Friday, December 28, 2012

Apples to Oranges

     With our changing culture, it seems that the roles of women and men are getting blended together like a fruit smoothie.  Years ago men would show women respect in any way possible; it was normal.  Nowadays we've seemed to have stopped giving that respect.  Have we simply grown out of those things?  Is honor to women still necessary in this fruit-smoothie culture?  That's what this week's topic is about:
"A real man is a gentleman. He is polite and shows women honor in everyday things such as opening doors, etc."
"A real woman is not offended by respect shown her through gentlemanly courtesies (opening doors, etc.) but cultivates the differences between the sexes that make her worthy of this deference."
     Well that sure answers the previous question.  What a clincher.  It shows us right in the Bible that men have a role to honor women.  1 Peter 3:7 portrays exactly what we as men should be doing: "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."  
     Men and women have separate roles given to us in scripture.  Women, according to the Bible, are to be submissive to their husbands.  Men, in return, show their wives the honor and respect that they deserve.  This respect, even outside of marriage, can be shown in simple things such as opening doors, helping to carry something, and others; the kind of stuff we as men were made to do!  Despite whether or not our culture says it's appropriate, we should give women the respect that they are given through the Bible.  This honor, however, is not simply action alone.  This is an attitude of service.  It's where Luke 6:31 comes in, except centered around the weaker vessel (as 1 Peter 3:7 puts it).  
     You too, women, have a role to play in this topic.  Nothing tramps the respect shown to a woman like her taking it the wrong way.  The honor meant for the woman in the Bible was put in place for your good.  You shouldn't be offended by the honor shown to you (unless, of course, it's done in a flirtatious manner).  The second part of this point is also important: "[A real woman] cultivates the differences between the sexes that make her worthy of this deference."  Cultivating a gentle and quiet spirit is what makes a woman deserving of gentlemanly courtesies (see 1 Peter 3:3-4).  Proverbs 11:16 says, "A gracious woman gets honor".  It's as simple as that.  
     As you can see, the Bible sets up the general relationship that men and women should have.  Following these roles, however, is what our culture seems to struggle with.  The order God placed over mankind is superior to any that we can imagine, which is why we should step up to the responsibilities of which we were given.  Otherwise we'll just end up with a really nasty fruit smoothie.