I had one of those us-husbands-have-it-tough moments recently, when helping my wife with the grocery shopping. She, being pregnant, was loading up on all the expensive items like vitamins and baby accessories, whilst my treat was a packet of $1.50 crackers. Oh, I did get $18 worth of soup-in-a-can as well!
I laugh while I write this, because realistically I do complain about the oddest things.
It shouldn’t have needed to be pointed out to me that all the money being spent on baby stuff was not really my wife’s treat at all. Just because she was spending a comparatively high amount of money on things for the baby, and vital things for a pregnant woman and nursing mother, didn’t necessarily mean that I should have more money also just to ensure things were ‘fair’.
Fair is not equal. Equal is not fair.
Both of these concepts—fairness and equality—when placed together, are abstract and tend to be very subjective.
In a world of male privilege, where men and boys are used to getting their ‘fair share’ when compared with their women, there is often the case of inequity simply because in ‘making things equal’ things become unfair.
This is about a call for maturity; to understand that discretion and subjectivity have their place.
Time to Grow Up
As Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:11, we have this opportunity to resist the clamour of our childhood desire; to grow and take on the full complement of manhood and womanhood. True adulthood is about recognising the differences in life, yet not complaining about them, but instead appreciating that many differences exist, and often for very good reason.
The more we can accept that things are not equal, and often never should be, the less we stress about the things we cannot change.
Accepting that things are not equal brings us to an acceptance of the way the world is. If we expect things to be equal we will, most of the time, end up disappointed.
The key to Paul’s message on love in 1 Corinthians 13 is the linkage of maturity. Where we embrace the calling of God on our lives to grow up, we find God has already started work in growing us up. Our Lord loves such childlike faith that corresponds, ironically, with an adult frame of mind.
Things will never be equal, as long as we live and breathe on this broken and very complex planet. Accepting this is wisdom. When we accept not all things are equal, really accepting it, we stand to be truly blessed.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.