Boy-Men and Girl-Women

A few years back there was a popular bumper-sticker that read:

“Whoever dies with the most toys, wins.”

I always thought “Wins what?” The Peter Pan award for never having to grow up? In my experience the person with the most toys had the most debt.

Then there was another declaration circulating that said:

“The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.” Really – that’s the difference?

Unfortunately I think some people actually believe that – or at least some men believe that the acquisition of “expensive stuff” is a proof of their maturity. For them, success and its trappings can become more important than people.

How about women? What keeps them immature? I would say that living with fantasy keeps them stuck.

“Someday my prince will come. I will be rescued, life will be beautiful all the time – my problems will be ended when I just find the right man.”

That doesn’t describe most relationships I know. I would more honestly refer to that as magical thinking. It starts early in life with fairy tales and Disney movies. Attracting men seems to be more important than relating to them, just as wedding planning has become a more important focus to some than preparing for the challenges of marriage.

Childhood and adolescence is a time of self-absorption. The clinical term is “childhood narcissism”. It is when a child has not got a proper awareness of the existence and importance of others feelings – yet. To them, they are the center of the universe. However, when we carry this belief into adulthood, it prevents us from becoming fully mature.

How many boy-men are lost in video games, ignoring wives, children and other relationships? How many girl-women are enthralled with romance novels and movies? How about pornography or television sports addictions? Gossip magazines, ladies? I could go on nearly endlessly with the distractions that keep us from focusing on the requirements of a mature adult life.

Women don’t want boys for husbands and guys don’t want to be tied to an emotionally immature girl. Women still want responsible men to father their children, and men still want to marry virtuous women that they can proudly take home to mom. Don’t be fooled by rumors to the contrary.

Taking an opposing stance to our society that reveres permanent adolescence is difficult at best – it is counter-cultural (I don’t want to grow up – I just want to be a “Toys R Us” kid). It requires self-evaluation and self-sacrifice.  My first step is to admit that I have work to do in this area. Breaking denial is scary, but also refreshing.

1 Corinthians 13:11 (New Living Translation) When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

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