Myth: Boys and girls should be raised to be people.
Wrong! Boys should be raised to be men. Girls should be raised to be women. That’s what the Bible teaches. The myth is taught by the culture today. Boys and girls are thrown together in the public and private school blender. Sixteen years later, they come out not as distinctive representatives of their God-given gender, but a finely chopped puree of “person,” with the requisite identical attributes of true God-hatred, unquestioned intolerance of all absolute truth, and ironclad commitment to egalitarianism, the belief that there are no differences between the sexes and certainly no God-ordained hierarchy of roles. You know what’s scary? It’s not just little Johnny Postmodern that is influenced by the culture. It’s Sammy Sunday School as well (how’s that for a stupid sample name).
You see, if Christians raised children according to their gender, they wouldn’t raise women to aspire to men’s roles. They would raise their girls to be smart, critical thinkers, capable at many tasks, but they would fundamentally raise them to be wives and moms. That’s the biblical picture of femininity. Women of the Bible do work, but they usually do so in a secondary role, giving first priority and the lion’s share of their time to their husband, their children, and the care and development of their home. Women of the Bible are almost without exception homemakers, those who care for children and make the home a home. Women of the Bible are not, contrary to what the culture screams at us all, the movers and shakers of the political and business spheres. They just aren’t. I think that many Christians have bought more into the cultural model of femininity than the biblical model of femininity. They raise their daughters with the vague notion that they may someday raise a family, but they strangely import ideas into girl-rearing that belong to the realm of boy-rearing: political, economic, and academic ambition. Certainly girls should cultivate their mind–I’m delighted that my wife underwent a rigorous biblical education at her college–but their goal should not be to be the US Secretary of State. Their goal should be to raise the US Secretary of State’s children for the glory and reknown of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the same way, boys should be raised with the idea firmly and squarely fixed in their minds that they are to lead, provide for, and protect their wives. Some circumstances may arise in marriage in which wives need to work, but ordinarily, men should do all they can to allow their wives to raise their children and build their home. Unlike women, men should use their God-given testosterone (women have far, far less of this ambition-fueling chemical) to shoulder the burden of provision for their family. Men, contrary to what the culture teaches, are not to be passive, wimpy, freighted down with worry, concern, and indecision. Men are to pray, to take counsel, to read their Bible, and then to act. They are to be courageous, aggressive, and wise. They are to consciously take the burden of provision for their wives whenever possible and shoulder it themselves, and do so without complaint. This is their God-given role. They are made to flourish, just as women are made to flourish as homemakers. Men are not to be the primary child-raiser, the stay-at-home parent, the pushover father. They are to be strong, godly, gentle, kind, bold, and dominion-takers, as Adam was.
Christian, don’t accept the cultural lies. Raise boys to be men, and raise girls to be women. Such is the picture of family life from Scripture; such is the design that promises God’s best to us.