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Albert Kang International Ministries
God-Given Roles
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God has given men and women distinctive roles so that they can complement one another. His purpose is to create a healthy harmonious balance in the family and also in society. Therefore it is important to recognize that our male and female roles are God-given gifts. Men should be proud to be masculine and women, feminine. This seems obvious but with todays society, nothing is that obvious any more. Some women want to be like men and some men want to be like women. The Bible is very clear of the fact that one does not need to change ones sex or role in order to perform well in society

The Feminist movement has been advocating that women should not be domesticated and kept at home to look after children. It has portrayed the home as a prison and if the women desire real freedom, then they should reject their traditional role as homemakers. Personally I am not against women joining the workforce. (Proverb 31 is pretty clear of the fact that women could contribute in more ways than just in the home). However, I see a womans role as a mother as being more important than going out to work. If it is at all possible, a woman should stay home and be the mother God wants her to be. A maid can never take the place of a mother. Being a mother is just as important a role as any others in contributing to make the world a better place. In fact, women should not need secular jobs to affirm their position in society. A homemaker was asked at her husbands company function what she did and she replied: I am socializing two homo sapiens in the dominant values of the Judeo-Christian tradition in order that they may be instruments for the transformation of the social order in the theologically prescribed utopia, inherent in the eschaton. She had indeed recognized the importance of her role as a Christian mother.

Christ was the one who raised the societal standing of women by treating them as being equal with men. He even honored the women by appearing to one of them immediately after His resurrection. Women therefore need to set their priorities straight. As long as they bear the false notion that being a full-time mother is an inferior task then they will never be happy. Being a homemaker and raising children require her to be as skillful as anyone in secular careers. This does not mean that the father gets to shed his responsibility in child-raising duties.

The Bible is clear that both parents should play their respective roles so as to provide a balance model of male and female relationship to their young children. The role of a mother is crucial during the childs developing years. The bonding that develops since birth or lack of it will affect the child forever. Lord Shaftsbury recognized the impact that mothers made on children when he said, Give me a generation of Christian mothers, and I will undertake to change the whole face of society in twelve months.

Susanna Wesley was the mother of two very famous preachers, John and Charles Wesley.  John Wesley was the founder of the Methodist church while Charles Wesley wrote over 9000 hymns and poems. Susanna gave birth to nineteen children but only ten survived. In spite of the loss of nine children, lack of money, time, domestic help and modern conveniences, Susanna did not neglect to be the provider of spiritual food to her offspring. She made it a habit to read to her children from the Bible and pray with them. She did not only teach them by her words but through her own daily example of trusting God. The children would avoid her when she covered her head with her apron. For within that limited privacy of her apron, she prayed to her Lord. Her faith and commitment to her children had become a blessing to the kingdom of God. Interestingly, one cannot help but notice that the mother of the crazy Roman emperor, Nero, was a murderess. This goes to show how important the influence of mothers is.

Though the bonding of a child through childhood is basically the domain of the mother, the bonding through adolescence is primarily that of the father. The male teenager looks toward his father for the affirmation of his immerging manhood. The female teenager depends upon her father for a fair evaluation of what a males expectation of a woman is like. From her father, she will know whether she is attractive and also how she should respond to members of the opposite sex.

On occasions, there may arise a conflict between the nurturing and protective approach of a mother with the more challenging and adventurous approach of a father. The mother is usually the first to notice the danger in every sport and hazard in every activity. Thus she will be most unwilling to allow her child to ride a motorcycle or execute a bungee jump. On the other hand, a father tends to be less worried and would even contradict the wife. He may encourage the children take the dare and just go for it. This kind of creative impulse in the masculine gender is the reason why mankind is able to put people on the moon. Someone says, If the mother gives life and sustains it, the father calls forth the potential that is there.

Both mother and father need to recognize that the child will only be able to develop and grow effectively when he learns the balance of both approaches. He is to be like a tightrope walker and learns to keep his balance by continuously swaying from side to side. Any extreme movement to one side will cause him to fall. Similarly, the parents have to be careful too. Too much protection stifles the childs creativity and makes him timid. However too much encouragement in risk-taking may make the child reckless. The constant balance between the mothers role of a protective nurturer and that of the fathers challenge giver must be carefully exercised at all time.

I believe that God created mothers for the purpose of revealing His maternal qualities of giving love, protection, nurture and security. Jesus unveiled Gods maternal qualities when he wept over Jerusalem: Jerusalem, Jerusalem. How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you were not willing! Jesus used the example of a hen gathering its chicks to illustrate the mothering attribute of God. Yet on the other hand, Jesus displayed an almost reckless confrontation of the religious authority. He attacked the religious hypocrisy without mincing his words. On one occasion, he even chased out the traders from the temple. No one can question the masculinity of Jesus Christ as the Son of Man.  Therefore with God as our Father, we are sure that He is able to direct us into the adventurous side of life and stir up our curiosity and creativity. Thus the Christians spread the Gospel across the globe in this courageous disregard for their personal safety and gain.

God is the perfect parent and He provides us with the most balanced way of life. All of us who are Christian parents should draw strength and wisdom from the Holy Spirit as we parent our offspring; helping them to develop a life of balance and grow into the persons that God wants them to be.

This article was first published in E-Bulletin - Weekly Thought - 11 -17 May 2003