Opposites Attract

In preparing for worship tomorrow, I was reminded of a G.K. Chesterton essay on how the innate differences of men and women will grow into stark divisions, unless those differences are not first reconciled by red-hot love that matures into beautiful compliment.

Here’s a lengthy piece from Chesterton’s essay, “Two Points of View.”

“The argument is this, that the differences between a man and a woman are at the best so obstinate and exasperating that they practically cannot be got over unless there is an atmosphere of exaggerated tenderness and mutual interest. To put the matter in one metaphor, the sexes are two stubborn pieces of iron; if they are to be welded together, it must be while the are red-hot. Every woman has to find out that her husband is a selfish beast, because every man is a selfish beast by the standard of a woman. But let her find out the beast while they are both still in the story of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Every man has to find out that his wife is cross–that is to say, sensitive to the point of madness: for every woman is mad by the masculine standard. But let him find out that she is mad while her madness is more worth considering than anyone else’s sanity…The whole value of the normal relations of man and woman lies in the fact that they first begin really to criticize each other when they first begin to admire each other. And a good thing, too. I say, with a full sense of the responsibility of the statement, that it is better that the sexes should misunderstand each other until they marry. It is better that they should not have the knowledge until they have the reverence and the charity…We do not want the highest mysteries of a Divine distinction to be understood before they are desired, and handled before they are understood.”

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