This past week I spent a great deal of time considering relationships. I learned to teach two marriage seminars (Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage by Mark Gungor), Love Thinks (by Dr. John Van Epp) and How Not to Marry a Jerk or Jerkette (also by Dr. Van Epp). The courses themselves were fun and it was equally interesting to meet men and women from all over the country also there to learn the courses.
The common theme which ran through them all was that relationships should be approached thoughtfully, both those that we have been in for a long time and even those we are just beginning. Human beings have a tendency to treat others as mirrors of themselves rather than as others whose needs and interests sometimes differ. Paralleling this, we not only need to put the thought into those relationships but also the time. It our “everybody’s busy” culture, we have to schedule time for one another. But when we do, relationships today can be stronger than ever before.
On a larger scale, it is my belief that God made men and women different so that we can help one another. We are like two pieces of a puzzle that together we show more of the picture. This doesn’t mean that every person is supposed to have a mate or that if we are single we are incomplete. But it does mean that all of us need to have friends, confidants, and colleagues of the opposite sex. We can see and understand more together than we can apart.
It is my hope that we are on the dawn of a new age in the human race. For so long, the genders were really segregated in so many ways. In a way, in this 21st century, we are relative pioneers in what is possible with men and women working together. Work places, schools, homes, and even in the military we increasingly have men and women working together toward common goals. I believe we have the potential to accomplish more than our more gender segregated ancestors ever have.
Challenges abound. It may take a little more time and effort as men and women work together. But the opportunities are limitless.
Far beyond gender, God made people to need one another. The more we value each other, the better off we will be.
Until next time,