Humanity, its dignity and its balance will depend at every moment and on every place on the globe on who man is for woman and who woman is for man. - Pope John Paul III believe the thesis of this talk is: To understand marriage, love and sexuality you need a total vision of man. If you can't fully answer the question "Who is man for woman and who is woman for man" you cannot understand Church teaching on this topic. I think that is 100% true. I hesitate to write the post because when narrowed down to a blog it may sound like it just plays on stereotypes and is insensitive to people who don't fit the norm. That is not my goal in any way. The goal in this post is to touch on something I feel to be true - God made man and He also made woman. We were both designed to be perfect and I would say equal. However, something else I have found true in many ways over the years - equal does not mean the same. Please read with an open mind.
I am not a theologian so if you want all his biblical references that support his point you should definitely get this cd. Instead, I will mention a few "real world" examples that he mentions that I find helpful in conversations on this topic -
His first point that is made involves compliments (different things that go together). Many compliments can be found in the world - night and day, man and woman, work and play. In those examples, each is more appreciated and life is more balanced when they go together. More than all the artificial, immoral and emotional arguments for and against marriage, biology can prove to be a strong resource when explaining why there is a "natural order" found in the marriage between one man and one woman and all pro-life and NFP ideals.
Women are internal and men are external. Women like to bring things to themselves and men like to act outwardly which is mirrored in our anatomy. This comes down to how young children play with toys. Boys like to test toys and bang them against things (car crashes) and girls like to play house or play with dolls and create connected stories. This phenomenon continues through life. Women are internal and connected. We like to talk with each other, we like to console others and not worry about solving a problem. Men are made for separateness and external acts. They want that "man cave" to withdraw after a long day of problem-solving. They usually do not want to talk just to talk - they want to solve something. They withdraw and re-energize so they can come back and solve all the "problems" you bring up when you talk about your day.
When I first heard this talk, before I was married, I did not realize how true that was. One of the adjustments when my husband moved in after the honeymoon, was giving him some time to "withdraw" after a hard day. There is nothing that I can do to help him because that is not how he was made. I was also amazed at how many times I would clarify that I was not talking about a "problem" and was not looking for a solution.
Going back to the complimentary aspect. Women are internal: they want to help other feel loved, accepted, build community, etc. Men are external: they want to solve problems. Both have a hugely important role in our lives, but they need balance. It sounds stereotypical, but it is true in my life. The procreation difference (obviously same-sex partners to do that differently) is losing ground with contraception and IVF among other things - but our biology has stayed the same. We were created differently but equal.
The way I understand it in my life comes down to this scenario
When someone has had a hard day
Me to my husband: how can I help you relax/feel better?
My ideas: back massage, relax, have time alone while I clean up dinner
My husband to me: how can I fix the problem
His ideas: create a to do list, find a way to make x problem not occur again, if that is not possible find way to adjust routines etc. so problem is not so upsetting
Now, I am not saying that is the only thing my husband and I do. I want to help him fix problems and he wants to help me relax, but our first instincts are different and we learn from each other how to do that which does not come naturally.