Somewhere along the road of growing up we all learn behaviors that are less than innocent. I remember telling my teenage girls that they couldn't wear certain revealing clothing in public. They'd leave the house in perfectly acceptable modest clothing, but unbeknownst to me they had the revealing stuff on underneath. As soon as I was out of sight, well, you know how that works. And this very behavior is part of the not-completely-understood powerful attraction between boys and girls. What is the role of women in the world? Why did God wire girls and boys this way?
In thinking about beauty I tend to contrast the typical woman from the typical man. In general I think of women as beautiful and men as, well, rugged. Oh sure, there are some rugged women and some beautiful men. Not that I don't think rugged is beautiful, too. I love the rugged mountains and think of them as some of God's most beautiful creation. Still, I tend to think about women as softer and men as harder -- more hard-edged and hard-headed. That softness that women have translates to a different kind of beauty than mere physical beauty and a different kind of strength than mere physical strength -- sort of like a strength of moral character.
A woman's softness also translates into differences in how women and men relate to each other and to others. And these differences between women and men create a mutual attraction. Like they have something we men lack and which we need, and we have something they need and which they lack. Why is that?
We are not made to be alone. That's why. When God created Adam and Adam was all alone on Earth he was lonesome. Duh! God, Himself, said: "It is not good for a man to be alone." (Gen. 2:18) So God created Eve to be Adam's Earthly companion. According to the creation story in Genesis Eve was created by taking a part of man from the man, and so, for a man to be complete he has to be in relationship with a woman. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife. (Gen. 2:24) Presumably there is a symbiotic sense in which, to be complete a woman must be united with a man.
If you have ever experienced the birth of a child, particularly your own child, then you might have experienced the compelling and profound awe of birth, and the compelling feeling that God really does exist. The birth of a child really is one of God's great miracles. That experience may be the closest we can come in this lifetime to understanding the awesome creative power of God. Something from nothing. Something new and as-yet untainted by any human experience.
One of the questions my friend asked at our recent breakfast is "why does God let sick people suffer before taking them home?" In asking the question, he was expressing some frustration that his wife had to suffer from her illness for as long as she did. I experienced some of the same emotions about my dying wife.
I don't know why, but I still clearly remember a Paul Harvey radio show where Harvey discussed the topic of death and dying. At the end of the show, Harvey said something like this: "If all the fetuses in all the wombs of all the pregnant mothers in the world could get together, and if one of them should then be born, they might all say, 'Poor old Jane has passed away.'"