Men need women and women need men. Right? This statement is part of the larger teaching in the theology of the body. Everyone understands how men need women to complete them. Only a woman can take a selfish beer drinking bachelor and make him a selfless hard-working father who looks out for his family. But what about the statement that women need men? When I asked a group of young women the question if they needed men to fulfill them they thought this was some sort of sexist suggestion. Realizing the need to fully communicate this teaching, I will systematically prove why women need men and simultaneously overthrow the rather cheap idea floating around the pop culture that women should somehow become independent of men.
There endures an idea in the modern culture that there is some war of the sexes in which women need to rise up and prove they are better than men. And if there exists a clash between the sexes, then the sexes will not see how their opposing natures are, in fact, beneficial to each other and rely on each other. In short, if there is a battle of the sexes to see who is better, people are less likely to embrace the teaching that ultimate fulfillment occurs when man and woman unite their different character traits and roles together, or in the Biblical sense where"the two become one" (Genesis 2:24, Mark 10: 8).
The basis of the difference in men and women is good because when these distinctions are combined together they fulfill one another. For example, men and women have different bodies with different reproductive organs. And when their distinct bodies join together in the sexual act they complement one another and produce a positive effect - a new life. Therefore, given the fact that life originates from the combination of man and woman's body illuminates the larger point that human fulfillment itself is finalized when men and women unite their nature's together. However, the idea of “sexism” or “war on women,” attempts to take down the idea that men and women need to unite to: 1. Create life and 2. Complete the human fulfillment.
Also, because of the differences between men and women, modern culture unsophisticatedly assumes that one of the sexes must be better than the other. Here, is where the term "sexism" comes in. However, the word "sexism" is merely a superficial reading because people naively assume that having gender differences implies that one has to be better than the other. Thus, under this view since sex difference exists, then inequality exists, and inequality is treated as bad word. However, why must a difference in genders suggest that there is competition in which you have to decide one is better than the other? This doesn't make any sense because God didn't create differences in genders to make them compete against one another. He purposely made the genders different and incomplete on their own so they will become complete when they use themselves to unite and serve one another. Therefore, God's plan is when opposite and diverse natures attract to each to serve one another much like the Eastern philosophy of yin and yang. No sane parents would see the differences of their children as some sort of signal that they need to have a competition to see who is better.
What is also going on is a huge misunderstanding of what the word “equality” means. People tend to think equality means the “exact same.” Therefore, if there exists a difference, then no equality exists. However, this again suggests a bland reading on what a word means. Equality does not mean the exact same. Theology reads the word "equality" as when diverse natures come together to produce an effect in which both natures complement each other. With equality, these two elements exhibit a likeness, not a sameness. Moreover, the importance of equality is that both elements play a necessarily even role to produce the intended effect. Sameness cannot produce anything new. The color yellow joining with the color yellow produces nothing new just like a woman "joining" to another woman produces nothing new. However, when yellow unites with a different color, green, both of these differing colors of yellow and green produce a new color - blue. Therefore, equality is built on the idea that diverse components come together to create a new object or once combined these diverse aspects complete one another. To get life there needs to be a man and a woman. Without a woman, no life is possible, and without a man, no life can exist. So, man and woman are equal in that both are necessarily needed to get life. Moreover, to become fully human in our thinking and acting capacity, the male nature (truth-seeking) needs to combine to the female nature (relationship-seeking) and vice versa. However, when the male nature and the female nature refuse to unite in a partnership, a breakdown will naturally occur.
In short, the word "equal" is when two different entities come together to help the other’s weaknesses with their strength. Therefore, in equality, a difference must necessarily exist. A simplified analogy of this is spaghetti. Spaghetti is when noodles combine with sauce to form a new nature – spaghetti. Therefore, the noodles and sauce are equal in that both are needed to create spaghetti. If one was removed, the concept of spaghetti would be impossible. Notice that in this analogy the noodles and sauce are not the same, however, their differences combine to create something new. Moreover, notice that the noodles and sauce unite to fulfill each other’s weakness. The strength of the noodles is it has structure but lacks a fluid element to give it taste. The strength of sauce is it is fluid and has taste, but has no structure in which people can enjoy its taste. Notice how the noodles’ strength completes the sauce’s weakness and the sauce’s strength completes the noodles' weakness. Therefore, equality necessarily needs different elements to bond together in which both complete the other's weakness with their respected strengths. Another simple example will help clarify this.
A quarterback is not complete on his own. A quarterback needs a wide receiver in order to complete him. Similarly, a wide receiver is not complete on his own. A wide receiver needs a quarterback to satisfy him. Moreover, for a quarterback to do his job (complete passes) he needs a wide receiver to do his job – to have the ability to get open and catch the ball. Conversely, for a wide receiver to do his job (catch passes) he needs the quarterback to do his job – throw the ball accurately to him. Notice that the quarterback’s strength is throwing the ball, but his weakness would be catching the ball. Notice also that the wide-receiver’s strength is catching the ball, but his weakness would be in throwing the ball. Do we observe how the quarterback and wide-receiver when combined complete what the other is lacking? Also, notice how both are not satisfied on their own, and both of their roles are reliant on each other. Given these two points, when the quarterback and wide receiver join together within a partner approach, they are complete and fulfilled. If they are to be happy and the team to be successful, the quarterback and wide-receiver need to be on the same page and work together.
Suppose an entity approached the wide receiver and continuously put messages in his head that because he is "subordinate" to the quarterback, the quarterback is oppressing him. Suppose this entity repeatedly instructs the wide receiver that the quarterback is holding him back and that he needs to prove he is better than the quarterback is. Furthermore, this entity keeps suggesting that the wide receiver "break free" from his wide-receiver role and needs to do the job of the quarterback to prove that he is just as good. In this sense, this "entity" has broken the original bond and unity of the quarterback and wide receiver. If he were successful at having the wide receiver resent the quarterback and convince the wide receiver to stop embracing his position of wide receiver, and instead play more of a quarterback role than he would have ruptured the contingent bonding process of quarterback and wide receiver. Therefore, the team itself would deteriorate. Here, they are no longer teammates who fully embrace each other in a dependent manner. They now become pitted rivals against each other attempting to prove who is better. In applying this analogy today, the modern culture is pitting women against men. Feminism and lesbianism are attempting to convince women to break free of their "barriers" and that ultimately, women do not need men. Of course, this idea would be as faulty as the notion that the wide receiver does not need the quarterback or the sauce does not need the noodle and that they would be best served to become independent of them. This scenario would result in women sadly cutting her off from the very resource that completes her. Thus, the human “team” would collapse.
The focus of the relationship between men and women coming together to help each other by exchanging their respected strengths and weaknesses experiences a major problem when the focus shifts to “who is better.” This would be akin to someone coming up to a parent of two children and plant the false idea in his mind that he needs to decide, “which child is better.” In this scenario, the family would collapse. So it is with the human family.
Moreover, the role of a woman being subordinate to a man (see 1 Timothy 2:11-14) does not devalue the woman, but rather enhances her nature as well as completes what is lacking in the man’s nature. Many skeptics use a tactic in which they insert emotionally charged words into their reasoning to influence the audience’s thinking. Words such as “tradition,” “subordination,” and “hierarchy” are neutral words that the skeptic has cunningly changed into negative words so as to manipulate the audience’s thinking. For example, the word “subordination” in its original context follows the conjunction of “sub” and “order.” To “sub” is to follow after or behind another. Consequently, the word “subordinate” in the proper context of a cause and effect dependent relationship means “in the order behind.” This does not denote inferiority in any way it merely states that one comes after the other. The order of a recipe does not mean that one ingredient is better than the other. All it suggests is that there is a correct order to follow in which two ingredients depend on each other in a cause and effect fashion to produce a new “flesh.” For example, in the recipe of a pizza to say that sauce comes after kneading the dough does not make sauce inferior to the dough especially if in the pizza formula, the dough needs the sauce and the sauce needs the dough to complete the pizza (i.e. one flesh). In this analogy, the dough represents the male, and the sauce represents the female in that to produce the end product the order is necessary. Thus, the sauce is subordinate (follows in the order after) to the dough. Clearly, there is no inferior concept as the pizza requires both to exist, not one over the other. Similarly, the order of gender roles in which the male nature of truth-seeking through an analytical approach comes first followed by the women’s nature of relationship-seeking through an emotional connection comes second to complete the fulfillment of the human person (I'll provide scientific evidence that shows men are truth-seekers and women are relationship-seekers in the articles to follow).
Every person craves the truth and every person craves relationship. Moreover, the human race represents rational being who thinks (male nature) and emotional beings who craves feelings (female nature). Thus, the combination of male and female nature combine in the correct order fulfill the totality of the human person.
The difference between the sexes in their complementary fashion communicates the message of God – that both use their self to serve the other. This, by the way, is what love is. The reason why one gender needs to serve the other gender under is that God designed the sexes to help replace what the other gender is lacking so as to complete their roles - much like a screw and a nut together fulfilll their job. Therefore, there is a reciprocal giving and receiving formula embedded in God’s creation within corresponding aspects of gender differences. If people remove complementarity distinctions, they simultaneously remove God’s message of using the self to serve the other and cheapens the experience to a reversal - to use the other to serve the self.
The series of articles that will follow will provide concrete evidence of how men and women are different from each other. Additionally, we'll show how the joining of their different natures completes and fulfills one another. This joining does not focus on “who is better,” rather it concentrates on how both serve each other so the "two become one."
To be continued....