Accepting Gender Differences

Our God is the God of relationship.  It is his ultimate priority. He created us to be relationship with him, he sent Jesus (his only son) to die as a way to restore and make possible a perfect and eternal relationship with him.  To such an extent that Jesus had to die in order for this to take place, it stands to prove how important relationship is, as well as the effort involved. As a result of our savior and his effort, perfect union and intimacy becomes possible.  Achieving this on a more practical level begins with true acceptance and appreciation of one's unique personhood. This is profoundly healing, and has an exponential effect on intimacy. One of the most difficult aspects of relating in a healthy manner (which is the only way to produce true intimacy) is determining "what" to accept as one's true identity.  The ability to determine "who" the authentic person; is in order to truly accept, know, and support the individual lies in understanding the difference between gender, temperament, and dysfunction. Gender and temperament are God-given and need complete acceptance. Dysfunction, on the other hand, steals one's true identity and must be changed.

Dr. Gray's book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus", states the following: "the key to successful relationship between men and women lies in accepting our differences.  That only through respecting, appreciating, and responding to our natural differences can we achieve really happiness". I would take it one step farther, we need to "love" the differences, "rejoice" in the differences, and be "fascinated" by the differences as does our Lord with each and every one of us.  John and Staci Eldredge so eloquently describe the masculine side of God in "Wild at Heart", and conversely the feminine heart of God in "Captivating". God established relationship between men and women as a way to further our intimacy, our understanding, and appreciation, of him. Understanding, experiencing, and accepting the opposite gender, not only enhances my immediate relationships, but honors God by increasing unity within the body of Christ.  I need to love what God has created, even if it is different.