We have all been created as male and female. While the differences between us may sometimes cause confusion or frustration between us, our differences also complement each other. We all know that differences beyond our sexes are much the same way, but nothing is more universal than the struggle to understand another of the opposite sex.
To face this honestly, we have to get past even the most light-hearted jokes. We have to do this so that we can honestly look at the gifts of femininity and masculinity with all the humility we can muster. If we do not, we will never give the honor which is due to one another.
I knew a couple when I was in college who embodied this very well, and were so vocal about it that I was able to see exactly why I admired them. Almost every time I spoke with one of them one-on-one, they would talk about each other. All I ever heard them say about one another was positive. Beyond that, they would often compliment the other for talents which they didn’t personally possess.
While not all of these things were directly connected to their masculinity or femininity, their compliments about each other always had to do with how well they complemented each other. As a couple, they were more well-rounded than either could hope to be as an individual. As parents, they were better than most because they allowed their differences to shine, and give all their children authentic models of womanhood and manhood. I will always be inspired by their model, and I’m sure their children have benefited greatly.
While both were saintly on their own, they were always better together, and always recognized it. When I remember them in my prayers, I always feel challenged to recognize the talents of others which I don’t possess. It is one thing to admire those who are better at something than us, it is quite another to truly admire someone who is wholly different. Whether we aren’t interested in those talents, or we are jealous, or we simply don’t understand the value of another’s talents, we must always be humble before others. If we are different from someone for any reason, we should always consider the possibility that they have something to bring to the table which we can’t.