The other day I heard a minister state; Holiness is connected to Wholeness… the more whole one is the more holy they become. A fundamental teaching of the Bahá’í Faith is that men and women are equal. They teach that the achievement of the equality of the sexes is paramount to the unification of the planet and ultimate peace. I believe there is wisdom in this line of thinking. After all, do we not all start out in interaction and observance of a mother and father and are we not influenced by how they get along. In our culture we tend to exaggerate differences between the sexes which can wreak havoc on our growth towards wholeness and set the stage for competitiveness, within our most important relationships, instead of the desired cooperation which allows that relationship to last and thrive.
One problem with settling for being half a person is that often one partner starts to resent this stance. Especially, if in the ever evolving couple relationship, a change is brewing. Such as; the husband wants help with finances or the wife wanting more communication. Or, the wife is making more income, and a parent is required to be home so it makes sense for father to be home manager. Not being raised to value wholeness can leave resentment and jealousy creating undercurrents of obstacles in all these scenarios.
In our culture, with all the tough guy images, it can be particularly challenging for some men to acknowledge their vulnerabilities; thus, depriving them of their wholeness. Recently, a male friend shared that while driving his partner to the airport he realized how he has feelings of abandonment when she has to go away. He became aware that he has been handling it by starting a fight prior to getting her there. His awareness and insight was impressive to say the least. To admit to his vulnerable feelings now gives him power to do the self-talk, or whatever is needed, to not create unnecessary problems in his partnership. It makes him a better person, a more loving person, perhaps a more holy person.
As it stands today, too many males are taught aggressive solutions to their problems. With so many war toys, innumerable TV programs and movies with males toting guns, is it any wonder that boys will often turn to violent solutions to their problems? In the book Raising Cain, Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson discuss the importance of raising our sons whole—with emotional awareness and a language to go with that awareness.