Kate Moreland considers how the differences between men and women are God-given advantages to growth in life and holiness.
I was watching a TV show recently about two teams competing to see which could move a group of cattle from one place to another. Part of the challenge was that the cows had to be sorted into two specific groups, rather than taken as a whole group each time. Yellow marked cattle went to one corral; blue marked cattle went to the other. In each group, it was the lone woman whose actions allowed the team to finish within the time limit. One female cowboy stated that she could, “do anything a man can do!”
It was exactly her actions which differed significantly from those of the men that enabled her team to finish in time. In this age of feminism, we women often try to do as this young woman did and be the same as the men. Yet, God has created us uniquely male and female and acknowledging those differences instead of avoiding them will help our talents to flourish.
In the show, the men were trying to sort the cows on foot. It was a small corral, and for a strong man with the skills for that sort of activity, probably fairly doable. For a woman, sorting and wrestling 1000-lb cattle on foot was out of the question. They could probably have managed if given enough time, but without an excessive loss on the clock, there was no way they could succeed. So, these ladies innately realized their lack of brawn and used the cowboy’s greatest asset to win: the horse. On a horse, these women became greater in weight, greater in height, and faster than every steer in that pen. And that was what I found so interesting: it was because these women couldn’t do what the men did that forced them to seek another way, which led to success.
This mentality that encourages women to see ourselves as equal to men hinders us in day-to-day life as well, restricting our vocations as wives and mothers instead of helping them. We are given less physical brawn but more emotional availability and understanding for a reason. Just as men are made to lead, women are made to bind. We bind the home together; as my father often says, if husband is the head of the home, the wife is the heart. Our compassion, our empathy, and our ability to be humble and accept aid are all gifts we are given not to push us down, but to lift our souls out of selfishness and into generosity.
The gift of self that mothers offer, day after day, night after night, is a challenging one. Yet, it is through that constant self-gift and the required renewal and revival from grace that scrubs out the sinful habits from our souls and replaces them with love, compassion, gentleness, and humility. We need these graces to get to heaven, and they are often found in our submission to our husbands and the giving of our bodies to our children.
When we embrace our roles as women, we not only do we get better at the skills we should be cultivating in the first place, but we also encourage and lift up our menfolk. Admitting that we cannot build the porch gate as well as he can, for example, has a twofold effect. First, it frees up our time to do something more tailored to our physical and mental skills. And I am not saying women cannot do carpentry; rather that each spouse contributes according to his or her skills, whatever those may be in your relationship and situation. Second, this allows the husband to step into his role of leader, protector, and provider. Now, I know that, sometimes, we really can do the job better, or at least our contribution would make the final product better. We have all been in those scenarios; my home has several permanent fixtures that might have been improved with more communication. But when we humble ourselves to accept help, allow our husbands to take the lead on a job, and be thankful for it, we are honoring their contribution as providers and protectors.
We women are much different from men, and while we can often accomplish the same ends as men, our methods of getting there often vary considerably. Despite what many voices in the secular world like to shout, this is not a flaw at all. We are designed exactly as the Lord intended, and our vocation as wives and mothers is specifically tailored to help us gain eternal life.
Copyright 2023 Kate Moreland
About the Author
Kate Moreland is a graduate of Franciscan University who spends her time homeschooling her five sons. Writing is her way to share her many opinions with someone other than her very patient husband. When not teaching or cleaning up after various people and animals, she enjoys grocery trips alone and frequently-interrupted discussions about family, parenting, and faith. Find her at her LinkTr.ee @kate.more.land.