Man and Woman

The human mind classifies the qualities of manhood and womanhood according to gender, and not as qualities of character, combined and complete in one individual consciousness; but in Christian Science, where God is one and is both Father and Mother, we learn that what is designated as spiritual man expresses both the fatherhood and motherhood of divinity. Thus man, the compound, spiritual idea, is complete in itself, having the nature of both man and woman. The intelligence, the strength, and the courage of manhood, the intuition, the love, and the tenderness of womanhood,—these are spiritual qualities, and are never confined to what is called gender. Just as health and life belong to both man and woman, so gentleness, nobility, beauty, grace, and strength of character are attributes of Mind, which are reflected alike by both man and woman. "Look long enough," says Mrs. Eddy in Miscellany (p. 268), "and you see male and female one—sex or gender eliminated; you see the designation man meaning woman as well."

The Master, who expressed the highest order of manhood, expressed also the gentleness and intuition of womanhood. His words, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings," are the tenderly appealing cry of a mother heart. In experiences more immediate, who of us has not seen in the gentle ministries of a husband, a brother, or a son, the motherliness of true womanhood, and this without any least flavor of effeminacy? Again, in the crucial hour, have we not seen woman rising to an occasion, with all the strength and courage and dominion of manhood, and this quite apart from objectionable masculinity? We find examples of these combined qualities in the ministry of womanhood manifested by men toward their wounded comrades on the battle field; and on the other hand, in the capabilities of manhood manifested among women in the recent days of trial in the factories, in the fields, and in the council chambers. It is said that a man may grow more tender, a woman broader and stronger through association with each other, but this is not so much through impartation as through the calling forth of native characteristics, hidden only by false belief.

Joy in Overcoming
January 31, 1920

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