[Below is an excerpt from John Ensor's Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart. This was a thought provoking illustration of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood for me.]
In the Winter Olympics, figure skating events are the hottest ticket in town. Pairs figure skating has occasionally been the highest rated even among viewers. At its best, it displays the strength and beauty, the power and grace, of true unity. The gold medal is awarded to the couple who has most mastered the skills of male leadership and female support.
He leads her onto the ice and initiates each part of their routine. She receives that leadership and trust in his strength. His raw physical strength is more on display than hers; he does all the lifting, twirling, and catching. She complements his strength with her own--a more diminutive and more attractive strength of beauty, grace, speed, and balance. His focus as the head, or leader, is to magnify her skills. Her focus is on following his lead and signaling her readiness to receive his next move. He takes responsibility for the two of them, and she trusts his leadership and delights in it.
If he makes a mistake, she pays the larger physical price while he pays the larger emotional price. She falls, but he fails! So he has to learn to initiate and risk. She has to help him understand her moves and to endure his learning curve.
They do not fight for equality on the ice; they possess it as a given. Each has a role to play and they are not jostling or fighting about fairness. They are after something far more rewarding. No one yells, "Oppressor!" as he leads her around the arena, lifting her up and catapulting her into a triple spin. No one thinks she is belittled as she takes her lead from him, skating backward to his forward. No one calls for them to be egalitarian: "She should get to throw him into a triple Lutz half the time!" They complement each other in their complementarian approach to becoming one majestic and powerful whole. No one, least of all he, minds that the roses and teddy bears, thrown onto the ice when they have collapsed into each others arms at the end, are for her. It is his joy.
This appears to me to be a visible model of what male leadership and female support are all about. This is what it looks like as it is worked out. It is an art form, not a mandate. It is a disposition, not a set of rules. When it is done well, it is a welcome sight in which both partners are fulfilled in themselves and delighted in the other.