Imagine with me for a moment that later today your mom shows up, pulls you aside, and says, “I’ve been thinking about you and just wanted to come tell you face to face that I am so proud of you.”
How would that feel? Considering what’s going on for you right now, what would it do for your heart? How would that play in your thoughts for the rest of the day?
Now shift gears and imagine the same scene again, but this time imagine the person who comes to see you is your dad.
How would that feel? What would that mean for your heart, and how would it play in your thoughts for the rest of the day?
The differences between these two scenarios isn’t just about different personalities, it’s that affirmations from a mom or dad simply hit us in different ways. Both are good, both are invaluable, but they’re different.
On an intrinsic, fundamental level, we know and sense this is true: Gender matters.
At the same time, there’s a squeamishness about gender and gender differences in our culture. If we look deep enough, we find a kind of collective shame in being men or being women. We’re either trying to prove we’re man or woman enough (and usually falling short) or we’re trying to distance ourselves from the negative stereotypes of our gender.
Beginning in the Garden at the fall, humankind has experienced gender differences as a threat. And it is not difficult to see what follows: If gender differences are a threat, then gender itself becomes a threat.
When Regeneration started nearly 40 years ago, our focus was to walk alongside men and women who were experiencing unwanted homosexual desires. We’ve grown to serve men and women dealing with a wide spectrum of sexual and relational challenges today. But the intent our founder, Alan Medinger, had then is the same intent we have today:
To help men and women become whole—not just whole “persons” in a generic sense, but whole men and whole women.
And this isn’t merely about self-actualization, but about self-donation.
Moving toward becoming whole men and whole women allows us to be better gifts to our friends, our families, our communities, and to a wider hurting world.
Let us press on toward becoming whole men and whole women together, for Christ’s glory, our good, and the good of generations to come.
Question: In addition to the example of a mother or father’s affirmation, what other examples can you think of how we just “get” that gender matters? Leave a comment here.
P.S. We hope you enjoy our new logo and web site. The changes you see reflect our heart to simultaneously hold firm to biblical, orthodox Christian teaching while becoming more accessible to all who need Christ’s redemptive work in the areas of intimacy, identity, and sexuality.