Monday, January 20, 2014

Gender



"Gender is an essential characteristic of individual, premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."  

I find this sentence in the Family Proclamation very important, and interestingly worded. 

The first things to understand is that gender is 1. important, 2. eternal, 3. just one (major and significant) part of what makes you YOU!

If one's gender is this significant...that it carries with it eternal purposes, then I have to assume that one's gender is not an accident.  Sometimes, as we mentioned in a previous lesson, we are born with bodies that do not look or function perfectly, but you were created as either a boy or a girl, by a loving Heavenly Father, with specific purposes in mind.  (My friend Sheila wrote a great post about this here!) 

By creating you as either a male or a female, he is indicating to you that he wants you to be either a Mother or a Father, and to use your unique talents to fill that role in a way that ONLY YOU can!  (How exciting...and what a vote of confidence!)

Although patterns can often be seen in the preferences and talents that manifest themselves most prominently in young boys and young girls, it is also easy to see that boys and girls enjoy a cross-sampling of characteristics that society often labels as either feminine or masculine.  This is also meant to be.

So how are we to navigate the characteristics that are unique to each of us?

Our gender can inform us generally how the Lord wishes for us to cultivate and employ those talents to the benefit of the family and for our eternal happiness.

Thank goodness, I have a husband who can cook, and who is creative and very nurturing, but who can also screw in a lightbulb when I don't want to climb up on the counter to do it myself!


Again, even in terms of how we will respond to our God-given attributes and gender, the Lord has given us agency, and a spectrum in which He allows and encourages us to explore and develop these beautiful talents and traits.  And where does that spectrum end?  Our potential is unlimited.


Understanding ones gender is a personal journey that each of us must go on to discover who the Lord wants each of us to be.  

It is fun to discover what we are good at naturally and what we enjoy doing, and to find ways to enhance those talents, and then to figure out what God intends for us to do with those skills.  This is part of of the process of finding joy.


It's important to teach children that God values men and women equally, and that each gender completes the creation of the other.  A Parent's Guide, which is a manual put out by the church online, teaches that children need to learn how that relationship works.  This should be taught to children by example, within the family, from a young age.  There are lots of helpful hints on the role of parents in teaching gender, etc to children.  Check it out.



For our activity, we decided to spend some time, identifying the individual characteristics that our children were, for the most part, sent to earth with, and see how these characteristics, which span the genders, can be applied to their God-given roles as girls and boys.  We had fun writing these talents and characteristics on our big dry-erase board, and took pictures just for fun.



You can do something similar, if you think it wouldn't be seen as comparing your children to one another.  We were all in quite a silly mood, so it was a fun and positive experience for all of us.


You can also check out Gender Matters...the lesson we did with our children four years ago on this same part of the Proclamation.  And here is little short-haired Scarlett reciting one of her "Family Proclamation ABCs." a long time ago.


9 comments:

  1. The pictures of course are adorable. I am sharing this one; I thought the post was great.
    Blessings for all you do!

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  2. Love this! I think the half-leprechaun is my favorite :)

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    1. Haha! Yes. That is our longtime joke with Scarlett. We tell her she is half leprechaun! ( now Autumn wants to be half easter bunny!) I try not to go too deep into the logic of that! Ha!

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  3. how appropriate and needed in today society for all of us!

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  4. Thank you for these great ideas about the Family Proclamation. We are using them this Summer!

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    1. That's wonderful, Heidi! Let me know how it goes!!

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