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Andreé Seu Peterson: Bearing with one another


WORLD Radio - Andreé Seu Peterson: Bearing with one another

Men and women are created to complement each other and reinforce our dependence on God

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LINDSAY MAST, HOST: Today is Wednesday, May 7th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Lindsay Mast.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Up next: WORLD commentator Andrée Seu Peterson on the God-created differences between men and women.

MUSIC: [Some Enchanted Evening]

ANDREE SEU PETERSON: I recently came across this Babylon Bee headline: “Man Thoughtfully Responds To Wife’s Nine-page Text About Her Day With A Thumbs-up Emoji.”

There are two genders, which is quite enough. Men are not women, a truth downplayed during courtship but dependably brought to light later. Generally speaking, men are (a) creatures of few words, and (b) emotionally truncated. If it took me years to come to terms with this, it is because all the treacly love songs are written by men, a fact I’m still puzzling out:

“Laura” by Dave Raskin; “Some Enchanted Evening” by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein; “Unforgettable” by Irving Gordon; “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Ewan MacColl.

Thirtieth President Calvin Coolidge reportedly sat near a woman at a dinner party who said, “I bet someone I could get more than two words out of you.” He replied, “You lose.” WORLD listeners might also like this Coolidgism: Mrs. Coolidge was unable to attend church one Sunday, so she asked her husband upon his return what the sermon was about. “Sin,” he said. When she asked what the preacher said about sin, Coolidge offered: “He was against it.”

Which exhausts both my Coolidge trivia and substantiation of claim (a).

For claim (b) that men are emotionally truncated, take a scene from screwball comedy Dumb and Dumber, where two losers are lounging in a bathtub: “So why did your wife divorce you?” one inquires idly. “She said I don’t listen. Or something like that. … I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.”

I’m reminded of a scene from My Fair Lady in which Professor Higgins addresses Col. Pickering:

MY FAIR LADY: MeCn are so pleasant, so easy to please. Whenever you’re with them, you’re always at ease. Would you be slighted if I didn’t speak for hours?” “Of course not.” “Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?” “Nonsense.” “Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?” “Never.” “Well, why can’t a woman be like you?

So did God make a mistake? Why the mismatch of sensibilities and expectations?

Blimey, Pickering! I believe it’s by design! I believe it is on purpose! If a man could get everything he needed from a woman, and a woman could get everything she needed from a man, where would be the quest for God?

The late apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote this in his book True Spirituality: “No love affair between a man and a woman has ever been great enough to hang everything on. It will crumble away under your feet… But when I am a creature in the presence of God, and I see that the last relationship is with an infinite God… I can take from a human relationship what God meant it to provide, without putting the whole structure under an intolerable burden.”

So let us all have a good laugh and bear each other’s failings. In any case, life is short and we shall be home by and by.

I’m Andrée Seu Peterson.

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