’t believe a loving, all-powerful God is in charge. What sparks my imagination and gives me hope, however, is how often the opposite occurs. Mysteriously, magically, some people rise above the strife.
For several years, for example, struggling to understand human sexuality, I puzzled over why men need women. On first glance, I could find nothing visible to explain it. Men are stronger and bigger. They can do rocking awesome cool stuff. Sure, roll your eyes and explain to me about the birds and the bees. Men need women to have sex. But why not just use ‘em and leave ‘em? Why does society worldwide, as a general rule, bear some semblance of civility?
Atheists explain all this away as hormones. Bonding hormones, dancing along various mental pathways. Also, they say, the male of the human species has a genetic need to preserve his own line, and so he protects his woman against the encroachment of other males. Under this model, women are valuable as vessels for procreation.
For me, this answer did not suffice. It seemed to me that the logical conclusion of such a philosophy would be worldwide polygamy. On the contrary, monogamy remains the general standard. Sure, the male sex bears a spotted reputation when it comes to overall sexual fidelity, but that does not change the fact that both men and women have an inexplicable habit of falling in love with and marrying one partner at a time.
To put it another way, it was not the sexual predator or the prostitute who struck me as odd, but the average, everyday couple. What was that invisible thing that bound Joe and Susan Smith together?
The answer is mind-bendingly simple. Women are valuable because God said so, and the fact that men need women just is. The holy one whose word creates life spoke and declared that we, both male and female, were good. And when we both fell flat on our face in the Garden of Eden, He stepped in and restated His original purpose through the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. Our God created us, bought us, and sealed us.
In the evolutionary model mentioned above, a woman’s power comes through controlling her sexuality. This is why the women’s lobby hangs onto the interests of Planned Parenthood by tooth and nail. To a woman who finds her value this way, access to birth control – and abortion – seem as vital as life itself. Also, the social welfare system. It is much better, apparently, to be dependent on the government than on a man.
Jesus met a woman like this at the well in Samaria, in John chapter 4. She had lived with five husbands. No doubt, as a member of a despised ethnicity, she was just trying to survive. But this man at the well, unlike the others, did not try to use her. He wanted her best:
“Jesus said . . . ‘Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4.13-14, ESV).
More than anything else, I want to tell other women that Christ loves us. He wants to plant His joy deep in the hollow parts of our souls and water us with living water.