Sunday, February 24, 2013

I See… Wearing the Pants in the Family

Who wears the pants in your family? What does that mean? Several weeks ago, a sliver of Mormon feminists and their sympathizers felt it meant something, because they had designated a specific Sunday for women to attend church wearing pants. I’m not exactly sure about the point they were trying to prove; it successfully confused me into wondering why women would want to abandon accurate reflections of their innate beauty and lower themselves to our level by trying to visibly resemble the priesthood. It also left me wondering; according to the divine order of a living, loving Heavenly Father, who should really be wearing the pants in the family.

According to the Internet, the source of all knowledge regardless of its veracity, the idiom “wearing the pants in the family” refers to being in charge of, or taking responsibility for, what goes on in a family.  More often than not, it incorrectly bears a negative connotation of a man wielding the sole decisionmaking power over family matters.  These definitions prompted more pondering-  men are already saddled with the burden of wearing pants and all implications of unrighteous dominion associated with it; why would LDS women also want to embrace such Neanderthal imagery?

Once again, the most accurate, inspired paradigm to understand who should really wear the pants in the family can be found divine revelation from living prophets. I’m specifically referring to “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”   It clearly narrates sacred parental roles as follows: “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” Too many narrow-minded natural men and women stop reading there, when the most critical chunk of actualized instruction is in the next sentence: “In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”

In essence, God designed the family unit to be a joint venture.  In more practical terms, moms are supposed to bear an equal burden in presiding over their families in love and righteousness and providing the necessities of life and protection for their families, and dads are required to dedicate an equal amount of time and energy in nurturing children. Anything more or less than this creates imbalance and discord in a family, and proper parents spend most of their lives seeking management of marriages and families that equally support these divinely designated roles.

Ok, so back to the pants paradigm.  Correct application of the Proclamation’s instruction on equal, shared support of parental roles calls for a new kind of clothing:  the three-legged pants.  God views marriage and family as a three-legged race with husband and wife having one of their legs tied together. At first it may seem awkward, but after a while, if you work together, you can cover a lot of ground. 

So, moms and dads, put on your pants- your three-legged pants. These are the only kind of pants that God approves of being worn in an eternal family. 

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