These days, it seems to be the cultural norm to raise girls up and put boys down.
For example, while shopping online at a very popular children’s clothing retailer this week, I noticed a subtle difference in the message tees for girls and boys. While shirts for both genders displayed positive, fun messages, the girls’ tees proclaimed a variety of phrases based upon the theme “girl power.” As you may imagine, not a single boy’s t-shirt said “boy power.” While some of the girls’ shirts glittered with words enforcing the idea, “I can do anything you can do better,” none of the boys’ shirts in any way stated that boys were as good as or better than girls.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for girls learning to be strong and independent. We have taught our daughter to check the oil and mow the yard. She loves to careen down our wooded trails on our go-kart even more than her brothers do. But she also knows how to cook, clean, and manage a budget. And we are teaching our boys the same things. Our oldest son makes some mean scrambled eggs and toast, and he can run the washer and dryer. He also mows the yard and changes the oil with his dad. Regardless of their gender, my husband and I want our kids to be knowledgeable and well-rounded, able to step out into the world with confidence and independence when that time comes.
Yet, we also see natural, God-instilled differences between our kids. My daughter describes her personal style as “boho.” She can go on at length about accessories and shoes, and she could give a report on the pros and cons of flat-ironed versus wavy hair. If you asked my sons to describe their style, they would say…nothing.
Scripture reveals these differences when we study the many heroes and heroines upon its pages. Among many worthy male role models are their female counterparts, including courageous Queen Esther, Jael the general-killer, and Deborah the prophetess (both Jael and Deborah’s stories are in Judges 4), to name a few. These women used their natural femininity to fulfill the missions God gave them.
Then there’s the epic woman in Proverbs 31, who is not only a wife and mother praised by her family, but a businesswoman and philanthropist. But Scripture NEVER says that God made either sex better or more capable than the other. Does he lay out different roles for men and women? Yes! But only insomuch as he has created boys’ and girls’ brains and bodies to fulfill those roles.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.–Galatians 3:28
In that light, I really don’t care what the culture dictates my daughter and sons should be. I want all three of them to be godly, strong, and compassionate. You’ll never see my daughter wearing a “girls rule” t-shirt, unless it also says, “and boys rule, too!”
My husband and I are former professional photographers who gave up the business to spend more time with our kids, now our primary subjects.