We Christians know that enmity is not the fundamental force of creation. Love is fundamental. The love of God motivates all creatures that God calls into existence. They are called into a communion of love, in which they can love, and are not ultimately inhibited by fear or aversion to their own selves or to others. They learn to love all creatures in all the various forms of love that are appropriate to each. We may love our parents, brother and sisters, friends, our work, our workmates and team mates, our town and our country, our people and their habits and attitudes, their language and history, our countryside, its wildlife, its views and products. There are all these and more loves, and with them forms of affection and trust and loyalty, a whole host of affections and assumptions too deep to name. To a degree we can say that we love ourselves, we take of our own bodies and we love the bodies of those closest to us and take care of them. We tell them how lovely their bodies are. They are distinct from us, and we encourage them to learn a proper amount of independence, and we see them as part of us. They are them and they are ours. They belong to us and we to them. So parents see children, and so men see women and women see men. So we Christians say that men and women are creatures of love. We tell people that they have no fundamental reason for becoming suspicious of one another. But we should be aware of those who want to create fear and suspicion, and we should guard ourselves, and warn one another of this agenda of that this vast distrust and ambiguity that is always being pushed at us, and in particular at the children who, being more trusting, may be more gullible and vulnerable to it.
The truth of man – and of any male – is that he can and may serve a woman. And she may allow herself to be served, and to wait until she is served, and to allow him to provide for her what perhaps she could do for herself, but generously to allow him to give. She serves him by waiting for him and so giving him time to act. She does not serve either him or herself by acting instead of him. Her action is allowing him to act for her. He may protect her and he may provide for her. He may pick her out, exclusively from all others and love and serve her alone. He may present her with the gift of a new life. He may give her a child. By fathering that child for her he is the hope of continuity for that woman, so she may live through her children. By her readiness to become the mother of that child she is the hope of continuity for that man, so he may live through his children, look forward to the life they will continue when he himself is gone. He has someone to work for; this wife and children make his work purposeful and his life meaningful. She may give him a child. They may do this together, and can only do this together, and in order that they do, each must perform for the other what they cannot do for themselves. There is something, or sometimes many things, that only a man may do for a woman, and that only a woman may for a man. They are complementary because they are different. Take that difference away, make them identical and indistinguishable from one another, and they become useless to one another. They are then just atoms. They may cling together one another for just as long as they both have the willpower to sustain this commitment, but their identity as one another’s partners evaporates as soon as the will power of one of them lapses.