God Made Boys to Play with Dolls
In Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me, Ian Morgan Cron writes, "A boy needs to be able to look into his father's eyes and see admiration and delight…. Many of us who live without these gifts that only a father can bestow go through life banging from guardrail to guardrail, trying to determine why our fathers kept their love nameless, as if ashamed."
Strachan gives a good reason why some fathers are ashamed to show this love: because boys are taught, by some, that gushing over babies is embarrassing, unmanly, ungodly. Yet, this is the sort of love kids long for—and frankly, that if we look at God, our Father, the kind of love fathers are made for. Not to say children don't need their dads to be "hunter-gatherers" or disciplinarians, but it's the admiration and delight Cron writes of that kids seek most. It's the love and gushing and feeling like their dads delight in them that keeps kids from bouncing off those guardrails.
Isn't a boy playing with a doll is merely acting this out? Far from being "like a girl" isn't that boy simply tapping into his deep-seeded, God-given and God-reflecting very male desire to show love, to delight in another, smaller human? I think yes. Strachan apparently thinks no. He ends his post admitting that he doesn't see Sesame Street's position on boys and dolls as the end of the world and encourages Christians not to "spaz" about it. "I actually think this show is silly, and worth laughing at, because the God-encoded truth about sexuality and gender is obvious and boys playing with dolls is foolish," he writes.
Maybe Strachan's right. Maybe boys playing with dolls is foolish. As foolish as the God who once taught a tribe of Israel "to walk, taking them by the arms" and who lifted them like "a little child to the cheek" (Hosea 11:3-4). As foolish as a man who endured shame and humiliation in marrying a woman impregnated by another and following God's giant call for his wife's life and her boy (Matt. 1:24). As foolish as the father who hiked up his skirts to run out to welcome his lost son home (Luke 15:20). And as foolish as seeing God himself and his delighted love when a boy (or bear) rocks a doll.
To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.