"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
The first scientific studies that showed essential differences between males and females were not well received by some. Many Christians have resisted the teachings that men and women are by nature the same. Christians have traditionally understood the Bible to teach that males and females each have essential, honorable, but different roles to play.
Unfortunately, many Christians have been unsure how to describe those roles. As we study the scriptural portrayal of the family, especially in Ephesians chapter 5, a picture begins to emerge. All the scriptural examples of motherhood and fatherhood can be distilled into one basic idea. What we call a healthy maternal instinct and a healthy desire on the part of the male to protect and prevent danger are only two sides of the same coin.
An example of what this means was recently discovered in bluebirds. Scientists have found that bluebird fathers offer their nestling daughters twice as much food as their sons. Of course, the sons are never allowed to go hungry. Scientists were puzzled by this until someone suggested that by doing this, father bluebird was teaching his daughters, by example, how to select a mate. Female bluebirds are very fussy about selecting a mate. One of the most important things they look for in a mate is the ability to provide plenty of food for the next generation.
In an age of declining parenting skills, it's good to be reminded that our Creator has given human parents instruction in His Word.
Notes: K.A. Facklemann. 1992. "Bluebird Fathers Favor Pink Over Blue." Science News, Jan. 4, p. 7.
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