This week our school had its first annual Renaissance Fair for the secondary students. There were chess, sketching, and costume competitions, authentic Renaissance games, a great feast, and ... a sword fighting tournament.
It was this sword fighting that the boys were most excited over and the girls most dismayed. Our egalitarian culture dictates that men and women are equal, which means that the opportunities presented to one ought to be presented to the other as well. It was not a popular notion when the girls were not allowed to participate in the sword fighting.
Prior to the Renaissance Fair, some of the girls asked nicely why they couldn't participate, some demanded scriptural proof that females sword fighting is sin, and some even went so far as to draw up a petition to convince the administrator that they should be allowed to sword fight with the boys. The administrator stood firm, though, and other events were planned to occupy the girls' time while the boys were learning to fight. The girls helped decorate the lunchroom and then set off to prepare food for the next day's feast.
When the sword fights got underway the next day, the girls were completely unprepared for what they saw. The boys, though friends, went after eachother like enemies, fighting one-to-one. There was no mercy; it was one of those events where the testosterone was allowed, and even encouraged, to flow in full force. They had wooden shields, and foam-covered dowel swords. Even with the padded swords, the boys were vicious. The girls watched in amazement - that is not how they would have fought. This became one of the beautiful moments of the day - the girls began to really see how God wired men and women differently.
When God designed humans, he created two genders: male and female. He created them equal, but gave them different roles to fulfill, and so wired them to think in a way conducive to filling those roles. Men are protectors, leaders, and fighters, both physically and spiritually. Our culture, in its declaration of "equality," has stripped men of their masculinity to push them toward a more gender-neutral role. Satan has twisted the equality of respect and importance found in Scripture into an equality of role, so prevalent in our culture today. Culture says, "There is no difference between men and women." and our children have bought into that lie.
On Friday, the girls of Petra Academy were given the opportunity to clearly see the difference between men and women. One girl commented, upon leaving the tournament, "I would bake bread any day over doing that." There is a difference between men and women, and our children ought to be taught that. Boys should be taught to grow into MEN, real men, leaders, heros, protectors of faith and family, not into the emasculated men of the sitcoms. And women must understand the role of men and the importance it holds so that they do not usurp that role from the men.
In Bozeman, MT a corner of the cultural blindfold has been lifted from the students, simply by allowing men to be men. It is my prayer that the blindfold will keep coming off, and that these students will influence the next generation as they model their roles in their families - that these men will be MEN, and the women will be WOMEN, confident and strong in the roles God has given them, glorifying Him with their lives.